Armchair travelers, broke students, Pinterest addicts—we’ve all got big dreams about where we’d like to travel in style some day. That day might not be today, but while you’re trying to rearrange your tiny studio apartment to fit that new armchair you just stooped, maybe take a quick break and scroll through some of the most luxurious, opulent, eat-the-rich level hotels in all of France.
Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat is a small peninsula on the French Riviera home to some of the most expensive real estate in the world (composer Andrew Lloyd Webber even has property there). Next to the famed Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, a Tuscan-style villa and museum built during the Belle Époque, the Grand-Hotel du Cap-Ferrat remains the go-to hotel for the rich and famous in Cap-Ferrat. With private villas, private seaside cabanas, and the Club Dauphin swimming pool (considered one of the most beautiful in the world), it is the place to live out your ultimate vision of 20th century glamour. Prices run from around €3000 to €8900.
One of Paris’s most historic hotels, Le Meurice has been home to artists from Salvador Dalí and Emile Zola to Andy Warhol and Bob Dylan. With the “Tuileries Garden as your front garden, the Louvre to your left and Place de la Concorde to your right. Paris is yours,” reads their website. And they’re not wrong. Le Meurice is also one of France’s “palace hotels,” a special designation given to five-star hotels known for their iconic buildings, rich histories, and reputation for excellence. Enjoy an Italian marble bathroom with a waterfall bath and dinner in Alain Ducasse’s restaurant. A Classic Single room will set you back €880, while a Presidential Suite will leave you at €8000.
If you can describe your dream aesthetic as “snow lodge chic,” then boy do we have the hotel for you. The Hôtel Barrière Les Neiges, located in the ski town of Courchevel, is all dark wood paneling and fur-strewn furniture. Spend a day on the slopes and then take a trip to the hotel spa, with treatments specifically designed for those partaking in winter sports. Two restaurants are on location, both with wood fire and red velvet armchair ambience. Prices available upon request.
Located in Château la Coste near Aix-en-Provence, Villa La Coste looks like the place you would go to rejuvenate after the mysterious death of your wealthy husband. Light-filled minimalistic suites, ranging from €600 to €3200, offer private terrace and panoramic views of Luberon and Château de Coste vineyards. A lobby art gallery and marble bathrooms round out the sense of luxury, with some suites even having their own private plunge pools.
The Hôtel Plaza Athénée is one of the most famous luxury hotels in all of Paris. It’s seen film stars, Nazis, soldiers, and even Carrie Bradshaw (in the famous series finale of Sex and the City). With five restaurants, all run by chef Alain Ducasse, an ice rink in winter, included spa services, and a location at the heart of Paris’s shopping district, you could find yourself barely stepping out to explore the city with so much to keep you occupied.
The Hôtel du Palais Biarritz is the only hotel in the French Basque country to have “palace” status, making it one of the most coveted places to stay in Chanel’s favorite sea town. Built on the premises of a villa once owned by Napoleon III and Empress Eugénie, its Second Empire decor will transport you into a universe of Old World glamor. Whether you’re looking to surf, golf, or ride horses, there is no shortage of fun activities in the area. Enjoy stunning ocean views for as low as €400 per night, or as high as €2400 per night.
This Art Deco landmark is all about the details, from careful reproductions of Flanders tapestries to a trompe-l’oeil mural of Queen Marie Antoinette’s Petit Trianon in the swimming pool. The Four Seasons Hotel George V, or Le Cinq, as it is colloquially known, is steps from the Champs-Élysées, with classic Parisian balconies that open onto the center of the City of Lights. Some suites even have perfect Eiffel Tower views! Rooms run between €2100 and €7500 per night, with specialty suites requiring consultations for pricing.