Our choice of hotels and restaurants to enjoy during your trip along this beautiful river
4* Mercure Rochefort La Corderie Royale
Set in the naval dockyard close to the Charente, this hotel has recently been refitted with maritime and exotic décor. It has a restaurant and pool. accor.com
4* Hôtel François Premier
This former private mansion in Cognac has been renovated in contemporary style. There’s a swish cocktail lounge, spa, four suites and 26 rooms. hotelfrancoispremier.fr/UK
3* Hôtel Ligaro
This stylishly decorated boutique hotel has two suites and eight rooms created in one of the oldest houses in Jarnac, which dates from the 17th century. It has a gourmet restaurant. hotel-ligaro.com
3* Hôtel des Messageries
In the heart of Saintes, you’ll find this elegant 17th-century coaching inn with 34 suites and rooms – and oodles of character. hotel-des-messageries.com
5* Château de Mirambeau
This Relais et Château hotel is set in a Renaissance castle in a peaceful park. Expect antique furniture, marble bathrooms and sumptuous fabrics, and luxuriate in the spa with its two pools and a beauty centre. There’s 1* Michelin dining too. chateauxmirambeau.com
4* Mercure Angoulême – Hôtel de France
Opposite the town’s covered market and entirely renovated, this hotel has three suites and 86 rooms. Enjoy contemporary cuisine in its Jardin des Arceaux restaurant. accor.com
4* Hôtel Saint-Gelais
Once a priory on Saint-Gelais Square in Angoulême’s centre, this hotel now offers 12 guest rooms. Dine at its restaurant L’Algorithme.
Domaine des Platanes
Situated on the banks of the Charente, between Cognac and Jarnac, this former chais of a renowned Cognac house welcomes you for a stay of relaxation and discovery. charentedomainedesplatanes.com
L’Esprit du 8
Mosaic floors, original parquet, and marble replaces add to the charm of this mid-19th-century town house in Rochefort’s centre. lespritdu8.com
There are two guest rooms in this renovated 19th-century property in the centre of Cognac. It has a secluded garden and is open all year round.
Interior designer Christelle and her husband Christophe have three guest rooms in their 17th-century Saintes home, plus a concept store for artefacts, ethical furniture and materials. pausethiquehome.fr/en
La Cascade de Saintonge
In Saint-Même les Carrières, between Cognac and Angoulême, you’ll find this historic family home dating from the 17th century and offering two beautiful guest rooms. Enjoy dinner on its own or as part of a bonus package. la-cascade-de-saintonge.com
Stay in one of five elegant rooms in this town house five minutes from Angoulême’s centre. It has a garden and outdoor pool. Language courses are available on request. champ-fleuri.fr/en
Michelin-starred chef Thierry Verrat presides over this riverside restaurant in Bourg-Charente. There’s a contemporary dining room, terrace and garden to relax in. laribaudiere.com
Le Restaurant du Château
Discover this pretty restaurant in bistro-chic style on the main square opposite Château Courvoisier in Jarnac. Chef Ludovic Merle has a Michelin Guide entry to his name. restaurant-du-chateau.com
La Maison chef Pierre Dumas has a Michelin Guide entry, too, for traditional and innovative cuisine at this gourmet address in the centre of Cognac.
Chef Pascal Yenk uses fresh market produce in this riverside Charentaise house with terrace and garden – and has a Michelin Guide entry. restaurant-le-parvis.fr
Saint-Malo is a four-hour drive from Rochefort. Sail from Portsmouth with Brittany Ferries.
The area is well served by airports at La Rochelle, Bordeaux and Limoges.
From France Today magazine