Skip to main content

The Belle France guide to luxury accommodation

Our Prestige holidays with extra wow

What is luxury? It is generally something to aspire to but everyone has their own criteria for measuring when ‘normal’ ends and ‘luxury’ kicks in.

For some hotel aficionados sheer opulence alone can be enough to merit the ‘luxury’ tag. Think expensive, high end fittings and on-trend furnishings and perhaps a few trophy artworks. For others its more the ambiance, history and general sense of staying somewhere special that denotes luxury – the fact that the hotel may carry the patina of history does not detract, in fact it adds to the authentic charm of the place. 

For most people though there are surely a few givens when it comes to defining luxury: fantastic, attentive service (but not obsequious or irritating), great food (whether classical French, modern fusion or Michelin-fancy), and a really comfy bed.

Château Cordeillan Bages

Hotels should all have their own identity, they should be comfortable in their own skin and be confident in what they offer. Think of any hotel in popular culture and they all have own personality, not always desirable of course. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and the Hotel du Lac spring to mind. The Heartbreak Hotel and Hotel California have character but not desirability. And at the darker end of the scale, The Overlook Hotel (The Shining) and Bates Motel of Psycho fame are to be avoided, whatever the tripadvisor reviews say. 

Hotel du Lac by Anita Brookner and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel by Deborah Moggach

But banish all thoughts of these. At Belle France we have developed a range of holidays which feature some rather special hotels. We never choose anonymous chain hotels anyway but these ‘Prestige’ holidays are perfect for indulging some of life’s finer pleasures.

Luxury, for us, means hotels of charm and character, a dramatic setting and attractive grounds. Ideally there is a whiff of historical significance, perhaps an association with a past event or person of interest. There should be a friendly but restrained service, glorious cuisine and rooms must be special in terms of comfort and décor. It’s a given that they have all the facilities you’d expect, but we believe a trouser press is not in itself a reason for a hotel being ‘luxury’.  

17th-century converted mill Moulin du Roc Hotel along the Dronne river.

So there you have it. Our Belle France take on luxury. Below we list a few hotel highlights from our Prestige range, unashamedly designed to whet your appetite. Exquisite hotels that are far removed from Fawlty Towers. Hotels with ‘wow’ that will elevate your holiday to a truly memorable experience. 

Prestige on demand At Belle France we have a lot of contacts and experience. If you have a hankering to visit a certain region and find that we don’t offer a Prestige option there, please just ask – we have all kinds of inside information up our sleeve. 

Make it special with Prestige