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About France

France - the many cliches are so familiar: the romance of Paris, the peaceful rural beauty of Provence, the bounty of the table, the glamour of its coastline. But that doesn't even touch on the art, or architecture, or châteaux, or history, or the country's landscape. Which are all reasons to visit in their own right.

France is also known for a rather arbitrary hotel rating system, so our Gurus are here to help you find the best places to stay in France, whatever the reasons behind your visit.

Top Spots

Just like the song says, Paris is beautiful whatever the weather. The architecture is graceful, the art impressive, whilst the grand boulevards and cafe culture are atmospheric and romantic. Notre Dame, the Eiffel Tower and the Champs Elysee are exciting to see but the real charm and memorable delights of a stay in Paris are usually in the detail. The people of Paris are every bit as diverting as the grand architecture, whether they are in charming, shruggy, flirtatious, dismissive or in garrulous mode.

Many visitors to France are looking for châteaux and grape vines and the Loire Valley, just an hour from Paris, is one of the best places to find both. It can feel like each château you visit demonstrates an increase in extravagance and opulence - the gardens are ordered and majestic and the rows of vines create a neatness to the landscape which you can imagine The Sun King approving. The Loire is also famed for is its produce. Wines, game, cheese and other delicacies fit for a king will grace your palate when you visit this region.

Champagne is an obvious one for wine buffs, whilst the lush Dordogne with its dramatic river valleys and impressive ancient cave art is also a great region for wine, food and impressive chateaux. Then there's Burgundy, another mouth-watering option for foodies and wine-buffs. Rich food and a very rich history; for centuries Burgundy remained independent from the rest of France, ruled by powerful Dukes. This rich heritage can be seen all over the area from the ruins of Cluny monastery to the numerous châteaux dotting the countryside. Then there is the wild wilderness of the Morvan National Park.

If you are looking for the pleasures of rural France, Provence entices with mesmerising straight, fat rows of lavender and picturesque medieval hilltop villages promising long, drowsy lunches with plenty of wine. And, of course, plenty of sunshine. Edged by the spectacular and glamorous blue of the Côte d'Azur, Provence's own shades of green and terracotta have played muse for many artists who have been beguiled by the light, which Matisse described as 'soft and tender, despite its brilliance'. The artists legacy remains, distributed through the region's excellent museums.

Brittany and Normandy are also good options for a seaside break with a bit of flair and hs plenty on offer for foodies.

France also offers great ski slopes in Les Trois Vallées, Chamonix and Val Thorens. Superb skeing is on offer in the winter time.

If you know which part of France you'll be exploring skip through to our French Destination Guides:

What Not To Miss

  • The Eiffel Tower is an absolute must visit if you are in Paris. Originally intended to be temporary, this iconic structure dominates the cityscape and offers marvellous views from the top. Itis surrounded by lovely gardens in which to wander around afterwards.
  • The stunning Chateau de Chenonceau, located in the Loire Valley, is a wondrous spot. Rising majestically out of the water, you can head around this architectural beauty with a guide to learn all about its rich history.
  • The Chateau de Versailles is a similarly impressive structure, surrounded by beautiful gardens and brimming with opulence. A trip you'll never forget!
  • The Puy de Fou theme park in Les Epesses is magnificent family-friendly spot that will transport you back in time to another era. Built in the style of a medieval town, it puts on a number of historical re-enactments and exhibitions that the kids will absolutely love.

Given its immense popularity, be sure to book ahead if you want to guarantee yourself a room in one of the best places to stay in France.

The best places to stay in France

Parisian City Break

  • Hotel d'Aubusson has been attracting the literati and glitterati to this Seine-adjacent townhouse since the 17th Century. Arranged around a large courtyard, you can expect exposed beams, huge double doors and grand proportions.
  • The Hotel Duc de Saint-Simon in St. Germain is plush, romantic, traditional, elegant and intimate - think overstuffed furniture and cleverly conceived paint effects, TVs only on request and room service instead of a mini-bar.
  • Hotel San Régis, with its neoclassical facade, wondrously decorative wallpaper and elegant, country house feel is just off the Champs Elysees in the heart of haute couture.
  • Converted from the elegant 19th Century mansion built for the Marquis de Sers, the Hotel de Sers is a prime example of traditional elegance blending with cutting edge design. Located by the Champs Elysees and Arc de Triomphe, the hotel bar, S'Bar, is a cocktail hour magnet for locals in the know.
  • It's a rarity to find such a good value hotel in such a superb location, but Hotel Thérèse is just five minutes walk from the Louvre. This chic property oozes eclectic style; the only downside being that some of the standard rooms are a little on the small side.

For a Château

  • If you wish to feel like royalty one of the best places to stay in the Loire Valley is Château de la Barre. The decor is sumptuous beyond opulent, collected over the last 600 years by the family who are still the current owners. Twice a week they host a formal Grand Siecle dinner for their guests. This is also a great destination if you're interested in the history of the place.
  • The Château de Gixeux has one of the grandest approaches you can imagine, but there's more to this château than acres of beautiful parkland - there's loads to do! With only five suites and one villa, it is also incredibly intimate.
  • Provence isn't an obvious choice for châteaux, but Château de Massillan is worth recommending. A beautifully renovated small château with turret bedrooms and elegant interiors. Surrounded by parklands with a lovely lake, it also has an excellent restaurant.
  • For the complete château experience book a room in the Dordogne's Château les Merles. A luxurious fairytale château in its own right, it is also surrounded by golf courses, vineyards and forests. In addition to 18 rooms it has two separate villas.

Once in a Lifetime

  • Authentic Parisian charm, L' Hôtel was once Oscar Wilde's bolthole in Paris. Louche and decadent in the 60s and 70s, L'Hotel has been flamboyantly re-imagined by Jacques Garcia the opulence has been gloriously restored. Think jewel-box rooms and themed suites (if you can bear the tristesse you can sleep in the room in which Oscar Wilde expired beyond his means) and a candlelit plunge pool.
  • The Marquis de la Fayette once lived in the building the Marquis Faubourg St Honore now occupies just a short walk from the Louvre, Notre Dame and the Opera House. The refurbishment is elegant and chic with plenty of museum-grade originals.
  • So Parisian-cool the website is borderline unhelpful, Hôtel Costes has done everything to excess but somehow the lavish haute-bordello style works, the A-listers love it. Pool, gym, hammam and spa, fine dining, a very lively bar - all achingly hip.
  • With just four exceptionally glamorous rooms, Cap Estel is an exquisite mansion on a cliff top peninsula overlooking a stunning Côte d'Azur bay. There is a private beach, spa, gorgeous infinity pool and gourmet restaurant. True luxury 'A-list'.

For Foodies and Wine Buffs

  • The family-run Les Florêts at the foot of the Dentelles de Montmirail is set in the heart of the owners' own vineyards. The Gigondas wine they produce is available in the restaurant where many of the dishes on offer complement it beautifully. Homely furnishings with a delightful terrace for eating outside and excellent French service.
  • Hostellerie Berard et Spa is a lovely hilltop hotel with an excellent spa, great wine cellar and a Michelin-starred restaurant in a charming Provençal village with beautiful views over the surrounding valleys.
  • Also in Provence, Château de Berne is perfect if you want to eat well, but also learn something about what you're eating. Surrounded by 1,500 acres of private vineyards, they offer wine tastings and cookery classes.
  • L'Artemise is a heavenly gastronomic restaurant with rooms on a hillside just outside Uzes, with lovely views and garden. The 'surprise' menu changes daily.
  • Just out of the famous wine village of Vouvray, Domaine des Bidaudieres is a great choice if you want to be right amongst the vines. This beautiful 15th century estate has B&B style accommodation, with five rooms, two suites and two villas - one self-catering. And of course they run tastings.
  • Also set amongst vineyards, Château de Marcay is ideal for people who want to spend some time 'at home'. Everything you need for a relaxing day can be found here, from cooking classes to wine tastings, to grand gardens and a lovely pool. The restaurant is excellent and the wine list impressive.
  • Château d'Igé in Burgundy is wonderfully atmospheric. There are stone-flagged floors, winding staircases, fairytale turrets, huge hearths, a beamed dining room and a well-established, impeccably maintained garden. Food is delicious and distinctly Burgundian in flavour.

For Sunshine in Style

  • Sumptuous and luxurious the Hotel Residence de la Pinède, on the Côte d'Azur, is one of the few hotels in the South of France with access to a good beach. As well as beach terraces and elegant suites this hotel has a restaurant with two Michelin stars.
  • The Château du Domaine St-Martin is a grand affair in the hills above the Côte d'Azur with classically sumptuous rooms, beautiful suites, private villas, exceptional gardens and two Michelin stars.
  • The Château De La Messardiere is too cool even for St-Tropez, instead it peers down from a hilltop overlooking the bay. This is a glitzy and secluded place to relax in where you will feel truly pampered.
  • Cannes' Le Cavendish's Belle Epoque façade and open bar in the evenings harks back to a more glamorous era of bright young stars and glamour. The small size, located just a few steps from La Croisette and private beach make this a popular spot, so book ahead.
  • Le Ferme d'Augustin is a charmingly converted farmhouse hotel in a beautiful area, only five minutes from St-Tropez's port and surrounded by lemon trees and olive groves.
  • Les Rosées, in the hills above Cannes, is a romantic, elegant, five room guest house which serves fantastic home-cooked food. Michelin-starred restaurants are just a short walk away. Surrounded by lush gardens, this is a peaceful, sunny retreat.

For a Rural Idyll

  • The Hotel Crillon le Brave, in the village of the same name, is a particular favourite with tile-floored rooms decorated in cool blues and neutrals which are absolutely perfect for the area and architecture. The accommodation is spread amongst a cluster of old pink stone buildings, linked by atmospheric cobbled alleys and enjoys wonderful views of Mont Ventoux.
  • Domaine de la Baume is a picture perfect country house in the hills of Provence, surrounded by vineyards, beehives and olive groves. There are eight Toile du Joy styled bedrooms and suites and the restaurant and wine cellar are known throughout the region.
  • Relais de la Mothe, in a small, quaint, Loire village is period-featured charming. It's has an excellent restaurant and the small village has a Michelin-starred restaurant.
  • Le Jeu de Paume offers an alpine idyl with a traditional, alpine lodge feel, woody decor, lots of big open fires and generous leather armchairs. This hotel also has its own mini après-ski scene and a restaurant with a reputation for being one of the best in the Chamonix valley.
  • For beautiful Dordogne river valley views you can't beat Le Moulin de L'Abbaye. This old mill has 19 charming bedrooms as well as two excellent restaurants.

For Families

  • In the heart of the Marais, Paris, Le Petit Moulin has been converted from the oldest boulangerie in the city - this is where Victor Hugo probably bought his baguettes. Cool in itself, what gets this 17-room hotel on the list is that while the facade is original, the interior has been redone by design royalty - Christian Lacroix.
  • If you are bringing the family to Provence, La Maison du Paradou is perfect! A stunning sandstone B&B set in beautiful grounds with a separate cottage sleeping six. The rooms are glorious, there are two pools and within walking distance of an excellent little bistro.
  • Château Talaud is a château turned B&B which features five stylish rooms decorated with antiques. There are two apartments and a separate self-catering cottage. This is a great spot for visiting both Orange and Avignon.
  • The Hôtel Le Hameau is a Provencal farm house conversion beside the road to St. Paul de Vence. With views over a green valley and a simple elegance to its rooms, this is peaceful and comfortable.

For An Apartment Or Villa

If you'd prefer the privacy of a self-catering option then browse through the wide variety available online with our partner Booking.com.

Travel Information

  • The best time to visit France entirely depends on what you're there to do. The ski season generally runs from late November to early April, whilst it's nicest weather-wise in the summer months (though this is when it's busiest and most expensive).
  • The main airports for international visitors to fly into are: Paris Charles de Gaulle, Marseille Provence Airport and Nice Airport. There are however smaller airports in Lyon, Geneva, Bordeaux, Avignon, Toulouse, Grenoble and Montpellier, among others.
  • These airports are all well served by public transport links to the surrounding areas.
  • France is also well connected by rail links with both the high speed TGV and the normal SNCF trains.
  • For car hire prices, we recommend you visit our online partner Rentalcars.

Still not sure?

See all » 147 hôtels in Provence

  • Lou Calen Cotignac, Provence 12 rooms from CA$644

    Exclusive offer  -  Up to 20% off in April
    Restaurant  -  The Jardin Secret Restaurant has been awarded «Green Michelin star» and serves Provencal food and there's an artisanal brewery.
    Total relaxation  -  Check in and switch off! Enjoy the peaceful surrounds of a trad Provencal village, relax by the pool and recharge the batteries
    Romantic Break  -  Some suites are just made for romance with in-room tubs for two, wood burning stoves and a hammam (check individual suites)
    Local exploring  -  With its central Provence location, Lou Calen is the ideal base for exploring further afield
    Air conditioningRestaurantSwimming Pool

    A charming country estate in the heart of a Cotignac, voted the most beautiful village in France. Rooms and suites are spread through the manor house and outbuildings, most come with private terrace. There's a superb restaurant and activities galore in the area. Chic rural relaxation. See More

    Hotel Website
  • Hotel des Deux Rocs Seillans 14 rooms from CA$110

    Foodies  -  The highly acclaimed restaurant serves Provençal cuisine using produce from carefully chosen local farmers, hunters & fishermen
    Value chic  -  With rooms starting at well below the 100 Euro mark, this is a well-priced option with standout food and elegant design
    Active Holiday  -  Whether you like to hike, cycle, climb, fish or sail — there is plenty to keep active with in the surrounding area
    Families  -  The mezzanine style family suite is a spacious and affordable option for families
    RestaurantPet friendlyViews

    A sublime restaurant serving standout Provençal cuisine with wonderful rooms and sweeping valley views. Expect excellent food and shady terraces, three family rooms sleeping four, all in a stunning location. A gourmet spot fit for families and romantic breaks. See More

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See all » 143 hôtels in Côte d'Azur

  • Villa La Tourelle St-Tropez (Cote d'Azur) 4 rooms from CA$1469

    Families  -  La Tourelle is ideal for a couple of families to share — it can sleep 8+1 in 4 en suite bedrooms
    Local exploring  -  Superb location right in the heart of St Tropez ideal for wandering round town or to the beach
    5* Luxury  -  This is a top end luxury villa filled with wonderful art, furniture and quirky design features
    City Style  -  Beautiful interiors offer an elegant and sophisticated bolthole in the very heart of the town
    Air conditioningSwimming PoolGardenViewsParking

    A stunning luxury villa in the heart of St Tropez, with four bedrooms, beautifully styled interiors and mature gardens with natural stone pool. A private chef will whip you up a gourmet lunch or dinner on 6 days, accompanied by high-end champagne and wine, and breakfast is provided daily. Superb! See More

    Hotel Website
  • Hôtel des Maures Collobrières, Côte d'Azur 15 rooms from CA$102

    Romantic Break  -  The pretty village setting and the cosy hotel bar and restaurant make this a perfect choice for a quiet couple's getaway
    Families  -  The family rooms are a great option for parents travelling with children, accommodating up to 5 people
    Local exploring  -  Located in the heart of a medieval French village, this hotel is a great base for local exploring
    Sights nearby  -  Visit Monastère Notre-Dame de Clémence de La Verne, a 12th-century hilltop monastery in a forest
    Air conditioningRestaurantPet friendlyDisabled accessParking

    This pretty guesthouse is located in Collobrières, Var. First opened in the late 19th-century, it has since undergone a complete renovation and offers bright, modern rooms; book a spacious family suite if you are travelling with children. Dine at the hotel's riverfront restaurant; a charming hotel. See More

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See all » 132 hôtels in Paris

  • Mob Hotel Paris (Saint-Ouen) 90 rooms from CA$173

    Local exploring  -  Set alongside the largest flea market in Paris, this hotel is the perfect starting point for local exploring
    City Style  -  With eclectic interiors and a bohemian location, book this hotel for authentic Parisian style
    Families  -  Families are welcome at this hotel; book a suite to accommodate children
    Sights nearby  -  Walk to many of the city sights from this hotel; head to the famous Arc de Triomphe before shopping on the Champs-Elysées
    Air conditioningRestaurantGardenParking

    This avant-garde hospitality-concept rubs shoulders with the largest flea market in Paris, Saint-Ouen. The individually designed guestrooms are effortlessly chic, with eclectic, vintage-style furnishings and rich fabrics. Dine at the organic farm-to-table restaurant; a contemporary, boho bolt-hole. See More

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  • Mama Shelter Paris East Paris 170 rooms from CA$174

    City Style  -  A hip hotel in an alternative corner of northeast Paris, with raw and funky interiors by Philippe Starck.
    Sights nearby  -  Head down to Père Lachaise cemetery, just around the corner.
    Designer  -  Interiors by Philippe Starck.
    Lively  -  Hip and happening.
    Air conditioningRestaurantPet friendlyDisabled accessParking
    Recommended by  -  Fodors, Frommers, Michelin Travel

    Stylish and hip hotel in the 20th arrondissement. Atmospheric rooms with polished concrete, modern art and dark hues. Imac screens in the bedrooms, buzzy restaurant scene and a great nightclub across the road. Funky and reasonably priced. See More

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See all » 131 hôtels in Normandy

  • Chateau du Saussard Bazincourt sur Epte, Normandy 10 rooms from CA$4202

    Self catering  -  This luxury chateau is a gorgeous self catering property, though if you don't want to cook, a chef can be arranged
    Country Escape  -  Live like a lord in this stunning chateau amid beautiful Normandy countryside
    Families  -  The perfect venue for a special family or group celebration or get together
    Exclusive use  -  This ten room chateau is for rental on an exclusive use basis

    A luxurious ten room exclusive use chateau plus charming fisherman's cottage set in lovely Normandy countryside. Interiors have been meticulously designed to ensure a feeling of opulence throughout, with period detailing and antiques galore. The perfect pick for a holiday with friends or family. See More

    Hotel Website
  • D'une ile Remalard, Normandy 12 rooms from CA$124

    Hideaway  -  Set within 8 acres of forest and field it is the perfect place to take a break in a quiet remote 17th century micro-village
    Active Holiday  -  Surrounded by the National Park D'une Ile is the perfect place for long hikes and runs in wonderful landscapes
    Back to Nature  -  The guesthouse is situated in the heart of Perche National Park
    Sights nearby  -  D'une Ile is a stunning sight; 17th century micro-village renovated to welcome guests on the slope of a forested hillside
    RestaurantGardenDisabled accessViewsParkingNo pets

    A charming country house set within a 17th-century hamlet surrounded by woodlands. Beautifully converted rooms feature exposed beams and simple rustic furniture set against whitewashed walls. The cuisine and wine is locally and ethically sourced. Remote, refreshing and magical. See More

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See all » 125 hôtels in Brittany

  • L'Hotel, Nantes Nantes 31 rooms from CA$89

    Sights nearby  -  Cultural sites not to be missed: The Dukes of Brittany Castle, The Fine Arts Museum, L'île de Versaille & many more

    Fab location in the heart of Nantes, just a few steps from the cathedral & the station. Inside the hotel is chic and sleek, decorated in crisp simple colours and dark rich oak. Rooms have a great view of the Chateau des Ducs de Bretagne or the garden. Stylish & convenient base for a city break. See More

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  • Chez Janie Roscoff 16 rooms from CA$101

    Local exploring  -  Well placed to explore the quaint town of Roscoff and the picturesque north Brittany coastline.
    Great walks  -  Take a stroll through the exotic botanic garden of Roscoff.
    Seaside  -  Ideal for a seaside holiday.
    Views  -  Great views from hotel
    RestaurantPet friendlyViewsParking

    Located right on the harbour, this is an historic building with a fresh contemporary interior. Individually styled bedrooms feature large windows, white-washed walls and bursts of block colour coming from the soft furnishings. A lively restaurant and bar serve up regional produce. See More

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See all » 117 hôtels in Loire Valley

  • Le Doyenne Le Mans 6 rooms from CA$88

    Local exploring  -  Located at the foot of the cathedral and at the entrance to the historic city of Plantagenet
    Theatre  -  Enjoy a show at the Palais des Congrès and Culture
    Local markets  -  Only 100m from the Jacobins market which is held three times a week and sells local fresh produce
    Views  -  Rooms with city or garden views
    Air conditioningViews

    A charming, quiet 19th century B&B situated in the heart of the Plantagenêt city of Le Mans. Rooms are spacious and comfortable with fireplaces and sitting rooms (the best have cathedral views). A fabulous range of choice for breakfast both English and continental. Convenient and well priced. See More

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  • Hotel Mirabeau, Tours Tours (Loire) 23 rooms from CA$98

    Value chic
    Sights nearby  -  Located in the centre of Tours. Perfect base for exploring the Loire Valley
    Local markets  -  Good for local colour.
    Air conditioningGardenPet friendlyParking

    Excellently positioned townhouse B&B in downtown Tours. Varying rooms sleep from two up to five. Ideal for groups and families, and great value. See More

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See all » 86 hôtels in Burgundy

  • Chez Camille Arnay Le Duc, Burgundy 11 rooms from CA$101

    Families  -  One of the family suites has two rooms, making this a great choice for those travelling with young children
    Local exploring  -  Located right in the historic centre, strolling the surrounding streets is like stepping back in time
    Foodies  -  Chef Armand Poinsot creates classic French fine dining at its best with equally on point service
    Less £  -  Choose a room in the Claire de Lune annexe for very appealing rates
    RestaurantPet friendlyParking

    In the centre of Arnay, this is a fine example of a French provincial hotel. Rooms are simple, traditional and characterful but it’s the dining room, fashioned in a conservatory-style from a covered courtyard, that is the heart of the hotel where the chef-owners serve up classic French dishes. See More

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  • Carpe Diem Massangis, Burgundy 5 rooms from CA$110

    Short break  -  Located near the motorway (not that you'd know it) which makes this an ideal stop for those travelling further south
    Local exploring  -  Well positioned to access Burgundy’s principal attractions including Vezelay, Chablis, Tanlay and Ancy le Franc
    Country Escape  -  A charming country house with exceptionally genial hosts and surrounded by picturesque countryside
    Wine tasting  -  Visit Chablis' vineyards and sample the famed produce
    Recommended by  -  Sawdays

    A quaint country house set in lovely mature gardens. A handful of individually styled and traditionally dressed rooms feature classically French wallpaper, beamed ceilings and antiques. Indulgent breakfasts are served and the dinners are well worth ordering. A delightful rural escape. See More

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See all » Other hôtels in France

  • Villa Menuse France 5 rooms from CA$234

    Local exploring  -  Explore the local villages or venture slightly further to the glamour of Cannes and Nice
    Total relaxation  -  The guesthouse offers an idyllic break in the peace and calm of nature
    Back to Nature  -  Explore the gentle rolling hills that surround the villa
    Great walks  -  Wonder through the rolling hills and medieval villages in the surrounding area
    Air conditioningSwimming PoolGarden

    A charming hilltop guesthouse offers stunning rural views best enjoyed from the infinity pool. Elegant interiors are fitting of the glamour of the French Riviera mixing contemporary and traditional styles perfectly. A tranquil spot ideal for simply unwinding or using as a base to explore the region. See More

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