courtesy of Château du Maréchal de Saxe

We wanted one last memorable stay to end our French vacation. What I found near Orly airport were numerous chain hotels but nothing special. Searching farther out I came across Château du Maréchal de Saxe, a Hôtel Particulier in Yerres, about a 20-kilometer drive from the airport.

It appeared to be an elegant choice for our one-night stay. Because we would have to leave early in the morning, I booked a less expensive room in the Châtelain annex. When we checked in we were upgraded to a first floor room in the château. We felt like royalty in our grand room with two floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the back of this huge property that seemed to go on forever.

Formerly named Château de la Grange, this château has had a long, evolving history. In 1617 the château was built in the style of Louis XIII on the site of an ancient farm. In 1745, Field Marshal Saxe and his soldiers defeated the enemy at the battle of Fontenoy (a major battle in the War of the Austrian Succession). He was rewarded for his valour by Louis XV with the gift of Château Chambord in the Loire, where he housed his military regiment. In 1748 Saxe purchased the Château de la Grange and began extensive renovation on the ground floor. He died two years later, but he did leave his name on the property. During the German occupation in 1942, the Grand Galerie of the château was turned in to an atelier by the Nazis to repair airplane engines. In 2000 a business group purchased the property and transformed it into a prestigious hotel with restaurant.

Sadly, the dining room was complet the night we stayed, but a lively restaurant within walking distance was recommended to us by our host. We did peruse all the magnificent salons on the rez-de-chaussée to admire the outstanding decor. Even though the château has much beauty and historical significance, we felt there were a few maintenance issues concerning the rooms and grounds that needed to be addressed in a château of this stature. Nevertheless it was a grand finale to our stay in France, and we did make it to the airport on time.

Château du Maréchal de Saxe – Les Hôtels Particuliers, Avenue de la Grange, 91330 Yerres. Tel: +33 (0) 1 69 48 78 53. www.chateaudumarechaldesaxe.com. Châtelain rooms from 120 euros/night, not including breakfast. Chateau rooms starting from 160 euros per night.

Jo Anne Marquardt is the author of My Trip Around the Hexagon: Meandering in France and Falling in Love with France, both available at Amazon.com. Her first published book, Falling in Love with France, offers responses to the various questions friends and family have asked her over the years about why she visits France so often. The second book includes illustrations and descriptive notes from her travel journals.

See Jo Anne’s art by visiting her website: www.joannemarquardt.com.

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Jo Anne Marquardt is the author of "My Trip Around the Hexagon: Meandering in France" and "Falling in Love with France", both available at Amazon.com. Her first published book, Falling in Love with France, offers responses to the various questions friends and family have asked her over the years about why she visits France so often. The second book includes illustrations and descriptive notes from her travel journals. Visit Jo Anne's website to check out her art.

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