DLX Special Correspondent and model Roxanna Dunlop took a no holds barred tour of France. Here’s her report.

Image courtesy of Roxanna Dunlop.

Image courtesy of Roxanna Dunlop.

Reality is always better than the dream when it comes to travel. My recent better-than-the-fantasy excursion took me by Rail Europe (the best way to travel) from Paris to Bordeaux, Toulouse, Carcassonne, Montpellier and back to Paris in six short but sweet days. France is a beautiful and layered country where the history is rich and the food is nothing short of experiential. When you’re drinking the finest wines and eating decadent meals, it’s important that you decorate your journey with the most luxurious accommodations that the country has to offer. Enter our latest roundup of 5 of the most magnificent hotels in France. If you find yourself in any of these beautiful cities, do not miss your chance to stay in one of these utopias, even if only for one night. You won’t regret it.

HOTEL NAPOLEON (PARIS)

Image Courtesy of Hotel Napoleon, Paris.

Image Courtesy of Hotel Napoleon, Paris.

Image Courtesy of Hotel Napoleon, Paris.

Image Courtesy of Hotel Napoleon, Paris.

Image Courtesy of Hotel Napoleon, Paris.

Image Courtesy of Hotel Napoleon, Paris.

This elegant 19th century hotel has managed to perfectly embody the Napoleonic Era with its grace and charm. The hotel holds 102 rooms, and while each room maintains the same luxurious properties when it comes to design, the color palettes are playfully varied. The service is welcoming, with prompt and delicious room service as well as a chic dining experience available downstairs at Restaurant Bivouac.

Image Courtesy of Hotel Napoleon, Paris.

Image Courtesy of Hotel Napoleon, Paris.

Image Courtesy of Hotel Napoleon, Paris.

Image Courtesy of Hotel Napoleon, Paris.

Located in the 8th Arrondissement, just a step outside and you’re in the bustling city of Paris with an abundance of shopping, dining and sightseeing. However, if you prefer to stay in your room, the bathtubs are spacious and relaxing. Your choice.

INTERCONTINENTAL BORDEAUX : LE GRAND HOTEL (BORDEAUX)

Image courtesy of the Intercontinental Bordeaux - Le Grand Hotel.

Image courtesy of the Intercontinental Bordeaux – Le Grand Hotel.

Abundant in character, each of the 130 rooms at the Intercontinental Bordeaux Hotel are uniquely styled and generously adorned. Designer, Jacques Garcia, synchronizes contemporary and classic design with ease, creating a royal atmosphere, vibrant in color. Additionally, the hotel boasts one of the most enchanting spa experiences in the city.

Image courtesy of the Intercontinental Bordeaux - Le Grand Hotel.

Image courtesy of the Intercontinental Bordeaux – Le Grand Hotel.

Image courtesy of the Intercontinental Bordeaux - Le Grand Hotel.

Image courtesy of the Intercontinental Bordeaux – Le Grand Hotel.

This three level Spa Les Bains De Léa is situated on the top three floors of the hotel, offering a panoramic view of picturesque Bordeaux rooftops. Take advantage of the Spa’s complete range of treatments, or simply relax in the roman baths for a few minutes between commitments. This hotel is heaven.

LA COUR DES CONSULS HOTEL AND SPA (TOULOUSE)
Creative and modern in its design, La Cour Des Consuls contains 32 rooms, including 6 suites, 2 meeting rooms, a fitness centre and spa.

Image courtesy of La Cour des Consuls Hotel And Spa - MGallery Collection

Image courtesy of La Cour des Consuls Hotel And Spa – MGallery Collection

Image courtesy of La Cour des Consuls Hotel And Spa - MGallery Collection

Image courtesy of La Cour des Consuls Hotel And Spa – MGallery Collection

Image courtesy of La Cour des Consuls Hotel And Spa - MGallery Collection

Image courtesy of La Cour des Consuls Hotel And Spa – MGallery Collection

This clean and comfortable atmosphere takes elegance to a whole new level with grand staircases leading guests through calming corridors into enigmatic and uniquely styled rooms. We recommend treating yourself to a spa day where they use Graine de Pastel, a line of natural skincare products made from the indigenous pastel plant of Toulouse. With rooms starting at $200 EU a night, this hotel offers the complete lux experience, from dining to wellness and more.

CHATEAU PENNAUTIER (CARCASSONE)

Image courtesy of Chateau Pennautier.

Image courtesy of Chateau Pennautier.

Image courtesy of Chateau Pennautier.

Image courtesy of Chateau Pennautier.

With booking requirements at a minimum of 4 rooms, this opulent castle is a magical getaway for those traveling in groups, for special occasions and events in particular. The chateau manager, Sabine Jakobs, takes pride in offering her guests the most deluxe tourism experience that the town has to offer. Thoroughly organized affairs tailored to the guests needs allow you to relax and enjoy the natural beauty and rich heritage of the town. With 24 rooms starting at $175 EU per room, per night, the calm atmosphere and soothing designs offer a glimpse into the beauty of the Arcadian lifestyle with a luxurious French twist. From bbq’s out on the terrace to cooking classes and wine tastings, the chateau provides a personally curated experience for those who appreciate the beauty of the quiet french countryside.

BAUDON DE MAUNY (MONTPELLIER)

Image Courtesy of Baudon De Mauny and the French Tourism Board.

Image Courtesy of Baudon De Mauny and the French Tourism Board.

Image Courtesy of Baudon De Mauny and the French Tourism Board.

Image Courtesy of Baudon De Mauny and the French Tourism Board.

Despite its astounding high ceilings and lavish design, Baudon De Mauny feels just like home. 18th century embellishments, representative of the buildings history remain the heart and soul of this intercity boutique hotel, while charming modern garnishes evoke comfort and inspiration. With five guest rooms spanning over two floors, the former aristocratic dwelling is fittingly located on a narrow cobblestone street in the heart of bustling Montpellier. Owner and operator, Alaine De Bordas, warmly welcomes travelers who take genuine delight in discovering the absolute best in accommodations. Superior rooms run from $155-$195, while the larger suites on the main floor are from $250-$335. This gorgeous home away from home is the definition of unpretentious French luxury.

Image Courtesy of Baudon De Mauny and the French Tourism Board.

Image Courtesy of Baudon De Mauny and the French Tourism Board.

Image Courtesy of Baudon De Mauny and the French Tourism Board.

Image Courtesy of Baudon De Mauny and the French Tourism Board.

For more on France by rail, visit Rail Europe.
For more information on traveling to France, hotels, and the latest news on what to do, visit: france.fr

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