The 15 Dreamiest Hotels in France (That Aren’t in Paris)
Each one of these swoon-worthy hotels sets its own fairytale scene.
There’s no doubt that Paris can fulfill some of the most romantic dreams with its centuries-old facades and cobbled paths leading to palace hotels. These include the left bank’s iconic art deco Hotel Lutetia, dating back to 1910, and storied hotel Ritz Paris at Place Vendome, embodying French art de vivre with its Belle Époque décor. But journey outside of the City of Light to discover the dreamiest star-studded properties set on regal estates and discreetly tucked into historic towns and cities.
Courtesy of La BASTIDE de GORDES
Notable guests whose presence graced the regal chambers at 17th-century Château d’Etoges, a registered monument, include the Sun King Louis XIV and Emperor Napoleon’s royal court. At the very heart of the Champagne region, a quick drive from Epernay, indulge in champagne tastings at nearby cellars in-between leisurely walks around the lush park surrounding the château. A gourmet restaurant and relaxing spa further pamper both mind and body.
Courtesy of Château d’Etoges
Hotel Le Cep
Welcome to Beaune, often considered the most charming medieval town in Burgundy. In the very heart of this wine lover’s paradise, discover an inviting five-star address composed of two family homes united by historical courtyards dating back to the 16th century. Hotel Le Cep offers a luxurious respite from which you can discover the neighboring Hospices de Beaune or savor a world-class wine tasting in the hotel’s private wine cellar. Many of Burgundy’s top wineries are only a bike ride away.
Courtesy of Hotel Le Cep
Auberge du Jeu de Paume
With select rooms offering a view of the château’s estate gardens, a sojourn at Auberge du Jeu de Paume will transport you directly into the dreamy landscapes of the Domaine de Chantilly. When not dining at the upscale Michelin-starred restaurant or the more casual bistro, relax in the hotel’s luxurious spa or take a walk to the neighboring castle, a royal monument closely connected to the history of France. Don’t leave without tasting the decadent cream that Chantilly is so well known for.
Courtesy of Auberge du Jeu de Paume
Airelles Gordes, La Bastide
Chiseled into the hilltop above the captivating village of Gordes in the Luberon Valley, Airelles Gordes, La Bastide sets a fairytale-like scene. Complete with a restored 18th-century white stone citadel offering scenic sleeping options, five restaurants, and a luxurious spa, there’s no need to leave the property. After viewing the hotel’s over 2,000 paintings, you’ll quickly understand why Gordes was a favorite destination for artists including Marc Chagall, Victor Vasarely, and Pol Mara.
Courtesy of La BASTIDE de GORDES
Set in Avignon’s city center overlooking the Popes’ Palace, a former fortress and palace, the imposing hotel La Mirande dates back to 1309. Once the residence of cardinals, its rich history is omnipresent throughout each of the exquisitely outfitted 18th-century guest rooms where no detail is spared. An ancient kitchen sets the scene for La Table Haute Chef’s where cooking classes are on offer. Michelin dining is also part of the royal treatment at this exceptional address.
Christophe Bielsa, Courtesy of La Mirande
Crillon Le Brave
Escape into a tiny hilltop village where hotel Crillon Le Brave blends in with the Provençal landscape. This ideal hideaway is composed of eight 16th- and 17th-century houses set among bucolic orchards, vineyards, and olive groves. Discreetly chic rooms look towards the sprawling valley or majestic Mont Ventoux. Dine on four-course meals at one of two restaurants boasting spacious terraces, and find your zen in the spa, whose former vaulted stone stables date back to the 18th century.
Château Troplong Mondot
Perched on top of the Mondot hilltop, 19th-century wine estate Château Troplong Mondot is renowned for its Premier Grand Cru Classé. Neighboring medieval city Saint-Émilion, a UNESCO-world heritage site, is only a 20-minute walk away. Options include a stay at the Keys of Troplong Mondot boutique hotel or the more intimate and rustic Vineyard House. When not tasting the local wine while picnicking in the vineyards, dine at their Michelin-starred restaurant or hop on an electric bike to explore the pastoral landscape.
Domaine des Etangs
Escape into 1,000 hectares of lush countryside comprising forests, grassy plains, and lakes in remote Massignac when you visit the Domaine des Etangs. The estate includes farmhouse cottages and a regal 13th-century château housing noteworthy contemporary art by artists including Matisse, Picasso, and Ugo Rondinone. The gourmet restaurant serves seasonal delicacies farmed from the Limousin region. Activities at Domaine des Etangs include boating, horseback riding, fishing, tennis, and yoga in addition to a spa set in a converted watermill.
Courtesy of Domaine des Etangs
Château d’Artigny & Spa
From the dreamy Belle Époque home of perfumer François Coty in the Loire Valley to a fairytale castle hotel since 1961, Château d’Artigny & Spa remains as stately as ever. This white stone masterpiece is set among a sprawling park boasting a blooming French garden, marble statues, woodwork, and trompe l’oeil frescos . Travel back in time when you enter the luxurious rooms outfitted in period furniture, the gourmet restaurant gilded in gold leaf, and the book-lined bar. The wide range of body treatments at the subterranean spa will keep you well-balanced.
DDupard [CC BY-SA 4.0]/Wikimedia Commons
Château de Bagnols
Step into eight centuries of French history at Château de Bagnols, set deep in the heart of the Beaujolais countryside. The medieval castle invites into majestic modern suites featuring XII to XVIII century murals and a gastronomic restaurant fit for a king. The natural landscape is filled with treasures including a cherry tree orchard, a fragrant garden, a terrace shaded by lime trees, and a Roman swimming pool. From here, explore the Beaujolais wine route by bike, play a game of golf or hike the miles of nearby trails.
Courtesy of Château de Bagnols
Hotel de la Cité
Enter the medieval walled city of Carcassone in France’s Languedoc region, and settle into palatial Hotel de la Cité, set in a dazzling garden between two historic landmarks, the Roman Chateau Comtal and the Gothic Basilica of Saint-Nazaire. Throughout the hotel, sculpted wood paneling evokes a more stately era complemented by decorative tapestries and stained-glass windows. Dine in cathedral chairs over a Michelin-starred meal in the imperial dining room, combining Neo-Gothic and 1920s Art Deco styles.
Courtesy of Hôtel de la Cité
Le Manoir de Ravenoville
Grand 17th-century family home Le Manoir de Ravenoville near Normandy’s landing beaches is at once elegant and inviting. Composed of three separate buildings (Le Manoir, Le Pigeonnier, and Le Pavillon), take your pick of housing options at this self-catered property dating back to the days of Louis XIII. Stroll the gardens to discover the remains of an old castle and its moat, or sit by the fire and fantasize about days gone by.
Courtesy of Le Manoir de Ravenoville