Relais & Châteaux

Established in France over 60 years ago, Relais & Châteaux unites the finest hoteliers, chefs, and restaurateurs in the world. It is an association that has set the standard for excellence in hospitality. Its mission? To spread its unique and discerning philosophy across the globe by selecting outstanding properties with truly unique character.

The story of Relais & Châteaux began in 1941 when two former music hall entertainers, Marcel and Nelly Tilloy purchased “La Cardinale”, an estate in the Rhône Valley. In 1952 the Tilloys began recruiting other hoteliers and restaurant owners that shared the same standards of quality, passion, and excellence. In 1954, this group of kindred spirits merged together to create Relais & Châteaux.

The group is known for its strict admission standards. In addition to luxurious facilities, members must have special features distinguishing them from chain hotels. Most of them are historic landmarks such as castles, manor houses, or townhouses in idyllic settings and offering exquisite cuisine. Prospective and current members are evaluated by the group’s traditional “five C” motto: Caractère, Courtoisie, Calme, Charme et Cuisine.

Initially, there were only 8 establishments along the road between Paris and the French Riviera. Today more than 520 members form part of Relais & Châteaux.