Le Mas du Langoustier, Île de Porquerolles
Tel: 33 4 94 58 30 09
Concierge.com's insider take:
Located on the quiet, happy island of PorquerollesFrance's answer to Nantucketthis is the kind of hotel to which a devoted coterie of Parisian publishers, politicians, and aristocrats return year after year with wives (rather than mistresses) in tow. A landmark since it opened in 1936, its big news this season is a large swimming poola somewhat unnecessary addition, since the nearby beach is a delicious spot for a swim. Anyway, Langoustier will never be a luxury hotel in the classic sense of the term. Guileless simplicity is its trademark, with comfortable and pleasantly plain roomsa Gallic version of a traditional New England seaside hotel. One does see the occasional big spender helicoptering in for lunch: The restaurant is one of the best in the region, serving up catch of the daylobster, sea bass, John Dorywith innovative preparations that highlight rather than hide the natural flavors. But most guests arrive by ferry from Hyères, take the hotel jitney, and spend a hefty sum remembering what made the South of France so irresistible in the first place.