When you are looking to drop a lot of cash to impress the one you love, France is the place for you. You might be thinking: Paris! The city of lights! The most romantic city on earth! But stop right there, my cliché-loving Romeo. You really want to wow her while you woo her? Head for the French countryside and take her to one of France’s most romantic B&Bs. You can thank me later.
How about renting one of four suites at Le Castel, a classic Napoleon III chateau in Normandy? Suites include two bedrooms and living area and your rate is inclusive of meals, which you will enjoy in a spectacularly appointed dining room with your fellow guests (unless you choose to have the proprietor arrange a private in-suite meal). The sprawling grounds make the property seem isolated, but you will actually be quite well-located for touring UNESCO World Heritage site Mont St Michel with its rocky island monastery. Impress her with your knowledge of the city of Bayeux, you history buff! Nearby you will also find the D-Day beaches, which are now peaceful and stretch between beautiful coastal towns. After a day of sightseeing, head back to Le Castel where Jon, the proprietor, will provide you with ample wine for a romantic evening.
For a more traditional, cottage-style B&B experience, try Domaine de Croccano on the island of Corsica. This is an older property, set in the hills above the ocean where you can rent one of only three rooms. This is the place to experience the Mediterranean spirit in France, where the faces of the hills are lined with olive and cork trees and people speak Corsican – a distinct dialect closer to Italian than French. Spend your days hiking or riding through the rugged hill country or visit the towns of South Corsica, including Ajaccio the birthplace of Napoleon Bonaparte, the citadel town of Bonifacio or the mountain-and-beaches town of Porto-Vecchio for some sunbathing amidst incredible scenery. In the evening, head back to the old granite house by the sea, curled up with a book or a game of cards.
If you’re looking for something that will evoke all the majesty of the old French nobility, look no further than Chateau de Challain in the Loire Valley. Constructed by the Count and Countess of La Rochefoucauld-Bayers in 1854, you may just expect to see a princess wandering around this massive neogothic style castle. Everything from the grounds, to the furnishings, to the hospitality is carefully designed to take your breath away. Designed by famous 19th century architects, the castle is an attraction all its own. There is also a cathedral, several shops and event venues on the grounds. Spend a day touring other castles in the Loire Valley, where you can compare your quarters to those of your noble neighbours, or enjoy a scenic river cruise on the Loire River before heading back to your fairytale accommodations to enjoy the royal art of relaxation.