THE 10 BEST Hotels in France

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Hall / Stairs

1. Hotel Malte - Astotel


2. Hôtel Astra Opéra - Astotel

Abdullah H

3. Hôtel Maison Mère


4. Grand Hotel du Palais Royal


5. Hotel Astoria - Astotel


6. Hotel des Arts - Montmartre


8. Hotel 34B - Astotel


9. Novotel Paris Les Halles


10. Hôtel Grand Powers

Barnaby Meredith

11. La Maison Favart

Ingrid I

12. Le Negresco

Martina Vetter

13. Hotel L'Elysee Val D'Europe


14. Cler Hotel


15. Hôtel Molière


16. Secret de Paris - Hotel & Spa

Milan M

17. Hotel De France, un hôtel AMMI

Paul D

18. Hotel du Danube Saint Germain

Tom C

19. Colmar Hotel


20. Hotel La Comtesse

Celeste A

21. Hotel B55

Jacob Bloor

22. Hotel Lorette - Astotel


23. Hotel Marignan Champs-Elysées


24. Hotel Cour du Corbeau Strasbourg - MGallery

Susan S

25. Hôtel Apollinaire Nice

Adela M.

26. Hotel Tourisme Avenue


27. Hotel d'Orsay - Esprit de France


28. Hôtel Square Louvois


29. Le Tsuba Hotel

sanam R

30. Hotel L'Arbre Voyageur, BW Premier Collection

Henry James

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The 9 Best Hotels in the French Riviera

By Lanie Goodman

9 Best Hotels in the French Riviera

Henri Matisse summed up the appeal of Nice thus: “Do you remember the light through the shutters?” he said. “It came from below, as if from theater footlights. Everything was fake, absurd, amazing, delicious.”

And while it's true that the coastal Riviera is still a show-off's paradise, a place of dazzling spectacle and bravura performance, inland the region is also home to quieter, more authentic pleasures. Last summer , I braved the steep roads north of Menton to attend a sit-down feast celebrating a bountiful chestnut harvest. We consumed vats of creamy polenta, wild boar stew, sweet marron pastries and robust red wine. It was a joyous event, and only cost €10 per person.

As soon as temperatures rise, residents head for the hills, to walk through cool forests of truffle oaks, swim in waterfalls, and sip rosé en piscine (with ice cubes) on a shady village square. One of my favorite escapes is to jump on a ferry to Ile Saint-Honorat for a lunch of fresh, grilled lobster, or go to Théoule-sur-Mer for a swim at one of the tiny inlets along the craggy coastline. The real French Riviera is still here, even in peak season. You will find it if you look beyond the glare of the bright lights; it just takes a little prompting to find it.

How we choose the best hotels in the French Riviera

Every hotel on this list has been selected independently by our editors and written by a  Condé Nast Traveller  journalist who knows the destination and has stayed at that property. When choosing hotels, our editors consider both luxury properties and boutique and lesser-known boltholes that offer an authentic and insider experience of a destination. We're always looking for beautiful design, a great location and warm service—as well as serious sustainability credentials. We update this list regularly as new hotels open and existing ones evolve.

All listings featured on Condé Nast Traveler are independently selected by our editors. If you purchase something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

All listings featured on Condé Nast Traveler are independently selected by our editors. If you book something through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

La Prouse hotel room in nice

La Pérouse, Nice

Talk about location. Carved into the rock, flush with Nice’s leafy hilltop Parc du Château, this artfully reinvented 50-room landmark hotel sits above the seafront Promenade des Anglais from the city’s most enviable vantage point. Steps away from the cobblestone labyrinth of Old Town, you wake to birdsong and a sweeping view—red-tiled rooftops, a dazzling swathe of turquoise and the cerulean sky. Add to that the stylish Riviera 50s-inspired uncluttered interiors by Studio Friedmann and Versace that bring the sea inside—coral-shaped ceramic lamps, shell-patterned tapestry headboards, beachy ocher and white striped curtains and armchairs — plus the new citrus-tree shaded Patio, a Mediterranean-style restaurant headed by chef Damien Andrews. Highlight: cocktails on your terrace at magic hour, when the lamps blink, and the curve of the Bay of Angels turns into a shimmering pearl necklace.

Price: From about $447 per night

Address: La Pérouse, 11 Quai Rauba Capeu, 06300 Nice

Image may contain Room Indoors Bedroom Interior Design Furniture Living Room Rug and Flooring

Maybourne Riviera, Roquebrune-Cap-Martin Arrow

There’s something hypnotic about the luminous blue air of this ultra-stylish Riviera gamechanger: the dizzying views from the 69 rooms and suites (some with private pools ) are in High Technicolor, but other surprises abound. The mix of modernist-inspired big-name interior designers, original art and outstanding seafood at rooftop restaurant Ceto, helmed by Michelin three-star chef, Mauro Colagreco is artfully balanced with the guests’ well-being. There’s a holistic-meets-high-tech spa, featuring a metabolism-boosting FaceGym workout – exclusive to France – and an Instagram eye-candy turquoise pool jutting out over the void, where you can snack on chef Jean-George Vongerichten’s kale salad and roast vegetables. And if the sea calls out to you, jump into the shuttle to the newly refurbed beach club .

Price: From about $716 per night

Address: Maybourne Riviera, 1551 route de la Turbie Roquebrune-Cap-Martin

This image may contain Pool Water Swimming Pool and Patio

Grand Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat, A Four Seasons Hotel, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat Arrow

Set back above the rocky coast of lush Cap Ferrat, nothing quite tops the period piece grandeur of this white 1908-built seaside palace and 14-acre sprawl of manicured gardens and pines, or the glam Dolce Vita vibe of the Club Dauphin’s heated seawater Olympic-size pool. But add to that an ever-evolving reinvention of old and new— Belle Époque allure mixed with clean line modernity, from the sunlit Pierre-Yves Rochon designed suites to two meticulously restored 1900s-built private villas, tucked away near the lighthouse. For a memorable in-the-garden dining experience, the new La Table du Potager, perched on the edge of bluff in the neighboring heights, is where Michelin-star chef Yoric Tièche works wonders with freshly plucked herbs, fruit and vegetables.

Price: From about $851 per night

Address: Grand Hôtel du Cap-Ferrat, A Four Seasons Hotel, 71, Boulevard du Général de Gaulle, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat

A rooftop bar.

Anantara Plaza-Nice Hotel, Nice

Centrally located in Nice’s “Golden Triangle” and steps away from the sea, this artfully renovated landmark hotel is the city’s first-of-a-kind luxe property: an elegant medley of muted earth tones, contemporary curvy lines and sweeping views, with 151 rooms and 38 suites, plus a sun-drenched rooftop terrace bar (try the wildly creative craft cocktails) and restaurant, SEEN by Oliver, with an innovative menu of Asian-inspired meets Niçois fusion of flavours and traditional recipes, headed by executive chef Denis Gamard. High points: the spa, which features an extensive menu of re-boosting treatments with organic seaweed and essential oils from small family-run companies and wine-tasting at Château de Crémat, in the nearby hills.

Price: From about $367 per night

Address: Anantara Plaza-Nice Hotel, 12 Avenue de Verdun, Nice

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french travel hotels

Hôtel du Cap Eden-Roc, Cap d’Antibes, Oetker Collection Arrow

This storied Belle Époque landmark seaside palace, surrounded by 9-acres of landscaped flowering gardens, rates sky-high when it comes to timeless glamour but has cranked up the glitz factor one more notch with a contemporary refurb of Eden-Roc Pavilion’s 32 luminous sea-facing junior suites in cerulean blues, pale sage and cream, decked out with Francis Fontana-designed two-tone wood furniture. Add to that a uber-stylish new Dior Spa (think rose or jasmine-infused shea butter treatments), plus a private gauzy gazebo and gussied-up beach cabana for massages. And for guests only: Giovanni’s, the hotel’s latest casual eatery, serves up pizza and pasta under the windswept towering pines.

Price: From about $1102 per night

Address: Hôtel du Cap-Eden Roc, Boulevard J. F. Kennedy, Antibes

An interior of a hotel room.

Hôtel Belles Rives, Juan-les-Pins, Antibes

When Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald returned to the French Riviera in 1926 and rented the beachside Villa Saint-Louis, little did they imagine that almost a century later, guests would be sipping “Sparkling Scott” champagne cocktails in the handsome newly refurbished Deco bar of their former digs, converted into a family-run hotel ever since 1929.  With 43 elegant rooms and suites, a Michelin-star restaurant, La Passagère headed by a chef Aurélien Véquand, plus a private beach and waterskiing school, the Tender-is-the-Night enchantment of the prettily preserved 30s décor still prevails. Book room 50, where Scott and Zelda slept – a love nest of soft gray and cream, antique mirrors and the dreamiest vista this side of paradise.

Price: From about $812 per night

Address: Hôtel Belles Rives, 33 Bd Edouard Baudoin, Juan-les-Pins, Antibes

La Commanderie de Peyrassol

La Commanderie de Peyrassol, Flassans-sur-Issole

Hidden away in a forest of truffle oaks, an hour’s drive west from Cannes, this 950-acre wine estate, museum-quality contemporary art gallery and colossal sculpture garden, owned by Belgian entrepreneur and collector Philippe Austruy, not only produces award-winning vintages, but the luxury-is-nature philosophy extends to a good night’s sleep.  Forget palace standards: the 12-room former hunting lodge, La Rouvière, plus a rustic five-room stone manor house, awash with country antiques, open-beam ceilings and terra-cotta tiled floors, conjure the simplicity of a Provençal country home. Highlight: the new wood cabin-style gastronomic restaurant, Chez Jeannette, overlooking the vines, where chef Michel Porto whips up delectable dishes with organic asparagus, artichokes, and strawberries from the kitchen garden.

Price: From about $168 per night

Address: La Commanderie de Peyrassol, RN7 83340 Flassans-sur-Issole

french travel hotels

Carlton Cannes, A Regent Hotel, Cannes Arrow

After seven years of painstaking restoration, the spectacular revival of this century-old grand dame focuses on today’s essentials. Rebranded as a Regent Hotel and part of the IHG Hotels & Resorts portfolio, the Carlton’s polished comeback includes everything from the deeply comfortable remodelled Deco cream-and-black rooms, seven new suites and a sprawling penthouse to the neo-regal lobby, aglow with marble stucco columns, newly-found frescoes and a contemporary-style concierge and reception desk. Also hogging the limelight: a cutting-edge C-club fitness and spa, an Anatolian restaurant, Rüya, and the elegant Bar 58. And then, the hidden showstopper: an enormous landscaped peristyle courtyard and fragrant garden jazzed up with a splash of blue – the city’s largest infinity pool.

Price: From about $973 per night

Address: Carlton Cannes, A Regent Hotel, Cannes, 58 Boulevard de la Croisette, Cannes

Image may contain Furniture Flooring Bed Indoors Interior Design Wood Room Bedroom Hardwood Living Room and Animal

Château Eza Arrow

Talk about a veritable cliff-hanger. Built into the rock, atop the medieval cobblestone maze of Eze Village, this uber-romantic castle hotel-restaurant (the Prince of Sweden’s former digs), is a mini-hamlet of 14 rooms in all shapes and sizes, perched some 400-odd meters above the shimmering Mediterranean. With a private balcony (some with Jacuzzis) and fireplace in every room, plus the new sprawling presidential suite–a contemporary-style medley of marble, wood and stone and a private pool–another draw is the recently awarded Michelin-star restaurant, helmed by chef Justin Schmidtt. Expect delectable seafood-themed tasting menus with signature dishes like roast octopus in a creamy corn and smoked whiskey sauce, topped off by a swoon-worthy view.

Price: From about $2,702 per night

Address: Château Eza, Rue de la Pise, 06360 Èze, France

A version of this article originally appeared on Condé Nast Traveller UK .

SO/ Paris

France Travel Blog

Best All-Inclusive Hotels in the French Riviera

Best All-Inclusive Hotels in the French Riviera

The French Riviera (Cote d’Azur) is a vacation destination with lots of interests for millions of people every year. Only novices will think France is all about Paris . But experienced tourists know that the French Riviera is a great place for relaxation, comfort, and incredible leisure. Especially when enjoyed in one of the Best All-Inclusive Hotels in the French Riviera.

Given the region’s proclivity for luxury, Cote d’Azur is full of hotels that redefine class in a French manner. The all-inclusive hotels are impressive and managed by luxury specialists for the satisfaction of guests. This is not to say all the hotels in the region are great; that would be a really bold thing to say). But, a number of them stand out to be excellent. 

Cote d’Azur spans from the Italian border in the east and hemmed in the principality of Monaco while it bears the waterfront resorts in Nice , Cap-d’Ail, Saint-Tropez , Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, Villefranche-sur-Mer, Antibes, Cannes , Saint-Raphael, Saint Maxime, and others. If you are looking for the Best All-Inclusive Hotels in France, you will have many options in the region.

Related: Things To Do In The French Riviera

Here are Some of The Best All-Inclusive Hotels in the French Riviera

Château saint-martin & spa.

Located in the chic area of des Templiers, Vence, the Château Du Domaine St. Martin proudly occupies the site of an ancient Knights Templar defensive structure. Located in the midst of a forest, this mountain-peak hotel has full picturesque views and a notable restaurant.

Best All-Inclusive Hotels in the French Riviera - Château Saint-Martin & Spa

Having an expert touch, the spa was the Best Luxury Destination Spa in France for 2014. And as you might notice on arrival, there is a helicopter pad that quite hints at the prestige and clientele of the hotel. 

In Château Saint-Martin there are light, spacious salons and luxurious visitors quarters that have two-and-three-bedroom villas marked with quaint antiques. Furthermore, Le Saint-Martin, a 5-star restaurant, with about 12,000 bottles of wine, is maybe the best reason to visit.

Château de la Messardière

We proceed to the biggest and one of the most reputable hotels in the Cote d’Azur, Château de la Messardière. Poised with domes, turrets, and arcades, the hotels look like a Disney palace. Visiting, you will hint with an awesome view of Ramatuelle’s vineyards and Pamepelonne’s popular beaches. Going further, you can follow a trail in the pine, cypress, olive, palm, and boxwood trees just along the green paths in the park that close to the hotel.

All-Inclusive Resorts in Saint-Tropez - Château de la Messardière

Exuding luxury, visit the incredible Cinq Mondes Spa for an unmatchable body treatment. Then you can move on to L’Acacia restaurant where the best of local cuisines are always on the menu. Withdraw to the heated pool and its lounge bar for relaxation after a busy day. Their champagne cocktails are such a treat. Château de la Messardière is one of the highlights of Saint Tropez . It is a perfect place to connect and socialize as it also hosts popular events.

Hotel Martinez

Popular for its stylish living and its lofty place on the well-known boulevard de la Croisette, Hotel Martinez is a place to lodge on the French Riviera. As refined as it is grand, this all-inclusive five-star hotel is an imposing building. It has 409 rooms and luxurious suites like the ‘Penthouse Sea View Suite’, which is one of Europe’s largest at 10,800 square feet.

Hôtel Martinez - Best All-Inclusive Resorts Cote d’Azur

Food is one of the highlights of the Hotel Martinez with a spectacular array of dainty cuisine presented by a chef. Meanwhile, restaurant La Palme d’Or is a must-visit in Cannes , and there is the beautiful beach restaurant Zplage usually opens during summer whose menu is intercontinental. For all-year entertainment, Bar L’Amiral is ready for your stay and enjoyment of the piano bar in Cannes.

For absolute relaxation and leisure, Hotel Martinez has an outdoor heated swimming pool and the Spa Martinez, an incredibly tranquil space for wellness. It also provides interesting boutiques, facial cabins, and eight massages. 

Grand-Hotel Du Cap-Ferrat 

Having a knack for attracting the rich and famous personalities, Grand-Hotel Du Cap-Ferrat is a luxurious all-inclusive hotel that boasts of a lush history. Socialites, diplomats, musicians, and artists are among the variety of people that witness the enchantment of the spectacular hotel.

Grand Hotel du Cap-Ferrat, French Riviera

Among the facilities at the hotel are private pools, Le Spa, a top-rated restaurant Le Cap, amongst others. While the hotel has many suites, its private villa is the highlight. Villa Rose Pierres pink façade is a 2.5acres of pine forest and pleasant-smelling gardens, assuring exclusivity and serenity. 

Its four en-suite bedrooms watching over the Mediterranean all possess a spacious balcony. But with exclusivity in mind, it is ideal for entertainment; the Alberto Pinto designed décor is majestic, and with two professional kitchens and seven standby staff, the villa is perfect for accommodating over 40 guests for dinner or cocktails. 

Beau Rivage Hotel et Plage

As one of the first Nicois hotels located in the popular Promenade des Anglais , this gorgeous building was built in 1860. Artists and literary giants like Matisse, Nietzsche, Fitzgerald, etc. have all been at the beau Rivage Hotel et Plage. At the turn of the 21st-century French architect, Jean-Michel Wilmotte finished a full-scale renovation of the hotel.

Beau Rivage Hotel et Plage - Côte d

The amenities are banquets, fine dining on-site, and quick internet. It is also a pet-friendly hotel and ideal for the family. Spacious and engaging activities you can engage in include beach, boating, dining, jogging, sailing, and shopping. You can also visit the theatre and museums to adore some art.

Château Le Cagnard

There is hardly a better way to feel the Old Haut-de-Cagnes’ massive castle views than to lodge in the famous 13th-century manor, which just underwent renovation. The rooms are named after artists that are linked to the village and are dazzlingly beautiful Provencal. Do not miss the Vieille Ville and on to the sea. Château le Cagnard’s rooms also have elegant bathrooms that leave a good impression on visitors. 

In the case that you are arriving at the town square via the shuttle bus, the hotel’s voiturier should get your luggage for you.

Byblos Saint-Tropez

Since the 20th-century, Byblos has been the best place to relax in the luxe Saint-Tropez. It is inspired by Lebanon and the ancient Phoenician city of Byblos, whose mythical vestige lends weight to the hotel’s décor. Impeccably located minutes from Saint-Tropez’s stunning beaches , Hotel Byblos is sprawled in  a la  Provencal hamlet, with magnificent views over the town’s rooftops.

All-Inclusive Hotel Byblos Saint-Tropez

Byblos Saint-Tropez’s most popular amenity is the Caves du Roy nightclub, where you can spice up your social life. When you visit in the summer, you stand a chance to meet many celebrities every night there.

The hotel’s top suite is the fascinating Suite Riviera. Dominating the pool, the gentle comfort of the suite is demonstrated in the interior designs. The décor are delicately blended colors, textures, and ornaments that are made to lit up and create space throughout the bedrooms, an expansive living room, and the three bathrooms. At the private terrace, take in the beautiful sights and views across the hills of the Saint-Tropez like never before. It is an ideal place to spend a quiet evening with a cocktail. 

Hotel des Gorges du Verdon 

With a towering (3,000ft) presence, the four-star Hotel Des Gorges Du Verdon boasts of awe-inspiring picturesque of La Palud’s suburb. On its ground floor, a game room and a stylish restaurant offer old-fashioned traditional cabin-style guest rooms.


Peter is the editor of France Travel Blog. He has traveled to France many times and is ready to share the knowledge in this travel guide for France.

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The Best Resort in France Is in a Charming, Lavender-filled Provence Town — Here's What It's Like to Stay

Prepare to see, smell, and taste all the colors of Provence at Coquillade Provence Resort & Spa, the best resort in France according to Travel + Leisure 's 2022 World's Best Awards.

french travel hotels

If, when you think of Provence, you picture hilltop villages lording over curvy, rolling vineyards, and fields of lavender; you're likely fantasizing about France's Luberon region, a protected mountainous landscape between Aix-en-Provence and Avignon. And in this postcard-perfect pocket of southern France, in the village of Gargas, is Coquillade Provence Resort & Spa , named the best resort in France by Travel + Leisure readers in the 2022 World's Best Awards. (It was also voted the 24th best hotel in the world.)

When I stayed there for a few days in the summer, it was easy to see why readers called it "charming" and "sumptuous." The expanse of the vineyard-cloaked property (about 100 acres in size) and the impressive laundry list of amenities are thoughtfully balanced by attentive service and the adorable bastides that guests call home during their stay. Those who voted for this bucolic resort have it pegged right — it is at once cozy and indulgent, the ideal combination for a transporting French vacation.

During the pandemic, Coquillade implemented a number of upgrades, including a grand reset of the arrival experience. They streamlined the drive up to the lobby with dramatic effect. To be clear: Getting to Coquillade isn't super easy. After landing in Paris or Marseille or Lyon, you still need to drive or take the train for a few hours. I flew into Paris and took the three-hour train to Avignon. From there, the hour-long car ride was punctuated with a meandering drive up to the resort's main building — a slender road flanked by towering cypress trees, vineyards, and 300-year-old olive groves. It was such a beautiful moment that it almost made me forget that I was exhausted from nearly 17 hours of travel.

I don't know what the lobby looked like prior to the renovation though I was told that it was smaller and more closed-off. Today, it has an easy elegance about it: brightly lit and decorated with country motifs via couches upholstered in floral textile and vibrant artworks depicting Provençal living. But before I could even truly take in the scene, the indulgence was ceremoniously hoisted upon me: A member of the staff materialized with a glass of Champagne, pointing me toward the row of jars filled with all sorts of sweet treats. "Help yourself!"

And I did. For the next four days, every time I would walk by those jars, I would dip into the one stuffed with cookies chunky with hazelnut. They were the perfect cookies: they offer a crispy first bite, followed by moist chewiness, the hazelnut adding that nutty sweetness. Is there something delusional and unhinged about losing your mind over free cookies? Not when you're in France.

Sixty-three rooms and suites spread across 100 acres of prime Provençal real estate make Coquillade a genuinely tranquil place. Even if every room were fully booked, the amount of space available to you is so vast that solitude should be easy to come by. Rooms here, which come in a variety of shapes and sizes (including one with its own sauna), are beautifully realized to reinforce a bucolic fantasy. The interiors are rustic but luxurious and minimal so as not to feel intrusive. This isn't a modern design hotel, after all.

Because every room is stuffed into a traditional Provençal country house (or a bastide), and there are so many thoughtful details woven into the resort experience, I couldn't help but feel like I was staying in a very fancy little village, closed off by vegetable gardens, fertile vineyards, and shadowy woodlands. Oh, and there's even a pétanque court!

If those cookies were the best thing I ate at Coquillade, I would still sing the praises of its culinary program. But thankfully, there's plenty to get excited about here. For instance, if I'm in Provence, I'm doing as the locals do and drinking my weight in rosé. The property has its own wine label called Aureto . Its tasting room is a five-minute drive from the hotel, but the winery, which I did visit, is on-site. Aureto produces a special rosé called the Cuvée Coquillade that is only available at the resort. The best grenache, caladoc, and mourvèdre grapes organically harvested from 20-year-old vines are specifically picked for this production, and you get this bright, supple wine that you can drink all day all over the resort. It's especially breathtaking on the main bar's terrace, as the sun is setting over the horizon. That's exactly what I did, and whatever anxiety I was holding onto after a long day of travel dissipated with every sip of that pink nectar.

As far as eating is concerned, Coquillade offers enough variety that you may never feel compelled to dine elsewhere. (But you're in France, so do feel compelled to eat outside the resort.) The fine-dining space, Avelan, is currently closed because like most places, there's not enough manpower to staff it. But there's Les Vignes, where they serve breakfast in the morning, and Provençal classics for dinner. Don't sleep on that breakfast — the cornucopia of morning cakes is worth getting up for.

Cipressa is a buzzing Italian restaurant adjacent to the Luberon pool, which has its own bar. (And adjacent to that is another pool — Olympic size.) Its kitchen can prepare made-to-order pasta, pizza, and roasted seafood, but the appetizer and dessert buffet is a treasure trove of treats if you can't be bothered to pick from a menu. I get that the word buffet might be terrifying, but I was impressed with the selection: so many salads, salami, cheese, and all the tiramisu my arteries could handle.

The biggest surprise here is actually the dining program at the main bar: Some nights they serve Thai food. Nowhere in my wildest dreams did I think that a trip to Provence would ever include eating larb salad, tom yum koong , and pad thai. But there I was: double fisting a glass of rosé with a spring roll. A trio of Thai women oversee this menu, and the food is generally pretty good. After four straight meals of butter-poached everything, fish sauce and chili are the palette cleansers I deserve.

Contrary to what I would have you believe, the crowning jewel of this 100-acre retreat is not the hazelnut cookies. It's the 21,500-square-foot, 12-treatment-room spa and the wellness program around it. It's a truly comprehensive destination spa, and as a guest of the hotel, I didn't need to have booked a treatment in order to use the sauna, hammam, indoor pool, outdoor jacuzzis that overlook the vineyards, or the hydrotherapy circuit. (Here's a pro tip: If you feel like a cold plunge isn't for you, just sing through it in full voice. It works in keeping me in there for longer than I could otherwise stomach it, and it keeps other guests away. Win-win.)

But I did have a treatment: a custom facial using Tata Harper products. I wish I could tell you what it was all about, but the experience was so relaxing that I slept through the 60-minute ordeal. The next thing I knew I was looking into a mirror, and my skin was glowing; I looked like Dua Lipa.

There's a solid two-room gym with an outdoor platform, for, you know, jumping jacks while breathing in fresh air. I wouldn't recommend it now considering it is very hot in Provence, and the gym is air-conditioned. The calendar of fitness classes has at-cost cardio training, aqua aerobics, Qi Gong. I took a yoga class on a Sunday morning, which was held al fresco on a rooftop pergola over Cipressa. Sun salutations are much more atmospheric when you're looking at the Luberon hills as you settle into mountain pose.

It's time to finally seek out adventure beyond the gates of this tony Provençal hamlet. And I did it on two wheels. You'll immediately notice that there is a lot of spandex being worn around the resort, and that's because affluent cycling-obsessed travelers choose it as their homebase when they're passing through Provence. The Luberon is a major destination for biking, and travel companies like DuVine (our readers' top pick for best tour operator of the year) don't only spend time exploring the region, but they like to book their guests into Coquillade, too. And that could be because it has its own cycling center , which can organize something as simple as a bike rental (and off you go) or comprehensive biking tours tailored to your experience and skill level. (You can go mountain biking if you want, too.) I opted for a meandering cycle through the Luberon visiting a few villages and attractions, breezing past the shocking red of poppy fields (the lavender wasn't blooming yet) and the occasional family of horses. There are so many places to visit 'round these parts, and my guide Gaetan was fantastic at adjusting our itinerary based on my mood swings. My quads and I made it all the way up to Roussillon, famous for its picturesque red rocks.

Beauty in Provence comes in many colors: rosé, ochre, lavender, olive. And when you're staying at Coquillade, you get to experience them all.

Getting Around

One-Week Itinerary

Top Things to Do on the French Riviera

Things to Do in Nice

Things to Do in Antibes

Things to Do in St. Tropez

Things to Do in Cannes

Things to Do in Monaco

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Best Hotels

The 8 Best Hotels on the French Riviera

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Courtesy of Oetker Collection

A celebrity playground for decades, the French Riviera’s glitz and glam is mostly thanks to the vast assortment of luxurious hotels that dot the coastline. Whether you’re hoping to stay at a trendy beach club or an Art Deco relic, these nine hotels offer posh accommodations, decadent world-class dining, and often other top-tier amenities like swanky spas or outstanding personalized service.

Grand-Hotel du Cap-Ferrat

Courtesy of Grand-Hotel du Cap-Ferrat

A Four Seasons property that dates back more than a century, Grand-Hotel du Cap-Ferrat has housed the likes of Elizabeth Taylor and Winston Churchill. Perched above the Mediterranean, the views can’t be beaten. However, the hotel’s centerpiece is the famous pool club, Club Dauphin, which showcases a cerulean infinity pool that blends into the adjacent sea. If you want to splash out, book a pool suite, which boasts a private infinity pool shrouded by Aleppo pine trees.

Hôtel Martinez

Courtesy of Hôtel Martinez

An Art Deco beauty, Hôtel Martinez was recently overhauled by famed French designer Pierre-Yves Rochon, who breathed a touch of modernity in the property while retaining vintage vibes and breezy marine-inspired accents. Boasting 409 spacious rooms (99 of which are suites), Martinez is just steps from the Palais des Festivals and overlooks the Bay of Cannes. It’s also home to La Palme d'Or, a recipient of two Michelin stars—the only restaurant in Cannes to receive the distinction.

Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc

Courtesy of Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc

Even if you don’t know Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc by name, you almost certainly know it by appearance. The hotel’s iconic saltwater swimming pool, perched on the rocks, is instantly recognizable and has appeared everywhere from Slim Aarons photographs to Vogue magazine shoots. The rooms are predictably plush, with classic Louis XV furniture, chinoiserie draperies, and gilded mirrors. In May 2021, the hotel will add a new private villa, accommodating up to 12 guests.

Hôtel Nice Beau Rivage

Courtesy of Hotel Nice Beau Rivage

This contemporary beachfront hotel is another classic of the French Riviera, and—as a bonus—it’s slightly cheaper than many of its ritzy neighbors. Despite the more wallet-friendly rates, you’ll want for nothing as Beau Rivage is still situated right on the beach (you can go straight from check-in to the sand!) and has fun, colorful contemporary quarters. When it first opened in 1860, it was a regular haunt for Henri Matisse, Anton Chekhov, and other artistic luminaries. 

Cap d'Antibes Beach Hotel

Courtesy of Cap d'Antibes Beach Hotel

Situated directly on the water, Cap d'Antibes Beach Hotel is a smaller, friendly property that channels contemporary villa vibes as opposed to the opulent mansion style of many other Riviera hotels. Rooms are decorated in neutral colors with local olive wood accents, and many offer views of the idyllic Port du Crouton. Dining options abound, but the Michelin-starred Restaurant Les Pêcheurs, where you can enjoy local-caught seabream accompanied by beets and Siberian sturgeon caviar, is the standout. 

Hôtel Metropole Monte-Carlo

Courtesy of Hotel Metropole

This Belle Epoque grand dame of a hotel is steps from the Casino de Monte-Carlo and overlooks the infamous hairpin turn of Monaco’s Formula 1 Grand Prix track. Rooms are spacious, and most overlook the cypress-lined driveway. If you’re feeling spendy, the Jacques Garcia-designed Carré d’Or suite has Louis XVI furniture, sumptuous crimson and lilac interior fabrics, and sweeping views of the Mediterranean Sea and Metropole’s popular pool.

Hôtel Byblos Saint Tropez

Courtesy of Hôtel Byblos Saint Tropez

Among the finest hotels along the French Riviera, the colorful stucco-clad Byblos opened its doors in 1967 and has since been a favorite destination for celebrities and the global jet set. Unlike some other hotels in the area, it’s easily walkable to the village, including the Places des Lices market. The hotel is also home to Les Caves du Roy, one of the world’s best nightclubs, and makes a mean tarte tropézienne, a classic French pastry that originated in the village and was a favorite of Brigitte Bardot.

Hotel de Paris Monte-Carlo

Courtesy of Hotel de Paris Monte-Carlo

Recently renovated, this legendary hotel is situated just across the street from Monaco’s famous casino and chic shopping from Saint Laurent, Hermes, and Cartier. If you’re planning to splash out, this is your place: Hotel de Paris is home to the three Michelin-starred Le Louis XV - Alain Ducasse à l’Hôtel de Paris, and the truly unique Princess Grace Diamond Suite, a 10,000-square-foot room that’s home to personal effects and souvenirs from the beloved princess. A stay there will run you upwards of $30,000 per night but includes a helicopter transfer, a private pool, a jacuzzi, and a luxuriously outfitted kitchen. 

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La Vie en Hôtel: Find Your Dream French Getaway

Ski-in chalet in the french alps check. designer’s dream in paris check. glam resort in saint-tropez check when it comes to boutique hotels in france, there’s something for everyone..

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La Vie en Hôtel: Find Your Dream French Getaway

Turn back time at the Crillon Le Brave Hotel in Provence, built in a hilltop village that dates back to the Middle Ages.

Photo by Matthieu Salvaing

When in France, travel French. It may not be an official adage, but it’s the best way to immerse yourself in the culture. Staying in locally owned and operated properties in a country synonymous with savoir-vivre and high design invites travelers to better understand the rich past, present, and future of France’s most beloved destinations. And it’s never been easier: A handful of hotelier upstarts have developed in recent years, disrupting an industry long dominated by large-scale, iconic luxury hotels and international hotel groups. Explore five hotel groups in France that offer something for every traveler.

Les Domaines de Fontenille

If you crave gardens and the seaside

It began in 2016 with the Domaine de Fontenille . Fréderic Biousse and Guillaume Foucher opened the 18th-century manor house and wine estate in the village of Lauris, one of the few pockets of Provence’s Luberon region that isn’t overcrowded with tourists. Within the same year, Biousse and Foucher knew they couldn’t stop there.

They quickly set up Les Domaines de Fontenille , a collection of accessible luxury lodgings that emphasize agrotourism and conserving local culture (restoring regional architecture and vines, producing organic wine, olive oil, and herbs to be used throughout all properties) and have a distinctly French aesthetic.

Now guests will find the group’s properties in stunning, natural locations throughout Europe, though its French hotels remain the gold standard. Want to be near the water? Try the 19-room, Marseille-based Les Bords de Mer —housed in a waterfront art deco villa and capped with a popular rooftop bar and seafood restaurant—or Les Hortensias du Lac in the southwestern surf town of Hossegor, north of Biarritz.

But it’s the leafy 18th-century, 30-room hideaway on the Primard estate (previously owned by Catherine Deneuve!) in a quiet Norman village that makes for an ideal getaway—especially from Paris. An hour from the capital, guests can wander 100 acres of restored gardens, dine at one of two farm-to-table restaurants overseen by the three-Michelin-star chef Eric Frechon, and plan an excursion to Monet’s house in Giverny, a 20-minute drive away.

Need a break from work and life? Find restoration at Hotel Le Coucou, which has two heated pools and a full-service spa.

Need a break from work and life? Find restoration at Hotel Le Coucou, which has two heated pools and a full-service spa.

Photo by Jérôme Galland

Maisons Pariente

If you need to get away from it all

Whether it’s to escape to the slopes in the French Alps or onto a pool lounger for views of the Mont Ventoux in Provence, travelers look to the family-run Maisons Pariente group for their growing collection of hotels in restorative surroundings. Each of their three properties— Crillon le Brave in Provence, Lou Pinet in Saint-Tropez, and Le Coucou in Méribel—incorporate just-like-home comforts but are designed to feel like true getaways.

Part of that is done through design: at Le Coucou, a ski-in, ski-out resort with 10 floors, the family hired esteemed architect Pierre Yovanovitch to reimagine the traditional Alpine chalet. The result is fresh and slightly cheeky: funky fabrics, teddy-bear armchairs in rooms, owl head coat hooks, and a trompe-l’oeil swimming pool. And like any good escape, the Pariente family properties have strong dining programs, superior spas, and unbeatable access to spectacular outdoor adventures.

One of the junior suites at Les Airelles, which have views of the slopes—and their very own hammam.

One of the junior suites at Les Airelles, which have views of the slopes—and their very own hammam.

Photo by Fabrice Rambert

Airelles Collection, Lov Group

If you can’t get enough history

Prestigious properties in historic destinations is the abiding idea behind the Airelles Collection . The company is best known for the Bastide de Gordes in the ancient hilltop town of Gordes in Provence’s Luberon area and Les Airelles in the posh Alpine town of Courchevel. Each property is meant to evoke its surroundings and heritage to full effect.

At Gordes, 18th-century Provence lives on—literally. It’s woven into the decor, as well as the staff: Men wear earth-toned culottes and vests with straw hats; women don floral bodices and flowy beige skirts. Les Airelles in Courchevel—with its liberal use of wood paneling, plush fabrics, and period uniforms sported by stafff—feels more like a 19th-century Prussian castle than a ski resort.

The collection’s opulent calling card, however, is Le Grand Contrôle . A 13-room-and-apartment luxury hotel, it opened in summer 2021 right on the grounds of the Château de Versailles. Frances’s royal heritage is on display throughout the property: Tour the restored libraries and explore the more than 900 original pieces of furniture from the 17th and 18th centuries. And enjoy unparalleled proximity to one of the most beloved historical sites in Europe. Guests get to explore 2,000 acres of Versailles grounds on their own and take one of the twice-daily privately guided tours (before and after hours) of the Hall of Mirrors or the Queen’s apartments included in the room rate.

Live your French Alps dreams at the ski-in, ski-out lodge Le Val Thorens.

Live your French Alps dreams at the ski-in, ski-out lodge Le Val Thorens.

Courtesy of Beaumier

If you want to play outside all day

After generating serious buzz (and Instagram adoration) for its striking riviera property, Les Roches Rouges, Les Hotels D’en Haut group changed hands and visions and, in 2021, became Beaumier . Named for the 19th-century French writer-geographer Auguste Beaumier and aimed at outdoor enthusiasts, the collection emphasizes hyper-local experiences, well-crafted design, and superb natural surroundings at each of its eight properties.

There’s the recently refreshed ski-in, ski-out favorites Le Val Thorens and Le Fitz Roy in the French Alps, or Le Moulin , Beaumier’s newest opening, a former oil mill from the 18th century in the heart of Lourmarin in Provence. Next up: Measured expansion within Europe, including Switzerland, where the group has just acquired three mountain hotels in Wengen.

The suites at Nolinski are outfitted with vintage ’70s furniture and items source from around the world.

The suites at Nolinski are outfitted with vintage ’70s furniture and items source from around the world.

Photo by Guillaume de Laubier

Evok Hôtels

If you’re obsessed with design

Faced with Airbnb’s imposing, impersonal presence in Paris, Evok Hotels opened in 2016 to offer unique, community-focused lodgings that would appeal to locals as they did to visitors. Creating compelling hangouts has certainly been part of the group’s success—Evok is known for its sexy bars and restaurants worth crossing the city for—as has its emphasis on luxury service and swanky designer interiors.

Its first property, the Nolinski , on the avenue de l’Opéra, felt pulled from the pages of Architectural Digest . Evok’s latest hotels (all five-star spots, hugely popular among Parisians) are showstopping in their own ways. Le Brach has Philippe Starck–designed interiors featuring sleek materials and contemporary art, plus an on-site sports club fit for the athletes of Roland Garros or the Parc des Princes, both located nearby.

Sinner , in the heart of the Marais, is playful and seductive with an avant-garde theme dreamed up by interior architect Tristan Auer that straddles the monastic and modern. There are vaulted archways, stained glass windows, and even a candlelit crypt that recalls the Knights Templar and doubles as a concept store.

But its most prestigious addition to the portfolio opened in 2020: the Cour des Vosges , an intimate, 12-room-and-suite getaway in a listed 17th-century hôtel particulier (mansion) on the Place des Vosges. In the future, expect to find designer outposts in Venice, Madrid, and Rome.

>>Next: Is Europe Travel Safe During Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine?

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How to Have a French Vacation in the US

There’s something about Paris — something about all of France, really —  that speaks to the soul, emoting passion, romance, beauty, and art. Whether your dream is to stroll along the Seine, cuddle with your lover on a bench in a leafy Paris park, shop the Champs-Elysées for Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior, or simply marvel at the sparkly Eiffel Tower, the joie de vivre of France is real. But when we are unable to board a flight to the City of Light, we do the next best thing. We nourish our inner Francophile with an authentic French vacation stateside. We check into French hotels, dine at Michelin-star French restaurants, order flutes of bubby at our favorite French Champagne bars. And of course, slip away for slimming French thalassotherapy and vinotherapie spa treatments, and facials using luxe French beauty brands. Fortunately, there is no shortage of French-inspired options in the US. From dinner at Auberge du Soleil in the Napa Valley, to a full-on wellness experience at Cal-A-Vie Health Spa in southern California, to a stay of one of these très chic French hotels in New York City (Hôtel Barrière Fouquet’s New York, The Plaza Hotel), New Orleans (Maison de la Luz), or Chicago (Waldorf Astoria Chicago) hotels.

French Experience in NYC

Hôtel barrière fouquet’s new york, new york city.

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“Coffee Madame. And you must try a croissant. They are homemade fresh every morning.”

I have just arrived at the Moulin-Rouge-red brasserie at Hôtel Barrière Fouquet’s New York in Tribeca, for an early morning rendezvous (aka meeting). But one swish through the awning-lined doors, and I am instantly transported back to Paris. Modern chanson plays softly as the wait staff  — sharp in all black — discreetly pours coffee from gleaming silver pots. At the table next to me, a couple, hair disheveled and eyes starry, converse only in French, while next to them a young mother spoons nibbles of omelet to her well-behaved toddler.

“Oui, oui, I will try,” I concede to the dark-haired waiter, who nods in approval. And as the buttery but flaky croissant, still hot from the oven, melts in my mouth, I vow to return for a full-on French dinner by chef Bradley Stellings.

Opened in late 2022, Hôtel Barrière Fouquet’s New York is the first U.S. outpost of France’s family-run Groupe Barrière, and features interiors by world-renowned designer Martin Brudnizki. Reminiscent of the original Parisian brasserie on the Champs-Elysées, the New York City Tribeca version features the same high-gloss wood paneling, curved leather banquettes, cut-glass chandeliers, parquet floors, and black-and-white photographs of film stars albeit in this location, both Paris (Marion Cotillard, Alain Delon) and New York (Spike Lee, Lauren Bacall) are represented.

The rest of the hotel (with emphasis on Brudnizki’s signature Art Deco style) deviates away from the brasserie’s red, black, gold, and beige hues, and instead takes on an iconically French lavender color palette. Glamorously associated with the Tuileries Garden, the lavender is sprinkled with subtle greens and creams throughout the hotel’s 97 rooms and suites. One of my favorite finds is the custom toile de Jouy wallpaper — a traditional French decoration of repeated pastoral themes — lining the guest room walls. Although here, the wallpaper is whimsically updated with scenes from Tribeca: women carrying Birkin bags, a pigeon clutching a croissant in its beak.  Other fun finds include a specially commissioned mural by artist Andie Dinkin, recreating scenes from the French Riviera in the 1940s and ‘50s, a Swarovski crystal King Kong clutching a miniature Eiffel Tower, and Titsou Bar, a guests-only speakeasy, evoking 1920s Paris. Enter through a secret door disguised as a bookshelf. 

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More French Notes: Cannes, the hotel’s glamorous private screening room featuring plush gold seating; the Presidential Suite spanning two floors and showcasing three private outdoor terraces; and Spa Diane Barrière, offering treatments by Parisian beauty brand, Biologique Recherche.

The Plaza Hotel, New York City

Designed in 1907 by American architect Henry Janeway Hardenbergh, the French Renaissance château-style Plaza Hotel has hosted royalty, presidents, A-listers, and perhaps most famously Eloise, the precocious girl who —  in Kay Thompson’s 1955 book series — lived at The Plaza.  While the hotel, located on the edge of Central Park, appears to be an iconic Americana landmark, its artistic influence is undoubtedly French. The mansard roof, balustrades, and minty green terra-cotta are a nod to France’s stately chateaux, while the hotel’s opulent interiors — ornate arches, pillars, and marble flooring — were inspired by the French Renaissance. Guest room bathrooms offer their own touch of Versailles with gilded floral walls, 24-carat gold fixtures, and hand-carved marble vanities. Then of course there is the Champagne Bar, known for its bubbly, caviar, wine, and handcrafted cocktails. A highlight for this French spa lover comes, however, in The Guerlain Spa. Created in 1939, on Avenue des Champs-Elysées, Guerlain is renowned for its unique and exclusive massage method, used also in its facials. For the ultimate experience, book the 90-minute “ Ultimate Black Orchid Anti-Ageing Treatment .” Therapists are trained in Paris.

More French Notes:

In 1949, interior designers from Paris and New York created the first celebrity suite at The Plaza for French fashion designer Christian Dior. Following his departure, American architect Frank Lloyd Wright checked in, staying for six years.

French Near the French Quarter, New Orleans

Maison de la luz.

Located in the Warehouse District, near New Orleans’ famed French Quarter, this luxury guesthouse has the feel of a design-chic Parisian apartment. A collaboration between Atelier Ace and design firm Studio Shamshiri, the concept is of a well-heeled traveler who has returned home with decorative souvenirs, representative of New Orleans’ rich French, Spanish, and African cultures. French touches include high 17-foot ceilings, marble floors dusted in gold, crisp white linens covering sumptuous beds, and a sunlit blue-and-white-hued breakfast room — its plush velvet banquettes, parquet flooring, and wallpaper featuring Louisiana swamp plants and a trompe l’oeilawning, reminiscent of a French parlor. The hotel’s 67 rooms and suites — flooded in sunlight (enter using a heavy, tasseled room key) — feel luxuriously Parisian in their pale mauve walls and bathrooms with free-standing tubs, and marble vanities. But it is Bar Marilou, created by French culinary firm, Quixotic Projects, that really ups the French-aesthetic ante. Scarlet in hue, with built-in, bookcase-lined walls, low-slung velvet furnishings, and fringed zebra-wrapped barstools, the bar specializes in craft cocktails and French-inspired fare — try the crème fraîche and caviar-topped Pommes Marilou. 

More French Notes

Enjoy a cocktail or aperitif in the hotel’s secret blue-and-gold salon. Tap on a painting, and order through a window hidden behind it. A door leads from the salon into Bar Marilou, which is open to the public.

Chanel Inspired in Chicago

Waldorf astoria chicago.

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During the recent reimagination of  Chicago’s Art Deco jewel, the 60-story Waldorf Astoria Chicago , legendary French fashion icon Coco Chanel served as constant inspiration. The lobby’s dazzling Swarovski crystal chandelier was influenced by a vintage brooch the late designer once wore, while the refreshed cocktail bar gives nod to a few of her closest confidants. In designing the hotel, architect Lucien LaGrange drew upon the Beaux-Arts classicism of his native Paris. In this incarnation — which includes refreshed guestrooms and suites, lobby, and restaurants —  by interior design and architecture firm KTGY Simeone Deary Design Group , the property continues its stylish grand Parisian ambience. Both the new Astoria Suite and redesigned Presidential Suite evoke the charm of a Parisian pied-à-terre, with their black-and-white pinstriped stone trim, polished brass and black-nickel accents, cerused oak flooring, and custom sofas. 

The interior of Bernard’s, a Chicago cocktail landmark and discreet evening lounge, is rooted in rich, dark colors, and classic forms, and said to be inspired by the famous men in Coco Chanel’s life — namely Karl Lagerfeld, Hugh Grosvenor, and Etienne Balsan. Sip French Champagne or try the Side Car (Courvoisier, Grand Marnier, lemon juice, simple syrup, and egg white) created in honor of an American army captain in Paris during World War I.

The French Riviera in California

Auberge du soleil, rutherford.

Napa meets the French Riviera at this French-inspired hotel , set on a 33-acre olive grove, and known for its stunning views. The brainchild of French restaurateur Claude Rouas, the property opened in 1981 as Napa Valley’s first fine-dining restaurant; the hotel portion — which translates to ‘Inn of the Sun’ — followed a few years later. Today, The Restaurant at Auberge, helmed by Executive Chef Robert Curry (since 2005), continues its legacy as a must-experience French culinary destination. In late 2022, The Restaurant — renowned for its French-inspired cuisine, extensive wine cellar (15,000 bottles), and commitment to sourcing ingredients locally from neighboring farms and purveyors — received its 15th consecutive star from The Michelin Guide California. Opt for chef’s three- or four-course prix fixe or six-course tasting menu, starting the evening with a glass of French bubbly from the Champagne cart, or glass of local Napa Valley wine. Retire afterward to one of the hotel’s private, free-standing maisons, featuring floor-to-ceiling windows, French doors, a neutral color palette, custom California king beds, and fireplaces. The highlight is the private trellised terrace, with an outdoor tub overlooking the vineyards and Mayacamas Mountains. Reserve time in the spa — its courtyard surrounded by olive trees and fountains. Slip into the European-style hammam and steam rooms, soak in the temperate springs before a facial using the spa’s signature French-inspired California product line.  

Executive Pastry Chef Paul Lemieux, who has led the pastry team since 2003, is renowned for his exquisite seasonal desserts including his house made chocolate. Chef sources cacao beans from select international farms, then carefully roasts and refines it in small batches in the hotel’s pastry kitchen.

Cal-a-Vie Health Spa, Vista

Set between grapevines and lavender fields, L.A. and San Diego, wellness seekers arriving at the life-changing Cal-A-Vie Health Spa in southern California, will insist they are in France. And rightly so. Cal-a-Vie owners Terri and John Havens, self-confessed Francophiles (and originally from New Orleans), modeled their legendary destination spa in alignment with their love for all things French. The spa’s light-filled rooms and villas come with terra-cotta roofs, treasured French antiques and furnishings, grand tubs, and French doors leading to a terrace. There is even a 17th-century French chapel on the property which the Havens imported from Dijon. The 400-year-old chapel featuring stained glass, is lit by candlelight during the spa’s evening (French) wine tastings (yes, wine is on the menu, in moderation of course). The actual day-to-day experience at Cal-a-Vie is a blend of both American and French/European philosophies. Days start early (6:30 am) with a morning hike, followed by a customized plan of fitness classes, spa treatments, nutrition services, mind-body-spirit (yoga/meditation) offerings, and holistic medical options including wellness injections (immune boosters and hydrating IVs) and acupuncture. Guests may also opt to swim, golf, or play tennis. Spa treatments are, not surprisingly, a glorious offering of signature Cal-A-Vie French vinotherapie treatments, culled from the antioxidant-rich, by-products of winemaking. Grape skins, seeds, and pulp are known to contain skin and health-enhancing components such as vitamin C and E. For a deliciously French treatment, try the Grape Seed Skin Wrap (90 minutes), starting with a gentle salt scrub followed by a warming wrap in oceanic clay enriched with Cabernet grape extract.

Bring the French life home. Cal-A-Vie’s exquisite Antiques Boutique provides exclusive access to 18th- and 19th- century pieces imported directly from France. Spa guests can purchase original artwork, lighting, glassware, mirrors, and even pieces of Louis XVI furniture.

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18 Best Travel Websites and Tools for France (Planning and Booking)

Are you planning a trip to France and looking for the best travel websites and tools to help make your stay there as comfortable and memorable as possible? Look no further! We’ve compiled a list of 18 of the top travel websites and tools for France that will help you plan, book, and enjoy your vacation to the fullest.

From booking your flight or train ticket to finding a place to stay and exploring the best attractions, these websites and apps will make it easy to plan your dream trip. Let’s take a look at some of the best travel websites and tools for France!

Planning a great kayak trip in France can be quite tricky, but with the help of websites and tools such as Kayak, you can make the process smoother than ever. Kayak is an easy-to-use website that provides travelers with useful information about their kayaking trips in France. It includes detailed maps at accessible prices, routes and tides that are suitable for your chosen type of boat and a vast selection of suitable accommodations right next to France’s best kayaking locations.

Not to mention its online community which helps travelers explore new areas and share resources while visiting some of France’s most picturesque waterways. With Kayak, planning your kayak trip through France has become worry-free!


2. Air France

Air France offers a wide range of travel websites and tools for making the most out of your journey to France. From flight booking and self-service check-in, to travel advice and destination information, Air France’s online customer service makes travelling easier than ever.

You can research all the details of your trip in advance and save money through exclusive deals on flights, hotels, car rentals, and more. With an array of features designed to make planning a France trip seamless, Air France provides the direction needed to ensure your next journey abroad is stress free and full of adventure!

Air France

Planning a trip to France can be overwhelming, but with Expedia’s comprehensive selection of travel websites and tools, you can easily get started. Need help booking flights to Paris or Marseille? Expedia offers great deals on airfare for both domestic and international flights. Prefer staying in hotels or apartments?

You can use their website to find a variety of lodging options tailored to your budget and needs. On top of that, they have a range of helpful online resources such as detailed tourist guides, city maps, and itineraries designed specifically for France, as well as time-saving mobile apps for easier navigation. Whether you’re looking for the latest deals or just some advice on where you should go, Expedia has got you covered!


4. Skyscanner

France is an amazing travel destination, and with the right tools to help plan your trip, it can be easy and stress-free. Skyscanner is home to a plethora of great deals and exclusive offers when it comes to France. Their flight booking tool makes searching for the best airline itineraries and routes a breeze, while their versatile accommodation search engine allows tourists to find the perfect spot best suited for them.

With the added convenience of Skyscanner’s app, travelers on the go can now book flights or hotels in seconds. The most convenient way to travel doesn’t end there though; thanks to their car rental feature visitors will have no problem exploring every corner of France with ease. Whether you’re looking for cheap flights, budget-friendly accommodation, or cost-effective car rentals – Skyscanner has got you covered!


Ryanair Travel is the perfect way to explore France! With the airline’s extensive network of destinations, it’s easy to find a flight that fits your needs. Plus, their websites and tools make it simple to book tickets, track flights, and access helpful information like weather updates and baggage regulations.

Customers have come to rely on these features for making quick decisions when booking trips. With everything right at your fingertips, it’s no wonder Ryanair has quickly become one of the most popular airlines when traveling in France.


6. Rail Europe

Planning a journey through France can be an exciting, but daunting task. Fortunately, Rail Europe offers travelers an array of helpful tools for their French adventure. Their website is easy to navigate and remains up-to-date with the latest train ticket fares and fare promotions throughout the country.

In addition, customers are able to set travel alerts customized to their preferences to make sure they never miss out on last minute bargains. Furthermore, the company has an expansive selection of rail passes for multiple countries, allowing customers greater flexibility when moving through Europe’s most renowned regions. With these useful services from Rail Europe, any traveler can have a hassle-free experience exploring France’s enchanting cities and countryside.

Rail Europe

Travelling to France can be both a thrilling and intimidating experience, but with the right resources it doesn’t have to be! Trivago is one of the most reliable and convenient travel websites, as it helps you compare the prices of hotels across multiple websites. Not limited to hotels, Trivago also offers several other helpful tools such as activities, advice on planning destination trips, and reviews from fellow travellers.

It even specializes in specific regions like Marseille and Lyon so you can find out the best places to go sightseeing or shopping! With Trivago in your pocket, your French jaunt will be an organized and enjoyable one.



Planning a trip to France can be a daunting task, but with the right tools it can be both fun and rewarding. is one of the most popular travel websites, offering a variety of helpful features tailored specifically for travelers looking to explore the beautiful country of France. From searching for accommodation to finding discounts on flights and rental cars, provides users with an easy-to-use platform to use when booking their dream vacation to the land of wine and cheese.

It even offers expert advice from real local specialists who can give you insider tips and help you enhance your travel experience in France. With comprehensive search options and exclusive deals, is no doubt one of the best travel resources available for planning France vacations.

9. Hostelworld

The French know how to enjoy life and have some of the world’s most talked-about cities, like Paris, Marseille, Lyon, Bordeaux, and Strasbourg. Sometimes finding a place to stay in such beautiful places can be difficult without the right resources. Fortunately, Hostelworld provides travelers with access to thousands of hostels in France to make any visit easier. The website provides maps and information about each destination, including local contact details.

With just a few clicks you’ll find detailed information about availability and facilities at hundreds of hostels across the country. Hostelworld also has its own app that can guide you cover everything from booking your accommodation to discovering activities during your stay – in essence taking care of all your travel needs for a hassle-free tour of France.


Plan your perfect vacation to France by utilizing the full range of resources offered by Airbnb travel websites and tools. You can quickly and easily browse listings, filter available properties with detailed search criteria, compare prices between options, get insider tips from locals, or reserve your spot with a secure payment.

Flexible pricing is available for short-term stays in cozy apartments, sprawling villas and modern lofts, plus attractions or tours recommended by verified reviews and ratings. Whether you’re looking for a beach retreat in the south or culture in the heart of Paris – Airbnb has it all! Start planning your dream getaway today.


11. Rome2rio

Planning a trip to France? Look no further than Rome2rio! The travel planning website and app is dedicated to helping you have the smoothest, most stress-free experience possible. Featuring an easy-to-navigate interface, it allows you to quickly compare different transportation methods, distances, prices and journey times.

With Rome2rio by your side, you can even compare airline fares across multiple airlines or drill down deep into individual route information to emerge with comprehensive knowledge about the best way of getting from point A to point B. Plus, the website provides helpful information on local attractions and related blogs for each destination so that you barely have to lift a finger in order to plan out your entire itinerary for your next French holiday.


GoEuro’s travel websites for France offer a variety of tools and services to make traveling in the country an enjoyable experience. Individuals can customize their experience with an array of options from bus, train, car sharing, and flights to lodging and even local experiences such as walking or bike tours. Travelers can save money with convenient booking combinations on all services included in one single ticket, so they stay within their budget while exploring the country.

GoEuro’s user-friendly features also suggest personalized destinations based on individual needs, allowing travelers to explore whatever catches their eye during a visit to France. With these unique tools and services, GoEuro gives travelers all the information needed for hassle-free traveling.


13. Visit France

Planning a dream trip to France can be overwhelming. There are so many amazing sights to see and experiences to have that you can find yourself overwhelmed with information. Luckily, there are countless websites and tools out there designed to help make the planning process easier.

From online forums with insider tips from experienced travelers to comprehensive travel guides, finding information about France has never been easier. These websites also provide such services as accommodation options, airline search engines, rental car booking, restaurant reviews, and more! Take advantage of these resources before you embark on your journey so you can experience France like a local.

Visit France

14. Mytourism

France is one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations and attracts travelers from all over. To make the most of their visit, tourists need reliable tools and resources. Mytourism provides them with just that – a comprehensive selection of travel websites and tools that allow visitors to optimize their stay in France.

From maps to transportation routes, accommodations to sightseeing ideas, Mytourism provides all kinds of information for a truly unforgettable experience. So if you’re planning a trip to France soon, look no further than Mytourism for the best tips and resources!


15. TouristEye

TouristEye is the perfect online destination to explore France’s rich culture and history. With an array of exclusive tools, such as dynamic city guide maps, traveling to and around France has never been easier. Utilizing destination experts for up-to-date advice and local tips, you will be well prepared for any holiday outing.

Also, the site provides access to reviews from other travelers who have already experienced the sites that you plan to visit or stay at. From Paris to Provence and everywhere in between, TouristEye makes it simpler for travelers to make their plans for a French getaway.


16. Trainline

For those looking to explore France, a visit to Trainline is essential. With Trainline, travelers have access to Europe’s leading travel booking website and app giving them the opportunity to plan and book their entire trip with ease. With just a few clicks, travelers can find the right ticket for their journey and access exclusive features like Real-Time Delay Reimbursements and Travel Cancellation Insurance – not to mention 24/7 customer service if anything goes wrong!

Plus, with discounts of up to 60% available, Trainline makes it simple to save on even the most expensive trips. From Paris to Marseille, Tours to Montpellier, Bordeaux or beyond — Trainline has you covered for a stress-free experience.


With the abundance of travel websites and tools available today, it can be difficult to choose which ones to use for a French vacation. Thankfully, Viator has years of experience when it comes to helping travelers plan and organize trips in France. The comprehensive website offers detailed reviews about attractions and provides customers with customer ratings for tours and activities.

It also offers a variety of helpful tools that help travelers map out their adventures in the City of Lights. From automatic price filtering to secure payment options, Viator is an essential resource for booking everything from accommodations and transport to opportunity-of-a-lifetime experiences. With access to hundreds of tour guides across all corners of France, Viator promises travelers an unforgettable exploration of this gem of Western Europe.


18. GetYourGuide

GetYourGuide is committed to providing travelers with an easy and accessible way to explore France. Whether you’re just looking to escape for a weekend or have ample time to get lost in the City of Light, this user friendly platform has tools that will make planning your travels easier than ever. GetYourGuide offers over 2300 activities across 169 destinations in France, allowing users to customize their experience by selecting activities in Paris, the French Riviera, and other popular locales.

From private tours of iconic landmarks like the Louvre or Eiffel Tower to thrilling outdoor adventures like kayaking on the Saone River or zip-lining through an alpine village, users can find something exciting that fits their budget and interest level. GetYourGuide even offers family packages so that multiple generations can enjoy unforgettable experiences together. Book now and get ready to experience all that France has to offer!


In conclusion

Planning the perfect French holiday doesn’t have to be a challenge. From Ryanair, Rail Europe and Trivago to, Hostelworld and Airbnb – there are countless travel websites and tools dedicated to helping you plan your dream getaway.

Whether it’s researching activities in cities like Paris and Marseille, comparing prices across multiple websites or booking transportation and accommodation – you can find the perfect resources to make your trip to France a successful one. So get ready for the adventure of a lifetime; with these helpful tools in hand, you are sure to have an unforgettable time exploring this enchanting country! Bon voyage!

Simply France

We are here out of a desire to help and of course out of a great love for France. Our goal is to help you find everything you are looking for under one roof, to get the most out of your vacation in France, without having to travel all over the web.

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Heading to the French Riviera? Here Are Our 6 Favorite Luxury Hotels

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French Riviera, Cote D'Azur, France

This handful of luxurious hotspots is guaranteed to bring out your inner Alain Delon.

Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc

Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc

Courtesy of Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc

Where else to kick off a round-up of illustrious hostelries in the glitterati’s European summer hideout of choice than the institution whose pool area was immortalized via the lens of Slim Aarons back in the Jet Set heyday? Nestling on the southern tip of the Cap d’Antibes, this Gatsby-esque building—whose décor remains authentically Gallic without a hint of pastiche—has also kept its Hollywood-star credentials intact. Clientele these days get to lounge around a large heated seawater pool hewn from the rocks. Rooms start at €600 (around $665) per night.

Hô tel  Lou Pinet

Hôtel Lou Pinet

Courtesy of Hôtel Lou Pinet

From the long-established to the gleamingly new: Hôtel Lou Pinet is a new opening stewarded by the founder of French prêt-à-porter brand Naf Naf Patrick Pariente, along with his daughters. Its 34 airy, super-relaxed rooms and suites—proper chunky keys in place of magnetic cards, naturellement—are housed in a trio of Mediterranean-style buildings, overlooking the largest swimming pool in Saint-Tropez. Each is characterized by interior designer Charles Zana’s penchant for Provence’s rich arts heritage. Rooms start at €600 (around $665) per night.

Cheval Blanc Saint-Tropez

Cheval Blanc Saint-Tropez

Courtesy of Cheval Blanc

This all-new establishment was purchased by Bernard Arnault’s LVMH Hotel Management in 2016. Nearly all of its 30 light-soaked rooms—calmly nautical, with their azure and ivory tones—offer pinch-me panoramas the yacht-studded Bay of Saint-Tropez. The Guerlain spa and Chef Arnaud Donckele’s gourmet restaurant Vague D’Or turn the glamour factor up to 12. Rooms start at €600 (around $665) for a Classic Courtyard Room during low season.

Hotel Byblos

Byblos Saint-Tropez

Courtesy of Byblos

Brigitte Bardot—who once described Saint-Tropez as a “little nook of paradise”—served as muse for Lebanese hotelier Jean-Prosper Gay-Para to create the Byblos in St Tropez, whose floors have since also been stardust-sprinkled by the likes of Jack Nicholson and Beyoncé (it was where Mick and Bianca Jagger spent the night together, so to speak, post-nuptials). The 180 square meter, chromatically fearless, zig-zag-happy suite designed by Missoni Home in celebration of the hotel’s 50th anniversary (see below), which overlooks the pool, is as charming and therapeutic as any suite in the region. A night at the Missoni Suite starts at €4,500 (around $4,970).

Château Saint-Martin & Spa

Château Saint-Martin

Courtesy of Château Saint-Martin

If wooded serenity suits you better than coastal glitz, this newly reopened hotel , built on the ruins of a 12th century Templar fortress, offers views of the Mediterranean one way, the Southern Alps the other. Whether reclining by the pool, utilizing the tennis courts or being pampered at the Spa Saint-Martin by La Prairie, your mind will be captivated by the surrounding Provencal landscape that’s oiled the creative cogs of the likes of Picasso and Chagall. Rooms start at €330 (around $365) per night.

Hotel Epi 1959

Poolside at Hotel Epi Plage

Courtesy of Hotel Epi Plage

The Riviera boasts no shortage of places to see and be seen, but Hotel Epi Plage —an intimate and well-appointed hideaway on a private stretch of Pampelonne beach—feels a lot more like staying at a friend’s seaside home than booking a suite at a major hotel. Its 10 cabanas underwent a major renovation in 2018, and accommodate between two and four people each. That might be why it’s been attracting the kind of bold-faced names who value solitude (Brigitte Bardot, Sylvester Stallone, Madonna, et al.) since it opened in 1959. You can add your name to the list from $996 a night.

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  • Ski Hotels of the French Alps

Ski, aprés-ski, and eat within walking distance of your hotel.

winter Travel Hotels France

french travel hotels

There's something innately cozy, warm, and intimate staying at a ski hotel. Wrapped in wood with soft, sensual furnishings and dimmed lighting, they’re like a cocoon welcoming you back from the cold white snow and blinding sunshine. And what better spot to take in the scenic slopes and atmosphere than the French Alps. Here, a breakdown of where to take refuge after a day on (or off) piste and where to dine in style nearby.

Le M de Megève

Le M de Megève

Zannier Le Chalet

Zannier Le Chalet

Le Lodge Park

Eat : The hotel's haunt for carnivores, the aptly named Beef Lodge , has a very "animal" decor: trophies, animal hides, leather. Like traditional American steakhouses, Beef Lodge offers high-quality meats, carefully selected and matured, including Black Angus, Simmental, and Texas premium beef.  €€

Le Lodge Park

Les Fermes de Marie

Eat:  Chef Emmanuel Renaut's Flocons Village showcases simplicity and boldness in its meticulous contemporary cuisine and tasty terroir dishes.  €€€

Les Fermes de Marie

Refuge du Montenvers

Eat:   This typical farmhouse is home to La Maison Carrier  and its beautifully devised seasonal menu. Sample the charcuterie that they smoke and dry on site, and take your pick from the legendary and lavish buffet of desserts, including biscuit de Savoie and blueberry tart.  €€

Refuge du Montenvers

Le Refuge de Solaise

Le Refuge de Solaise

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Airelles val d’isère.

Airelles Val d’Isère

Hotel des Dromonts

Eat:   Despite the name, the hotel's restaurant, Les Enfants Terribles , is inviting and intimate. The menu is a smattering of gastro, bistro-inspired dishes like gilthead bream ceviche with lime and ginger or thick Salers steak with green peppercorn sauce.  €€€

Hotel des Dromonts

Aman Le Melezin

Eat:   Chef Sylvestre Wahid  regales around 15 guests per sitting in an exclusive open kitchen setting. This bespoke fine dining experience draws on Wahid's signature dishes like Roscoff crab or lemon and seaweed dessert. Magnificent produce, luxury ingredients, comforting sauces, expert seasonings, impeccable technical skill and, above all, emotion shine through the generous tasting menu.  €€€€

Aman Le Melezin

Hotel des Trois Vallées

Eat:  Le Chabichou by Stéphane Buron serves a single set menu of five to nine courses that highlights the ingredients of the region, down to the trolley decked with fine mountain cheeses. As for the decor, the interior exudes a hushed elegance: carpeting, coffered ceiling, comfortable immaculate-white designer chairs, modern tables with smoked glass tops.  €€€€

Hotel des Trois Vallées

Le Cerf Amoureux

Le Cerf Amoureux


Eat: Within the hotel is   La Table d'Armante , run by chef Fabien Laprée. Serving a modern menu showcasing a succession of fine ingredients, mainly from the region — think Arctic char with chanterelles and watercress; Chartreuse veal, sand carrots and lemon balm — the resulting meal is innovative and flavorful.  €€€


Hero image: Le Refuge de Solaise, Val d’Isere, France

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The Paris Olympics Promise to Be Stunning. The Prices Already Are.

Want a prime spot to watch 10,000 athletes float by on the Seine or to catch beach volleyball in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower? Get ready for sticker shock.

A statue of the Olympic rings stands outside the ornate, stone Paris City Hall building under a partly cloudy sky.

By Liz Alderman

Reporting from Paris

The opening ceremony of the 2024 Paris Olympics promises to be spectacular: On the glittering waters of the Seine, a flotilla of barges will carry about 10,000 athletes to the foot of the Eiffel Tower, as nearly half a million spectators line the four-mile route to cheer on the event of the century.

Good luck, though, getting any one of the 100,000 ticketed seats to be front and center at the party. Those are mostly sold out — and the few left cost an eye-popping 2,700 euros, about $2,930 each. Tickets to watch another popular Olympic event, 10-meter men’s platform diving , are now only available through special-service hospitality packages starting at €875, or women’s artistic gymnastics finals , a perennial crowd pleaser: around €1,799.

Paris Olympics organizers set a lofty goal for what they have called the People’s Games, promising to make the world’s most iconic sporting event equitable and accessible.

But get ready to pay up.

Seven months before the Olympic torch casts a glow in the City of Light this summer, the cost of getting into the most in-demand sports competitions, not to mention the price of accommodations and transportation, has risen — sometimes by Olympian proportions.

Many hotels and rental apartments have doubled or tripled their typical summer rates (think an average of €1,000 a night instead of €300), and some have even quintupled them. Airfares are rising fast. The cost of a Paris Metro ticket is temporarily doubling . Even the Louvre Museum and Palace of Versailles have ratcheted up admission fees.

Still dreaming of making the Olympic rendezvous? Don’t be too discouraged if you haven’t booked yet. The Games, which run from July 26 to Aug. 11, still have some ticket deals for large-crowd competitions like soccer and basketball. Spots also remain available for the Paralympics, from Aug. 28 to Sept. 8. And some prices could start to come down closer to the Games.

Paris will be its own extraordinary attraction, transformed into a giant outdoor arena with competitions like break dancing at Place de la Concorde and beach volleyball at the Eiffel Tower. And President Emmanuel Macron will make cultural performances of all kinds free for two months in summer to fete the Olympic spirit.

Still, exactly how you experience the Games will depend on your budget. Here are some tips on what to expect.

Finding a place to stay

Paris is like a jewel box: dazzling but compact. With around 15 million visitors expected, and just around 85,000 guest rooms, hoteliers are taking full advantage of outsize demand. So are Parisians: Many are planning to flee the city, and are renting out their apartments at top dollar. Average Airbnb prices for Olympic dates have surpassed €500 a night.

At a typical Ibis hotel, a chain similar to Holiday Inn, expect to pay €400 to €700 a night for a fairly basic double room with Wi-Fi and breakfast, compared with €90 to €200 normally. A double room at the more upscale Hotel Ducs de Bourgogne near the Pont Neuf is priced on at €1,500 a night, compared with €300 normally in summer.

Consumer associations, including UFC-Que Choisir , a French advocacy group, have denounced price increases that they say risk making the Olympics unaffordable to some.

The French government has said it won’t regulate prices, but will step up inspections of hotels and apartment rentals. “It’s essential that French and international tourists get their money’s worth,” said Olivia Grégoire, the minister in charge of tourism.

With the Games still months away, travelers can find less expensive accommodations that average closer to €450 to €550 a night, mainly at the outer edges of Paris or beyond the city limits, said Christie Hudson, a travel expert for .

But even there, the average cost of a one-night stay in the Île-de-France region that rings Paris is about €700 during the Olympics, compared with €169 last summer, according to the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau.

That trend could reverse: Some hotels haven’t released all their room inventory, and prices could come down as they seek to fill up their calendars. The downside of waiting is the risk of finding little available at the last minute — not ideal if you’ve already gotten your hands on event tickets or booked air travel.

Airbnb prices for Olympic dates have already cooled a touch, with rates for all listings, including private and shared rooms, now averaging around €542 a night, after surging to €746 in December, according to AirDNA , which tracks Airbnb booking trends. Tens of thousands of new listings have come online around France, and more supply is expected in the Paris region, a factor that should keep prices “affordable,” said Emmanuel Marill, the Europe, Middle East and Africa regional director at Airbnb.

If money is no object, hospitality offers via the Paris Games’ official partner, On Location , guarantee booking through all-inclusive packages that include tickets to select sports events and accommodation in three-, four- and five-star hotels. The options include €8,660 per person in a three-star hotel for eight nights and tickets only to rock climbing competitions, or €21,105 for a deluxe five-day package at the Waldorf Astoria in Versailles that includes the opening ceremony and equestrian events.

Travelers may need to watch out for sudden price jumps by hotels and rental hosts even after a booking is confirmed. said it would compensate consumers for the cost difference in such cases. Airbnb said that hosts who tried to increase prices or cancel reservations after booking would face fees and penalties, and that the company would provide most guests with an instant credit to rebook immediately if their stay was canceled within 30 days of arrival.

Scoring tickets to events

If you’ve already gotten reasonably priced tickets, count yourself lucky. Around seven million have been purchased since sales began nearly a year ago on the official Paris 2024 ticketing website . But you can still get into a variety of events, especially team sports at venues outside Paris, including soccer at the 80,700-seat stadium in St.-Denis.

Tickets priced from €90 to €250 also remain for volleyball, handball, archery, badminton and weight lifting, mostly for non-medal competitions.

But blockbuster sports have become all but inaccessible, unless you are willing to splurge. Tickets to events like gymnastics and diving are currently unavailable on the official website. Prices topped €600 before the blocks that had been made available sold out.

Tony Estanguet, president of the Paris 2024 organizing committee, has defended prices and said that tickets are cheaper than those of the 2012 London Olympics.

Bundles of new tickets are released every so often, and organizers urge visitors to check the website frequently or sign up for alerts. More spots will become available on April 17, when the official, and only authorized, resale platform for ticket holders goes online.

At this stage, though, much of the only remaining access to very high-demand events is through On Location’s pricey “hospitality packages,” with options like men’s springboard diving tickets starting at €695 and opening ceremony access ranging from €5,000 to €9,500 per person.

On Location offers a “wide variety” of packages, said Will Whiston, the company’s executive vice president for Olympics and Paralympics, adding that its prices were “in line with and, in some cases, lower than previous Games.”

Getting to, and around, Paris

Round-trip airfares to Paris are already starting to creep up. Nonstop flights on from New York to Paris start at around $1,300 the weekend before the Olympics, up from an average of $1,000 last summer. Generally, travelers can get the best airfare by booking 60 days out. But “prices are expected to increase as the travel dates get closer, so it’s smart to book sooner rather than later,” said Ms. Hudson, the travel expert at Expedia.

If you’re willing to travel light, consider using a discount carrier such as French Bee , which flies round-trip from New York to Paris-Orly Airport for $975, without checked baggage, or Icelandair , requiring a stopover in Reykjavik, starting at about $800 round-trip, also without checked bags. Another option is to fly into an alternate airport, either in France or a nearby country like Belgium, Britain or Germany, and take a train.

Once in Paris, brace yourself for getting around. Olympics organizers want to slash the Games’ carbon footprint, and swaths of the city will be closed to cars. Organizers are placing a premium on walking, cycling and public transportation.

While Metro prices are jumping to €4 per ride, tourists can buy a Paris 2024 pass costing €16 a day, or €70 per week, allowing travel across the Île-de-France region, including to and from Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports.

Paris has added about 55 miles of new cycling lanes to the more than 270 miles already carved out in the city, encouraging visitors to use them. The Velib rental program is being expanded to add 3,000 more bikes to the current 22,000-strong fleet.

Despite all the potential hassles, Mr. Estanguet, the head of the organizing committee, has promised that the Games will be worth the trip. “Let me convince you to come, because this moment is unique,” he said. “You won’t see it again, and you won’t be disappointed.”

Follow New York Times Travel on Instagram and sign up for our weekly Travel Dispatch newsletter to get expert tips on traveling smarter and inspiration for your next vacation. Dreaming up a future getaway or just armchair traveling? Check out our 52 Places to Go in 2024 .

Liz Alderman is the chief European business correspondent, writing about economic, social and policy developments around Europe. More about Liz Alderman

The Points Guy

The best hotels in Paris

L ike many great cities, there are so many sides to Paris . Luxury shoppers can do damage on their credit cards browsing the flagship stores of globe-spanning fashion brands along the rue Saint-Honore. Art aficionados can contemplate masterpieces at the Louvre and the Musee d'Orsay, among other world-renowned museums. Meanwhile, visitors with more bohemian budgets and tastes can spend hours simply strolling along the Seine or picnicking in one of the city's popular parks.

Just as there are activities in Paris for every type of traveler, there are also fantastic hotels in the City of Light for every style and price range .

From stately so-called "palace hotels" where your every whim is attended to by white-gloved staff to one-of-a-kind boutique hotels in Paris and more offbeat accommodations that offer a glimpse of day-to-day French life, these are the best hotels in Paris (many of which are available using points ).

The best areas to stay in Paris

If you're curious about where you should stay as a first-time tourist in Paris, you might be wondering: What are the best areas of Paris to stay in? The truth is, it depends on where you want to go and what you want to see.

If museums are your main interest, then consider staying at one of the luxury hotels near the Rue de Rivoli or Place Vendome in the 1st Arrondissement for easy access to the Louvre and hidden gems like the Hotel de la Marine, not to mention the flagship boutiques of major fashion brands.

There are business and leisure hotels aplenty near the busy Champs Elysees in the 8th Arrondissement, though you might have to contend with crowds vying for the perfect shot of the Arc de Triomphe. Head a little southwest to the sleepy 16th Arrondissement for a stay at some of the city's grandest palace hotels, where the Eiffel Tower is a quick walk away.

If you're looking for something more bohemian, you might prefer a hotel in the 3rd and 4th Arrondissements' trendy Marais, where you can stroll out the door and peruse young designers' boutiques on your way to sip a leisurely cafe au lait at a locals-packed cafe.

Then again, nothing beats the romance of the Left Bank's 5th and 6th Arrondissements, where you can meander through ancient alleys and duck into historic tea shops and bookstores.

In essence, the best area to stay in Paris depends on the experience you want to have. But no matter where you land, you're sure to find one of the best hotels in Paris from our list.

Although Paris has other hotels with a Palace designation (reserved for only the finest establishments in France), this one is in an actual former palace — specifically, the home of Prince Roland Bonaparte, Napoleon's great-nephew. That history (which earned the edifice France's Monument Historique status) is on full display in the exquisitely restored public areas, which include meeting rooms and ballrooms illuminated by twinkling crystal chandeliers and decorated with original gilt filigree, wood paneling, fireplaces and wall and ceiling frescoes.

The 100 rooms and suites, which were designed by Pierre-Yves Rochon, underplay the grandeur with Empire-style furnishings and simple palettes of cream, gold and robin's-egg blue. Some also feature jaw-dropping Eiffel Tower views.

Guests can start their evening with a drink in Le Bar Botaniste, with decor inspired by the interior of Napoleon's war tent and a creative cocktail list that pays homage to Roland Bonaparte's love of horticulture. Shangri-La's signature Shang Palace plates up extravagant Chinese feasts, while the greenhouse-like La Bauhinia serves more refined fare inflected with both French and Asian accents.

Need a break from metros and museums? The hotel also has a location of Shangri-La's Chi, The Spa , where treatments are custom-tailored to each guest's needs and are aimed at rebalancing the mind and body from everyday stresses.

Rates at the Shangri-La Paris start at $1,812 per night.

Art deco features abound at this luxurious hotel located in a former 1930s office building that claims pride of place next to some of Paris' highest-end fashion boutiques along the tony rue Saint-Honore and within walking distance of the Louvre. Those with sharp eyes can find a butterfly motif repeated in the decor, from eye-catching sculptures to carpeting and cushions. You'll also find them flitting across the walls of the tranquil subterranean spa , where facials incorporate exclusive 111Skin products.

Unlike at some of the more ostentatious palace hotels, the 135 rooms and suites here lean more toward make-yourself-at-home than over-the-top-aristocrat ... if your home were decorated by star designer Sybille de Margerie, that is. Orchid-like overtones of fuchsia, purple and ivory grace various textiles that supplement the dark wood paneling found in the bedrooms and the mix of white marble and iridescent shades of gold and mother of pearl featured in the bathrooms.

Paris' many restaurants might beckon, but guests would be remiss to miss out on a multicourse, multihour dinner at chef Thierry Marx's two-Michelin-starred Sur Mesure, where travel-inspired menus are perfectly complemented by the spaceship-like white-on-white decor.

Of course, breakfast out in the leafy courtyard at Camelia or grab-and-go gourmandises from Cake Shop (hopefully reopening soon) are also an option.

Rates at the Mandarin Oriental, Paris start at 1,648 euros ($1,740) per night.

Since its original opening in 1898 along one side of the tony Place Vendome, the Ritz has been inextricably linked to Paris' literary and fashion history.

Marcel Proust found the hotel to be a respite from the city's bustling streets, frequently coming to dine in a private room. Ernest Hemingway came to drink at the bar, and F. Scott Fitzgerald drank here as well. Coco Chanel took a suite in 1937 and stayed for 34 years, eventually passing away in her room.

The hotel underwent a complete 200-million-euro ($197 million) transformation for four years and reopened in 2016 with a new joie de vivre but with the same features and ambience generations of travelers have come to love.

Decor in the sunlight-drenched rooms might have impressed the Sun King (Louis XIV) himself, with gilt-bordered moldings, gem-toned upholstery, floral prints and half-canopied beds, not to mention marble bathrooms. As would the Ritz Club & Spa , which has an indoor pool under a painted sky that was immortalized in Adam Gopnik's book "Paris to the Moon" (the Biologique Recherche facials are also worthy of mention).

No respectable Parisian bar hop would be complete without a stop at the clubby, 25-seat Bar Hemingway, but those in the mood for tea or Champagne should plan a visit to the belle epoque-style Salon Proust instead (order the madeleines for a walk down memory lane). If you'd rather savor a plate of sumptuous seafood, set up shop on a red-velvet banquette at Bar Vendome and order a few oysters from Ile d'Oleron or a blue lobster club sandwich.

Rates at the Ritz Paris start at 2,000 euros ($2,110) per night.

The Left Bank's Hotel Lutetia, which opened in 1910, quickly became a magnet for artists and authors like Hemingway, Albert Camus, Henri Matisse and James Joyce, who wrote part of "Ulysses" while in residence.

After decades of declining grandeur, the hotel underwent a massive four-year, 200-million-euro ($197 million) renovation under the auspices of French architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte (who also designed the Mandarin Oriental Paris) and reopened in 2018.

There are now just 137 rooms and 47 suites, six of which are individually designed signature accommodations, including the Suite L'Atelier for would-be artists (presumably with wealthy patrons) and the Suite Amour, meant to evoke the grandeur and romance of a golden-age oceanliner, complete with a terrace and sweeping views of the Paris skyline. Even the standard Grand Superior rooms have deluxe touches like luminescent Carrara marble bathrooms with deep soaking tubs and Murano glass fixtures created just for the hotel (what, Lalique wasn't available?).

It's not all about the rooms, though. Snag a table for tea courtesy of chef Nicolas Guercio under the stained-glass ceiling at Le Saint-Germain, or stop for a creative cocktail at Bar Josephine — the bar styled after the Baker of the same name, who used to be a frequent guest — before dinner at Brasserie Lutetia, where chef Patrick Charvet's menu is a veritable culinary tour of the best of France. Don't forget to take a little "you" time at the Akasha Spa and its marble-lined pool.

Rates at Hotel Lutetia start at 1,472 euros ($1,555) per night.

Although it dates to 1928, this imposing old hotel down the street from the Arc de Triomphe and the Champs-Elysees got a new lease on life about a decade ago thanks to a tête-to-toe refurbishment by star designer Philippe Starck. His instantly recognizable touches include a bordello-red glass overhang welcoming guests to the lobby and decor in the public spaces and the accommodations that mix and match eras (and forms of geometry).

The 149 light-filled rooms and suites are spacious — and not just by Paris standards. Their highlights include ostentatious marble-and-mirror bathrooms along with playful touches like acoustic guitars standing ready in the corner, should you feel the urge to strum a romantic ditty.

Among the other reasons to book a stay here, specifically, are a Paris outpost of chef Nobu Matsuhisa's Peruvian-Japanese mainstay, Matsuhisa, and the Michelin-starred Italian eatery Il Carpaccio. Part of the fun of ordering a cocktail at Le Bar Long is getting to choose your own glass.

Don't overindulge, though, because you wouldn't want to miss a wellness session at the underground Clarins and myBlend Spa downstairs, where guests can create custom treatments based on their individual skincare needs. The heavenly pool isn't too bad a place to unwind, either.

Rates at Le Royal Monceau, Raffles Paris start at 890 euros ($940) per night.

There are bigger hotels in Paris, and there are fancier hotels in Paris. However, this tiny gem just blocks from Trocadero in Paris' sleepy but refined 16th arrondissement has a couple of attractions none of them can boast.

The first is an elevator made from a vintage Louis Vuitton steamer trunk, where stepping into it feels like stepping back in time as well. The other is one of Paris' oldest and finest Champagne bars in a private salon styled after an 18th-century maison particuliere paneled in boiserie painted a striking shade of eau de nil with a hint of gilding around the edges. That's not to mention the 240 Champagne selections available, including some rare vintages and hard-to-find small producers, as well as Petrossian caviar, among other delicacies on offer.

Rooms are genteelly decorated with an eye toward the Empire style, with canopy-crown beds and slim-profile wooden chairs and desks. They are, in a word, small, but you don't come to Paris to stay in your hotel room — that is, unless you book the (surprisingly reasonably priced) Eiffel Suite, which is accessed by its own private staircase and offers picture-perfect views of the city's most famous landmark.

Rates at Le Dokhan’s start at 342 euros ($361), or 52,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night.

Much like the most fascinating characters, the most interesting hotels tend to come with checkered pasts — and that rule is proven by this neoclassical landmark that sits along one side of the Place de la Concorde.

Originally built as an aristocratic residence in 1758, it housed Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette before their executions and was eventually turned into a hotel in 1909. Fast forward over a century and it emerged from a four-year renovation in 2017 with a new look and a new identity as part of the fast-growing luxury chain Rosewood.

Though the Karl Lagerfeld-designed suites might be out of reach for most, even the deluxe rooms have more than a soupcon of sophistication thanks to gold- and platinum-toned upholstery, dark wood furnishings and enormous windows letting in that famous Paris light.

For others, the main attraction might be the bustling Bar Les Ambassadeurs, where guests sip along to live music in the evenings; the ornate Jardin D'Hiver for decadent pastries and tea; or L'Ecrin, with contemporary French fine-dining menus.

The hotel also houses a Rosewood Sense Spa , complete with a dreamy indoor pool with tiling resembling shimmering fish scales and treatments that incorporate aromatic, plant-based Sisley products.

Rates at Hotel de Crillon start at 1,835 euros ($1,940) per night.

This hotel is art deco-dent, which makes sense considering it originally premiered in 1929 along Paris' fashionable Avenue George V.

From the instantly recognizable Antiga font in which the hotel's name is emblazoned across its awning and alongside the doors to the subtly rippled facade and the glossy black marble floors and fluted chandelier overhanging the lobby, everything about the Prince de Galles will make you feel like a bright young thing.

The rooms and suites range from small to opulent (including a Lalique suite with bespoke art), but all are impeccably decorated with polished, wide-grain wooden furniture pieces and plush beds perfect for sleeping off that jet lag. The bathrooms, while compact, have fun features like showers tiled with black-and-gold mosaics.

The hotel now boasts Michelin-acclaimed chef Akira Back's first European restaurant with a familiar menu of creative Korean-Japanese fusion. Le Patio is an ideal spot to enjoy a cool drink on a warm afternoon under leafy palm trees, while Bar 19.20 remains a fabulous spot for a post-work drink (the venue specializes in Champagne and cognac) with colleagues or a nightcap after an evening out on the town.

Rates at the Prince de Galles start at 1,074 euros ($1,134) or 79,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night.

The first feature (of many) likely to wow you upon entering The Peninsula Paris — which occupies a once-derelict 1908 building steps from the Arc de Triomphe that has been, at times, a hotel, a government office and a field hospital — is the hanging glass sculpture called "Dancing Leaves" designed by Luděk Hroch and created by lighting installation studio Lasvit. Walking past it feels like you've been swept inside this hushed but grandiose space in a swirl of magical Parisian sycamore leaves, setting the stage for a special stay.

This hotel has many special spaces, though. The sixth-floor restaurant, L'Oiseau Blanc, which has earned two Michelin stars, takes its theme from the early days of aviation, complete with a suspended, full-size replica of the plane in which pilots Charles Nungesser and François Coli attempted to cross the Atlantic. It competes with unmatched views of the Eiffel Tower through the restaurant's domed glass walls (no wonder many folks come here for engagements and celebrations). Down on the ground floor, the ornate moldings, cushy leather chairs and strong cocktails at Le Bar Kleber make it feel like a turn-of-the-century gentlemen's club where you could debate the merits of the Treaty of Versailles.

The 200 guest rooms, including 93 suites, with high ceilings and huge windows, feel like cocoons to which you can retreat after a hectic day out in the city, with enormous beds backed by recessed headboards of pressed leather that practically invite you to sink in ... after a leisurely bath in your black-marble tub, of course.

If relaxation is your aim, the hotel also has an outpost of The Peninsula Spa , the largest at a luxury hotel in Paris. The skincare treatments use France's own high-end Biologique Recherche line of products.

Rates at The Peninsula Paris start at 1,572 euros ($1,660) per night.

The Park Hyatt Paris-Vendome is a cult favorite among points and miles enthusiasts because of the ability to redeem moderate numbers (35,000 to 45,000) of World of Hyatt points per night for rooms that would otherwise cost upwards of $1,000 .

Though some say the hotel is getting past its prime and is due for a refresh, the elegant but spare rooms still feel positively palatial, as do the limestone-tile bathrooms with their brushed-brass fixtures. What's more, World of Hyatt elites can get even more value from their cash or points with the possibility of an upgrade to even bigger digs, not to mention the sumptuous daily breakfast for two served at Cafe Jeanne, where you can start your day alfresco when the weather's nice.

For dinner, there's the Michelin-starred Pur' from chef Jean-François Rouquette, whose menu features creative takes on French classics. Meanwhile, the eye-catching, gold-mirrored backsplash at Le Bar can set the tone for pretty much any kind of evening you envision.

There are no spa or other major amenities to speak of, but since the location near the rue Saint-Honore and the Place Vendome practically puts all of Paris at your fingertips, you'll have no trouble finding whatever you need nearby.

Rates at the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendome start at 1,360 euros ($1,440) or 35,000 World of Hyatt points per night.

Walking through the leafy passage that brings you from picturesque rue Christine into the inner court of Relais Christine feels like stepping through a portal into your own private Paris pied-a-terre. No wonder, since this charming little boutique lodge is in a converted 17th-century mansion (which, in turn, was built over a 13th-century abbey).

The keyword here is intimate. By your second day, every member of the cheerful staff will know you by name — after all, there are just 48 rooms and suites total (see if you can snag one of the garden suites to feel like you have your own Parisian parklet). Be sure to ask for restaurant, cafe and gallery suggestions since the hotel's team will be all too ready to share their nearby favorites.

Designer Laura Gonzalez's decor mixes whimsy and elegance with touches like mixed-and-matched wallpaper (think: eye-trickling whorls, sylvan scenes and more) in the individually designed rooms and public spaces. Also expect twinkling crystal-and-gilt chandeliers and Carrara marble bathrooms.

Though there's no restaurant, guests can tuck into breakfast in one of the former abbey vaults (others house the hotel's Guerlain-branded spa) or order a cappuccino among other options to enjoy in the lavish living room just past reception where, on cold days, the purple couches flanking a roaring fireplace are the spot to be. If it's nice out, borrow one of the property's bikes for a self-guided tour along the nearby Seine.

Rates at Relais Christine start at 495 euros ($523) per night.

When it comes to pedigrees, few hotels in Paris have a better one than La Reserve. Its building was designed as a private home in 1854 by Baron Haussmann, the architect behind much of modern Paris as we know it today.

Far from stuffy or drab, the hotel welcomes guests with a profusion of colors and textures thanks to hotel designer extraordinaire Jacques Garcia's typically exuberant vision. Cushy sofas and armchairs upholstered in jewel-toned velvet and finely patterned silk wallpaper are the norm, as are antique wooden bureaus and armoires decorated with delicate marquetry. Suites include butler service, and some even have working fireplaces for that homey touch.

Though the ambience at Le Gabriel, the hotel's two-Michelin-starred fine-dining restaurant helmed by chef Jerome Banctel, is somewhat staid, the menus are anything but and include, notably, prix-fixe options for vegetarians. La Pagode de Cos serves breakfast and less-formal meals with more international flair in its bright dining room or out on the sunny terrace, while the wood-paneled and velvet-draped Duc de Morny Library bar is a premier power lunch spot.

The Spa at La Reserve , meanwhile, offers everything from manicures, pedicures and massages to facials with Swiss anti-aging Nescens products and longer "rituals" that include healthy nonalcoholic cocktails created specially by chef Banctel.

Rates at La Reserve Paris — Hotel and Spa start at 1,700 euros ($1,795) per night.

Le Bristol has been a favorite among Paris' fashionable set and visiting Hollywood stars since it opened in 1925, but it's looking better than ever thanks to a multiyear renovation at the hands of German-based luxury hotel company, the Oetker Collection, that was completed a few years ago.

Still the place to see and be seen, the central garden was completely reconceived by landscape designer Lady Arabella Lennox-Boyd, who selected flora indigenous to the Paris region, including native grasses and those famous beech trees, for her geometrically laid-out vision, along with colorful blooms like tulips, narcissus and white bougainvillea.

The 190 distinct rooms and suites are all about letting in the light, with pale palettes of pink and blue, classic Louis XVI-style chairs and benches, and tinkling crystal chandeliers overhead. Some have garden views, while others have balconies overlooking the central garden and are shaded by unmistakable candy cane-striped awnings.

Afternoon tea in Cafe Antonia is a finely orchestrated, not-to-miss affair, and drinks in the moody Le Bar du Bristol, with a dramatically lit moonscape overlooking the curio-stuffed space, is a perfect start to the evening before a memorable dinner at chef Eric Frechon's three-Michelin-starred Epicure. Menu highlights include specialties like wild-caught sole stuffed with chanterelles and cooked with lemon, thyme and mussel jus before a cream glaze to finish.

Work off those calories in the sixth-floor indoor rooftop pool, which has been decorated to resemble a jolly yachting party. Then, enjoy a treatment at Spa Le Bristol by La Prairie (where all-natural Tata Harper products are used).

Rates at Le Bristol Paris start at 2,332 euros ($2,463) per night.

Following successful J.K. installations in Rome, Milan, Capri and Florence, Italy (the latter of which is currently being transformed into a new concept), this burgeoning boutique chain opened its first non-Italian property in Paris in 2020 — and in poured the rave reviews.

Housed in three connected buildings, the hotel has just 29 rooms and suites for a truly intimate ambience that feels like visiting the Paris home of an eccentric relative thanks to designer Michele Bönan's eclectic mix of flea market finds, vintage prints, 20th-century paintings, statuary from around the globe and sleek, midcentury furniture pieces. (Hopefully, that relative left you a room in the will.)

Speaking of rooms, sashay up the dramatic curved staircase to find yours, most likely an oasis all in white with spotless walls and linens, though perhaps with silver-gray, purple or patterned carpets and a work desk or breakfast table in light-grain wood with colorful chairs to match. Bathrooms with light and dark stone tiling and chrome fixtures are the final word.

Stay active at the small but well-equipped gym or by doing a few laps at the indoor pool, then book a Dr. Barbara Sturm beauty treatment at the spa to restore that je ne sais quoi to your skin after a long flight. No visit would be complete without inviting friends over for the hearty northern Italian fare served under the peaked glass ceiling at Casa Tua.

Rates at J.K. Place Paris start at 850 euros ($898) per night.

You might recognize the undulating stone facade and distinctive red awnings of Hotel Plaza Athenee from "The Devil Wears Prada." No wonder fashionistas flock here, as its location on Avenue Montaigne means it's flanked by the flagship stores of luxury labels like Louis Vuitton, Prada and Dior.

So, what better place to refresh after a shopping spree than with a light lunch at the leafy La Cour Jardin, where many dishes are plant-based, or with a snack and a cocktail at La Terrasse Montaigne as you people-watch? Le Bar pulls drinking into the space age with a translucent resin bar counter and a spectacular ceiling installation of swirling fabric in Yves Klein blue (not to mention an unmatched collection of Dom Perignon releases). A meal at Michelin-starred Jean Imbert au Plaza Athenee feels like dining at Versailles thanks to the classic decor and menus that showcase the most gourmet ingredients from around France.

Like the public spaces, rooms come in a mix of updated styles ranging from classical French to modernized art deco (so tell the hotel if you have a preference), though you'll find similarities no matter which accommodation you book, including high-end Beltrami linens and marble-lined bathrooms stocked with Guerlain toiletries.

If you don't get your steps in exploring the city, there's also a fitness center to aid in maintaining your fitness regimen. Save time for a visit to the Dior Spa, too, to get those sore muscles massaged.

Rates at Hotel Plaza Athenee start at 2,050 euros ($2,165) per night.

Le Meurice has been welcoming international travelers since it opened — albeit in a different location than its current one on the rue de Rivoli across from the Tuileries Garden — in 1815, so it's often considered one of the first luxury hotels in Paris. Whereas that long history might lead some to languish, Le Meurice still sets the standard for French luxury, hitting all the right notes.

Part of what sets Le Meurice apart from the pack is that it attracted some of the brightest luminaries of the 20th-century art world, including Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí and Andy Warhol. That heritage is evident throughout thanks to the hotel's excellent art collection (should you not get your fill of art browsing Paris' museums, that is) and playful allusions to various artists in the decor that Philippe Starck and daughter Ara unveiled after the hotel's last refurbishment in 2016 (they'd also done the previous version in 2007).

Even the smallest rooms measure up at more than 320 square feet, which is more than generous by Paris standards. They feature Italian marble bathrooms you might not want to leave, as they're outfitted with powerful rainfall showers and Maison Francis Kurkidjian toiletries.

Of course, after you clean up, you can always traipse down to Restaurant Le Dali for a refined repast of French classics (95% of the ingredients are sourced locally), La Patisserie du Meurice par Cedric Grolet for a handmade gourmandise or two-Michelin-starred Restaurant Le Meurice Alain Ducasse for a full-on feast at master chef Alain Ducasse's rococo-styled eatery.

Renowned Swiss skincare brand Valmont also has a spa here. Treatments feature names like "Purity of the Alps" and "Reflections on a Frozen Lake" and are guaranteed to make your skin look like you've just had a refreshing sojourn in the mountains.

Rates at Le Meurice start at 1,780 euros ($1,880) per night.

Part of luxury conglomerate LVMH's nearly billion-dollar restoration of La Samaritaine, a massive art nouveau gem on the banks of the Seine that was once one of the world's most famous department stores, this 72-key hotel took up residence in an adjacent art deco beauty and has been wowing well-heeled crowds ever since its 2021 opening.

Nearly all the rooms overlook Paris' timeless river, though some boast Louvre views as well. All have a pared-down yet cozy aesthetic that pairs soft-touch fabrics with high-gloss stone and wood finishes. The bathrooms, tiled in striated marble with deep soaking tubs and walk-in hammam showers, have custom "Parisian Chic" toiletries, as well as 24-hour "Majordome," or butler, service.

Many of the most interesting places in Paris are underground, and the Dior Spa here (which was the first in the world) is no exception, with just six treatment rooms and a panoply of salubrious experiences on offer. There are also a Rossano Ferretti Salon to help you look your best for any red-carpet commitments and a stunning 98-foot curved infinity pool with a digital wall artistically depicting life passing by along the Seine outside.

The hotel's four food and beverage outlets include the seafood-focused Italian fine-dining hot spot Langosteria Restaurant and the art deco Le Tout-Paris Restaurant, where casual French bistro fare and phenomenal cocktails are served alongside sublime skyline views. For exceptional cuisine, secure a reservation at the hotel's three-Michelin-starred restaurant Plenitude, where chef Arnaud Donckele serves several fancifully titled tasting menus like "Sail away together," where dishes focus on the changing seasons ... with multiple wine pairings available, of course.

Rates at Cheval Blanc Paris start at 1,748 euros ($1,846) per night.

Le Roch Hotel & Spa (pronounced "rock," if you were wondering) is situated just off chi-chi Place Vendome and a stone's throw away from the Tuileries Garden, yet it couldn't feel less stuck-up or touristy. Sure, there's high design, but there's also a cozy feel to its 37 rooms and tucked-away spaces, including a cushy library, that seem to say "welcome home."

The hotel is the brainchild of Parisian designer Sarah Lavoine and reflects her sensibilities of individually designed spaces with telltale signatures, such as the Moroccan-style zellige tiles (in which no two are glazed or fired exactly the same) in the accommodations' bathrooms, many of which feature hammam-style shower-bath suites. Rooms also come in five different color schemes to suit your mood, so choose carefully, though you'll find some similar elements of white and sailor blue throughout.

There is a fitness center and a spa, the latter of which houses a relaxation pool and offers treatments by French beauty brand Codage. Guests can order bespoke products for their personal skincare needs to be delivered within a day or two.

Chef Serge Jouanin proposes daily changing specials accompanied by paired wines or cocktails in the bar and traditional French cuisine in intriguing contemporary arrangements in the hotel's Le Roch Restaurant & Bar.

Rates at Le Roch Hotel & Spa start at 460 euros ($486) or 70,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night.

The Place des Vosges is one of Paris' most historic and picturesque squares, as it features carefully manicured lawns and geometrically arranged paths bordered by imposing but warm red-brick buildings. One of those edifices houses the gorgeous Pavillon de la Reine & Spa like a treasure hidden in plain sight ... past a tunnel, heavy iron gates and a private garden, that is.

Each of the 56 rooms and suites is individually decorated, with anything from colorful Missoni-style throws and wallpaper reminiscent of tree bark to half-timbered suites with amber-colored velvet vignettes.

The convivial Michelin-starred restaurant Anne, with a library-like interior and a sun-drenched patio, serves a small selection of upscale eats, such as Brittany blue lobster with foie gras tortellini and flash-fried prawns.

As for wellness, there's a small gym, a hammam and a Jacuzzi area, plus the Spa de la Reine by Codage , which has just two treatment rooms. Guests can create their own skincare regimen with French brand Codage.

Rates at Le Pavillon de la Reine & Spa start at 582 euros ($622) or 35,000 World of Hyatt points per night.

IHG's Kimpton brand is fast expanding its European footprint, as evidenced by the addition of properties like the spectacular Kimpton St Honore in Paris' 2nd Arrondissement. Situated just around the corner from the ornate Opera Garnier, this stunning hotel features a colorful belle epoque facade (it used to be a luxury department store) that offers a hint at the whimsy in store for guests in the public spaces and accommodations dreamed up by Paris-based interior designer Charles Zana.

Taking inspiration from the historic building's bones and art deco design, the 123 rooms and 26 suites showcase simple but eye-catching palettes of white and taupe on the walls and linens, plus pops of color from various furniture pieces and throw pillows. A modicum of brushed brass helps keep the spaces light and airy while drawing the eye outside.

Like Kimptons the world over, this one is pet-friendly, and there's a slight focus on fitness, so you'll find the chain's signature yoga mats in the rooms in addition to a decent fitness center that includes workout equipment and a small spa area.

Come at sunset for phenomenal views at the rooftop Sequoia bar during spring and summer. Otherwise, grab a California-inspired meal at Montecito, where the menu includes dishes like langoustine tostadas and Oaxacan-style carne asada.

Rates at the Kimpton St Honore Paris start at 347 euros ($367) or 77,000 IHG One Rewards points per night.

Anchoring Paris' so-called "Golden Triangle" (the neighborhood was so named because of its upper-crust inhabitants and the luxury boutiques that line its streets), the George V is a much-loved Paris landmark, as notable for its famous guests as for its appearances in film and popular culture.

The hotel's three restaurants can claim five Michelin stars among them, including three-Michelin-starred Le Cinq , where over-the-top menus are served under a massive chandelier and delivered with a smile and a perfectly scripted recitation of the quality and provenance of each and every ingredient; and the one-star L'Orangerie , where patrons can enjoy a leisurely lunch over specialties like langoustine seared in its own juices and adorned with citrus and olive oil foam.

Notable designer Pierre-Yves Rochon recently restyled the 159 spacious guest rooms and 59 suites, drawing inspiration from the extravagant style of Louis XVI's court. Expect trompe l'oeil ceilings, crystal chandeliers and silk and damask furnishings for an effect that feels opulent yet understated.

Also recently renewed, the spa features an expanded fitness studio complete with a digital wall displaying nature scenes. Available treatments include massages, skincare rituals and facials using Dr. Burgener products.

Rates at the Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris start at 1,885 euros ($1,990) per night.

Hotel Madame Reve's self-styling as an "unedited experience" feels more than a little ironic on two counts. First, it's housed in a landmark Haussmanian former post office building where one can imagine anguished-over epistles making their way between doomed lovers. The second is that every space, amenity and artwork (of which there are over 800) at the hotel seems to have been carefully thought out.

Whether it's the 82 rooms and suites with their mix of tan leather furniture and black-onyx desks, postal-themed area rugs, burnished wooden floors and panorama windows; or a wellness center that's a paragon of pared-down Nordic simplicity proffering not-to-miss treatments like a Mauritian sugar body scrub with honey, vanilla and hazelnut accents ... this feels like anything but a first draft.

Although Paris is home to some of the world's best restaurants, you might still want to plan an evening in to sample the contemporary Japanese-French fare at the garden-like, top-floor La Plume (the Canadian lobster hot pot is a hit). There's no wrong time to dine at the all-day ground-floor Kitchen, where chef Stephanie Le Quelle (whose other restaurant La Scene, has two Michelin stars) serves a mix of French classics and healthy fare in bustling high-ceilinged space reminiscent of Paris' opulent but earthy bouillons.

Rates at Hotel Madame Reve start at 570 euros ($603) per night.

For a city whose beating heart is the Seine, few hotels are actually located right along the river. But that's exactly what makes the SO/ Paris so alluring. The hotel was redeveloped from a striking 1950s office building by Pritzker Architecture Prize-winning David Chipperfield at the edge of the trendy 4th Arrondissement, drawing inspiration from the city itself (the front door's concentric metal rings are meant to evoke ripples on the surface of the Seine as well as the ornate metalwork on some of Paris's Belle Epoque edifices) and the world of fashion, including uniforms designed by Guillaume Henry.

The lobby appears like a dramatically lit forest of curviform pillars framing avant-garde works of art by Neil Beiloufa. The 140 rooms and 22 suites, meanwhile, are minimalist mod-chic courtesy of design by RDAI, with simple wooden screens, colorful Scandic furniture pieces and bathrooms tiled in glossy pink marble stocked with Codage bath products (there's also a Codage spa downstairs).

There's a cozy lobby cafe for espressos and snacks during the day, and aperitifs in the evening, but the real action is up on the top floor at 60s- and 70s-inspired Bonnie, which includes a restaurant, terrace and bar, not to mention a dramatic, whorling mirrored ceiling installation by Olafur Eliasson and a menu of French classics like sole meuniere that perfectly complement the postcard-worthy views.

Rates at SO/ Paris start at 348 euros ($367) per night.

"Chouchou" is a term of endearment in French, and this little boutique hideaway in the shadow of the Opera Garnier certainly is endearing. It has just 63 rooms divided into seven categories that range from space-conscious, 140-square-foot singles up to the L'arrache suite, which has opera views, a small library of books and a turntable with records in case you want to pretend you're throwing a party back in the city's 1960s countercultural heyday. All have distinctly French touches like parquet floors, biostase beauty products and bathrooms clad in glazed tiles reminiscent of a Metro station.

Bar Guignette is a lively spot for congenial cocktails with live performances by local artists Thursday-Sunday, while Food Market serves casual seasonal fare for lunch and dinner that might include favorites like Basque small bites and Camembert croquettes.

The hotel's standout feature, however, has to be its three lavish, private baths, which are kitted out in various takes on a 70s resort-chic with wicker peacock chairs and luminaria-style lanterns as well as drinks service. After all, why should you have to get dressed to get a drink?

Rates at Chouchou Hotel start at 225 euros ($238) per night.

Designer Jacques Garcia's signature style is instantly recognizable thanks to sumptuous textiles, jewel tones and busy but not overwrought patterns, so those in the know will easily spot his work at this respectably risque Montmartre bolthole, which was once a Belle Epoque brothel.

Today, the ambience in its 20 rooms and suites is decidedly more refined, though no less hedonistic. Each is named after a famous courtesan and decorated in unique styles ranging from Japanese and Chinese to the rarefied salons of Napoleon III's era. Cheeky touches include heart-framed, fringed bedside lamps and sculptural Baroque headboards, as well as silk wallpapering depicting various sylvan scenes and lavish black-tiled baths.

Make time for small bites and cocktails (which are also named after famous ladies of the night) at the boudoir-like bar, with its neo-classical wood-paneled walls and garnet-hued velvet chairs and poufs. Then wind down with a steam in the spa's hammam or a dip in its swimming pool, which glistens beneath a ceiling painted in cobalt blue with sparkling golden stars.

Rates at Maison Souquet start at 450 euros ($475) per night.

Latin Quarter luxury hotels are few and far between, but this unique upstart manages to walk the line between the area's artsy heritage and upscale present, all while staying relatively tucked away from the tourists thronging nearby streets.

Designer Raphael Nadot transformed a once-drab 1950s building (its somewhat Brutalist facade is now dramatically lit to somehow feel both imposing and welcoming) into an effortlessly chic accommodation. The 109 rooms and suites, which range from 132-320 square feet, lean into natural colors and textures like cream, taupe and bamboo, and contoured bath tiling reminiscent of photo film canisters that you can ponder while soaping up with the provided Diptyque products.

Guests can stay fit in the small wellness center or borrow electric bikes to explore the city. At the midcentury modern restaurant, chef Othoniel Alvarez Castaneda blends Mexican flavors with high-end French products to create innovative dishes like Brittany oysters with yuzukosho, fig and guajillo chili oil.

The showstopper, however, is the seasonal rooftop bar, where it seems all of Paris comes to play while the weather is fine, downing drinks like the Uno Mas with tequila, lime, agave, cardamom, salt and sage as the city's lights illuminate each evening.

Rates at Hotel Dame des Arts start at 340 euros ($360) per night.

The best credit cards for booking hotels in Paris

There are over a dozen excellent travel rewards credit cards out there for hotel stays. The right one(s) for you will depend on if you're loyal to a particular program or chain, whether you want premium perks, and if you value benefits like annual free nights , automatic elite status and lucrative earning rates.

Here are three great credit cards to use for booking stays across a variety of hotel chains and independent properties while still enjoying money-saving features and high-end benefits.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

Earning rates: This card earns 5 points per dollar on airfare purchased directly with the airlines or through the Amex Travel portal (on up to $500,000 of airfare purchases per calendar year). Plus, you'll earn 5 points per dollar on prepaid hotels booked with Amex Travel. All other purchases earn 1 point per dollar. Remember, Amex points transfer to Hilton Honors at a 1:2 ratio, to Marriott Bonvoy at a 1:1 ratio and to Choice Privileges at a 1:1 ratio, and there are sometimes transfer bonuses.

Benefits: This card is absolutely packed with perks, but among the travel-related ones you'll want to maximize, including some hotel-specific benefits, are:

  • Up to a $200 annual hotel credit , in the form of a statement credit, on prepaid Amex Fine Hotels + Resorts or The Hotel Collection bookings with Amex Travel when you pay with your Amex Platinum (Hotel Collection stays require a two-night minimum).*
  • Access to Amex Fine Hotels + Resorts and The Hotel Collection .
  • Complimentary Gold status with Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy .*
  • Up to $200 in statement credits annually for incidental fees charged by one airline you select.*
  • Up to $200 annually in Uber Cash , valid on Uber rides and Uber Eats orders in the U.S. (split into monthly $15 credits plus a $20 bonus in December).*
  • Up to $189 in statement credits to cover your Clear Plus annual membership .*
  • A $100 statement credit for Global Entry every four years or an up-to-$85 fee credit for TSA PreCheck every 4 1/2 years (depending on which application fee is charged to your card first).
  • Access to the American Express Global Lounge Collection , including Centurion lounges , Priority Pass lounges, Airspace lounges, Escape lounges, Plaza Premium lounges and Delta Sky Clubs (when traveling on same-day Delta flights, limited to six annual visits from Feb. 1, 2025).*

*Enrollment is required for select benefits.

Annual fee: $695 (see rates and fees ).

Read our review of the Amex Platinum card .

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

Earning rates: Earn an unlimited 10 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel , 5 miles per dollar on flights booked through Capital One Travel and an unlimited 2 miles per dollar on all other purchases.

Benefits: Cardholders get $300 back in credits annually for bookings made through Capital One Travel, plus 10,000 bonus miles every account anniversary, starting on your first anniversary (worth $100 toward travel). Through the Capital One Premier Collection , cardmembers can enjoy free breakfast, on-property credits and room upgrades (if available) on stays at participating properties booked through Capital One Travel. They also receive up to $100 in statement credits for either TSA PreCheck or Global Entry .

Annual fee: $395 (see rates and fees ).

Read our review of the Capital One Venture X .

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

Earning rates: This card accrues 5 points per dollar on travel booked through the Chase travel portal , on Lyft purchases (through March 2025) and on Peloton equipment and accessory purchases of $150 or more (through March 2025, with a limit of 25,000 bonus points). It also racks up 3 points per dollar on dining, select streaming services and online grocery store purchases (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs); 2 points per dollar on all travel not booked through the Chase travel portal; and 1 point per dollar on everything else.

Benefits: Cardholders receive a $50 statement credit on hotel stays purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal upon opening the card and each following cardmember anniversary. They also receive a 10% bonus based on their total spending during the account anniversary year at a rate of 1 point for each $10 spent. This card also has some of the best travel protections in the industry, including trip cancellation insurance , trip delay insurance and primary rental car coverage , among other policies.

Annual fee: $95.

Read our review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred .

  • From basic economy to first class — here are 3 ways to do Paris on points
  • Book this, not that: Getting the most from your hotel points in Paris
  • 11 things I learned during my trip to Paris
  • How to spend 48 hours in Paris

For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum, click here .

Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.



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French phrases for travel: All you need to know about French hotels

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A lot of our students here at LingoCulture are looking to learn some basic French phrases for travel. And why not, since even knowing a bit of French travel vocab can take you far! With this in mind, in today’s post we’ll focus on how to navigate hotels in French .

Before we even get into vocab, we’ll start out by introducing the main types of lodging  that you’ll encounter in France. Once you know your French lodging options, then we’ll get into the details on French hotels. We’ll look at what to expect in a typical hotel room , and then get into all the essential French hotel vocab  so you can manage each step of your stay.

So whether you’re looking for a dorm bed in a hostel, or luxury suite at a five-star hotel, read on for all the necessary French travel phrases and vocabulary for hotels!

We’ll just warn you that this post is super long but filled with useful info, so you may want to bookmark it for quick reference whenever you’re booking a French hotel or even for while you’re checking in. Don’t worry, everything is organized with easy headings so you can find what you’re looking for!

What types of lodging are there in France?

Today’s lesson is all about hotel vocabulary, but these French travel phrases can be just as useful if you stay at the other types of lodging found in the country. Before we get into our sections on vocab, let’s just see what options we have for hotels in France.

We’ll start with the common French lodging options where international travelers are likely to stay, and then move on to the other ones which cater more to domestic or regional vacationers. If you’re planning on spending a significant amount of time in France it’s a good idea to consider broadening your French hotel options beyond the standard fare, while also knowing the details of what each one entails!

Un hostel, Un auberge collective

You’re probably familiar with hostels . This word has been adopted into French, essentially replacing the older concept of youth hostel, or auberge de jeunesse . Today, the formal term is un auberge collective , but everyone just calls it un hostel . Even the English pronunciation is maintained, with the aspirated h !

Hostels  offer accommodation by the bed rather than by the room. Beds are distributed in dormitories, sometimes segregated by gender. Bathrooms might be in the rooms, though often it’s necessary to leave your room and access them from the hallway. There’s usually a decent common area where travelers can meet and hang out, and group activities or excursions are often organized by hostel staff. Many hostels offer breakfast, and some even have bars or restaurants.

Hostels  are a great option for meeting other travelers, especially when traveling solo. They’re also among the most affordable options in most French cities. Paris is overflowing with hostel options, while some smaller cities may only have one or two. If you’re ok with trading some privacy for a reasonable price and a chance at some social interaction, give hostels a try.

This is exactly the same thing you’re familiar with in English. Un hôtel  generally has a reception, a bunch of private rooms that you can rent by the night, and any assortment of additional amenities.

Big hotel chains are ubiquitous across France, but there’s also an amazing variety of locally-owned hotels that often have a lot of history and character. In fact, approximately 80% of French hotels are independently owned !

Hôtels all have a few basics that are ubiquitous across the entire category: the rooms are private, linens and basic bathroom products are provided, and a cleaning service is included in the price. From there, every establishment can offer its own selection of additional services.

French hôtels are rated based on a scale of five stars , with three stars being the average for a hotel that’s clean, comfortable, and relatively affordable. Two-star hotels are often just fine too, but with older décor and maybe smaller rooms or a lack of modern nicities like elevators or decent soundproofing. Four-star hotels are more sumptuous, with the price tag to match. Only about 3.5% of French hotels have five stars.

Other meanings of Hôtel in French

Since our post today is all about French hotels, it’s important to point out that the French word hôtel  also has a couple of related meanings that are unrelated to renting out rooms to travelers.

The first is an administrative building, so the hôtel de ville , for example, is where you’ll go to access many city services, while the hôtel de région  is the administrative headquarters for a region.

The other use of the French hôtel  is for a grand private residence, generally referred to as un hôtel particulier .

The head attendant at such a residence is known as the maître d’hôtel . The English equivalent would be traditionally have been head butler . The title of maître d’hôtel  is now more common at fancy restaurants, referring to the head of service  or even lead purser . This use of the word has been adopted into English in a truncated form, as simply maître d’ .

Un meublé de tourisme

This is the formal name for a self-contained home that’s rented out short-term to tourists. This formula took off with the advent of Airbnb, and it’s flourished on a number of other platforms in the meantime. The category of un meublé de tourisme  therefore now encompasses houses and apartments from Paris to Provence.

Just like anywhere, the quality of these lodgings can vary wildly from one to another. Local rules and regulations keep evolving in response to a number of factors, so even the hosts might not always know if they’re within the latest legal framework . Nonetheless, renting a home from a local often provides a great taste of the local neighborhood while contributing to their livelihood.

Be careful, since historic French approaches to renting out vacation homes have spilled over onto the international booking platforms. Old-school hosts may still insist that guests bring their own bedding, for example, or do 100% of the cleaning. Don’t get caught by surprise if you’re not traveling around France with your own pillows and sheets!

Une résidence de tourisme, Un appart-hôtel

This is sort of a combination of the previous two concepts. It’s not a hotel, in that there are often no common amenities and even the reception only keeps sporadic business hours. But it’s a whole building of individual bare-bones apartments rented out solely to short-term guests.

There are often seemingly-arbitrary rules that potential guests need to respect, and securing a reservation may be overly complicated, but staying in an appartement-hôtel  is often a good option in a French city for the extra space and private amenities each unit offers. And unlike most meublés de tourisme , they’re run professionally  like hôtels . So, as long as you read the fine print, you shouldn’t have any unexpected surprises.

Chez l’habitant

This is a classic French term for staying with a local inhabitant . In older English, you might have said that the hosts would take boarders . This practice still exists in France for relatively short-term stays, but it’s still fairly common for students or others who need a few months to figure out a longer-term lodging option.

When you stay chez l’habitant , you won’t forget that you’re really staying in somebody else’s home. You may have your own room, and you can use the bathroom and maybe even have access to the kitchen or other spaces sometimes, but don’t make yourself too at home.

This historical French concept of staying chez l’habitant  has permeated contemporary interpretations of shared lodgings on platforms like Airbnb. So although the context is obviously unique with each individual host, don’t be surprised if there’s not much of a wider welcome beyond your bedroom if you choose to stay in a shared dwelling in France.

Chambres d’hôtes

This was the welcoming version of staying with hosts before Airbnb shook things up. France actually had a very vibrant network of chambres d’hôtes  throughout the country, whose charm indeed came directly from the hosts, or hôtes . The English equivalent was a bed and breakfast , or B&B .

By definition , a chambre d’hôtes  can have just a handful of private rooms for guests, and the hosts must also live on-site. Breakfast is always included as part of the overnight stay, usually served family-style to all of the guests together and often including homemade breads and jams and other local fare.

Chambres d’hôtes  are traditionally passion projects by their owners, often in historic manor houses or even châteaux. They cater more to reflective getaways among couples looking for charm and history, as opposed to simply serving as a place to sleep. Expect to hear the story of the building and the grounds from your host, and to engage in conversation with the other couples around the breakfast table.

Chambres d’hôtes  are still present in today’s French hotel landscape, but they’ve clearly been diluted over the past couple of decades as global online booking platforms mixed them in with all the other overnight options. They may still be found on those platforms, but doing specific searches for chambres d’hôtes  is a better bet if this is the sort of getaway that you’re looking for.

A gîte  is a vacation home, usually in some picturesque natural environment. The term has been used more broadly to encompass small hotels, but in general it should be thought of as an individual house to accommodate guests who have the whole place to themselves for the duration of their stay. Think of it as a cottage rental.

In many cases, single gîtes  are owned by a single person or family, so they’re each very unique. Traditionally, finding out about a good gîte  to rent for your vacation relied a lot on word of mouth, with the best ones always fully booked anyway. Online platforms have changed this landscape over the past decades, but other old practices remain.

It’s still very common to pay a non-refundable deposit upon reserving the gîte , and to sign a detailed contract describing the obligations of both the renters and the owners. It’s rare to rent gîtes  by the night or even the weekend in high season, with weekly rentals being the norm. And be clear on what’s included or not: it’s common that guests are still required to bring all their own linens, and sometimes even their own kitchen tools. A thorough cleaning may also be obligatory upon departure, since cleaning is rarely included. If there are energy-intensive facilities such as a hot tub or a fireplace, it’s likely that their use is subject to an additional fee too.

French gîtes  remain a classic option for families and groups of friends looking for a week-long lodging option for a vacation in nature. And what’s the difference between un gîte  and a chambre d’hôte in France? You’re on your own in a gîte , whereas the warm welcome provided by the hosts is a big part of staying at a chambre d’hôte . (Note that in Québec, however, un gîte touristique  actually follows the French definition of a chambre d’hôte !)

Gîte d’étape

In our previous explanation, we alluded to the fact that the term gîte  is often used for other types of lodging than a cottage rental. Pay attention to the descriptions offered by anyone offering a gîte  to make sure it aligns with what you’re looking for! Aside from small rural hotels that call themselves gîtes , the other common type of lodging that uses the term is the gîte d’étape .

Gîtes d’étape  have their origins in pilgrimage routes. Étape  here translates as stage , signifying the distance the pilgrims usually travel in one day. The gîtes d’étape form a network along pilgrimage routes where, at the end of each day’s travel, pilgrims could look forward to a place to shelter for the night. These are still often run by religious orders, especially along the popular pilgrimage routes leading to Santiago-de-Compostela.

Don’t expect much luxury if you stay at a gîte d’étape , but expect a lot of authenticity. You’ll likely be staying in a big same-sex dormitory with a bunch of other long-distance hikers, and it’s possible that you’ll be invited to join the whole group for a simple dinner around long banquet tables. Expect to pitch in at mealtime; there is no wait staff to serve you, but rather a handful of veterans directing you. Breakfast and check-out are often timed with the sun, so don’t plan on sleeping in.

This sort of gîte d’étape  is aimed at a particular clientèle: their mission is to facilitate the progress of travelers walking across the country for weeks or even months. Amenities are spartan, but so are the prices. If you show up in a car, it’s possible that you’ll pay extra fees or even be denied custom. But if you’re crossing France on your own power, whether as a religious pilgrim, a secular hiker, or even a cycle tourer, these historic gîtes d’étapes  are a very suitable option.

Finally, as we’ve mentioned several times now with the term gîte , the concept of un gîte d’étape  has gradually been adopted by other types of lodging than what we’ve just described here. Many establishments describe themselves as gîtes d’étapes  when they cater to long-distance road trippers who need to stop driving for the night too. These still probably have plenty of charm as well!

In France, un camping  is a type of rustic all-inclusive resort popular with families in summer destinations. The lodging on offer is usually a stand-alone minimalist prefabricated building, known affectionately as un mobil-home , with a master bedroom, a basic kitchen, some bunk beds or a fold-out sofa, and a functional bathroom. There’s always an outdoor terrasse. They’re usually rented by the week, they often don’t include linens or even dishes, and the guests need to do the cleaning before they leave.

The cheapest lodging options at campings  don’t have plumbing, so guests use the common toilet and shower facilities known as des blocs sanitaires (just bring your own toilet paper!). This is also the solution for anyone with a recreational vehicle, known as un camping car , since many campings  don’t have direct water and drain hookups. Still, it’s frequent to have access to an electric outlet for your van, as well as a wastewater dump point somewhere on the camping grounds.

At any camping  there are often activities for kids during the days and evenings, there’s usually a restaurant or two along with a bar for the parents, and beaches or amusement parks are inevitably nearby. Les campings  are a huge part of the summer vacation scene across France, catering almost exclusively to families.

If you just want to pitch a tent somewhere, you’ll need to go to un camping . Rates for tent camping are usually very reasonable, and you still get access to the amenities. Wild camping in France is not very straightforward like in some countries. Wild parking for camper vans is everywhere though!

Un village de vacances

Un village de vacances  is similar in concept to un camping , but in buildings that are more durable than mobil-homes . We won’t go so far as to consider it a resort in the English-language sense, because it’s not exactly about luxury. But just like un camping , it’s a big site with all the amenities to sleep and eat and relax and keep the kids entertained, usually in a beautiful setting.

Un refuge de montagne

Normally, you can’t drive to a refuge de montagne . These are relatively rustic mountain lodges, high in the mountains at key intervals throughout France’s vast network of mountain trails. It takes some planning to know where the refuges are and how to reserve each one, but it’s worth it!

In general, des refuges  have a handful of rooms with a bunch of bunk beds, and a big common room with picnic tables. There may be some running water or cooking infrastructure, depending on the refuge. There’s usually also a gear room. Toilets are often in outhouses. In national parks , the only place where it’s permitted to pitch a tent is in the vicinity of the refuges.

In peak summer hiking season, most such refuges are staffed. You should still try to reserve your stay at these refuges gardés  ahead of time, because they’re often at capacity. When staffed, you can usually buy cooked meals and sometimes even other luxuries like cold beer. They usually offer breakfast and picnic lunches as well.

In the off-season, some refuges are locked up entirely, while others are left open for the use of hikers. These refuges non-gardés  still often have basics like running water, cooking gas, and firewood for the stove, but it depends on the refuge.

Regardless of whether you visit a refuge gardé  or non-gardé , you should plan to bring your own sleeping bag. There may be a blanket on each bed, and maybe even a pillow. Do your research ahead of time.

Prices for spending the night in a refuge  vary, but are quite reasonable compared with hotels in the city. Payment is often expected even if you sleep in your tent next to the refuge, or if you just spend an hour there making some hot tea. Try to bring cash with the right change, especially for the refuges non-gardés where you slip your payment into a box in an envelope.

Refuges de montagne  are a very particular category of lodging in France, and they’re a key part of the travel infrastructure for exploring the mountain regions!

Un hébergement insolite

This isn’t a specific type of French lodging, but rather a category that the French like to bestow on certain lodging options. Un hébergement insolite  can be translated simply as an unusual lodging option , but really, the weirder the better. We’ve chosen to include it in our list because it’s a fairly popular badge of honor that some establishments use to differentiate themselves!

Examples of hébergements insolites  could be a treehouse, a cave dwelling, a clear geodesic dome, a lighthouse, or a windmill, to name a few. Houseboats are often also lumped into this category too, though they’re not necessarily that unusual.

If you’re looking for something out of the ordinary, un hébergement insolite  is probably what you’ll end up with. Just make sure you’re still getting the basics you’ll want for a comfortable stay, since some such options seem to forgo the essentials in the quest for uniqueness!

French hotel rooms: What to expect

On the one hand, you can expect hotel rooms in France to be similar to hotel rooms anywhere else in the world. This is certainly the case in a lot of ways, but there are some subtle differences between French hotel rooms and those in other places like North America, for example. With this in mind, let’s just go over a few of the unique details you can expect from a French hotel.

How many beds in a French hotel room?

A comfortable sleeping arrangement is obviously the fundamental reason for renting a hotel room. But how many beds are in a French hotel room? Unlike in North America, where many hotel rooms have two big beds by default, hotel rooms in France just have one bed .

Sometimes the establishment will offer the option between two single beds  or one double bed . In this case, it’s because the one bed is actually made of two single beds pushed together , and the only thing that changes is the choice of sheets. When you choose two single beds, this often also involves a slight separation between the two beds so that the two travel companions aren’t sleeping face to face. However, in many cases the beds aren’t even separated physically because the headboard and bedside tables are affixed to the wall.

Keep this in mind if you’re considering sharing a hotel room with your mom, your brother, or your colleague, or if you’ve signed up for a group tour in France where you’re sharing a room with another traveler on the tour! Sure, you each have your own comforter, but the space between the beds is often insufficient to even walk between.

If you’re looking for a room with two double beds, American-style, you’ll need to search for a group room  or a family room . Since it’s possible to sleep four people in such a room, or to accommodate four couchages  in French, this arrangement will never be proposed if you’re just looking to share a room between two people.

How big are beds in French hotel rooms?

The concept of a king-size  bed does not exist in France. Bed sizes are generally noted by their width in centimeters , though single beds are often also called twin .

If you book a single room , you may indeed find just a single twin bed  in your room, at 90cm wide. Hopefully you weren’t planning on inviting someone back to your room for the night! Frequently you’ll nonetheless end up with a double bed when you travel solo, but double-check ahead of time if you think you might want to share your bed after all.

A room for two will usually have a bed that’s 140cm or 160cm, corresponding to the American double  and queen-size .

In hotels where they furnish their rooms with pushed-together single beds in case clients ask for separate beds, the individual single beds are either 80cm or 90cm. In this case, the full-sized bed for two will be either 160cm or 180cm, corresponding to the American queen-size  and king-size .

In hotels where the bed size is 160cm or 180cm, they’ll probably vaunt how big the bed is by referring to it as un grand lit deux places  or un très grand lit deux places .

Is it possible to put an extra bed in a French hotel room?

In many cases, the size of the hotel room will define whether or not it’s even possible to add an additional bed, called un lit d’appoint . This detail is often clearly stated in the room description. If it’s possible, expect to pay an additional fee for the extra bed.

Some French hotel rooms even come with a spare bed ready to deploy , whether in a fold-out sofa, a folding bed in a closet, or a bunk bed over the main bed. In these cases, too, you can expect to pay an additional fee if you actually use the extra bed. You need to break the seal on a garment bag containing the bedding and make the bed yourself . Still, this is often a good solution for friends or family members who want to share a hotel room without necessarily sleeping in the same bed! It’s also ideal for families with one kid.

The same restraints exist for adding a baby bed or a crib, respectively called un lit bébé  or a un berceau . Your hotel will let you know if it’s possible to provide one, or even to physically accommodate yours in the room if you travel with a folding model. Otherwise you may need to consider finding a bigger room, or sharing the double bed with your child.

Are there family suites?

For families with more than one kid, it’s often a challenge to find single hotel rooms that can accommodate everyone. You’ll need to search specifically for une chambre familiale , which will have one double bed and one or more additional beds. The price for these bigger rooms can increase significantly!

Another option is to book a room for the parents, and another room for the kids. This assumes the kids can be left to their own devices at night though! Otherwise each parent has their own room, each with a kid or two. Though it’s common in many North American hotels, the vast majority of French hotels do not offer the option of pass-through doors linking adjacent rooms.

Family travel in French cities is often difficult and expensive for these reasons, which explains why many French families opt for the other vacation lodging we described above.

Are meals included in French hotels?

Most hotels in France offer at least a breakfast option to their overnight guests. In many cases the breakfast is included in the price of the stay, whereas it’s often optional with an additional fee.

Depending on the region, it’s also very common to have the option of half-board or full-board, known as démi-pension  and pension complète . Certain establishments, particularly in popular destinations or during peak season, will only offer overnight reservations that include some or all meals. Don’t worry too much about being well-fed if this is the case: it’s usually applied at hotel-restaurants where there’s a strong focus on the food.

What is the taxe de séjour?

The last particularity we’ll mention before looking more at vocab is the local tourist tax. This exists in a lot of countries, and France is no exception. The taxe de séjour  is a local tax that’s levied per person, per night, in any official short-term lodging. It’s a flat rate based on the category of the lodging, not on the price of your stay, and it’s usually around a couple of Euros.

What’s particular about the taxe de séjour  is that it’s rarely included in the price you paid to book the hotel in the first place. So even though you may have planned ahead and paid everything in advance, expect the receptionist to ask for an extra €4,20 or €13,60 or whatever they come up with!

Hotel French: Vocabulary lists

So far in this post, we’ve spent a lot of time getting you familiar with what you can expect from French hotels, both in terms of the types of lodging options and the types of rooms that most hotels offer.

For the rest of the post we’ll focus on essential French for travel related to hotels, broken down into an assortment of useful lists. We’ll start with the beds themselves, as we described in the previous section. Then we’ll move on to other elements you’ll find in a French hotel room, other amenities that the hotel might offer, as well as some useful vocab for navigating to your hotel. We’ll even include a dedicated section related to hostels, since many French hostel terms don’t necessarily cross over to hotels.

Since most of the French hotel vocab consists of nouns, we include each word’s gender either with an article or as (m) or (f) after the noun. We use the indefinite article by default (un, une), but we put the definite articles (le, la) or even the partitive articles (du, de la) with the words where these are most commonly used (these are all explained in detail in our post on French articles ). For adjectives , we include the feminine ending in parentheses.

These lists are quite exhaustive! If you’re looking for the French word for anything in your hotel room, it’s probably here!

French bed vocabulary

In our last section, we gave a lot of detail about the realities of sleeping arrangements in French hotel rooms. We introduced many of these words in those descriptions, so here we present the full list. In contrast to our other lists, we omitted the article for all mentions of un lit  (it’s masculine) to simply reduce clutter within the table.

Hotel linens in French

Here we present the vocab for various linens in a hotel room, from sheets to towels to curtains.

Hotel room furnishings in French

We’ve already learned how to talk specifically about the bed, the sheets, the towels, and so on. Here we’ll see the other fixed elements you’ll find in a French hotel room.

French hotel bathroom elements

Moving from the hotel room to its bathroom, here are the various components of a hotel bathroom in French. Don’t worry, we’ll cover the consumables in the next section.

Bathroom products in French hotels

Do you like finding an assortment of mini bottles of shampoo and moisturizer in your hotel bathroom? Indeed, some French hotel rooms have nice little bottles, some have little foil packets, and some have big wall-mounted dispensers. Here’s our list of French hotel vocab for all the little extras you might find in the bathroom.

Other products that might be available at reception

Did you forget your toothpaste at yesterday’s hotel, or is a button about to fall off of your dress shirt? Most hotels have a selection of basic toiletries or other such necessities that can be purchased for a reasonable price, sometimes even in vending machines. Let’s see some of these products that you may want to ask for at your French hotel’s reception.

French hotel terms for checking in and paying

Now that we’ve moved on from our hotel room and we’re at reception, let’s start getting into our hotel French for the rest of the establishment. We’ll start with the basic terms for checking in and out, as well as all the terminology surrounding payment.

While you’re at reception, it’s likely that you’ll appreciate some other specific lessons of ours. Check out our posts on saying hello , saying please , saying thank you , talking about days  and months in French , telling time , and counting .

Names for different French hotel keys

Here we have a specific vocab section on the different ways a given hotel might have you acess the property or the room.

Words for French hotel personnel and guests

Since we’re here at reception, this is a good place to become familiar with how to refer to all the different people you may see at a French hotel. Check out our related posts for full lessons on occupations in French , family members in French , and animals in French .

Yes, you saw that correctly… un hôte can be used to refer to both the hosts , like we saw in the chambre d’hôtes above, and to refer to the guests . Context is key to keep them clear, but we admit they’re easily confused!

Hotel facilities in French

From here, it’s time to check out the rest of the hotel. Whether you’re inquiring ahead of time if the hotel has a pool or an aiport shuttle, or the receptionist is describing to you what they have on offer, it’s likely on this list of hotel facilities in French.

French hotel parking options

We didn’t include parking in our last list of facilities since there are enough different parking terms to constitute a distinct list. Note that although the word le stationnement  is clearly more French than le parking , most French people tend to prefer the English loanword.

Landmarks for finding your hotel in French

France has an extensive train network criss-crossing the country, and all its cities are pedestrian-friendly and have local public transit networks. Most French hotels are therefore accustomed to explaining to their guests how to get there from the nearest train or bus station. Indeed, many historic hotels are in pedestrian zones where walking is the only option. Even if your phone shows you where to go, it’s still a good idea to get some instructions from your hotel!

Here we provide an assortment of city landmarks that your hosts are likely to refer to when describing how to reach their hotel. It’s obviously not exhaustive, but the main ones are here to get you started.

Vocab for the French hotel breakfast buffet

This last list of French hotel vocab is specifically for the breakfast buffet. This is actually a great place to practice your French, since many of the items on offer even have little labels saying what they are! There can certainly be a much wider variety of foods at French breakfast buffets than what we’re listing here, but we cover the main ones.

For a full lesson on eating out in general, check out our post on how to order food in French .

How to talk about problems at a French hotel

We’ve covered all the different parts of a hotel, but what if there’s something wrong? This last list includes some of the common complaints that you may want to bring to your host’s attention. Hopefully this will elicit some expressions of apology  as they try to rectify the situation!

Vocab for hostels in French

We’ve done a full tour of French hotel terminology so far, a lot of which can obviously be applied in the context of other types of lodging as well. Hostels definitely have their own particularities though, so we’ll end our section on hotel French with useful vocab specific to hostels.

We can also recommend our full post on how to ace French happy hour , as well as our explanation of the most awkward French pickup line that you already know !

Conclusion: Hotel French

Wow, that was a lot of information to get you ready for the French hotel scene. Do you feel like you know what you’re getting yourself into now?

We started with a pretty detailed discussion of the different types of lodging that can be found around France, from hotels to campings to mountain refuges. We gave you a good impression of what to expect from each type, and what to watch out for.

Then we brought our focus to hotels in France, looking specifically at the important points where they generally differ from their North American counterparts. Again, the goal here is to avoid any unpleasant surprises when you get to your French hotel, and to help you plan accordingly.

Then came the series of French vocab lists for all things hotel-related. In 15 theme-based lists, we introduced around 300 useful vocab words for talking about hotels in French. As always, we provided numerous links to our other LingoCulture lessons to build on many of the themes.

Of course we can also recommend our post on basic survival French  to get you started. Just remember that making the effort to speak is the key to improving in the language, so building some basic French phrases for travel from the vocab we’ve laid out here will go a long way!

In the process, we hope you enjoy your stay at all the French hotels you visit! Bon voyage et bon séjour !


How to say good night in french: bonne nuit and more, zut alors the charming french exclamation you’ll love to use, bon appétit exploring french dining etiquette, clothes in french: big vocab lists of french clothing words.

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A guide to Montreal, where Canada's cultures merge

Canada’s French-speaking second city mixes the best of North America with the best of Europe, from hybrid culture and superb shopping to some of the world’s best bagels

Montreal is the city equivalent of your cool transatlantic friend. It has the high culture, style and gourmet food of the most elegant corners of France, and the informality, innovation and gregarious warmth of North America. The capital of the French-speaking province of Quebec, and one-time French colony, it is both art galleries and nightclubs, couture and jeans, fine wines and cheese-smothered chips (specifically, the city’s signature poutine, dripping in gravy). Montreal straddles the old and new worlds with an effortless je ne sais quoi rarely seen in big cities, and for that reason, Canadians and international visitors alike find it irresistible. 

Unlike Toronto, which has classic tick-box sights, or Vancouver, where life revolves around nature, the joy of a Montreal break lies in its unabashed hedonism — shopping, strolling, bar-hopping and dining. It’s best to come without a specific agenda, so you can let yourself be led by the rhythm of the city and its diverse neighbourhoods. You could soak up the seamless blend of French and North American culture that wafts down the stately Golden Mile; enjoy the buzzy nightlife strip of St Laurent Boulevard; stroll past the colourful historic houses of the Plateau area; and discover rejuvenated industrial Griffintown. There’ll probably be an intriguing boutique, cafe or small gallery to pop into on the way, and if you run thin on ideas, bilingual locals will happily point you somewhere to explore next.

This is a city defined by the seasons, too. After the harsh freeze of winter, when locals cosy up indoors to escape the snow, Montreal bursts forth with renewed joie de vivre in late spring. Not a moment of the precious few summer months is wasted. In the historic old port quarter, dating to the 17th century, al fresco seating entices people to restaurants serving bistro classics. The city’s central park space, Mount Royal, is carpeted with green, its lawns covered with people drawn to the free weekly bohemian gathering Tam-Tams. The city’s busy events calendar hits full throttle in the Quartier des Spectacles, where outdoor plazas are designed to host everything from concerts to comedy and film screenings. Almost around the clock, you can feel this electric city thrum. 

On that note: whatever else draws you to Montreal, be prepared to make lively evenings part of your experience. The one thing, it could be argued, that this city does as well as food is nightlife, with bars and clubs having some of the best atmosphere, finest drinks and latest last calls in Canada. It’s perhaps not until you’re settled into an intimate bar, sipping on a cocktail fusing French cognac with Quebec maple syrup, that you can really appreciate Montreal’s dual-natured heart in all its splendour.

What to see & do

1. Old Montreal Begin in the 17th-century centre, where narrow streets segue to a park-fringed series of quays on the St Lawrence River. Browse the many boutiques and galleries, then to Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours Chapel, built in 1771 as a sailors’ pilgrimage site. The cobblestone stretch of Rue Saint-Paul near Marché Bonsecours, the public market that’s stuffed with boutiques, is especially photogenic.

2. Pointe-à-Callière Museum Get an overview of the city’s foundations from the archaeological exhibits of this eclectic museum in Old Montreal. It chronicles some 4,500 years of the area’s history, from early hunter-gatherers to 17th-century Catholic settlers.

3. Jean-Talon Market This mostly under-cover market in the city’s northwest is where food-obsessed Montrealers go to stock up. Among the produce from the 50-plus vendors, there is whiffy Quebec-made cheese at Fromagerie Qui Lait Cru, crunchy local apples from Domaine Villeneuve and maple syrup at Ferme René Lussier.

4. Montreal Museum of Fine Arts The city’s most significant arts museum — located in Downtown — trots from gilt-framed Napoleonic pieces to large-scale Antony Gormley works and Inuit carvings. In summer, the al fresco sculpture garden, where 22 public art pieces from around the world dot the lawns, is particularly inviting.

5. Habitat 67 One of the few lasting remnants of landmark Expo 67 — the world exposition hosted here in 1967 — this series of brutalist homes is an architectural icon in the city. Join a 90-minute guided tour through the maze of suspended terraces and pedestrianised walkways on the banks of the St Lawrence River to learn about its design and the lifestyle of its inhabitants. 

6. Mount Royal Park Designed by Frederick Law Olmsted (the brains behind New York’s Central Park), the city’s 692-acre central green is a meeting place, exercise area and entertainment space. In the summer, locals picnic, take boat rides on the lake or stroll with dogs to the park’s 764ft-high pinnacle. Don’t miss vast domed Saint Joseph’s Oratory , Canada’s largest church — its profile brings to mind Paris’s Sacré Coeur.

7. McGill University With heritage buildings and rafts of greenery, the grounds of the Downtown academic institution — one of Canada’s finest — are well worth a wander. Pass under the columned Roddick Gates, to find the grand Macdonald-Stewart Library and McCall MacBain Arts buildings.

8. Plateau & Mile End Of all Montreal’s cool neighbourhoods, this duo in the city’s north are especially vibrant. The artsy Plateau has colourful Victorian buildings, indie shops and leafy ‘ruelles vertes’ — garden alleyways. Edgier Mile End, meanwhile, mixes 19th-century buildings with vintage shops and retro bagel bakeries.

Where to stay

1. M Montreal Hostel With easy access to the Quartier des Spectacles festival district and the old port, this place has apartment-style set-ups with kitchenettes, so you can easily whip up a storm using produce from Jean-Talon Market. There’s free ping pong, pool and video games too, and a free pasta night every Wednesday.

2. Hôtel William Gray In the retro locale of Old Montreal but with a distinctly contemporary sensibility, this boutique stay really shines in summer when its roof terrace opens up, with views over the dome of Marché Bonsecours. There’s a spa to revive weary limbs after a day exploring, offering massages using quartz crystals.

3. Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth Next to Montreal’s central railway station, this grand historic hotel has always prided itself on setting the standard for luxury in the city. That’s not to say it’s fusty: recently renovated rooms come with a contemporary colour palette and bursts of kaleidoscopic art. There’s also a sizeable indoor pool and several restaurants and bars, including bistro-style Rosélys.

Where to eat

1.  Beautys Luncheonette Montreal’s most famous diner opened in 1942 and hasn’t changed much since. Order the Beautys Special, a sesame bagel with lox (brined salmon), cream cheese, tomato and red onion, washed down with a cookies-and-cream smoothie. There are no reservations; prepare to queue on weekends (it’s worth it).

2.  Joe Beef This cosy, low-lit restaurant in villagey Little Burgundy is the ultimate expression of Quebec-meets-French decadence. It’s best known for its lobster spaghetti — one of the few dishes that rarely disappears from the chalkboard menu — with other regulars including steak au poivre, Canadian caviar and oysters.

3.  Montréal Plaza Named on Canada’s 100 best restaurants list, Montréal Plaza showcases both seriously interesting wines and a sense of fun in its food — for example, you might just find a plastic dinosaur served with your salad. Pull up a chair at the polished bar next to city high-fliers and tuck into blood pudding with crab bisque or beef tartare with herring and puffed rice. 

Where to go shopping

1.  Holt Renfrew Ogilvy Montreal’s grand dame department store sells designer labels and cult upmarket beauty brands from both Canada and further afield. Wander through its historic and recently renovated halls before taking in the other big-brand shops on the city’s answer to London’s Oxford Street, Saint-Catherine Street.

2.  Corail Blanc Supporting small-scale indie Canadian designers — with eco-friendly and women-led businesses given priority — this jewellery shop on St Laurent Boulevard sells everything from modern minimalist rings to elaborate pendant earrings. Afterwards, you can pop into nearby Schwartz’s, one of the city’s most legendary delis, for a sandwich stuffed with smoked meat similar to pastrami.

3.   Annex Vintage Showcasing both vintage clothing and new home goods ranging from stationery to skincare, this shop in Mile End encapsulates the area’s cool, artsy character. Whether 1990s fashion is your thing or you’re looking for a new print for your wall at home, you won’t be disappointed with the huge selection on offer.

After hours spots

1. Big in Japan Bar Set on Montreal’s popular bar strip St Laurent Boulevard, this dimly lit and intimate den sees drinkers sat around a U-shaped bar sipping sake and Japanese whiskies. Twinkly lights give it plenty of date-night appeal.

2. Brouepub Dieu de Ciel Quebec province does beer par excellence. This recently renovated brewpub on Avenue Laurier allows you to sample top examples at the source, from refreshing lagers to English-style bitters and blonde hefeweizens (wheat beers). Order a tasting flight and line your stomach with some poutine — the Quebec staple of chips, cheese curds and gravy.

3. AURA at Notre-Dame Basilica Old meets new at Old Montreal’s spectacular basilica with this immersive light and music show. Most evenings, as audiences watch on from the pews, captivating scenes themed around the church’s history are projected onto the ceiling, walls and altar in a riot of colour, sound and motion.

Like a local

Bagel bakes Montreal is known for its unique style of handmade bagels: small, chewy and slightly sweet. They’re wood-fired 24 hours a day at the city’s two popular Mile End bakeries — Fairmont Bagel and St Viateur — where they can be eaten almost straight from the oven.

New neighbourhoods Want to explore beyond the main visitor districts? Formerly industrial Griffintown is now a hub for the local creative scene, such as the Arsenal Contemporary Art centre, as well as stylish and modern housing. Meanwhile, leafy Verdun by the waterside has its own sandy beach and a glut of homely restaurants.

Underground City If you’re visiting in winter, you don’t need to traverse the icy streets. Much of Montreal’s Downtown is connected by a network of subterranean shopping centres and tunnels. Known as the Underground City, it’s a heaven-sent hack for getting around when temperatures plunge to -30C.  

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Everything you need to know about Costco Travel — and why I love it for saving money

Madison Blancaflor

Costco isn't just the place where you can buy toilet paper in bulk, inexpensive gas, cheap hot dogs and gift cards. You can also book great trips via the company's online travel agency, Costco Travel.

I know, I know: At TPG, we're often staunchly against booking travel through third-party sites , as there can be tradeoffs versus booking directly. But in recent years, I've become a big fan of the travel deals I can find via Costco Travel.

When planning our annual beach trip back in 2022, my best friend found a few options for Mexican all-inclusive resorts on Costco Travel and shared the links with me. I promptly told her we'd probably be better off booking directly and brushed off the idea of booking through Costco — neither of us even had a membership at the time.

However, comparing the prices and benefits at a few of the resorts proved my initial reaction wrong.

I actually got a Costco membership to book the deal since the cost of the membership was less than what we'd save by booking through Costco. We saved around $300 on a three-night stay at TRS Coral near Cancun (one of TPG's best all-inclusive resorts in Cancun ), not including the free hydrotherapy spa circuit and the $241 Digital Costco Shop Card included in the package.

  View this post on Instagram   A post shared by Madison Blancaflor (@madison_ave18)

Our stay was fantastic, and I officially became a Costco Travel convert.

If you're curious about how to use Costco Travel to find deals, here's everything you need to know about Costco Travel — and why I love it for saving money on travel.

What is Costco Travel?

french travel hotels

All Costco members have access to the Costco Travel booking platform, where you can find and book a wide range of travel — from vacation packages to hotels, cruises and rental cars. You can even book theme park vacation packages to Disney and Universal or specialty vacations such as an African safari.

Related: Costco cruise deals: How to save money booking travel at a warehouse club

Once you log in to Costco Travel, you can search for specific dates or destinations or browse through available deals and featured destinations. I personally love perusing the limited-time deals when I know I want to plan a getaway but don't have a specific destination in mind.

Trips booked through Costco Travel are often discounted and/or include perks and benefits you may not get by booking directly or through other booking portals. Usually, a trip booked through Costco Travel will also include a Digital Costco Shop Card (essentially a type of Costco gift card) of varying value.

What travel can you book through Costco Travel?

You can book hotels, cruises, rental cars and vacation packages through Costco Travel. Vacation packages range from hotel-only offers to all-encompassing packages that include airfare, hotel stays and rental cars. You can even build your own package.

french travel hotels

However, one thing to note is that you can't book stand-alone flights via Costco Travel. There is an option to book flights through some vacation packages, but if you're only looking for airfare, you'll want to head to Google Flights to check out your options and book.

You can book Costco Travel offers both online and by phone.

Do you have to be a Costco member to use Costco Travel?

Yes. Costco Travel is an exclusive service for Costco members.

There are two personal membership levels: Gold Star and Executive. Gold Star costs $60 per year, while an Executive membership costs $120. The basic membership will give you access to all of Costco's services, including Costco Travel, while the Executive membership also comes with a 2% reward on all Costco (and Costco Travel) purchases.

I've found that the Costco Travel deals alone are worth paying the $60 Gold Star annual membership fee, even though I don't regularly use Costco for my grocery store runs.

Check sites like Groupon for discount Costco memberships, as you can sometimes save on that rate — or get an included gift card that helps offset the cost.

Is Costo Travel worth it?

Costco Travel has its pros and cons, but there are definitely times when it's worth it.

For example, let's look at a five-night stay in Maui in early April. At the time of writing, Costco is currently offering a hotel and rental car package for Hotel Wailea, a Relais & Chateaux affiliated property and one of TPG's favorite Maui hotels .

Here's one cost comparison breakdown of Costco Travel's deal versus booking directly:

french travel hotels

Even without including the additional benefits, you're already saving more than $400 via the Costco deal. Add in the value you get from the card, daily breakfast and resort credit (which is more than $1,000 in value if you maximize all benefits), and you're looking at $1,442.45 in savings by booking through Costco Travel versus directly.

And since Hotel Wailea isn't a member of any major hotel loyalty program, booking through Costco Travel wouldn't mean missing out on elite night credits or other loyalty program benefits.

Here's another example — this time for a Universal Orlando theme park trip from June 4-6 for one adult and two children from Houston. The total cost when booking each part (hotel, tickets and airfare) individually came to $2,701.35, while booking it as a package via Costco saved just over $300.

french travel hotels

That's a fair amount of savings you could use for some frozen butterbeer or even a new wand inside the Wizarding World of Harry Potter .

When is Costco Travel not worth it?

Not every offer on Costco is worth booking.

For one, you won't necessarily find the same availability on Costco Travel. For example, flights booked through Costco may have some seats blocked off, and certain dates for hotel stays may be unavailable. Additionally, not all rental car companies are bookable through Costco Travel (such as Hertz*, which is my preferred rental car company due to the perks I get through my Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card ).

Plus, some hotel stays have a minimum stay requirement. If you're on the hunt for a long weekend getaway, you may not be able to take advantage of some Costco Travel deals.

french travel hotels

Even when you do find availability, you should always price-check what you can find by booking directly or through your credit card travel portal and hotel programs.

After booking our fantastic stay at TRS Coral just north of Cancun through Costco, I looked at booking through Costco again in 2023 when planning our annual beach vacation.

While Costco had a deal available for the same resort, we happened to be booking when the resort chain was having a Mother's Day sale for anyone booking directly. We were able to try out a new TRS resort closer to Playa Del Carmen, TRS Yucatan; we saved more than $100 on an even nicer suite than Costco Travel offered by booking directly (even when considering the Digital Shop Card we would have gotten by booking with Costco).

Something else to consider when booking hotels through Costco Travel is loyalty program rewards and elite status. There are a lot of hotels available to book through Costco Travel that are part of major loyalty programs, from Hyatt Honors to Marriott Bonvoy to IHG One Rewards and more. But booking through Costco Travel — just like booking through most other third-party services such as Expedia — means you likely won't earn loyalty rewards, elite night credits or have any elite night benefits honored.

You'll also have to use Costco customer service if you run into any issues rather than going directly to the brand. This is especially important when considering booking a vacation package that includes flights, given the higher potential for delays or cancellations.

Why I love Costco Travel

I am typically a staunch proponent of booking directly, but Costco Travel is an exception. I've found that the benefits I can get by booking some trips via Costco outweigh the cons (some of which include having to go through Costco for any customer service help or occasionally losing out on elite night credits).

Digital Costco Shop Cards

My favorite thing about booking trips through Costco Travel is the Digital Costco Shop Card I get after booking. The card's value varies from trip to trip (generally depending on how expensive the package you book), but you can get hundreds of dollars back to use at Costco.

The Digital Costco Shop Cards can be used for Costco warehouse purchases (a game changer with grocery prices so high due to inflation), but you can also use them toward future Costco Travel bookings. And remember — Costco doesn't just carry bulk grocery items. You could use a Digital Costco Shop Card to buy a new flat-screen TV for movie nights and game days, a new outdoor patio setup ahead of summer or even Costco Pharmacy prescriptions.

I admittedly don't use Costco for groceries often (buying in bulk doesn't make a lot of sense for someone who lives alone), but I have used shop cards to help pay for Christmas presents and future Costco Travel trips. I've actually been looking into using my most recent Digital Costco Shop Card on a new pair of AirPods and a new TV mount for my living room.

Deals on non-points hotel stays and all-inclusive resorts

When I'm looking at booking a hotel stay at a brand like Hyatt or Marriott, I generally choose to book directly in order to earn elite night credits and points. However, when looking at properties not part of a major loyalty program, Costco Travel is often a go-to anytime I can find a deal.

Costco Travel has a nice deals section, and I usually look there first if I'm not sold on a specific destination for a getaway. While deals found on Costco generally have a narrow booking window, I've found that many offer a lot of flexibility for the actual trip dates.

A few examples of limited-time deals for January include Hotel Wailea from the example earlier in this guide, all-inclusive resorts in Mexico's Riviera Maya, and Disney and Universal theme park packages.

french travel hotels

Simplifying group vacations

I'm often the travel planner in my friend group (which makes sense, considering what I do for a living), but not everyone is an avid points and miles user like myself. For group trips where we're splitting the cost of hotel rooms among multiple people, it often doesn't make sense to use points and miles to book.

Costco Travel vacation packages offer a way for all of us to save money, and it makes narrowing down potential destinations and hotels easier. Rather than everyone having to spend hours researching ideas and prices from across the internet — which might be my idea of a fun Wednesday night but isn't for some of my friends — I typically just send them to Costco Travel to see if any of the featured deals catch their eye.

Having reservation information for multiple aspects of a trip, such as a hotel and rental car package, makes sharing and saving the itineraries a breeze.

Bottom line

Whether or not you currently have a Costco membership, you shouldn't dismiss Costco Travel as just another online travel agency.

If you know where to look and are willing to price-check the deals you find, you can save a lot of money with Costco Travel deals. I've personally had a lot of success booking friends getaways to popular destinations like Mexico through Costco. Using the service has helped me save on other expenses with the Digital Costco Shop Card I've gotten with my bookings.

For me, the $60 annual membership fee to Costco has been more than worth it to utilize Costco Travel.

*Upon enrollment, accessible through the Capital One website or mobile app, eligible cardholders will remain at upgraded status level through Dec. 31, 2024. Please note, enrolling through the normal Hertz Gold Plus Rewards enrollment process (e.g. at will not automatically detect a cardholder as being eligible for the program and cardholders will not be automatically upgraded to the applicable status tier. Additional terms apply.

Related reading:

  • Key travel tips you need to know — whether you're a beginner or expert traveler
  • The best travel credit cards
  • How my Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi is a workhorse when it comes to cash back
  • Where to go in 2024: The 16 best places to travel
  • 6 real-life strategies you can use when your flight is canceled or delayed
  • 8 of the best credit cards for general travel purchases
  • 13 must-have items the TPG team can't travel without


How I survived my first solo ski trip

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Brooke skiing in Soll, Austria

After a decade since my first ski trip, I was desperate to get back onto the mountains.

But I was often put off by not knowing what to do – after all, getting ready for a week in sub-zero temperatures takes a lot more planning than a week in the sun.

There’s so much to think about – which airport should I fly to? How will I get to the mountain? How much kit do I need to buy? Where will I stay? What will I eat?

Then there’s lift passes, equipment hire and lessons. The costs all add up.

That’s when I started searching cheap ski holidays on Google and Sunweb came to my rescue.

I was thankful no stone was left unturned booking through them and I soon found myself gliding down the mountains in Soll, Austria, by day, and recharging at Hotel Feldwebel by night.

Collecting equipment hire and lift passes was also super easy, with technology now being able to measure the soles of your feet to fit your boots, and staff on hand to hand you over the right skis and poles.

Ski resort in Soll, Austria booked through SunWeb

I highly recommend paying a bit extra to use the depot, so you can leave everything overnight right at the bottom of the slopes rather than lug everything back to your hotel.

After finally managing to get everything on, I began the lesson I instantly fell in love with the sport – like I did when I was 15 years old.

To both mine and my friend’s utter surprise, I seemed to remember what to do to control my speed and make basic turns, meaning our (thankfully very patient) instructor from SkiWelt pushed us further along than I anticipated and I could truly hold my own on blue and red runs.

Views of the ski resort in Soll, Austria

It’s easy to feel self-conscious on the slopes when it feels like everyone else is whizzing past you, but it is important to remember that a lot of those aren’t actually good skiers – they are just fast.

Believe me when I say I am far from the most athletic girl in the world, so if I can feel confident in my ability, anyone can.

Staying on the warm up and blue slopes is also not shameful in the slightest, with my instructor saying: ‘It is better to nail the blues, rather than get stuck on the reds.’

But fear not if you still find yourself not quite taking to skiing again, as there are plenty of other things to try out or see.

the slopes

Tobogganing is a popular evening activity for those who fancy sitting down while they go down the slopes.

Admittedly I fell off more times than I stayed on after resorting to throwing my body onto the ground in desperate attempts to break.

But some, including the friend who came with me, far preferred this to skiing, saying she felt she had ‘more control’, making it a perfect substitute to those who feel gliding on skis is too much.

The après-ski is, of course, always a welcome reward at the end of a few hours of plummeting down various slopes, and eating a bowl full of schnitzel and cheesy noodles was like getting a ‘well done’ hug from your mum.

Brooke Davies on the ski slopes

The cost of food and drink in Austria is comparatively cheaper than resorts in France and Italy, with each meal costing me about €20 every evening.

Taking in stunning alpine sights is also such a a treat compared to looking at London roads all day. Going for a walk around the Hintersteinersee was living in animated Christmas film.

Unfortunately the cost of skiing remains high, and those working in the sport are desperate to get more young people trying it out to help balance the aging population.

But even just booking for a long weekend rather than a full week can help cut costs massively, alongside choosing resorts with cheaper food and drink on offer.

You will not regret booking your ski trip even if you found you didn’t quite enjoy the skiing. Trying a new or returning to a sport after a long break is admirable.

But nothing will beat the rush of cold air as you go down the slopes for the first time.

How to book your next ski holiday

Brooke stayed at Hotel Feldwebel, which is available on Sunweb .

Sunweb is an all-inclusive platform that covers flights, accommodation, ski passes – with prices starting from £199 per person.

Holidays to Austria, France, Italy, Andorra and Switzerland including lift passes are available on the platform.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected] .

For more stories like this, check our news page .

MORE : Burnt out and stressed, we moved our five kids into a caravan to travel Australia

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