BOUTIQUE HOTELS IN FRANCE
We're proud of our wonderful collection of boutique hotels in France and having enjoyed the pleasure of visiting many of these charming Chic Retreats ourselves, we want to share these little hidden gems. We have a great list of boutique hotels in Paris to choose from to suit every budget and style. If you are looking for family holiday, then we'd recommend browsing our selection of small luxury hotels in Provence or perhaps you want a chalet in the French Alps?
The diverse landscape of France offers something for everything and Lulu's fabulous collection of France's boutique hotels and luxury villas will make it even easier to make the right choice. We know you'll love them just as much as we do.
With its granite coastline, forests and canals, blustery Brittany is France’s westernmost point and the ideal place to start your holiday. Stay in the Grand Hotel des Bains a boutique hotel with spa in the tranquil fishing village of Locquirec which borders the Finistère and Cote d'Armor regions of Brittany. This French boutique hotel has stunning sea views and a spa where you can book in for thalassotherapy treatments that focus on the toning and detoxifying properties of algae and mud products. As you’d expect, life in Brittany revolves around the coast, from the plentiful amounts of fresh fish you’ll find in the local restaurants to activities such as diving, walking and kite surfing. As well as eating in this luxury French hotel, we also highly recommend having lunch at La Brasserie de la Plage, their in-town brasserie which is right by the beach. Seafood platters, goats’ cheese salad with honey and rosemary sauce and omelettes are all on the menu. A few steps from the beach in the charming port of Gravette, the contemporary and family-friendly boutique hotel Anne de Bretagne has a pool and a great restaurant where chef Philippe Vételé’s cuisine is both inventive and generous.
From Locquirec, it’s a 5 hour drive to Paris but you can break up the journey by treating yourself to a couple of nights at Chateau de St Paterne, another of Lulu’s recommended boutique hotels in France, just outside the town of Alençon in Normandy. A family-run Renaissance chateau where Henry VI’s paramours once stayed, it’s set in a 2.5 acre park with an outdoor heated swimming pool (there are bicycles to borrow, ping pong tables, badminton and croquet). Atmospheric Alençon is best known for its lace, which you can find in the shops and at the twice weekly market (Thursday and Saturday). There are also plenty of other nearby little towns - such as Alpes Mancelles and Saint Ceneri le Gerei - that are worth exploring, plus chateaux and gardens. Chateau de St Paterne is another luxury hotel in France where the food is taken very seriously and the hotel also has a restaurant in Alençon, Rive Droite, in the former lace museum.
Lulu has found the best boutique hotels in Paris, all over the city to suit different styles and budgets but her favourite area is St Germain des Pres on the Left Bank near to where she used to live. It’s full of chic fashion boutiques and pavement cafes which are packed at all times of day and perfect for people watching. Cafe de Flore and Les Deux Magots are two of the most historic, where you can pop in for a coffee or dishes such as French beef tartare at lunch. Check into The Aviatic Hotel, a family-owned French boutique hotel filled with antique furniture which feels more like a family home: we love the Prestige Rooms, which are decorated in fabrics by Manual Canovas, Kenzo and Designers Guild. St Germain des Pres is also a good base from which to see all the main sights: the Eiffel Tower, Pompidou Centre and the Louvre, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Tuileries Garden and the smart, designer shops on Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré.
If you want to swap the city for the country, make the 6.5 hour drive south to Languedoc, near Beziers and Montpelier and stay inDomaine de Verchant Hotel and Spa in 17 hectares of vineyards and parklands or Chateau Les Carrasses, a 19th-century wine domaine, both high on our list of luxury boutique hotels in France. The chateau has been split into self-catering suites, apartments and villas, but with the bonus of typical hotel facilities and service (there’s even a concierge and an organised summer camp for children in the holidays). Much of the accommodation also comes with its own private gardens and pool.
Charming Languedoc has something for everyone in its traditional wine-making villages of Quarante and Capestang, medieval castles and beaches such as Serignan. The city of Narbonne is 20 minutes away and Montperlier is less than an hour’s drive. It’s also worth trying Anne Majourel’s Michelin star cooking at La Coquerie in Sète. The menu changes daily so you never know what to expect.
Your next stop in the south of France could perhaps be picture-postcard Provence a 2 hour drive east. The region is renowned for its fields of purple lavender and pretty villages and you can easily spend anything from a few days to a couple of weeks discovering different places. We have plenty of boutique hotels in Provence for you to choose from, including Mas de L’Amarinein the heart of St Remy de Provence, which was once home to contemporary French artist Roger Bezombes. This small luxury hotel has a swimming pool, shady terraces and gardens while the market, shops and restaurants are all a short walk or bicycle ride away. La Maison d'Ulysse is another beautiful boutique hotel in Provence: with just 5 rooms it was the birthplace of the poet and archeologist Ulysse Dumas (1872-1909).
Continuing east for 2 hours, pass through Aix-en-Provence and Vidauban before reaching Mougins and country house hotel Les Rosees. Choose between 5 gorgeous suites, take breakfast on the terrace overlooking the olive grove and spend days relaxing by the pool or in the shady gardens. There’s a golf course and a day spa nearby and you won’t want to miss the lively Friday morning market at Valbonne when you can pick up cheese, lavender and spices.
From here, it’s also very easy to get to the lovely French island of Corsica. Drive 30 minutes to Nice where you can pick up the ferry (they also run from Marseille and Toulon) to Calvi or Ajaccio. The crossing is around 4 hours to Calvi and 6 hours to Ajaccio. Supposedly the birthplace of Christopher Columbus, Calvi boasts a citadel, a 5 mile beach and a UNESCO Marine World Heritage site, Scandola, which is only accessible by boat. Stay at The Manor, one of Lulu’s picks for boutique B&Bs in France. It’s a restored stone house with Mediterranean gardens, olive groves and great access to the beach, which is only 800 metres away. In Calvi, Le Bout du Monde is a low-key fish restaurant right on the sand, while U Fanale is a Michelin star restaurant that specialises in traditional Corsican cooking. Further south on the island (it’s a 2 hour drive) in Ajaccio, another option is Hotel Les Mouettes. It’s right on the beachfront and has breathtaking views across the Mediterranean. Explore the old port, laze on the white sand at Barbicaja and Marinella beaches and take day trips inland to Lake Tolla.