News from the Manoir au Lac | Le Manoir au Lac
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Here you will find all the articles concerning the history of the Manoir du Lac as well as news from the surrounding area. We are happy to share with you the secrets of the Manoir au Lac.

The manor at the lake

New for 2020!



Just a stone's throw from the Manor House, in the heart of the large park: Claude Valentin invites you to discover the Villa des Grands Bois! ... A shaded pathway crossing the park links the villa with the Manor House!
Railway poster collection

Claude Valentin's poster collection



An extract of the original lithographs to discoveron the walls of the Manor...
Advertising posters from the past,but also images of Epinal...

Deep roots in history



On the shores of Lake Gérardmer, in the heart of the Vosges mountains in France, an old 19th century holiday home has been transformed into a beautiful and prestigious hotel.
How nice it would have been to walk along the shores of Lake Gérardmer in those sweet, carefree days at the end of the 19th century. Well known as "the pearl of the Vosges", the small town situated at an altitude of 660 metres was indeed the holiday resort of the Tout-Paris of the time.
No doubt one would have heard Ernest Renan philosophise there, greeted President Sadi Carnot, or perhaps even met the portrait painter Léon Bonnat. Proof of the interest that this demanding and well-to-do population showed in this landscape, set in a valley and bordered by mountains with fir trees and meadows, Gérardmer was the site of the first tourist office in France. In 1875, it was aptly named "Comité des promenades". The attractiveness of the splendid and paradisiacal lake of Gérardmer - more than 2 km long - quickly attracted wealthy people who built their holiday homes there.
At the beginning of the 20th century, it was possible to count dozens of posh "chalets" on its shores, buildings of prestige and character that bore witness to a time when the art of living skilfully combined romanticism and worldliness.



But after the ravages of the last war, during which many of the homes around the lake were destroyed, one should expect to smell that sweet perfume of old luxury again
The theatre, which resurrects this atmosphere of yesteryear, overlooks the shining expanse of Lake Gérardmer. This prestigious residence, built entirely of wood, stands nobly on a slope pleasantly adorned with generous vegetation.
The Manoir au Lac, as it is called, is one of those miraculous chalets as it is so rare to find them still on the Vosges balloon. Moreover, the house still has a typical half-timbered facade on the rear side which does not lack character. Originally owned by Parisian bankers (the Cahens of Antwerp), the building, after passing through the hands of an industrialist, was acquired in 1979 by Claude Valentin, a Gerome resident who was sufficiently inspired by his native region to have the audacity to invest in a concept that is, to say the least, singular.
                                                            IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF MAUPASSANT
From the outset, Claude Valentin was convinced that the position of the building on the lake, as well as its character, naturally destined the chalet Cahen d'Anvers to be transformed into a refined hotel. To the existing 800m2, the lucky buyer added a new building which now links all the wings of the property. The whole complex has allowed the development of twelve rooms and two flats (or suites) of character.
Each of these rooms has been given its own name, making it easier to distinguish the style and colours. From "Mirabelle" to "Bastien" to "Prunelle" to "Don Juan", it's all a matter of taste, and the carefully staged furniture inevitably gives the rooms unique personalities. For the record - which adds nobility to the already poetic atmosphere - one room, aptly named "Bel-Ami", was even home to Guy de Maupassant.
"The country I have just visited is one of the most beautiful one can see. Immense valleys, enclosed in mountains with gigantic forests of pine and beech [...] At the bottom of all these valleys, lakes", wrote Guy de Maupassant to his "dear mother" in 1890



THE SPIRIT OF THE PLACE RESTORED
The hotel's design exudes such a sense of comfort and luxury that it quickly made the reputation of Claude Valentin and his Manoir au Lac. So much good taste, elegance and refinement permeate this exceptional place, that some may think it took an armada of interior designers to design it.
However, the owner of the establishment is the sole architect of this décor which, in his own words, "reflects my personal vision of luxury hotels".