The graceful malouinière was built in the early 18th century by a wealthy shipowner. Very near the ferry terminal, and in the centre of town, whence the urban buzz, this hotel has an unexpectedly large rose-filled garden with loungers and tables beneath mature cedars and the copper beech. Most bedrooms – light-filled with high ceilings, tall windows carefully draped to match the bedcovers – overlook the garden. Second-floor rooms have sloping ceilings and a cosier feel, with exposed beams, white walls and pale blue carpets. The indefatigable and cheerful Françoise and Bertrand refurbish a couple of rooms each winter. There are lavender bags in the wardrobes, plenty of books in French and English, and breakfast at the small yellow and blue dining tables. Or have your café-au-lait in bed and laze a bit before exploring the fabulous ramparts of the city or sunning on the nearby beaches. There’s riding nearby and excellent thalassotherapy spas, or take an ocean ride to one of the Channel Islands (Sark is fascinating). Dinard, the ‘Nice of the North’, is a very short drive. Great value.