France

We’ve rounded up an ever-growing selection of boutique hotel stays, luxury hotel hideaways and romantic retreats in France. Click on a destination below to see our current pick of the best boutique hotels to book, as well as an insider guide to everything from restaurants and bars to picnics and hire cars…

Destinations in France

  • Aquitaine

    Aquitaine

    France’s south-westernmost region is a lush, green pocket of land caught between the mountains and the windswept Atlantic coast.
  • Bordeaux

    Bordeaux

    Bordeaux is a city of grandeur and sophistication, of old money and legendary vintages, where connoisseurs can take the time to savour wines and cuisine perfected over generations.
  • Brittany

    Brittany

    Rugged, windswept Brittany in north-west France is the coastal twin of Cornwall, and its happy-holidays charm matches its UK sister’s in buckets and spades.
  • Burgundy

    Burgundy

    Located in the heart of France, Burgundy is a region of peaceful canals, well-tended vineyards and rural charm – the epitome of la vie Française.
  • Corsica

    Corsica

    Corsica is the ultimate short-haul adventure, tightly packing in all of the natural world’s best bits. It’s got mountains, fields and shimmering coastline. And it has a wild side too: wild boar wander and tortoises totter freely by your feet.
  • Côte d'Azur

    Côte d'Azur

    On the coast that defined seaside glamour, you can never be too rich or too brown.
  • Dordogne

    Dordogne

    In the warm valleys of southwestern France, where the Dordogne, Isle and Lot rivers wriggle their way to the Atlantic, the lush landscape, sunny days and mild temperatures combine to produce perfect conditions for grapes and truffles.
  • Gers

    Gers

    When it came to the natural lottery, the Gers won the biggest prize: a tapestry of colour-rich fields, shimmering shores, lush forests and fertile vineyards.
  • Languedoc-Roussillon

    Languedoc-Roussillon

    Sprawling from the chestnut-dotted Cévennes Mountains to a flamingo-flanked Mediterranean Coast, by way of magnificent ancient cities and rolling winelands, this region has reason to puff out its chest when declaring its geographical and metropolitan offerings.
  • Lyon

    Lyon

    Often described, even by the Parisians, as being like Paris but without the crowds, France’s second city, Lyon, is a chic metropolis but with a style and frenetic pace all of its own.
  • Normandy

    Normandy

    A vast rural region of castles, Camembert and clifftops, Normandy is as rich in history as it is in mouthwatering rustic produce.
  • Paris

    Paris

    Paris is a dream project for pedestrians, with endless secrets hidden away from all the wonderful clichés.
  • Poitou-Charentes

    Poitou-Charentes

    Topped by the Loire valley, tailed by Bordeaux, cooled by Atlantic breezes, Poitou-Charentes is the home of cognac, and a coast-to-country destination par excellence.
  • Provence

    Provence

    The south-west area of Provence is a land of light and colour, where the languid river Rhône winds its way through fruit orchards and fields of lavender before melting into the watery maze of the Camargue.
  • Rhône-Alpes

    Rhône-Alpes

    Named for the river running through it and the mountains at its edge, Rhône-Alpes is a region of vinous valleys, mighty peaks, lakeside spa towns and scenic drives.

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Provence

Provence

Stocked up on designer finds and stuffed full of steak tartare, ditch the city in favour of the verdant olive groves and limestone villages of the southern French countryside. Wind your way along Rhône, through the fruit orchards and fields of lavender, to Alain Ducasse’s romantic hillside hideaway, La Bastide de Moustiers. Make like Cézanne and hike up the nearby cliffs for dramatic views, then return home to nap in a hammock in the garden before a pastis aperitif on the patio and dinner at Ducasse’s restaurant. Spend your days on private food tours of the region and learning to press its famous olive oil. Visit artisan pottery and textile workshops, and join winemakers on private tasting tours of local vineyards. It won’t take long to slip into the relaxed Provençal lifestyle.

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First stop… Paris

First stop… Paris

Where better to start your honeymoon than the City of Love? An intimate ville of boulevards, boutiques and brasseries, Paris is the ultimate in style and cuisine. Get your first taste at Philippe Starck’s surprisingly restrained Le Royal Monceau, a sophisticated, art-inspired Haussmannian hôtel at one of the city’s prime addresses. Meander down the street and find the Arc de Triomphe towering over you, or head the other direction and get lost among the elegant stone buildings, neighbourhood cafés and tempting boulangeries and pâtisseries. Skip the queues to see the world’s greatest art at the Louvre, and dine at the table of honour at such landmarks as Benoit on exclusive Mr & Mrs Smith-arranged outings. Get private appointments at the trendy designer boutiques of the Marais, learn the secrets to baking a true Parisian baguette at an artisan boulanger and channel Hemingway with a wander through the Latin Quarter.

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The classic romanticist

The classic romanticist

Lock yourself away in a boudoir at multi-coloured Paris love den La Belle Juliette before ambling the boutique-lined streets of St Germain. And if gay Paris isn’t enough, consider heading down south to extend your voyage de noces into a classic Riviera tour. 

FOLLOW YOUR TASTEBUDS

FOLLOW YOUR TASTEBUDS

For many of us, travel is what we eat: new flavours, local delicacies and relaxing al fresco feasts. Grade-A gourmands tend to love things Gallic and, when it comes to getaways, Provence’s Alain Ducasse-owned Hostellerie de l’Abbaye is the cerise on France’s rich gâteau. Nearby Baumanière is a Michelin-star-spangled stay hugged by abundant vineyards. Cross the Med to Castiglion del Bosco and you can learn the secrets of the Tuscan cucina at its renowned cookery school. Thirsty? California’s cinematic wine country – valleys Napa and Sonoma – will sate you in style. 

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SUN-SOAKED SOPHISTICATION

SUN-SOAKED SOPHISTICATION

If you like your holiday to be an excuse to flaunt designer resortwear and your ritziest accessories, then we've got your A-list. Perfect your red-carpet poses and make a beeline for Cap d'Antibes Beach Hotel on the Côte d'Azur for a showstopping seaside stay. Decking clad, day-bed-dotted Maçakizi is the place to be seen on Turkey's Bodrum peninsula – pull up a chair at the Aegean-facing bar or settle in for some sea-fresh fare at its destination restaurant. In Vietnam, The Nam Hai is a shoreside style icon on Hoi An's China Beach with an OMG infinity pool, a serene spa and seductive, butler-serviced, oceanfront villas. 

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Wrap up in… The French Riviera

Wrap up in… The French Riviera

Jump into a vintage convertible – don’t forget your sunglasses and scarf – and motor on down the winding roads to the brilliant blue waters of the legendary Côte d’Azur. On the coast that defined seaside glamour, make your first stop the majestic Cap Estel, a Mediterranean mansion with glitz and elegance worthy of Grace Kelly. We won’t tell if you just want to soak up some sun poolside, where the infinity pool seems to melt into the sea. Hop back into your car, though, and you’ll find yourself with top table reservations at Michelin-starred restaurants like the Chateau de la Chèvre d’Or; on private, historian-guided tours of the area’s many Roman ruins; and with off-hours access to Nice’s Matisse, Chagall and Picasso museums, the first of which was the painter’s home. Or, ditch the car completely and make for the ocean for a day out yachting and diving. After all, the Riviera’s all about indulging your whims.

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THE GREAT OUTDOORS

THE GREAT OUTDOORS

From gentle exertions like cycling between the vineyards around Hôtel Crillon le Brave, to brow-dampening hikes in the Atlas Mountains near Kasbah du Toubkal, we know activity-packed places to appeal to every type of adventurer. Thrill seekers might consider the Alps: bathed in summer sun, they're a playground for hikers, climbers, mountain bikers and white-water rafters. Alpaga makes for a tranquil base to rest up afterwards. Those of a more leisurely persuasion might prefer to mount a steed and see the White Isle's wilder side on horseback – rustic retreat Can Curreu in Ibiza has its own stables. And if Sweden's big-kid-thrilling Treehotel can't make you fall in love with the outdoors, nothing can. 

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