Prepare to travel back in time: the villa on the Emerald Coast is a living testimony to the art of living of another era.
Thehotel, run by Florence and Marc Benoist, captivates with its intimate atmosphere and historic charm. The owners' passion is clearly infectious (don't hesitate to talk to them!), thanks to their exceptional sense of hospitality. The villa was built in the early 20th century by Prince Nicolas de Vlassov, a fervent admirer of Hortense de Beauharnais, Napoleon I's daughter-in-law. To pay homage to the wife of Louis Bonaparte, the Emperor's brother and King of Holland, he decorated his residence with objects that once belonged to Hortense, such as a silver-plated copper bathtub with balusters, still in use on the second floor.
Every corner of this establishment exudes elegance and mystery, with the cheerful ghost of Queen Hortense seemingly floating in the air. The villa, meanwhile, has preserved its memories, while the rooms offer guests the chance to fall asleep to the soothing sound of the waves.
With direct access to the famous Écluse beach, you're ready to discover its famous blue-and-white striped tents. It's the ideal starting point for discovering the more than four hundred beautifully preserved villas that dot the town. Indeed, Dinard's real estate heritage is one of the richest in the region, with over 400 villas classified or listed as Monuments Historiques. These villas, built mainly in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, bear witness to the town's golden age as a seaside destination prized by the elite. Among these villas, Villa les Roches Brunes is undoubtedly the most emblematic. Overlooking the Pointe de la Malouine, it is a listed historic monument and is open to the public for cultural events.
Dinard, one of the pearls of the Emerald Coast, is much more than just a seaside resort. Its rapid development in the 19th century, under the influence of British high society and Paris chic, has left a rich architectural and cultural heritage that continues to seduce visitors today.
As you stroll through the narrow streets of Pointe du Moulinet, don't missSaint Bartholomew's Church, a jewel of Anglican influence. The Promenade du Clair de Lune, facing the Rance and the Baie du Prieuré, offers a breathtaking view of Saint-Malo. This is the city's maritime heart, with its marina and pier, from where you can take the sea bus to explore the corsair city.
And why not visit theisland of Cézembre, a historic and picturesque natural gem reopened to visitors after a perilous demining operation. Cézembre has a rich and complex history. During the Second World War, it was heavily bombed by the Allies due to its strategic position. Today, traces of these bombardments can still be seen, with craters and ruins of German fortifications.
But Cézembre is not just an island of history. It's also a place of natural beauty, with a diverse flora and fauna. The 9.5-hectare island, a true haven of peace, with its unspoilt nature and diverse fauna, is a Natura 2000 site, which means it is recognized for its ecological importance. It is home to a variety of birds, including herring gulls and crested cormorants, as well as rare plants such as the French carnation.
Cézembre is a must-see for anyone who loves nature, history and the beauty of the seascape. Whether you're a hiker, a birdwatcher or simply a lover of the sea, Cézembre is an emerald jewel that we recommend you visit in the morning, to enjoy your walk.
Last but not least, you'll be seduced by the craftsmen and professionals of the gastronomic world: in Dinard and in Brittany, "home-made" is de rigueur. Whether it's the famous galette saucisse at the market, or sumptuous ice cream shops like Sanchez and Vent de Vanille, there are countless opportunities to indulge. To make her own ice creams, one local resident even leaves her vervain at the ice cream parlour, to create new flavours... a particularly tasty proximity and authenticity!
Villa Reine Hortense
19 Rue de la Malouine