• Blue Note Croisière

    For anyone who has visited Ile de Ré, this idyllic island will always be synonymous  with beauty, sensuality and culinary delights. So if you’ve never set foot on its sandy shores, treat yourself to a weekend and discover the many different facets of island life.

    If you like the idea of being pampered, you can’t do better than book into Les Bois Flottais hotel. Here Nathalie and Frédéric will lay on every little comfort to make you feel relaxed and special, from tastefully decorated bedrooms to hammam and beauty treatments.

    Spend the day enjoying an unexpected view of the Atlantic coast, whilst sipping champagne from the deck of a catamaran. The captain will help you discover the delights of Ile de Ré, Fort Boyard and Ile d’Aix – an unmissable experience! 

    Confiture Ars

    Back on dry land, visit the Ecomusée du Marais Salant – the salt marsh discovery centre – at Loix;  enjoy a glass of delicious Pineau des Charentes aperitif or a wine from Ile de Ré at the winemakers’ co-operative; discover the wonderful range of home-made jams at the bell tower at Ars-en-Ré; and toast your weekend at the Bières de Ré micro-brewery where you’ll find beers to rival any more famous names. 

    After a relaxed afternoon sampling the island’s produce, there’s no better way to end the day than over a plate of traditional local fare.

    Hôtel Bois Flottais

    At the top end of the scale, the restaurant of the Hôtel Océan at Bois-Plage-en- Ré is a real gourmet treat, whilst Serghi at Saint-Martin-de-Ré will please anyone who loves an authentic local atmosphere.

    [+] How to get to Ile de Ré

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  • green-tourism-small7

    If your own wellbeing – and that of the environment – is high on your wish list for weekends and holidays, come to a destination where you can live in harmony with nature. The natural beauty of places like Ile de Ré is fragile and the eco-hotel of Les Vignes de la Chapelle on the south coast of the island welcomes nature lovers keen to preserve its local environment.

    You’ll be able to see and feel the beauty of Ile de Ré from the moment you arrive. Absorb the peaceful atmosphere and soak up the magnificent view across the vineyards to the distant ocean and the outlines of Ile d’Aix and Ile d’Oléron. There’s a double delight in knowing that whole hotel has been thought out not only for your personal wellbeing, but also to safeguard  the nature all around.

    For you, there are ‘lodge’ rooms or spacious duplex apartments, quiet and comfortable, with a decking terrace where you can enjoy a tasty organic breakfast of local products. There’s a spa area too with sauna and heated pool for the ultimate chill-out, with the added bonus of birdsong, sunshine and the rhythmical sound of the ocean –the complete coastal relaxation package!

    And to help the environment, the hotel’s many eco-friendly measures include using solar panels, renewable energy, and natural materials, as well as recycling whenever possible.

    Stay close to nature throughout your stay by taking an excursion by bike or on horseback along the coast or through the salt marshes. Drop in at the Ecomusée du Marais Salant, or salt marsh discovery centre; buy some pure donkey milk soap from the shop in Saint-Martin-de-Ré; breathe in that clear sea air from the Phare des Baleines lighthouse; go birdwatching at the Lilleau des Niges reserve; and be as active or passive as you please on the Ile de Ré’s magnificent beaches.

    It really is possible to live in harmony with yourself and with nature – you just have to see life from an organic, environmentally-friendly point of view!

    [+] How to get to Ile de Ré

    Vignes de la chapelle - pool and vineyard

    Vignes de la Chapelle - livingroom

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  • Experience the calm and elegance of a riverside country mansion just five minutes’ walk from the centre of Poitiers, regional capital of Poitou-Charentes.

    Built in 1830 beside the river Clain, Le Cours du Clain was once a busy farm, tucked beneath the city’s ancient ramparts. Today this enchanting B&B offers five period rooms with every contemporary comfort, a warm welcome, and the chance to relax in 4 hectares of private grounds.

    Relax by the pool, stroll through the kitchen garden, and sip an aperitif beneath a 400-year-old cedar tree.  If you can tear yourself away, the heart of historic Poitiers is just a stroll away.  

    Follow one of three colour-coded trails from the Romanesque church of Notre-Dame-la-Grande to take in the historic monuments and retail temptations, quiet parks and pretty squares.

    Poitiers boasts over 2000 years of history and more than 80 classified monuments, but it has a vibrant contemporary feel as well.

    One of the first university towns in Europe, Poitiers is now home to more than 25,700 students, and its lively cultural scene includes dance festivals and theatre, concerts and street arts.

    Relax at a pavement café and just watch the world go by, then for a different perspective, see the town from water level by hiring a canoe or kayak from the base in Saint-Benoit.

    [+] How to get to Poitiers

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  • Stay in the Art Deco surroundings of the luxurious Loges du Parc hotel in La Roche-Posay for a short break that combines wellbeing treatments with outdoor activities and heritage visits.

    Part of the prestigious Chateaux & Hotels Collection, this elegant hotel in a landscaped garden was built in the Art Deco period and has been tastefully refurbished to combine period style with modern comforts.

    The moisturising and healing properties of waters sourced from beneath La Roche-Posay have been recognised for centuries.

    Today this quiet country town is France’s leading dermatological centre using natural mineral water, internationally famous for its skincare products.

    The refurbished Spa Source opened to the public in April 2012, offering pampering and relaxation treatments alongside medically-approved treatments for specialist skin conditions.

    La Roche-Posay boasts an impressive range of sports and leisure activities.

    So when you’re not relaxing in the spa or by the pool, you can play 18-holes on the Connétable golf course, go horse racing, try your luck in the casino, or just explore the surrounding countryside.

    Stop off at Angles-sur-l’Anglin, an enchanting riverside community classified amongst the Most Beautiful Villages of France, and visit the abbey church at St-Savin-sur-Gartempe to see the fabulous murals of biblical scenes, classified by UNESCO on their World Heritage list.

    And don’t miss Chauvigny with its five individual fortresses and a stunning bird show, Giants of the Sky.

    [+] How to get to La Roche-Posay

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  • Hotel l'Argentière, Melle

    Countryside classic at Hôtel l’Argentière in Melle

    Soak up the atmosphere of historic Melle in the heart of the lush Poitou-Charentes countryside with a holiday at the Hôtel l’Argentière.

    A member of the Logis de France network, Hôtel l’Argentière stands in a wooded park just outside the town centre. It’s also an easy drive from the protected landscape of the Marais Poitevin – France’s ‘Green Venice' – as well as the stunning harbour at La Rochelle, the imaging theme park of Futuroscope, and the heritage attractions of Poitiers.

    Hôtel l’Argentière offers 25 ground-floor rooms, including family rooms, communicating rooms and two rooms adapted for guests with reduced mobility. Individually decorated in fresh, summer colours, each one opens onto a terrace overlooking the garden and includes television, free WiFi and shady parking. You can even bring the family dog.

    Melle is renowned for its beautiful Romanesque churches, especially St Hilaire, one of six buildings in Poitou-Charentes that lie on the pilgrims routes to Santiago de Compostela and have been included by UNESCO on its World Heritage Site list. Melle is also home to the silver mines of the Carolingian kings. The oldest European mines open to the public, they served as Royal Mint in the 8th and 9th centuries.

    [+] How to get to Melle

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