The only hotel in Paris’s tranquil Place des Vosges, the Pavillon de la Reine is a true city bolthole – and you’re right in the heart of the buzzing Marais district. This 17th-century mansion draped in ivy is pure romance, with its private courtyard garden and countryside ambience. Its 56 rooms range from antiques-filled traditional style to more modern decor, some with four-poster beds and beamed ceilings. The feeling of being cosseted extends to the spa and the library-like restaurant and bar.
Year after year, France holds on to its title of the world’s most visited country (at the last count, about 85 million visitors a year). It’s hardly surprising: you’ve got three coastlines – the Mediterranean, the Atlantic and the Channel – combined with the Alps and the Pyrenees, plus world-class cities, exquisite villages, volcanic landscapes and a seemingly endless stream of natural parks. The food and wine aren’t bad either.
As you would expect given the number of tourists and the fact that this is Europe’s third-biggest country, France offers its guests a dizzying range of accommodation – everything from Alpine lodges and seaside hideaways to chic city hotels and countryside chateaux. Your choice will usually depend on what sort of holiday you’re planning, but we’ve come up with some of the best in the country.