The Big Six: French design hotels
Saturday 15 May 2010
Domaine des Andéols, Provence
Domain des Andéols is a cutting-edge, minimalist creation in the heart of the rolling Luberon countryside. Nine individually styled guesthouses are dotted with pieces of modern art, cultural artefacts, and furniture by Philippe Starck, Ron Arad and Pucci de Rossi. An infinity pool overlooks the lavender fields and olive groves beyond.
Domaine des Andéols, Les Andéols, Saint-Saturnin-lès-Apt, Provence (00 33 4 90 75 50 63; domaine-des-andeols.com ). Doubles start at €260, room only.
Baudon de Mauny, Languedoc-Roussillon
Interior designer-architect Nathalie Duroyon and her husband Alain de Bordas have injected some present-day pizazz into this 18th-century hôtel particulier (nobleman's mansion) in the heart of Montpellier's ancient centre. High ceilings and ornate cornicing feature alongside Italian glass showers, Marimekko prints and Harry Bertoia chairs. The five spacious suites are named after the quirky Cole & Son wallpapers adorning the hotel's walls.
Baudon de Mauny, 1 rue de la Carbonnerie, Montpellier, Languedoc-Roussillon (00 33 4 67 02 21 77; baudondemauny.com ). Doubles start at €160, room only.
La Réserve Ramatuelle, Côte d'Azur
Ditch the bright lights of St-Tropez and head for this private reserve in the pine-scented hills above the Mediterranean. Architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte has created a haven of peace and tranquility in this vast hotel and spa, using soft beiges and natural materials. Each of the hotel's 23 suites and rooms contains modern furnishings from the likes of B&B, Finn Juhl and Flexform.
La Réserve Ramatuelle, Chemin de la Quessine, Ramatuelle, Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur (00 33 4 94 44 94 44; lareserve-ramatuelle.com ). Doubles start at €400, including breakfast.
Hotel Notre Dame, Paris
Every room in this 400-year-old building is an ode to the famous cathedral opposite – right down to the faux cobbled carpet and the religious-themed wallpaper. Most have views of the Notre Dame. Designed by Christian Lacroix, it's everything you would expect from a voguish design hotel in the capital of couture.
Hotel Notre Dame, 1 quai Saint Michel, Paris (00 33 1 43 54 20 43; hotelnotredameparis.com ). Doubles start at €230, room only.
Chez Odette, Champagne-Ardennes
Chez Odette, which lies in a forested corner of north-east France close to Belgium, was once a village café. Owned and run by Odette , it was where the locals would sip Picon and play cards. Now, the two converted farm buildings house nine cosy rooms, with chic, dark-wood interiors and exposed beams. Pictures of Odette and her customers line the walls.
Chez Odette, Rue Principale, Williers, Champagne-Ardennes (00 33 3 24 55 49 55; chez-odette.com ). Doubles start at €170, room only.
This ice-block of a hotel ("Seeko'o" is Inuit for "iceberg") in the Chartrons warehouse district is a breath of fresh air. Atelier King Kong's avant-garde structure subverts the city's 18th-century architecture. Inside, the 45 rooms have state-of-the-art gadgets. Some even have circular beds.
Seeko'o, Quai de Bacalan, Bordeaux, Aquitaine (00 33 5 56 39 07 07; seekoo-hotel.com ). Double rooms start at €192, room only.
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