La Baronnie has a welcoming, family-friendly atmosphere, bucolic views and huge bedrooms with plenty of natural light. Style sways from room to room. Some are regal and elegant, inside and out. Think summer home away from the palace (albeit on a smaller scale) and you’ll be about right, though the ambiance is not at all royal, more well-to-do. Others are less grand and more coastal-chic with wood-clad walls, but with the same traditional French décor and original features. Outside, the fabulous gardens, rampant with wisteria and roses, offer peace and tranquility under shady pine and fruit trees. Venture through the front door and within minutes you can be sitting in a cosy restaurant, browsing through the chic boutiques that line the streets of Saint Martin, or ambling along the town’s picturesque harbour.
- A great location, with the harbour and all that Saint Martin offers just moments away
- This is a historic gem, with fascinating interiors and personal touches everywhere
- The ambiance is homely, restful and very welcoming, and the quiet gardens are ideal for escaping summer crowds
- The dozen staff really know the island inside out and have lots of suggestions for your time here
- A heated outdoor swimming pool
- The 18th-century décor is a bit sober and heavy-looking, which may not appeal to those on a beach holiday
- Rooms at the front overlook the street and may be a little noisy, particularly during high season
- Noise from kids playing in the pool can drift over to some of the nearby rooms
- Parents note that over 5s only are permitted in the heated pool
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Boutique Hotel
- 23 rooms
- Breakfast & bar snacks
- All ages welcome
- Closed: 3 Dec 2023 - 28 Mar 2024...
- Heated Pool
- Spa Treatments
- Beach Nearby
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Car not necessary
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
- Electric car charger
Rooms are large with high ceilings and big windows, and their names - La Reine, Le Roy, Milady, Buckingham - hint at the level of grandeur you can expect. Those in the regency style have antique woodwork, metres of period-style fabric and deep-pile rugs to give you that lord-of-the-manor feel; the rest are generally more rustic, with tongue-and-groove panelling and pastel colours. Most have queensize or twin beds, with triples and family rooms sleeping 4 also available.
One of our favourite rooms was Madame de Sévigne, a Prestige Room with opulent 18th-century style and wonderfully verdant views. Prestige Room Rose de Parme is beautiful in a restrained, almost English country house way, with cream walls and fabulous pink toile soft furnishings.
My sister and I stayed in Pavillion Princesse, a Luxe Room, and we certainly felt like princesses in our four-poster bed with gilded accents! We also particularly liked Le Loft, another Luxe Room with glorious garden views, a bright interior and ample space for lounging around.
The two Atypical Rooms are indeed so. The Indian Lodge is a romantic pavilion set on its own in the gardens; the Tour des Amis is a two storey affair set in one of La Baronnie's towers with a canopy bed and 360º views over the gardens to the sea.
The turret room, Tour des Amis, was our least favourite: the space is tight, there are steep stairs and the décor is very simple, though it's the only room with a view to the sea. The less expensive courtyard rooms are also lovely, but you trade the terrific green view for a cobblestone one. These are Family Rooms, some ideal for a couple with a child, others sleeping 4 in a double bed and bunk beds.
Bathrooms throughout are decently sized and well-equipped, but not extravagant. Most have showers only; all have hairdryers. There's no air conditioning, but the proximity to the sea keeps the temperatures from getting too sultry.
- Safe box
Breakfast is served buffet-style in the dining room or, weather permitting, in the gardens. Expect a range of tasty cheeses, deli meats and salmon, hot options (perhaps sausages, bacon and scrambled eggs), fresh fruit salads and a delicious cake each day, as well as the usual cereals, juices, breads and viennoiseries - almost all sourced from the island or local region. If you're lucky enough to be around on Sundays, they serve fabulous brunches for guests and visiting locals. These feature oysters, prawns and Champagne - fancy!
There's also a well-stocked afternoon & evening bar, Le Bar 1721, offering fine wines and champagne (biensûr), cocktails and spirits, and a range of nibbles - like charcuterie boards and cheeses - to keep you on your feet. Choose to relax in the garden or courtyard, where there are blankets to keep you warm, or inside in the salon, which has games you can borrow.
No other meals are served, but there are plenty of restaurants in lively Saint Martin to choose from. Good recommendations include Bistro du Marin for lunch, La Sarassine St Martin for delicious galettes, and Le Serghi for dinner. All are located near the harbour, just a short stroll away.
- Restaurants nearby
- Rent a bicycle and venture forth! The hotel staff really know their island and will recommend the best beaches, their favourite restaurants (simple or gourmet) and the most interesting sights. Most importantly, they'll tell you how you to avoid the summer crowds
- Book yourself in at the spa (it's open to the public so pre-booking is essential) for a blast in the sauna or a relaxing massage
- Wander past Saint Martin’s pretty 17th-century blue and green shuttered townhouses, with flowers out front; visit the church of St Marie and stop off at Vauban's citadel
- Lick a cone, sip a glass of wine or try Ré's own micro-brewed beer at one of the many quayside cafés
- Enjoy a stroll through the daily markets which take place in any of the villages in summer; browse Saint Martin’s chic boutiques for stylish presents; or head to pretty La Flotte for lunch and a spot of antiquing
- Ile de Ré has some beautiful beaches - perfect
- Visit Bois-Plage (3km away) for surfing and sailing (summer only); and there are countless other beaches for sunbathing in summer, or windswept walks in spring and autumn
- Go bird-watching on the reserve near Ars (15km away)
- Play golf at Les Portes (15km away), or tennis near Bois-Plage; or hire a boat from Saint Martin to go fishing
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Historical sites
- Horse riding
- Shopping / markets
- Well being
The décor is not the most child-friendly, but kids of all ages are welcome and over 5s are allowed in the heated pool. Parents had their children on quite a tight rein when we visited, but this might change during family holiday time (mid-July to September).
Family friendly accommodation:
A variety of Family and Superior Family Rooms with combinations of double, single and bunk beds are on offer, baby cots and extra beds are available on request, and babysitting can be arranged.
Cots Available, Extra Beds Available, Family Rooms
Babysitting is available by arrangement.
Baby cots are available on request.
Remember baby and child equipment may be limited or need pre-booking
Families Should Know:
No under 18s are allowed to use the spa facilities; over 5s only in the main pool.
La Baronnie Hotel & Spa lies in the small town of Saint Martin de Ré on the Ile de Ré, off the west coast of France. The island is connected to the French mainland by a toll bridge.
La Rochelle (15km away) is the nearest airport.
From the Airport:
Staff can arrange a taxi for you - enquire when booking. This is the cheapest option, as the taxi will not have to pay the bridge toll. Many people choose to hire a car (see below).
The hotel is 40 minutes (25km) from La Rochelle railway station, from where you can rent a car or take a taxi. Alternatively, the REBUS shuttle bus can take you from the station to Saint Martin in 1 hour.
If you want to hire a car, see our car rental recommendations. Parking is available at an additional daily charge.
Detailed directions will be sent to you when you book through i-escape.
- La Rochelle Laleu 15.0 km LRH
- Beach 3.0 km
- Shops 0.1 km
- Restaurant 0.1 km