Or, in this case, chateau.
Just got back from a lovely week in the Loire Valley, where the spouse, teenager, and I biked (or vanned) from chateau to chateau.
Following is a sampling of some of the lovely homes fit for a king (and his mistress) -- or a queen -- that we visited.
First up, Chambord, all 426 (or is it 440?) rooms of it -- and not a toilette to be found. Over the course of 32 years, Francois I only spent 72 days here -- and had his servants lug all of his furniture with them when they stayed there as the place was unfurnished.
It's good to be king.
Looking for something a little more cozy? Try Chaumont, which has beautiful views of the Loire river.
Or perhaps you'd prefer something with a moat? (I know I would.) Well then, I highly recommend Chenonceau.
Is gardening your passion? If so, Villandry is the chateau for you!
Or if you prefer something a little smaller (that doesn't start with the letters ch) with a moat and a nice lawn, I highly recommend Azay-le-Rideau.
And if an entire chateau is too much to handle, you can still be treated like a king (or at least a prince or a count) at the lovely Chateau de Brou, located not far from Chinon, the site of another chateau. (The spouse and I shared the Balzac room while the kid, lucky girl, stayed in Ronsard. Also, the food is superb.)
Sigh. Definitely not your average front-to-back mid-century split level, though their heating and lawn maintenance bills are probably more than ours.