L'Auberge du Paradis, Saint-Amour-Bellevue
Tel: 33 3 85 37 10 26
Concierge.com's insider take:
On the Beaujolais border, in a town named "Saint Love," this eight-room hotel and restaurant run by brash young chef Cyril Laugier and the love of his life, wife Valérie, is ideal for a romantic rendezvous. Decor in the dining room and public areas—old trunks, crystal chandeliers, mannequins draped in lacy lingerie, and more wrought-iron, textile, and plaster hearts than you can count—looks as if it's been lifted from a funky Victorian inn. Upstairs, each guest room is different: Gingembre has a claw-foot tub and a view over the village square; Réglisse is tucked under the eaves; Sésame has a private entrance, balcony, and a freestanding bathtub; Nigelle has a sultry Art Deco feel with a black four-poster bed, black lamps, and polished plank floors. All the rooms are ideal for exhibitionists, with bath and bed within view of one another. There's a small swimming pool, a landscaped yard, and in the restaurant, Laugier's ever-changing daily prix fixe (around $55), which focuses on spicy world cuisine. In fall or winter, you might find a silky coriander-spiked pumpkin soup with foie gras, curried squab with ginger and mint-perfumed chickpea purée, and cinnamon crème brûlée with diced Jerusalem artichokes and chocolate ganache. If you're looking for classic Burgundian lodgings and food, you might feel slightly lost here, but it's a tantalizing option for intrepid travelers who aren't shy.—David Downie
Restaurant open Wednesdays through Sundays noon to 1:45 pm and 7 to 9:30 pm.