The 13 Best Hotels and Luxury Stays in France

Planning an indulgent French escape? Look no further. Featuring a Rococo-style chateau, Provence farmhouses ideal for a rural getaway and boutique boltholes in Paris, these are the crème de la crème of France’s best hotels.

Elegant rural chateaux, wood-panelled mountain hideaways, sun-blanched coastal retreats and sharp, design-led city bunkers: whatever your hotel niche, you can be sure to find it in France. We've asked around, pooled our contacts and racked our brains to compile this ultimate list of France's creme-de-la-creme. We tried keeping it to ten but got a little carried away, so here they are; 13 of the best hotels in France.

Book now: the 13 best hotels, villas and chateaux in France

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La Bastide de Fléchon

Provence, France

This haute farmhouse conversion provides all the trailing grape vines, pétanque and creaky, rustic beams you'd expect from one located slap bang in the middle of Provence. Specifically, it's in the Alpilles mountain range, not that you'll need reminding. From wherever you choose to recline - by the pool, amid the extensive gardens or in the dusky lounge - you'll catch a glimpse of these gorgeous, gorse-strewn crags.

Address

Hameau de Fléchon 13520 Maussane-les-Alpilles

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Hotel Château du Grand-Lucé

Loire Valley, France

"The new noble" is the Hotel Château du Grand-Lucé's tagline. What does that mean exactly? Imagine Versailles but rejigged for the 21st century. This hotel in the Loire Valley is an ode to Louis XV with all the crunchy silk drapery, Marie Antoinette-blue upholstery and symmetrical, hedge-rowed grounds you could ask for. Its pool - a perfectly round, opalescent gem at the heart of the garden - predates social media but is possibly the most Instagrammable we've ever seen.

Address

9 Place de la République 72150 Le Grand-Lucé

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U Capu Biancu

Bonifacio, France

This secluded seaside hotel is in France's very own island paradise of Corsica, though looking out over the Listerine-blue sea it's not hard to imagine you're in the Caribbean. Here, it's all about farm-to-table dinners, all-natural spa treatments (donkey milk in your bath, anyone?) and "farniente", the art of doing nothing. Of course, when you're not busy doing nothing there's a powdery beach to visit, tumbling, flowery hills to hike and a fleet of private boats to take you around the island.

Address

Lieu dit ricetti Domaine de Pozzoniello Bonifacio 20169

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Clos 1906

Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France

If you consider yourself a wine specialist, put Clos 1906 on your must-visit list. Wake up every morning to rippling vineyards and clued-up staff who'll field every question you might have about this historic wine region. But the emphasis isn't all on wine; Clos 1906 will titillate antiques nerds, too. Dotted about the hotel are centuries-old pieces of iconic design and the hotel even has its own shop for those looking for a memento par excellence.

Address

14 La Gaffelière-Ouest 33330 Saint-Émilion

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La Divine Comédie

Avignon, France

Tucked away from the Avignon's main drag and with only five suites, La Divine Comédie is an exclusive affair. There are plenty of grounds to explore if you want some uninterrupted "me" time. In fact, this hotel has the largest private gardens of anywhere in Avignon. The interiors are exquisite: a blend of panoramic old tapestries and aged antiques, splashed with modernist touches. There's really little incentive to leave this hidden palace, which is a shame as the city centre's bright lights are just a hop and a skip away.

Address

16 Impasse Jean Pierre Gras 84000 Avignon

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Domaine des Andéols

Provence, France

It's Provence, but not as you know it. Staggered with designer furniture and priceless 20th-century artworks (we're talking Andy Warhol screenprints, for starters), this place puts a thoroughly modern spin on the classic Provencal hotel. There are nine separate houses to choose from, each with their own distinct character and an Alain Ducasse restaurant where fruit and veg plucked straight off the orchards nearby are whipped into imaginative dishes of taste-bud-bamboozling deliciousness.

Address

Les Andéols 84490 Saint-Saturnin-lès-Apt

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La Colombe d’Or

Saint-Paul-de-Vence, France

A stay at La Colombe d'Or is like sleeping in an art gallery. This rustic bolthole tucked up in the shrubby hills of Saint-Paul-de-Vence was a hangout for some of Europe's most famous artists back in the 40s and 50s. Their creativity lives on in the impressive collection of artworks that decorate the space. You'll spot a Léger mural among the vine-tangled terrace, a few Chagalls by the loo and a sweeping Calder mobile beside the pool. We'd call it a "textbook hotel with character," but it's so unlike anywhere else in France that doing so would make no sense.

Address

Place du Général de Gaulle 06570 Saint-Paul-de-Vence France

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Les Roches Rouges

Côte d'Azur, France

From the coral-hued sun deck to the Charlotte Perriand furniture to the pool, which looks out over a glistening ocean and was hewed straight out of the cliff-face, this 50s-style hotel in the Esterel mountain range knows it's got swagger. This place is Instagrammable to the extreme, but there's substance behind the style - by which we mean two swimming pools (one being a seawater pool), a Mediterranean garden, three bars, two restaurants, an open-air cinema, plus hiking, yoga, cookery classes and pétanque to boot.

Address

90 Boulevard de la 36ème division du Texas 83530 Saint-Raphaël

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Le Pigalle

Paris, France

Cosseted away from tourist footfall, this Parisian joint feels like an upscale apartment rental, thanks in part to the incredibly friendly staff who are only too willing to take you along with them on jaunts about the local arrondissement. The hotel itself is staggered with super-sized photographic prints, vintage record sleeves and zany light installations. Given its location in the shadow of Montmarte, Pigalle has long been a hangout for artists and it's a reputation the hotel is keen to uphold. It regularly collaborates with young local and international up-and-coming talent such as interior designer, Luke Edward Hall and experimental photographer, Maï Lucas.

Address

9 Rue Frochot 75009

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Les Bains

Paris, France

Retired party animals might recognise this Parisian boudoir. Les Bains Douches was one of the city's most prolific nightclubs back in the 80s - a haunt for Jean-Michel Basquiat, Yves Saint Laurent and Mick Jagger, among others. In 2015, it was brought back to life as possibly the sexiest hotel in Paris. It might have undergone a major facelift, but Les Bains' legendary history feels tangible in its dark and moody Franco-Brazilian restaurant, its mirror-clad basement club (a regular venue for PFW after-parties) and its frosty-cool, less-is-more bedrooms.

Address

7 Rue du Bourg l'Abbé 75003 Paris

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Les Sources de Caudalie

Bordeaux, France

Wine tourism sound like your kind of thing? Ours too. Les Sources de Caudalie was the pioneer in this field and have been dishing out "vinotherapy" spa treatments, stellar cellar wine tastings and gourmet, wine-led menus (expect a glass with breakfast) since 1999. It sits among the bucolic grounds of a 600-year-old winery in Bordeaux and is decorated in a charmingly rural (but undeniably luxe) style which befits its history. Its outhouses might look like time-weathered kinks in the landscape, but they were actually built a couple of decades ago, albeit in faithful imitation of the region's traditional architecture.

Address

Chemin de Smith Haut Lafitte 33650 Bordeaux-Martillac

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Le Collatéral

Arles, France

When the owner of a hotel is known as a curator, architect and designer, you know you're in for a treat. Philippe Schiepan is the mastermind behind this church conversion in fashionable Arles. It's a hotel that knows its angles. Polished concrete, geometric furniture, one-off design objets and a natural palette inspired by the landscape of the nearby Camargue wetlands make it feel like you're part of a living art installation. With only four rooms, it doesn't come with the amenities of a big hotel - a restaurant, a swimming pool or a private beach, for instance - but boy does it have soul. Schiepan regularly books the whole place out to host artists residencies and exhibitions.

Address

20 Place Joseph Patrat 13200 Arles

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