10 of the top boutique hotels in France

Chateau de Saint Paterne in Normandy

Chateau de Saint Paterne in Normandy - Credit: Archant

We’re all craving the culture, the style, the food and the ambience of a holiday overseas, and nowhere could be more enchanting than France. From the Côte d’Azur to Paris, Brittany to the Loire Valley, whether it’s a luxury hotel or a bijou B&B, we’re in the market for something truly magical this year and here are 10 of the top boutique hotels in France that won’t disappoint, says the Good Hotel Guide

Le Cagnard on the Cote d'Azur

Le Cagnard on the Cote d'Azur - Credit: Archant

Château de Saint Paterne, Normandy

A beautiful Renaissance château standing in its own park on the eastern edge of Alençon, Château de Saint Paterne is romantic, quirky and charming. Salons are filled with antiques, paintings and family artefacts while an open fire burns in the winter months. Each of the rooms has its own story to tell, including one where the beams were decorated in the 16th century with the crest of Henri IV and his paramour Diane de Courtemanche. Meanwhile, vegetables are homegrown and the grounds provide ample space for woodland walks.

Nearby attractions: Explore the grounds as well as local woodland walks or visit the small Chapelle Saint-Vincent church nearby.

Domaine-de-Rochevilaine in Brittany

Domaine-de-Rochevilaine in Brittany - Credit: Archant

Le Cagnard, Côte d’Azur

On a fashionable hillside near Nice, Le Cagnard is a clever conversion of medieval houses, combing antique furniture and historic style with contemporary details such as underfloor heating. It’s an incredibly charming location reached via narrow streets and where the rooms that have balconies enjoy both sea and mountain views. The suite has a terrace, which is definitely worth booking for a special occasion getaway.

Nearby attractions: The medieval village of Haut-de-Cagnes is an attraction in its own right and has been classified as a historical site since 1948. Cultural treats including Auguste Renoir’s former house are within easy reach of the hotel, as well as streets full of flowers and local artists’ studios.

Hotel Varenne in Paris

Hotel Varenne in Paris - Credit: Archant

Domaine de Rochevilaine, Brittany

On the Morbihan coast in Brittany, this luxury hotel from Relais & Châteaux is made up of a romantic collection of buildings, including a 13th-century stone gateway, old manor houses and cottages. Some rooms have private terraces, allowing you to make the most of the sea views. The grounds include a small, shallow, outdoor pool set above rocks as well as a larger indoor pool and a spa. Dinner is formal, and there’s a sense of old-world elegance about it.

Nearby attractions: Make time to visit the historic town of La Roche-Bernard, the Brière Regional Nature Park and Rochefort-en-Terre, one of the Plus Beaux Villages de France.

Ti an Lannec in Brittany

Ti an Lannec in Brittany - Credit: Archant

Hotel de Varenne, Paris

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Elegantly decorated in Louis XVI and Empire style with bespoke furniture providing the finishing touch. Most rooms face a quiet courtyard covered in foliage, and breakfast is a leisurely affair with plenty of pastries and fresh juice. Enjoy chic Parisian style and plenty of history just 15 minutes from the Eiffel Tower.

Nearby attractions: The hotel is close to the Invalides and the Rodin museum with its fascinating garden.

Auberge-du-Bon-Laboureur in the Loire Valley

Auberge-du-Bon-Laboureur in the Loire Valley - Credit: Archant

Ti al Lannec, Brittany

A 19th-century mansion, Ti al Lannec is a family-owned escape surrounded by cypress trees and sea views. Sitting high above the beach on Brittany’s Pink Granite Coast, the scenery is characterised by blue waters and the unique large pink rocks on the shore. Children are welcome and the lovely gardens can be enjoyed on days when you’re not out exploring the local area.

Nearby attractions: Visit the village of Trébeurden for superb food as well as boat cruises; Pleumeur-Bodou and its famous radome, an early ground station that was the site of the first satellite transmission between Europe and the USA; and the seaside resort of Perros-Guirec.

Hotel Chopin in Paris

Hotel Chopin in Paris - Credit: Archant

Auberge du Bon Laboureur, Loire Valley

An 18th-century post house, Auberge du Bon Laboureur has been owned by the Jeudi family since 1902. It’s best known for its food, prepared by chef Antoine Jeudi, who has a Michelin star and 16 Gault Millau points. From the rooms to the appetisers, everything is beautifully presented. Rooms are elegant, many face the rose garden, and there’s a swimming pool in a secluded garden across the road.

Nearby attractions: While you’re here, visit the magnificent Château de Chenonceau, the exceptional gardens of Catherine de’ Medici and, for those who have a keen interest in wine, the Caves of Father Auguste.

L'Abbaye-Chateau de Camonin Occitanie

L'Abbaye-Chateau de Camonin Occitanie - Credit: Archant

Hotel Chopin, Paris

A modest hotel (and a listed monument), at the end of a glass-roofed 19th-century arcade with shops in the heart of Paris, Hotel Chopin has been open since 1846. Welcoming guests with cheer and elegance, there is a sense that it’s from a bygone era and it keeps visitors returning again and again.

Nearby attractions: Paris is on your doorstep at this hotel on the corner of Boulevards Haussmann, Montmartre and des Italiens, while nearby Bouillon Chartier doesn’t disappoint when it comes to dining out like a Parisian.

Chateau de Villette in Burgundy

Chateau de Villette in Burgundy - Credit: Archant

L’Abbaye-Château de Camon, Occitanie

A converted 10th-century abbey, L’Abbaye-Château de Camon is part of a castle in the beautiful village of Camon in the foothills of the Pyrenees. Tranquil and stylish, there is an understated sense of modern hospitality among the historic features. Some of the rooms are former monks’ cells, and you wake to views of wooded hills and the Pyrenees in the distance. Enjoy the large, terraced garden with a pool by day, and dine surrounded by murals in the evening.

Nearby attractions: Spend time walking in the surrounding hills and along the Cathar trail, swim in nearby lakes and River Hers, ski at the Pyrenean ski resort of Mont d’Olmes and sail at Lac Montbel.

La Metairie in Dordogne

La Metairie in Dordogne - Credit: Archant

Chateau de Villette, Burgundy

Located in the Parc du Morvan in Nièvre, Chateau de Villette offers bed and breakfast rooms within the château and a warm welcome from your hosts. Rooms are the perfect combination of mod cons and old-world style, while the extensive grounds are peppered with woods, streams and ponds. Spot roe deer, partridges and hares on your daily constitutional, and tuck into a five-course dinner in the evening.

Nearby attractions: Local attractions include Bibracte/Mont Beuvray, the remains of an old Gallo-Roman town; the Roman town of Autun or simply spend time exploring the Morvan Regional Natural Park.

La Métairie, Dordogne

In the Périgord Noir, this enchanting hotel is an ivy-covered 18th-century house surrounded by countryside. Each bedroom is individually styled, and many look out onto the charming gardens complete with a pool and loungers. Food and drink are excellent, showcasing regional dishes on a daily-changing set five-course menu. The hotel is family-friendly, but equally a romantic escape for couples.

Nearby attractions: The hotel is set in a park above the Cingle de Trémolat, a spectacular loop in the Dordogne and it’s worth spending your time exploring. Equally, local attractions include the town of Carbonne, the medieval red-brick buildings of Rieux-Volvestre and the tiny castle at the centre of Tourtouse.


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