• Trianon Palace & Spa (Versailles, Ile de France; tel. 800/937-8461 in the U.S. and Canada, or 01-30-84-50-00; www.westin.com): Louis XIV nearly bankrupted France during the construction of his nearby palace, but this hotel overlooking its gardens might have been even more influential. In 1919, the Versailles Peace Treaty was ratified by delegates who stayed in the same rooms that house guests today. You'll be pampered at this plush, elegant hotel, which boasts its own spa.
  • Château de Locguénolé (Hennebont, Brittany; tel. 02-97-76-76-76; www.chateau-de-locguenole.com): No professional decorator could accumulate the array of furnishings and artifacts that grace this Breton manor house, which has been occupied by the same family for 500 years. Some visitors think it's the most charming hotel in southern Brittany; you may agree.
  • Manoir du Stang (La Forêt-Fouesnant, Brittany; tel. 02-98-56-96-38; www.manoirdustang.com): Even the ivy that twines across the facade of this 16th-century Breton manor house looks as though it was planted by someone very important, very long ago. Formal gardens segue into forested parkland; modern amenities are juxtaposed with enviable antiques -- the place is a gem that happens to be a glamorous hotel.
  • Château de Rochegude (Rochegude, Provence; tel. 04-75-97-21-10; www.chateauderochegude.com): During the thousand years of this château's existence, its owners have included popes, dauphins, and less prominent aristocrats who showered it with taste and money. Today each room is outfitted in a style inspired by a specific emperor or king. The setting is 10 hectares (25 acres) of parkland adjacent to the Rhône, outside Orange.
  • Château des Alpilles (St-Rémy-de-Provence, Provence; tel. 04-90-92-03-33; www.chateaudesalpilles.com): The Pichot family built this château in 1827, and it has housed many famous personages, including Chateaubriand. The luxurious hotel, modestly referred to as "a house for paying friends," is a showcase of luxury, refinement, and taste.


Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.