The Pink Granite Coast of Brittany, France has long been a retreat for wealthy Parisians. As far back as the 19th Century and beyond, they’ve been arriving in droves to take in the restorative sea air. With its palm trees, tropical plants, seals, rare sea birds and huge rose-coloured rock formations, the stretch of coastline between Perros Guirec and Ploumanac’h is widely regarded as the most beautiful in Brittany. And if you’re looking for places to stay in Brittany to make the most of these coastal delights, I can thoroughly recommend Villa Les Hydrangéas, a 3-star hotel in Perros Guirec. I’d even go so far as saying it’s one of the best places to stay in France.
(Disclosure: we stayed as non-paying guests at Villa Les Hydrangéas as part of a press trip with Brittany Tourism. All views are my own.)
I’m not alone in that opinion. Despite there being a lot of hotels in Brittany by the sea, Tripadvisor ranked Villa Les Hydrangéas as no. 14 in the ‘Traveller’s Choice’ listing for the whole of France. The place has only been open under its new ownership since 2016, but it’s managed to achieve that rare thing: a stylish boutique hotel, that’s family-focused at the same time.
Places to relax in Villa Les Hydrangéas
Villa Les Hydrangéas was welcoming from the start. On the afternoon of our arrival, a text message pinged into my phone from the owners, Coralie and Eric, to say our room was ready, and that they were looking forward to seeing us. It was a level of detail that you don’t often find in small hotels.
Climbing the front steps, and walking into Villa Les Hydrangéas’ hallway, was a calming experience. Cool, whitewashed walls were hung with a selection of sea views, wildlife scenes and botanicals.
Villa Les Hydrangéas had three relaxation spaces downstairs, where D and I enjoyed leafing through glossy magazines showing beautiful scenes from the coast. The bright, airy sitting rooms were perfect for lounging. Their furniture was stylish enough to make us feel pampered, but artfully distressed, so we didn’t worry about the kids making a mess.
A corner of the large L-shaped dining room was set aside as a ‘Salon’ for children, with toys, games and crafting materials. A lot of these were ocean-themed, with books on sea birds, and pretty shells from the shore.
Our two enjoyed colouring, drawing and reading the children’s books that were laid out (these included English volumes, as well as French). D and I took the opportunity to sink down into the comfortable seats, and gaze out at the incredible sea view.
Dining space at Villa Les Hydrangéas
The dining room looked out onto the Sept Îles. These seven islands lurked off the coast like a school of hump-backed whales. Brittany’s oldest and largest bird sanctuary can be found on the Sept Îles, and visitors regularly take boats out to see guillemots, gannets and puffins.
Coralie and Eric had designed a modern, stylish dining space. It was all nautical chic, with soothing taupe and slate grey decor to complement the coastal setting.
In the evenings, guests could drink craft beer, or wine selected by Coralie, who used to be a professional sommelier. Visitors in need of an evening meal would eat outside the hotel, in one of Perros Guirec’s many restaurants. On our first night we found a decent creperie, and on the second we followed one of the hotel’s recommendations, and ate perfectly prepared pasta and pizza at Capizzone, a reasonably priced Italian restaurant.
Breton Gourmet Breakfast
Villa Les Hydrangéas’ signature dining experience was a gourmet breakfast, “created with love” by Coralie and Eric. The food was typical of French cuisine at its best: simple, local ingredients fashioned into the most mouth-watering, elegant dishes.
We ate the freshest eggs, their yolks sprinkled with crunchy rock salt, on bread smothered in Breton butter. A gorgeous buffet of cakes, fruit, pastries, cheese and cured meats made us glad we’d slept well, and woken to raging appetites.
My son’s favourite was the pistachio and raspberry cake, so fresh that it was still a little warm from the oven.
I adored my fresh fruit infused with verbena from the garden, sprinkled with a few Perigord walnuts. D enjoyed some flavoursome tomme cheese from the Savoie, and our daughter sipped creamy hot chocolate made with local organic milk. It really was the breakfast of kings.
Our room at Villa Les Hydrangéas
We stayed in Île Bono, a spacious 4-person family suite with a private bathroom, and a courtyard view. It was decorated and furnished in what I can only describe as a cosy industrial style. Handwritten notes on the beds welcomed the children by name. They were very excited to find little gifts laid out for them beds, including plush puffins, and a Coq en Pâte bucket-and-spade set, made from Breton seaweed rather than plastic.
The kids’ room had other cute little touches, like a stuffed donkey on the wall above the door, and a bag of building bricks in the wardrobe.
Our suite was 36m², with two bedrooms, a hallway, and a separate bathroom and toilet. There was bags of space.
Inside the bathroom we found delicious-smelling organic toiletries. The place was well set up for kids, with a wooden stool tucked away under the shelves of fluffy towels. We just pulled out when our six-year old needed to reach the sink to clean her teeth.
Our own bedroom was cosy, with blankets, and a super-soft, tactile cushion on a beat-up leather armchair. The chair was perfect for sinking into with a cup of restorative herbal tea, made using the kettle in the room.
This was a working trip for me. So albeit reluctantly, I was able to set up with my laptop at a little desk in our room, and use the hotel wi-fi to catch up on some writing.
Unsurprisingly, Villa Les Hydrangéas was full when we stayed, so we didn’t get a chance to peek into any of the other bedrooms. We were in ‘the villa’, the older part of the hotel. The recently contructed building next door, ‘the nest’, had rooms and suites furnished in Scandinavian style. These all came with sea views.
Beauty and relaxation treatments
Guests can book a massage or beauty treatment in Villa Les Hydrangéas’ ‘Beauté Voyageuse’ treatment booth. We didn’t have time on this trip to try it out, but the booth was in a lovely location: in the garden, overlooking the sea.
You can see prices and availability at Villa Les Hydrangéas on their website. The hotel’s address is 53 bd Georges Clemenceau, 22700 PERROS-GUIREC, France.
Here’s a little video I took of our family suite, the sitting room and dining room.
Where is Brittany, France?
We travelled to Brittany with Brittany Ferries, who run regular crossings between France and the south of England, as well as Ireland. Brittany is in the far north-west of France, next to Normandy.
Things to do in Brittany France
There are plenty of things for families to do in Brittany (or Bretagne, if you’re French). Close to Perros Guirec, there are lots of lovely walks along the coast, where you can see the pink granite formations up close. Some of these are short, and suitable for little legs. I’ve posted here about other family attractions on our road trip from Roscoff to St Malo.
Have you been to Brittany? Do you have any recommendations on where to stay in Brittany, or on places to stay in northern France?
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