From historic celebrity haunts to working wineries of the Languedoc-Roussillon region, these are the best stays in the medieval coastal city of Montpellier, bookable on Culture Trip.
With 300 days of sunshine a year, oodles of wine bars, boulangeries and pretty historic squares, multicultural Montpellier makes a fine French city break. The city is just 13km (8mi) north of the Mediterranean coast and an easy day trip from Occitanie’s mountainous national parks. On y va? (Ready to go?) Take your pick from our selection of luxury boutiques, spa hotels and historic hideaways in Montpellier.
Located within a sculpture park, this ivy-draped boutique features five rooms decked out with mid-century modern furniture, modern art and claw-foot bathtubs. Friendly host Antoine also helps run the brilliant hotel bistro – you’ll want to eat here at least once, if only for the post-dinner cheese board. The marmite of Montpellier neighbourhoods, Antigone, is a 20-minute walk west; it’s worth a stroll along the almost dystopian Neoclassical boulevard either way.
Once you’ve had enough of the rooftop pool at this central hotel, wander west until you reach the Promenade du Peyrou, bookended by the city’s Arc de Triomphe and an 18th-century aqueduct. Fancy a road trip? It’s a 30-minute drive to Plage du Pilou, a broad white-sand beach separated from the mainland by a series of lagoons. Wannabe kitesurfers can take a beginner lesson with KWM Kiteschool.
This historic spa hotel dates back to 1898 – though the light-filled rooms have been given a revamp since then. Notable previous guests include Ella Fitzgerald and a slew of French celebrities. There’s a small palm-lined pool in the garden – but for a real hit of greenery, walk 15 minutes north to the Jardin des Plantes, which is packed with over 2,000 plant species.
Baudon de Mauny houses 10 palatial rooms with one distinct aesthetic. This 18th-century house turned upmarket B&B blends old and new, combining original flagstone floors and fireplaces with bold wallpaper and super modern light fittings with pleasing results. The old town’s bars, restaurants and galleries are right on your doorstep (ask host Alain to arrange an after-hours tour of Musée Fabre) – but the ornate in-house lounge (with honesty bar) is a good spot for a nightcap.
With stained glass windows, antique furniture and a grand curved staircase in the lobby, this 16-room boutique stays true to its 18th-century roots while providing guests with modern comforts. The high-ceilinged rooms have compact bathrooms (the cheapest rooms have shared toilets), and you can tear into Montpellier’s flakiest croissants on the shady breakfast terrace. Montpellier’s huge Gothic cathedral is an eight-minute walk away – explore the interior to get a real sense of its scale.
Hopping along the south coast? Golden Tulip is just across the road from Montpellier’s train station, so exploring the wider region by rail is a doddle. This super modern hotel has 102 slick rooms with moody, charcoal bathrooms (some come with baths only, so best to state your preference in advance) and a wellness centre complete with sauna and hammam. Watch the world go by from the open-air, first-floor terrace bar – the whisky and carrot kombucha cocktail is far nicer than it sounds.
This is an updated version of an article originally by Holly Howard.