The most beautiful Relais et Châteaux hotels in France

To be awarded the Relais & Châteaux label is to become part of a portfolio of renowned hotels and gastronomic establishments boasting a luxurious art of living, five-star services and exceptional surroundings. Focus on five of the finest Relais & Châteaux hotels in France.

 

Le Jiva Hill

Ideally located just 10 minutes from Geneva airport, on the edge of the Franco-Swiss border, Le Jiva Hill nestles in the Haut-Jura regional nature park. The backdrop is the mythical Mont-Blanc. Surrounded by a 50-hectare estate, this Relais et Châteaux expresses a modern vision of luxury while blending perfectly into its surroundings. Made of wood and metal, the five-star hotel is built around several buildings in a park dedicated to leisure activities, including a 9-hole golf course, tennis courts, a swimming pool surrounded by a teak terrace and a water sports centre.

 

© Jiva Hill

 

There is an indoor swimming pool, a Nordic spa (one of the finest luxury spas in eastern France), a gourmet French restaurant and an Italian restaurant. You can also enjoy your meal on the outdoor terraces, overlooking the unspoilt, peaceful countryside. Jiva Hill has 44 rooms with balcony or terrace, four lodges with private Jacuzzi and two suites. All the rooms, with their clean, graphic lines, face the park. A truly soothing retreat where you can take your time, ideal for a summer holiday in the mountains, for example.

 

Baumanière

The destination is worthy of the most beautiful postcards of the south. In the magnificent, picturesque village of Les Baux-de-Provence, in the heart of the Alpilles mountains, Baumanière is surrounded by rocky cliffs, olive groves and garrigue. Buoyed by this exceptional Mediterranean setting, this hotel, which was one of the very first members of Relais et Châteaux, is home to some ultra-renowned restaurants, including the three-star Michelin L’Oustau de Baumanière, led by chef Glenn Viel. Three menus are available: La Ballade, Flânerie and ‘1987’, a 100% vegetarian menu, a tribute to the owner Jean-André Charial, who was one of the first chefs to introduce vegetarian dishes to haute cuisine.

 

© Baumanière

 

Not to mention the precious wine cellar, with 50,000 references… and a few 150-year-old bottles. In the bucolic setting of its terrace in the shade of mulberry-trees, or in the warm, intimate atmosphere of its dining room, the other restaurant, La Cabro d’Or, by Michel Hulin, offers revisited Provençal recipes, such as this octopus bouillabaisse in chaud-froid or a mouth-watering roast lamb confit then smoked in hay. Accommodation is provided in a number of mansions in the immense grounds. The historic sixteenth-century building has 10 bedrooms, the eighteenth-century manor house has 13 bedrooms and the Carita and Flora properties have 14 and 12 bedrooms respectively. A sumptuous spa with all the facilities needed for relaxation is also available, as are 3 vast swimming pools.

 

Le Cap d’Antibes Beach Hotel

This hotel is a destination in its own right. Led by a Californian style, its new design echoes the villas of the American West Coast, combining geometric lines, light and immaculate white paintwork. At once poetic and glamorous, retro and trendy, its ambience makes the Cap d’Antibes Beach Hotel one of the French Riviera’s most beautiful settings. It’s hard not to take out your mobile phone to photograph every space, such is the sophistication of the decor. The infinity pool and private beach are deckchairs and parasols in feminine candy pink.

 

© Cap d’Antibes

 

The escape continues in the star restaurant Les Pêcheurs, with its local Mediterranean produce, and Baba, which oscillates between the Middle East and the south of France. Not to mention the bars where you can enjoy a delicious cocktail on the terrace. This Relais & Châteaux offers 35 magnificent rooms with a vintage chic feel. They feature white panelling, pink bathrooms, designer objects and wooden furniture. All enhanced by soft lighting that makes the most of every room, this is the perfect place for a romantic weekend.

 

La Côte Saint Jacques

In Joigny in the Yonne, not far from Paris, this Relais & Châteaux is a must for gourmets. Poularde de Bresse steamed with Champagne, black pudding and mousseline purée, fillet of smoked pollack and vin banc sauce, lobster blanquette… These are just some of the dishes that guests will be able to sample in the two-Michelin-starred restaurant run by chef Jean-Michel Lorain and his nephew Alexandre Bondoux. The menu highlights the classics of this family-run establishment, while offering more distinctive dishes.

 

© La Côte Saint Jacques

 

The wellness menu, meanwhile, will delight fans of dishes that are good for you and rich in flavour. In addition to these high-flying gastronomic experiences, this boutique-hotel captures the public’s attention with its 22 rooms and suites, which play on a harmony of colours and discreet luxury. There’s also a spa area, with a swimming pool surrounded by white arches with green mosaics, a hammam with a starry sky, a tropical lounge available for private hire and a superb whirlpool bath overlooking the Yonne, which flows peacefully below the hotel.

 

Le Richer de Belleval

Head to Montpellier to discover Le Richer de Belleval. This five-star Relais et Châteaux hotel is a little nugget in the heart of the city. Preserving its original floors, frescoes and paintings, the hotel, housed in a historic stone building, boasts a princely decor of gilded ornaments and luminous chandeliers, without ever falling into ostentatious luxury. This architectural coherence is reflected in the 15 rooms and 5 suites, whose elegance takes us back to another time.

 

© Richer de Belleval

 

The art of French living continues in the Jardin des Sens restaurant. Brothers Jacques and Laurent Pourcel focus on Mediterranean flavours, with courgette flowers with shellfish and a grenadin of veal fillet, girolles and sweetbread, sweet onion, apricot and hazelnut tartlets. The bistro La Canourgue, meanwhile, offers world cuisine with a host of influences.

 

Read also : France’s finest five-star hotels

Featured photo : © Cap d’Antibes Beach Hotel

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