Few places lend themselves to a romantic holiday quite like France, whether you head to the Cote d’Azur, Paris, the Loire Valley or Provence. From understated and quintessentially French B&Bs to suites set high in the turrets of fairytale castles, quirky inns on hidden Parisian side streets or historic retreats nestled into the hilltops, for those in the mood for travel for two, France beckons, and here the Good Hotel Guide shares 10 of their top romantic hotels in France.
Le Cagnard, Cote d’Azur
A clever conversion of mediaeval houses on the side of a cliff, by the ramparts of Haut-de-Cagnes – a fashionable hill village inland from Nice – Le Cagnard is a unique and magical retreat. Filled with restored antique furniture and details such as a beautiful hand-painted ceiling in the restaurant, which slides away to reveal the sky, it’s unusual but certainly romantic. Dinner is served by candlelight in the former guardroom or on the terrace, rooms are named after prominent artists associated with the town, and the views extend to the sea and mountains – a good reason to opt for a room with a balcony.
Hotel Chopin, Paris
This modest hotel is a listed historic monument that stands at the end of a glass-roofed 19th-century arcade of shops. Near the junction of boulevards Haussmann, Montmartre and des Italiens, it’s been there since 1846, and there’s romance to its faded elegance and cheerful demeanour. It’s idiosyncratic in many ways, but there’s something seductive in that. The location is ideal and you certainly feel as though you’re truly part of Paris while you’re here.
Chateau de Verrieres, Loire Valley
In the glorious Pays de la Loire in a great park, in Saumur, Chateau de Verrieres is a real gem of a hotel. The historic mansion is now a five-star luxury B&B hotel and spa, where guests delight in the genuine welcome and the quality of the rooms. Outside there’s a lovely outdoor swimming pool surrounded by loungers as well as sunny terraces for alfresco drinks. Inside, meanwhile, you will find Belle Epoque decor combined with modern technology.
Les Florets, Provence
Against a backdrop of the craggy Dentelles de Montmirail, Les Florets is an old-fashioned hotel in a superb setting high in a wooded valley. Close to some of the best Côtes du Rhône vineyards, it is a tranquil destination owned by impeccable hosts. It’s welcoming and laid back, the sort of place you feel right at home but still superbly well cared for. The chef serves elegant and inventive local cuisine on a choice of two set menus or an a la carte menu, paired with excellent local wines including some from the proprietor’s own prize-winning vineyards.
Domaine de la Tortiniere, Loire Valley
The current owners are the fourth generation of the family to run this handsome Second Empire mansion, set amid woods and lawns in a park. Domaine de la Tortiniere is the very picture of a romantic French holiday, with some suites located in the turrets for extra fairytale factor. Rooms are beautifully furnished, menus are based on ‘la richesse du terroir’, there’s a rowing boat for guests to dabble in the slow waters of the Indre, and views stretch across to the tower of Montbazon.
Le Mas du Langoustier, Côte d’Azur
Surrounded by 50 hectares of greenery, Le Mas du Langoustier is situated in the unique surrounds of the island of Porquerolles on the Côte d’Azur. A 10-minute boat ride from the mainland, the crescent-shaped island is home to a charming village and beautiful natural scenery filled with eucalyptus, fig and olive trees. This luxury hotel feels like an escape from the world. Rooms surround a courtyard and are furnished in Provençal style and unique features include an olive tree in the heart of the Olivier restaurant. It is well known for its Michelin star food, and days are spent exploring the sandy beach nearby, lounging in the swimming pool and playing tennis.
Le Manoir Saint Thomas, Loire Valley
A 12th-century turreted former priory, Le Manoir Saint Thomas has been sympathetically restored, and is now a luxurious B&B hotel. Just a two-minutes walk from Amboise centre, each room has been individually furnished and in the public rooms in particular, the architecture and furnishings offer a sense of grandeur. Notable architectural details include lots of fireplaces, sweeping staircases, stained-glass windows and beamed ceilings. While there’s no restaurant, the nearby town has plenty of options, encouraging you to explore the nearby area.
Hotel Atlantic, Wimereux
In this small seaside resort, close to busy Boulogne sits this enchanting Art Deco-fronted hotel. Standing on a pedestrianised promenade with many sea-facing bedrooms, the hotel enjoys wonderful views and exceptional sunsets. Elegant details such as breakfast served on Limoges china, add a particular sense of charm. Dinner focuses on local seafood, and interiors are welcoming, understated and contemporary. It’s little wonder Hotel Atlantic is such a popular place to stay.
Hotel de la Marine, Normandy
In a superb location in a pieds dans l’eau position on the Cotentin peninsula, south of Cherbourg, Hotel de la Marine is a dreamy destination. Overhanging the water, guests enjoy views of the tidal estuary from many rooms, the terrace, and the restaurant all face the water. The lounge sits like an ocean liner pointing out to the azure waters, and you can venture out to superb beaches and a marina nearby. The hotel dates back to 1837 and there’s a distinct sense of time gone by. The hotel has three stars, and the best word to describe it would be ‘charming’.
Chateau de Chissay, Loire Valley
In the Cher valley, near Chenonceaux and Blois, Chateau de Chissay is an idyllic médiéval château on a hillside. The turrets alone give it a fairytale romantic vibe, and its history offers a sense of grandeur and intrigue. Former residents include Charles VII, Louis XI and Charles de Gaulle. There’s a round tower on each of three corners, it is set around a courtyard with a Renaissance loggia looking over the valley, and rooms are traditional. There are lots of places to relax and unwind, not least a terrace by the 25-metre pool, which is designed in keeping with its surroundings. It’s an idyllic destination for quality time together.
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