Room Service: La Ferme de la Rançonnière, Crepon

This is a fine example of one of the many ancient fortified farm complexes that litter Normandy's Bessin region. You enter its vast courtyard via a crenellated archway, and a tower rises out of the honey-stone 13th-century farmhouse. While this is a working farm, any agricultural impact stops at the farm's shop, for this is a fully fledged hotel run with professionalism and verve. It's been in the same Belgian family for three generations, and the 47 bedrooms are the hotel's strongest suit.

This is a fine example of one of the many ancient fortified farm complexes that litter Normandy's Bessin region. You enter its vast courtyard via a crenellated archway, and a tower rises out of the honey-stone 13th-century farmhouse. While this is a working farm, any agricultural impact stops at the farm's shop, for this is a fully fledged hotel run with professionalism and verve. It's been in the same Belgian family for three generations, and the 47 bedrooms are the hotel's strongest suit.

Location, location, location

La Ferme de la Rançonnière (00 33 2 31 22 21 73, www.ranconniere.com) stands on the edge of a little hamlet surrounded by countryside. Bayeuxis 10 miles away – a visit to the tapestry is highly recommended, but go first thing. Gold Beach, one of the D-Day landing beaches, is three miles away. Many guests staying at the hotel are veterans on reunions.

Time from international airport: Caen, with flights from Stansted on Buzz (0870 240 7070, www.buzzaway.com), is a 30-minute drive, as is Caen's ferry terminal at Ouistreham: services from Portsmouth with Brittany Ferries (08705 360360, www.brittanyferries.com).

Are you lying comfortably?

The cheapest rooms are minute (one of these, No 27, is in a round tower). Some of the biggest are down the road in another splendidly converted farm building. It's less that 10 minutes' walk away, but staff will ferry you back in a car after dinner if you're feeling at all tired or emotional.

The bottom line

From €44 (£29) for a small double room with a shower, to €135 (£89) for a vast suite in the annexe. The buffet breakfast is €10 (£7) per person extra. Half-board – compulsory in high season – includes access to a five-course dinner menu, and costs from €52-€96 (£34-£63) per person.

I'm not paying that: then consider Hôtel d'Argouges, Bayeux (00 33 2 31 92 88 86), an 18th-century mansion near the centre of Bayeux where B&B for two in the best rooms costs €89 (£59).

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