Sip rosé and stretch out on the sand at these beachside boltholes
The romantic one
Le Landemer, Urville-Nacqueville, Normandy
Perched on the north coast of the Contentin Peninsula, this 150-year-old hotel was once the favoured bolthole of Edith Piaf and her lover Marcel Cerdan. The walls are creamy stone, the 10 rooms are cosy, the restaurant’s light and bright: it all adds up to a secluded, subtly romantic escape from the world.
Doubles from £82; le-landemer.com
The active one
Hôtel de la Mer, Brignogan-Plages, Brittany
With the Atlantic crashing against the shore just a few steps from the front door, this ecofriendly hotel makes the perfect base for ambles along the wild Finistère coast. Join a seaweed-foraging trip for the full experience.
Doubles from £71; hoteldelamer.bzh
Dish of the day: a seafood platter at Hôtel Brittany
The Michelin-starred one
Hôtel Brittany & Spa, Roscoff, Brittany
The welcoming Hôtel Brittany enjoys one of Roscoff’s best views: gaze out at the dainty Sainte-Barbe chapel, the dinky harbour and the Ile de Batz on the horizon. Its Michelin-starred restaurant gives the best vantage point and serves tempting dishes that use Roscoff’s famous pink onions and copious seafood. There are 33 rooms, including 11 new sea-view suites; the spa offers seawater-inspired treatments and a tranquil indoor pool.
Doubles from £116; hotel-brittany.com
The Jacques Cousteau one
Castelbrac, Dinard, Brittany
This former aquarium in ritzy belle époque Dinard has been revamped into a glam midcentury-modern-style hideaway. You’re so close to the blue that you could dip a toe in — from the little pool, from your balcony or from the airy, white-tableclothed restaurant.
Doubles from £204; castelbrac.com
The homely one
Lodge Kerisper, Trinité-sur-Mer, Brittany
A short stroll from the harbour in the boat-lovers’ bolthole of Trinité-sur-Mer, this fresh, bright hotel has 20 relaxing rooms and suites, and a home-from-home vibe. It’s within easy reach of some of the best beaches on Brittany’s south coast.
Doubles from £79; lodgekerisper.com
The spa one
Castel Clara, Belle-Ile-en-Mer, Brittany
Inhale the fresh sea air and admire the views on the wildly beautiful island of Belle-Ile-en-Mer, then head to this chilled spa hotel for some shoulder-loosening aquatic treatments. The thalassotherapy will soothe aching limbs, and the gourmet seafood in its restaurant is a healthy(ish) indulgence in itself.
Doubles from £137; castel-clara.com
The sunset-showstopper one
Le Grand Large, Ile d’Oléron, Charente-Maritime
Tucked behind west-facing sand dunes, this low-rise, snow-white hotel has an indoor pool and a hot tub offering sensational views of a wide, golden beach that is at its most romantic when the sun begins to set.
Doubles from £123; le-grand-large.fr
Pour it up: sip cocktails at Hôtel Ha(a)ïtza
The beach-chic one
Hôtel Ha(a)ïtza, Pyla-sur-Mer, Gironde
Southwest of Bordeaux, a short stroll from Pyla beach and not much further north of the Sahara-like Dune du Pilat, this villa of alpine-style balconies and shutters has been revamped by Philippe Starck. The restaurant is styled after an old yacht club, with boater hats on the walls and three skiffs hanging from the ceiling.
Doubles from £205, B&B; haaitza.com
The Robinson Crusoe one
Hôtel Le Manoir de Port-Cros, Port-Cros, Provence
Play castaway in this remote blue and white Mediterranean manor surrounded by pine forests on the idyllic island of Port-Cros, part of the Îles d’Hyères archipelago. On the ferry crossing over, keep your eyes peeled for peregrine falcons soaring overhead. Then tuck in: Provence’s sun-powered vegetables play a starring role on the menus at this laid-back, family-run place.
Doubles from £193; hotel-lemanoir portcros.com
The value one
Hôtel La Belle-Aurore, Ste Maxime, Côte d’Azur
Prices here might be lower than most people are paying for a hotel on the Côte d’Azur, but that doesn’t mean the cosy La Belle-Aurore lacks glamour: it hangs on the edge of the Mediterranean, with an infinity pool that gazes towards St Tropez.
Doubles from £134; belleaurore.com
Seeing red: Les Roches Rouges
The panoramic one
Les Roches Rouges, Piana, Corsica
It would be hard to find a hotel with a better view than Les Roches Rouges. Overlooking the rust-red cliffs of the Calanques de Piana, in the Gulf of Porto nature reserve, this art-deco pad harks back to a sophisticated bygone era, with period furniture, parquet floors and an elegant bar.
Doubles from £110; lesrochesrouges.com
The no-need-to-leave one
Hôtel des Pêcheurs, Ile de Cavallo, Corsica
The generous whitewashed rooms at this serene hotel on the Ile de Cavallo, in the Lavezzi archipelago, off the island’s southern tip, are so close to the turquoise water that you’ll hear surf lapping against the shore as you nod off. Its spa, restaurant and bar should provide everything you need for a week of relaxation.
Doubles from £245, B&B; hoteldespecheurs.com