About Us

The manor house is located in the small town of Contres, a couple of hours south of Paris in the very heart of the Loire Valley and its world-famous castles.

The Loire Valley is classified as World Heritage by UNESCO for being an outstanding cultural landscape of great beauty, containing historic towns and villages and great architectural monuments (the châteaux).

The Owners

Victor and Maria Orsenne

Victor and Maria Orsenne both love good French cuisine and excel in the art of being attentive, accommodating hosts to their international guests. They personally assure a warm welcome and a professional service, be it for your comfortable leisure stay or a successful business trip.

Both alumni of Ecole Hôtelière Lausanne have been in the hospitality business for over thirty years.

In Switzerland: Suisse Hotel Suvretta House St.Moritz, Hotel Montreux Palace, Hilton in Zurich and London. Ramada Genève.
In Germany: Kempinski in Hamburg and Berlin. Also they owned and managed the hotel-restaurant Böttingerhaus in Bamberg.
In France: CEO of the hotel Couvent de Minimes à Lille and of the Hotel Royal à La Baule.

In 1994 Victor & Maria Orsenne began managing the Small Charming Hotel Latour-Maubourg and were owners of the hotel Valadon, both in central Paris.

From 1998 to 2001 Victor Orsenne was chef and proprietor of the Bistrot de Montpensier, Paris 1er.


The Manoir

A Brief History

In 1821 Mr. René CAMUS is written down in the new land registry, created by Napoleon, as the owner of a building then known in Contres as the “château” (castle).

According to a local notary’s records the “château” was built in 1818 in the style of Louis XII. It was modelled on the Louis XII wing of the royal castle of Blois which reconciles the French manner of building in the Gothic tradition with an early appearance of Italianate influence. A structure combining brick and stone was fashionable at Louis’ time, the end of the 15th century.

During the two centuries of its existence the “castle” often changed proprietor.

Rumour in Contres has it that towards the end of the 19th century the lodger at the“château” is an illegitimate daughter of a French duke. After her eminent father’s death his lawful heirs take legal actions against her, threatening to have her expelled from the “castle”. The lawyer who succeeds in securing her the property finally marries her and moves in with her at the “château”.

In the year 1931 the Minister of Agriculture and Member of the French Parliament Adrien Louis DARIAC purchases the “castle”. His heirs continue to occupy it until 1952. In those days the property consists of the following elements, other than the main building:

In 1959 a family of northern French entrepreneurs , the BAILLEULs, purchase the “château”. One of their daughters marries a textile merchant from Contres, a survivor of the Nazi persecutions during World War II. Indeed, his brother and sister had been sent to a concentration camp; a marble plate in the local church of St.Cyr et Ste. Julithe commemorates the Jankelevichs’ tragic fate.

For about 15 years the young couple occupies one of the “castle’s” front rooms on the 1st floor above ground, next door to Madame’s parents.

In 1977 the “château” becomes the propriety of Mr Jean-Claude MORINA, owner of several factories in the Contres food industry.

In his leisure hours Mr.Morina plays the accordion with skill and passion. Thanks to his partiality to that instrument his family residence becomes also an open house to the music lovers among his friends every time he organizes one of the numerous concerts that take place in the Grand Salon.

After his wife passes away Mr.Morina moves to Le Mans. For weekends and holiday stays he keeps one of the cottages near the park entrance for himself; but in 2005 the rest of the property is sold to M. und Mme. VACHER.

Finally, in January 2010, the hotel managers Victor und Maria ORSENNE purchase the “château” with the aim of opening it to the public by transforming the main house and the garden pavilion into a hotel. They take residence in the cottage by the park entrance .

The necessary works to turn a bicentennial manor-house into a future hotel “Manoir de Contres” are finally brought to their successful conclusion on May 28th 2011.

Chateau de Contres The Old Manoir Chateau de Contres Contres at the turn of the 19th Century Chateau de Contres Minister of Agriculture and Member of the French Parliament Adrien Louis DARIAC, a previous owner of the Manoir

Awards & Commendations