With endless beaches, tall sea cliffs, and glorious landscapes, Normandy has long been the domain of France’s best writers and artists. This is the land of Monet and the Impressionists, of Flaubert and literary realism, and you can uncover their creative legacies and inspirational sources across Normandy.
You’ll find history and heritage among the timber-fronted houses of Rouen’s Old Town, where the memory of Joan of Arc lives on and where the Notre Dame de Rouen rises high above the city.
You can visit the birthplace of William the Conqueror, perhaps the most famous of Normans, before seeing the Bayeux Tapestry in Bayeux. Then there are the D-Day landing sites, World War II memorials, and military history sites that speak of the region’s importance during the Allied invasion of France during World War II.
There’s much to see and do in Normandy, and you’ll have plenty of high-end Norman cuisine and fine wines to try at the end of a long day’s sightseeing. There will be heritage-listed manor houses and castles where you can spend your night in the Norman countryside, as well as luxury spa retreats and literary-themed hotels in towns and cities across Normandy.
If you’re planning a trip to France, then keep reading as we explain where to stay in Normandy!
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Where to stay in Normandy
Normandy encompasses a large geographical region that stretches from the banks of the River Seine in the north to the borders of Brittany in the south.
The coastline is spectacular, with colorful beachfront towns like Deauville and Cabourg offering opportunities for glamorous seaside escapes in spa resorts and art deco hotels. Head to the famous town of Honfleur, and you can stay in the same hotels and farmhouses frequented by the Impressionists (including Monet and Henri de Saint-Delis) who depicted Normandy’s landscapes so vividly in their paintings.
Normandy is more than its coastline. Inland, you can stay in grand chateaux and elegant manor houses, which have been converted into luxury guesthouses and hotels. Embrace rural life with a countryside stay in a converted farmhouse, and all the while enjoy the freshest food and wines straight from the farms and vineyards of Normandy.
And who can forget Rouen? The ancient Norman capital has a history stretching back centuries, and you can stay in luxury hotels right in the heart of the heritage-laden city. To help inspire your next French getaway, here’s our list of the 12 best hotels in Normandy!
The 12 Best Hotels in Normandy
Hotel Saint-Delise is easily one of the best boutique hotels in Normandy. Located in Honfleur, a historic Norman town that overlooks the mouth of the River Seine, this five-star hotel is part of the prestigious Relais & Chateaux group. This means you can expect an eclectic mix of history and luxury, so we know you’re going to love your stay at this beautiful French hotel!
Hotel Saint-Delise is inspired by the works of local painter Henri de Saint-Delis, who created a large body of work while based in Honfleur in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The building itself dates back to the 17th century, and Henri de Saint-Delis spent much of his career painting still scenes of Norman life in the house’s garden and from the landing. If you can, try to reserve Room No.3 because this first-floor suite was Henri de Saint-Delis’ personal painting room!
There are just nine rooms in total at this historic boutique hotel, each of which preserves its heritage remarkably well while also offering all of the modern comforts you’d expect in Normandy. Each of the rooms has a unique character and design, and you’ll love the paintings and artwork that draw on the hotel’s artistic past.
The wooden floors add a touch of timeless charm to proceedings, while the plush bed is perfect for an excellent night’s sleep after a day in Honfleur. The bathrooms are magnificent, with marble decor and steam showers as standard and a whirlpool bath in the fanciest suites.
You’re just a short stroll away from Honfleur’s historic port and harbor, where some of Normandy’s oldest restaurants – including the Vieux Honfleur – await those with a craving for French haute cuisine.
Gustave Flaubert is considered to be one of France’s greatest writers, and if you agree, then you’ll want to book a stay at the Best Western Plus Hotel Litteraire Gustave Flaubert.
This is one of the most unique hotels in Normandy because the themes and decor are inspired by the life and works of Flaubert. The four-star hotel is located in Rouen, where the 19th-century writer lived, worked, and died, and you’ll find copies of his works available to read in each of the boutique rooms.
The comfortable rooms are decorated in a nostalgic style, with portraits of French literary icons hanging from the walls and quotes from Flaubert’s work adorning the headboards above the beds. Rooms are modern, too, and you’ll find all the comforts you need, from flat-screen televisions to luxury toiletries.
You can enjoy a cocktail while you read Flaubert on the terrace, with a beautiful view of Rouen’s rooftops surrounding you. A breakfast of croissants and coffee is served every morning, while the hotel’s central location in Rouen ensures you’re never far from an excellent French restaurant!
Overlooking mile upon mile of sandy beaches on the English Channel, Le Grand Hotel de Cabourg is one of the top hotels in Normandy.
This luxury beachfront hotel has long been an integral part of the resort town of Cabourg’s historic skyline, and if you’re a fan of the French literary scene, then you may already know that famous French writer Marcel Proust spent time not just staying here, but living in the hotel.
The hotel tries to preserve its heritage as much as possible, and you’ll find literary nods throughout as well as preserved period pieces such as in-room fireplaces. But while the rooms and suites are certainly nostalgic in spirit, they are modern, comfortable, and deluxe in terms of their amenities. There are flat-screen televisions, velvet furnishings, and luxury toiletries that all add a touch of comfort to your stay.
The best rooms at Le Grand Hotel de Cabourg feature beautiful sea views, and you’ll love enjoying your morning coffee on the balcony as you watch the waves break on the beaches of Normandy. You can enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a sea view when you book a table at Le Balbec, the hotel’s fine dining seafood restaurant.
Cocktails are served at La Belle Epoque, while you’re going to appreciate the sauna, hammam, and sensory shower that all guests have complimentary access to at the hotel’s spa.
With its elegant beachfront, picturesque harbor, and its casino, film festivals, and cultural attractions, the pretty Norman town of Deauville has long been a favorite getaway for the French elite. Deauville is often called the Parisian Riviera, and you’ll find some of the best hotels in Normandy overlooking the sea here.
One of the most fashionable hotels in Deauville is Hotel Barriere Le Normandy, a five-star favorite that offers opulence, history, and exclusivity in one heritage-listed package. Hotel Barriere Le Normandy was built in a grand Anglo-Norman style, and you’ll love the elegant half-timbering that adds a sense of medieval charm to the facade.
The hotel became a firm fixture on the movie-star scene in the 20th century, and you’ll be staying in the same rooms that have been graced by Hollywood legends such as Kirk Douglas in years past.
The 261 rooms and suites feature cinema memorabilia, velvet curtains, and bright, often floral wallpaper and decor. Rooms here are undoubtedly modern, with an extensive renovation project in 2016 bringing the hotel up to date with a unique character created by interior designer Nathalie Ryan.
Although the English Channel is just a short walk away, you might prefer to take a dip in the indoor swimming pool. The pool is located in a glass-covered central courtyard where a constant temperature of 28 degrees Celsius keeps the water toasty all through the year.
The hotel’s gourmet restaurant is called La Belle Epoque, and it serves a fine selection of Norman cuisine for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. More dining options await you on the seafront, where you’ll find a fantastic array of fine dining restaurants and high-end bars.
If you’ve ever wanted to stay in a French castle, then you’ll have the chance to enjoy the royal life when you book a vacation at Chateau La Cheneviere. This opulent Norman manor house was built by a noble family in the 18th century before being completely restored again in the late 20th century.
You’ll find Chateau La Cheneviere in the picturesque Norman countryside, surrounded by 12 hectares of landscaped gardens which includes two hectares of a walled English-style garden. There’s plenty of time and space for quiet contemplation, not least because there are only 29 rooms and suites available at this boutique hotel.
The hotel preserves the Anglo-Norman style that was popular among the nobility in times past, and you’ll love the history-laden decor that includes period furnishings and floral designs that wouldn’t be out of place in a period drama.
Enjoy breakfast and lunch in Le Petit Jardin Restaurant, where ingredients are locally sourced, and the chefs cook with a splendid farm-to-table ethos. You’ll be dining in the chateau’s glass conservatory, where you’ll have views of the garden and swimming pool as you enjoy beef tartare or a buckwheat burger.
A fine dining experience awaits you at Le Botaniste, where Head Chef Didier Robin cooks up tasting menus using locally grown ingredients sourced from the hotel’s permaculture vegetable garden and nearby farms.
Le Manoir des Impressionnistes is another one of the best boutique hotels in Normandy. This five-star hotel is set among acres of gardens on the coast by the artistically minded town of Honfleur, and we couldn’t think of a better place to stay when visiting Normandy!
You’ll be staying in an old Norman manor house that’s steeped in history. The hotel is an homage to the rural character of Normandy, as well as the Impressionist painters that found inspiration from the region’s slow pace of life and beautiful landscapes. You’ll even find the works of painter Fernand Herbo hanging from the walls in the dining room.
There are just a few carefully decorated and preserved rooms available to book at Le Manoir des Impressionnistes, so it’s the perfect place to escape the world. You’ll love the mix of heritage and comfort, with luxury bathrooms and plush beds complimented by period furnishings and features. Rooms offer sea views or garden views, and you can relax on the terrace or take a dip in the outdoor pool while admiring the vistas over the English Channel.
At the Table of the Impressionists Restaurant, you’ll be dining in artistic surroundings, with a choice of delectable wines carefully selected by a sommelier to inspire your own work or stimulate your conversation. The menu is seasonal, with a heavy focus on local seafood, Norman meats, and homegrown vegetables.
Chateau d’Avesnes has a rich modern history dating back to 1903, when this beautiful Castelet was built for the Comtessa of Miremont. Now a luxury hotel, “Le Castelet,” as its moniker goes, has preserved its noble heritage superbly.
This 20th-century castle is located in Avesnes-en-Bray, a small village in the heart of the Norman countryside. You won’t be staying by the coast, but you will be staying in quiet, peaceful surroundings that few tourists ever reach.
This is your countryside retreat, and you’ll love how the hotel offers free bicycles to guests, an outdoor barbecue where you can cook up a hearty feast, and extensive grounds and gardens (18 hectares, complete with over 300 delightful fruit trees) that are just waiting to be explored!
Rooms at Chateau d’Avesnes are a wonderful mix of old and new. The chateau was extensively refurbished in recent years, and you’ll appreciate how the period features and antique furnishings sit alongside modern and colorful decor and designs.
If you’re looking for a coastal spa retreat, then you’ll find it at La Ferme Saint Simeon Spa. This beautiful boutique hotel is located outside the town of Honfleur, where you’ll be just a short stroll away from the English Channel.
This five-star hotel simply exudes luxury, but it has an incredible history hiding behind its red brick and timber-fronted facade, too. This hotel was formerly the Saint Simeon Farmhouse Inn, and the building itself dates back to the 17th century.
It was in the 1840s that the inn took on an artistic life of its own when a group of talented young painters began meeting and painting on the premises. Those painters went on to become known as the Impressionists, and you can stay in the same rooms they frequented and admire the same landscapes they painted.
This hotel maintains its sense of authenticity. You’ll love the timber decor, the portraits of artists hanging from the walls, and the antique furnishings decorating the bedrooms. The beds are super plush and comfortable, but if you really need to unwind, then book a treatment at the spa. The hotel’s spa manager is a former “French massage champion,” so you’ll be in capable hands.
The cuisine at the hotel’s restaurants is as inspiring as the surrounding gardens, and at Bistro La Boucane you can order the seafood platter or the “Monet Menu” while dining in a historic cottage that Monet once painted. The hotel’s signature restaurant is Les Impressionnistes, where Head Chef Matthieu Pouleur offers a Michelin-starred culinary experience showcasing the best Norman cuisine through an extensive tasting menu called “Nuance.”
Hotel de Bourgtheroulde is one of the coolest hotels in Normandy, and it’s conveniently located in the center of Rouen. This five-star hotel is found within the converted walls of a 15th-century building, where you’ll be just a short walk away from historic sites in the Old Town, like Rouen Cathedral.
But while you’re surrounded by heritage, the hotel itself is one of Normandy’s most luxurious and modern offerings. Rooms at Hotel de Bourgtheroulde are designed with that heritage in mind, but the marbled bathrooms, flat-screen televisions, and complimentary mini-bar certainly wouldn’t have existed in the 15th century!
Neither would the 18-meter-long indoor swimming pool, which is part of an extensive hotel spa that could be one of the best places to relax in Rouen. Swim a few laps in the pool, then take a steam bath, enjoy a stint in the sauna, or a massage in the treatment rooms. After your relaxing spa session, enjoy the culinary expertise of L’Aumale Restaurant, where fine dining Norman specialties are always on the menu.
Travel to the Norman coast, and on the seafront of Trouville you’ll find one of the best places to stay in Normandy. The Cures Marines Trouville Hotel Thalasso & Spa is a luxury wonder where you can walk right out of the lobby and onto the sandy beach!
This boutique hotel’s 103 rooms are both timeless and modern, with unique frescoes adorning the walls and retro chandeliers dangling from the ceilings. This is a five-star hotel, so only the best materials and decor are utilized, including wool, mat, and satin, and waxed linen bedding, drapes, and furnishings.
Head down to the spa, and you’ll be reinvigorated by a concept that takes inspiration from the original “salt baths” that once rejuvenated weary travelers along the coast. The “Marine Spa” is quite unusual, but we know you’re going to love it!
You’re also going to love the magnificent sea views from the panoramic terrace as you enjoy light bites and a cocktail while waiting for dinner at L’Ephemere. This is the hotel’s fine dining restaurant, where the ingredients, dishes, and wines speak of centuries of Norman culinary prowess.
Hotel Barriere Le Royal Deauville is a five-star classic that’s perfectly situated by the Deauville waterfront in Normandy. This magnificent hotel offers Parisian glamor with sea views of the English Channel, and we know you’re going to love the excellent mix of luxury, modernity, and heritage.
Rooms at Hotel Barriere Le Royal Deauville are comfortable yet elegant, with lavish additions like the mahogany tables and headboard canopies providing a welcome, opulent touch to proceedings.
The king beds are super comfortable, but you’ll want to book a therapeutic massage at the Diane Barriere Spa for the ultimate relaxation package. After your massage, soak up the heat in the sauna, steam room, and hammam before taking in the views with a dip in the heated outdoor swimming pool.
If you’ve worked up an appetite, then Le Cote Royal restaurant awaits you. First, enjoy a glass of Norman wine at L’Etrier Bar before taking your seat under swinging chandeliers in the restaurant. The extravagant setting is matched by the quality of the food, with Head Chef Eric Provost cooking up an ever-changing gastronomic experience based on the seasons.
Escape to the Noman countryside with a stay at the elegant Chateau de Bouceel. This wonderful hotel offers the quintessential bed and breakfast experience, set in a luxuriously refurbished 18th-century manor house.
You’ll feel like Norman nobility the moment you lay eyes on the magnificent facade, and you’ll be whisked back in time as you stroll through the landscaped gardens, tree-lined park, and high-ceilinged corridors of this fancy chateau.
Rooms at Chateau de Bouceel are remarkably faithful to their historic origins, and you’ll love period features like the antique furniture, Louis XVI panels, and authentic aristocratic portraits.
The experience continues in the saloon and dining area, where you’ll find grand pianos, velvet drapes, and an exceptional collection of vases, chandeliers, and other historic furnishings. The devotion to detail and heritage ensures that the hotel is listed as a historical monument, so you can immerse yourself in history, culture, and luxury with a stay at Chateau de Bouceel!
That completes our list of the 12 best Normandy hotels! Did we miss any cool boutique hotels in Normandy? Comment below so we can add them to the list!
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