The Most Beautiful Seaside Resorts in France

Hôtel Les Mouettes in Ajaccio, Corsica, is a great place to unwind
Hôtel Les Mouettes in Ajaccio, Corsica, is a great place to unwind | Courtesy of Hôtel Les Mouettes / Expedia
Alexis James

With a diverse coastline boasting both wild and weathered Atlantic shores and enticing Mediterranean climes, France is home to a host of idyllic seaside resorts. Discover our top picks for the best coastal resorts in France, from the picturesque Bretagne town of Dinard to the luxury Cap-Estel hotel on the Côte d’Azur.

Whether you fancy surfing the west coast or sunbathing with a glass of rosé on the French Riviera, France is home to some of the most attractive seaside resorts in Europe. With 4,853km (3,016mi) of coastline, there are plenty of holiday destinations to choose from. Each has its own personality, from the laid-back surf vibes of Hossegor to the glitz and glamour of Cannes. To help you decide, we’ve charted the crème de la crème of French beach resorts.

1. La Villa Mauresque

Resort, Hotel

Outdoor pool with sea views and lush palm trees at La Villa Mauresque
Courtesy of La Villa Mauresque / Expedia

Among the hidden coves, red rocks and lapping waves of the Saint-Raphaël coast, you’ll find this family-friendly luxury villa. With a view over the St Tropez bay to the southwest, the infinity pool is one of two outdoor swimming pools, along with a sea-view Jacuzzi. Private yoga sessions can be reserved, as can an in-room massage. If you’d rather do something more active, the hotel can provide kayaks, canoes and even a powered inflatable boat.

2. Hôtel Martinez in the Unbound Collection by Hyatt

Chain Hotel

King room decorated with modern furnishings in blue, grey and white tones at Hotel Martinez in the Unbound Collection by Hyatt
Courtesy of Hotel Martinez in the Unbound Collection by Hyatt / Expedia

Originally opened in the 1920s, this French beach hotel was given a new lease of life in 2018 by renowned interior designer Pierre-Yves Rochon. Inspired by the building’s original architecture and the sunny colours of the Cote d’Azur, Rochon has infused each of the 409 rooms with a light and bright Art Deco spirit. For endless views of the Med, book a room with a private balcony.

3. Hôtel Royal Riviera

Resort, Hotel

Cheerful yellow building of the Hôtel Royal Riviera surrounded by lush greenery
Courtesy of Hotel Royal Riviera / Expedia

In the spring and summer months, guests at this five-star Cap-Ferrat hotel will enjoy access to their own exclusive beach. In the cooler months, head for the heated pool, sauna or turkish bath. Located on the Baie des Fourmis, the hotel is ideally placed for road trippers enjoying the stunning coastal journey from Nice to Monaco. Secure private parking is free, and the hotel even has a charging point for electric vehicles.

4. Le Méridien Nice

Resort, Chain Hotel

Modern living space at Le Meridien Nice with sliding doors opening up to a private balcony with ocean views
Courtesy of Le Meridien Nice / Expedia

At No 1, Promenade des Anglais, the 318 rooms at this beach hotel enjoy the most prestigious address in Nice. Camera-ready views are, therefore, guaranteed at the outdoor Latitude Bar and the rooftop restaurant La Terrasse. You’ll find light bites and tapas on the lunch menu, but those in search of a refreshing sweet treat must try the sorbet made from organic Nice lemons.

5. Hôtel Don Cesar


Outdoor pool at Hotel Don Cesar with loungers and parasols
Courtesy of Hotel Don Cesar / Expedia

Make the most of the south-facing private terrace by taking up the option of the in-room continental breakfast. As well as enjoying freshly pressed orange juice while taking in the beautiful Gulf of Porto Vecchio, each room includes a Nespresso coffee machine, a Bose sound system and a Nuxe welcome pack of beauty and spa products. It may tempt you to book the hotel’s relaxation day package, which includes a massage, a facial, lunch, and hammam access.

6. Le Grand Hôtel des Thermes


Modern twin room at Le Grand Hotel des Thermes with twin beds and ocean views
Courtesy of Le Grand Hotel des Thermes / Expedia

This striking hotel on the sands of Saint-Malo is something of a foodie’s heaven. With no fewer than three restaurants onsite, you are offered a number of dining experiences catering to your gastronomic desires. With a focus on healthy eating, the hotel runs weekly nutrition conferences and cooking workshops for guests. Those keen to indulge aren’t left out – there are foie gras, oysters and Barbary duck on the menu at the Cape Horn restaurant overlooking the bay.

7. Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc

Boutique Hotel

Cliffside outdoor infinity pool facing the ocean at Hotel du Cap Eden Roc Antibes
© imageBROKER / Alamy Stock Photo

Built by the founder of the French newspaper Figaro in 1869, and originally intended as a writer’s retreat, this Antibes beach mansion opened its doors to a wider demographic in 1887. The splendour of this 117-room hotel has retained something of a literary draw, visited by the likes of F Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway. Its magnetism has also reached Hollywood and is a popular choice during the Cannes Film Festival. It was also here that Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton once spent their honeymoon.

8. Le Grand Hôtel Le Touquet

Spa Hotel

Double room with a bed, red patterned carpet and garden views at Le Grand Hôtel Le Touquet
Courtesy of Le Grand Hôtel Le Touquet / Expedia
Along with facial and body treatments, at Le Grand Hôtel, you can book innovative light-therapy sessions, intended to boost sleep, thanks to the advanced PSiO technology at the Opal spa. For a more traditional way to relax, take the 10-minute stroll to Le Touquet Beach, or head out on two wheels or horseback to the many forest trails nearby. Back at the hotel, the mood lighting and grand piano at the Le Menko lounge bar make it a great place to sample the brimming cocktail selection.

9. Hotel and Spa Villa Seren

Spa Hotel

Modern double room with orange armchairs and brown sofa at Hotel and Spa Villa Seren
Courtesy of Hotel and Spa Villa Seren / Expedia

The white surfboard hanging on the wall in one of the suites at this four-star hotel provides a clue as to why many visitors head to Hossegor on the southwest coast of France. Four of the hotel’s five sophisticated rooms offer a view of the lake, thriving with kayakers and stand-up paddleboarders. To refuel and warm up after the water-based fun, head to the hotel wine bar, where chef Patrice Lubet will knock up some vegetable kimchi.

10. Hôtel Barrière Le Grand Hôtel Dinard


Modern suite with bed, sofa, desk and ocean views at Hôtel Barrière Le Grand Hôtel Dinard
Courtesy of Hôtel Barrière Le Grand Hôtel Dinard / Expedia

Take in the pleasing panorama of Saint-Malo Bay from across the water at Dinard at this elegant beach hotel, which opened in 1859. While you’ll likely be drawn to the pull of France’s northern coast, make sure to take the 10-minute morning stroll to Dinard market, for a browse of the freshest produce and the most creative glass and metalware. On Saturday lunchtimes, the hotel chef will oversee a mouth-watering meat and seafood barbecue.

11. Hôtel Cap-Estel

Spa Hotel, Hotel

King room with modern furnishings at Cap Estel
Courtesy of Cap Estel / Expedia

Nestled on a rocky peninsula between Monaco and Nice on the beautiful Côte d’Azur, the Cap-Estel hotel is an idyllic getaway, boasting five-star luxury and magnificent Mediterranean views. Located in a modernised mansion dating back to 1899, the four-floor hotel features two penthouses, complete with their own terraces, an onsite spa, beautiful terraced gardens and its own private beach. Take a dip in Cap-Estel’s saltwater infinity pool, a previous runner-up for the title of Best Hotel Pool in the Smith Hotel Awards, before retiring to the hotel’s Michelin-starred restaurant, La Table de Patrick Raingeard, for gourmet Mediterranean cuisine.

12. Ti al Lannec


Double room featuring a bed with a floral headboard and matching cushions at Ti al Lannec
Courtesy of Ti al Lannec / Expedia
A Belle Époque hilltop manor that was turned into a hotel, Ti al Lannec resides on the beautiful Côte de Granit Rose in the town of Trébeurden, Britanny. It offers a cosy retreat with scenic sea views, surrounded by luscious terraced gardens. Inside, Ti al Lannec boasts 26 rooms and seven luxury suites, plus an inviting pool with panoramic ocean views and a restaurant specialising in gourmet, locally caught seafood. A winding path leads down from Ti al Lannec to the main beach in Trébeurden, Plage de Tresmeur, while local attractions, like stunning Île Milliau, are a short distance away.

13. Hôtel Les Tourelles


The fairytale turrets of Hôtel Les Tourelles with the sea behind them and trees to each side
Courtesy of Hôtel Les Tourelles / Expedia
A quirky, eco-friendly hotel overlooking the vast expanse of Baie de Somme in the Normandy, Hôtel Les Tourelles is instantly recognisable by its bright red-brick exterior and fairytale-like turrets. Opened in 1994 by a group of friends with the aim of creating a homey haven for guests, the hotel features 35 rooms, some with enviable sea views. Enjoy fresh Atlantic moulesand prawn croquettes from the hotel’s seafood-orientated restaurant.

14. Hôtel Les Mouettes


A spacious double room at Hôtel Les Mouettes with a bed, a desk and a private balcony facing the ocean
Courtesy of Hôtel Les Mouettes / Expedia
Located on the outskirts of Ajaccio, the luxury four-star Hôtel Les Mouettes is a peaceful respite from Corsica’s bustling capital. Built in 1880 as a summer holiday home, the property was converted into a hotel in the mid-1950s and was the preferred haunt of big names such as writer Marcel Pagnol and opera singer Maria Callas. Today, Hôtel Les Mouettes retains its old-fashioned charm but boasts all the modern conveniences you could wish for, such as spacious suites, a private sandy beach and a palm-lined terrace with panoramic views of Ajaccio Bay.

15. Hôtel du Palais


A spacious double room elegantly decorated in white and pink tones at Hôtel du Palais
Courtesy of Hôtel du Palais / Expedia

Built in 1855 to serve as the summer residence of Napoléon III, the beautiful Hôtel du Palais is one of Biarritz’s most recognisable landmarks. Many of the palatial hotel’s 153 rooms are adorned with original furniture, restored by its in-house team of talented craftsmen, while an onsite spa equipped with an indoor pool, sauna and turkish baths offers a luxurious stay. Three restaurants, overseen by chef Aurélien Largeau, serve locally caught seafood and Bretagne-inspired cuisine. The busy Grand Plage is just a short walk away.

Helen Armitage contributed additional reporting to this article.

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