La Maison Pavie

Dinan, Brittany, France
Book from GBP Book from £106 per night

La Maison Pavie

Dinan, Brittany, France

A chic little B&B with an Asian twist, set in a historic house in the heart of half-timbered Dinan

A chic little B&B with an Asian twist, set in a historic house in the heart of half-timbered Dinan

You’re never far from history at La Maison Pavie. It occupies a 15th-century house opposite a honey-hued basilica in central Dinan; wander inside and you’ll find ancient wattle-and-daub walls, stone hearths and delightfully wonky floors. Even the furnishings take their inspiration from the building’s past, with the travels of famed explorer Auguste Pavie (born within its walls in 1847) forming a continuous decorative thread. Oriental antiques are dotted around the 5 rooms and suites, all named after Far Eastern cities visited by Pavie, and Asian figurines preside over the dining table. But don’t be fooled into thinking a stay here means stepping back in time: this is one stylish B&B indeed, stuffed full of 21st-century comforts and contemporary classics from the likes of Philippe Starck and Paola Navone.

Dinan itself is one of Brittany’s gems, a busy market town whose half-timbered buildings, cobbled lanes and medieval ramparts look like they’ve been lifted straight from a swashbuckling Hollywood blockbuster. There’s a pretty port to potter around, fabulous restaurants and boutiques to indulge yourself in, and beautiful beaches within striking distance. At the end of the day, head back to the B&B and sink into a fireside sofa, then slip upstairs to your raftered room, where snazzy showers and heavenly beds await. We loved it, and we can’t wait to return.


  • An imaginative fusion of old and new: perspex ‘Ghost’ chairs sit by carved tables, sleek shower heads hang from gnarled beams, and the lounge’s 18th-century panelling is painted a striking petrol-blue
  • Tasty breakfast goodies include just-baked bread, sweet brioches and excellent coffee, and you can pre-book 4-course feasts for dinner
  • Fantastic hosts, who know when to chat and when to be discreet
  • Great-value rates that include plenty of little extras - free tea and coffee, bottled water and delicious Breton biscuits, even a pre-paid pass for a secure car park nearby
  • There’s a lovely little garden for summer drinks (bring your own wine and they’ll chill it for you)


  • You’ll need to negotiate a steep, narrow staircase to reach rooms on the upper floors, though manager Ghislain will help with luggage
  • Best suited to couples - there are no twin beds, and the open-plan bathrooms mean you’ll need to be on very good terms with your travelling companion
  • The house's period charm makes for a few creaks and groans - plus occasional bumped heads
  • You can hear the church bells, but they only toll from 8am to 7pm
  • Central Dinan is tricky to negotiate by car, with tight streets and a complicated one-way system that bamboozled our sat-nav

Best time to go

Dinan is wonderful at any time of year. Choose spring or summer for lazy days on the river (though be prepared for crowds during school holidays), or autumn and winter for crisp walks and cosy evenings by the fire. In July the Fête des Remparts sees medieval-style banquets and jousting along the town's streets, and come December the multitude of boutiques and delis make Christmas shopping a treat.

Our top tips

From May to October, you can hop on a ferry for a scenic 3-hour float along the river between Dinan and Saint-Malo. Both towns are best seen from the water, and you’ll pass through pretty villages, flower-filled meadows and locks along the way. Timings vary according to the tide and it’s often not possible to sail to Saint-Malo and back again in a day, so take the bus there, enjoy a long lunch, and catch the late-afternoon boat back.

Great for...

Cheap & Chic
City Style
  • Boutique B&B
  • 5 rooms
  • Breakfast (+ dinner on request)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • Beach Nearby
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Car recommended
  • Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • WiFi
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym


It’s a steep climb up to the 5 rooms, but you’ll be rewarded with a cool, uncluttered space and beautifully preserved original features. But, while the stone walls and soaring rafters may be historic, the furnishings and fittings certainly aren’t: there’s a hint of Indochina in the funky Paola Navone chairs and log-like tables, and contemporary treats include spine-friendly UPD mattresses, snazzy clocks-cum-heating controls that resemble steel wands, and sleek in-room showers and sinks (thankfully, toilets are tucked away behind doors or partitions).

The 2 Standard Rooms on the second floor, Kampot and Champassack, are small but swish, with state-of-the-art rain heads hanging from beams in the glass-enclosed showers. A rung up the price ladder - and a little larger - is the Superior Room, Vinh-Long, which features a striking gold and black mural and a slate-lined double shower. It sits on the first floor next to the communal lounge, but as this is closed from 10pm you won’t find your slumber disturbed by night-owl guests.

We were lucky enough to stay in one of the 2 suites, Angkor, a cavernous space spanning the width of the house, with views over Place Saint-Sauveur to the front and the garden to the rear. A fireplace occupies one wall, beautiful panelling another, and the bathroom sits on a raised platform designed to resemble the bow of a ship. The other suite, romantic Luang Prabang, is perched at the top of the house, with a fabulous four-poster bed, a freestanding bathtub and a walk-in shower.

All rooms come with hairdryers, flat-screen TVs, unlimited WiFi access and - rather inexplicably - a stuffed toy sheep. You also get free bottled water and buttery crêpe dentelle biscuits - a lovely touch.

Features include:

  • Complimentary bottled water
  • Hairdryer
  • WiFi


Breakfast is served in the first-floor dining room, where funky wicker lights dangle above a chunky table piled high with newspapers and glossy interiors mags. It’s a tasty spread of baguettes, brioches, cheese, ham, eggs, fruit, cereal and yoghurt, and Ghislain will ferry fresh juice and coffee to the table in quirky cups that resemble eggshells. There’s also a Nepresso machine and a selection of Mariage Frères teas which you can use to make a brew at any time, day or night (though you can’t take hot drinks up to your room).

For dinner, there are plenty of restaurants on the cobbled streets fanning out from Place Saint-Sauveur. We wandered up rue Sainte-Claire to Le Cantorbery, a friendly little place where meat and seafood are grilled over an aromatic wood fire. Here, we tucked into a huge platter of juicy prawns with aioli, followed by wonderfully tender steaks and a bottle of the latest Beaujoulais. We rounded things off with a coupe colonel (lemon sorbet doused in vodka) and a deliciously light Cointreau soufflé with candied orange peel.

If you want to splash out, head to Les Trois Lunes on rue de la Lainerie, where innovative twists on classic French cuisine (veal carpaccio with fine herbs, sesame-dusted tuna tartare, foie gras with spiced chocolate and caramelised apples) are served up in contemporary surroundings.

Features include:

  • Breakfast
  • Communal dining
  • Dinner by arrangement
  • Restaurants nearby
Activity: Dinan port


  • Explore delightful Dinan: climb the 15th-century Tour de l’Horloge, stock up on cider and salami in the delis, and take in panoramic views from the Jardin Anglais. All the main sights are just a short stroll from the B&B, and Ghislain can provide maps showing suggested walking routes around the town

  • Then wander down the steep, gallery-lined rue du Petit-Four to the port, where a pretty stone bridge crosses the River Rance and boats bob along the quay. There are plenty of waterfront restaurants for a spot of lunch before you clamber back up the hill

  • Visit Saint-Malo (a 20-minute drive away), whose citadel commands a spectacular position at the mouth of the Rance estuary. Amble along the ramparts and breathe in the sea air, then tuck into moules-frites and a glass of vin blanc at one of the bistros on Place Chateaubriand

  • At low tide, venture across the causeways that snake out from Saint-Malo to the tiny island of Grand-Bé and the Fort National fortress

  • Laze on the beach at Dinard, a smart little resort town just across the estuary from Saint-Malo, or find a secluded spot along the unspoilt Emerald Coast, which stretches west towards St-Brieuc

  • Indulge yourself in the oyster-obsessed town of Cancale. It’s packed with restaurants serving mountainous heaps of molluscs, as well as striped canvas stalls where you can buy them for a fraction of the cost you’d pay elsewhere

  • Head an hour or so south to admire the mighty medieval château at Fougères. It’s one of the largest castles in Europe, with 13 towers ringed by a moat-like river

  • Or meander north-west and hike along the dramatic Côte du Granit Rose, which is lined with bizarre pink-tinged rock formations

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Boat trips
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Museums / galleries
  • Nightlife
  • Shopping / markets
  • Swimming


Children are welcome here, though it's a sophisticated place that's most suited to grown-ups - particularly as the steep stairs mean you'd need to keep a close watch on roving little ones. A baby cot (free) or extra bed (small charge) can be added to the larger rooms.

Best for:

Babies (0-1 years)

Family friendly accommodation:

Cots Available, Extra Beds Available

Kid Friendly: Saint-Malo


La Maison Pavie stands on Place Saint-Sauveur in the centre of Dinan, in Brittany, northwest France. It’s 20km inland from the coast, and very convenient for the ferry port and airport at Saint-Malo.

By Air:
Dinard-Pleurtuit-Saint-Malo (19km away) is the closest airport, although Rennes Saint-Jacques (59km away) is also within easy reach. Both are served by flights from the UK, Paris and elsewhere in Europe - click on the links below for a list of airlines.

From the Airport
You can take a taxi, but we’d recommend hiring a car (see below). The drive from Dinard-Pleurtuit-Saint-Malo takes 20 minutes; from Rennes it’s around an hour.

By Ferry from the UK:
The ferry port at Saint-Malo is only 32km from the B&B and has regular services from Poole, Weymouth and Portsmouth. If you're tying a stay here with some time in western Brittany, you can also sail from Plymouth to Roscoff (171km away).

By Train:
If you'd prefer to travel overland, take the Eurostar from London to Paris, then catch the high-speed TGV from Gare Montparnasse to Rennes. From Rennes you’d need to hire a car or take a bus. There is a station in Dinan itself, but trains rarely stop there.

By Car:
It’s possible to stay here without a car, as there are numerous restaurants within strolling distance, but we’d recommend having your own transport so that you can make the most of the wider area. For car hire, please see our car rental recommendations.

Dinan’s one-way system makes La Maison Pavie a little difficult to find, so make sure you take our detailed directions (provided when you confirm a booking through i-escape). You can pull up outside the B&B to unload luggage; Jérôme and Camille will then direct you to a secure underground car park just around the corner (a pass for this is included in the room rate).

More on getting to Brittany and getting around


  • Dinard-Pleurtuit-Saint-Malo 19.0 km DNR
  • Rennes Saint-Jacques 59.0 km RNS


  • Beach 20.0 km
  • Shops 0.1 km
  • Restaurant 0.1 km

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Based on 1 independent review from i-escape guests


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