Few hotels offer the pleasures of city and countryside, sophistication and rusticity as charmingly as Les Étangs de Corot. A through-the-looking-glass experience awaits guests who do not discover the full magic of the place until they pass through the glass doors of a nondescript contemporary façade. Behind lies another world, of gardens, ivy-and-rose-clad walls, a languorous lake, and poetic wooden verandas that hearken back to a time when Camille Corot painted en plein air from a cottage studio a short walk away.
Owned by the winemaking family behind the French skincare brand Caudalie, whose vinothérapie spa and hotel Les Sources de Caudalie in Bordeux is a benchmark in pastoral luxury, Les Étangs follows the same blueprint. Pairing a full Caudalie spa (and bath products in the rooms) and a Michelin-starred restaurant, Le Corot, for guests who want the full-on luxury getaway experience. But you can also dine in a rustic bistro or at the bar, all featuring the family’s Château Smith Haut Lafitte wines.
Gracious rooms mix antique-style furnishings and artworks with modern comforts and lovely lighting (that can hinder pre-sleep reading), baroque wallpapers, and marble baths. Floor-to-ceiling windows—or a terrace in a few of the rooms—afford spectacular views of the lake, a vista we urge you to request in order to fully experience the hotel’s allure.
Set in the village of Ville d’Avray, between Paris and Versailles, a car is not a must to get here. Paris is quickly and easily accessed by bus and metro, and Versailles is within walking distance. The hotel is also a ten-minute bus ride to the marvelous Sèvres porcelain museum and manufactory, and Paris’s newest music venue, La Seine Musicale, set on an island in the Seine.
If city vs. countryside is your conundrum, at Les Étangs you can breakfast in the French countryside and easily be in Paris in time for lunch.
Les Étangs de Corot, 55 Rue de Versailles, 92410 Ville-d’Avray, Tel: +33 (0)1 41 15 37 00. Website: www.etangs-corot.com