Saint-Valéry, a medieval village on the banks of the Somme estuary in northern France, has a number of traditional hotels to choose from. Then there’s Les Pilotes, a boutique hotel with a fresh look and a youthful spirit. Exuding sixties nostalgia and a modern design sensibility, it’s a treasure trove of colorful textiles and vintage telephones, pop art and quirky contemporary pieces. Guest rooms are compact but charming; some are attic-like, with vaulting ceilings, and others have views of the sparkling bay. The ground-floor bistro, featuring quintessentially French black-and-white tiled floors and a wooden bar, has a chalkboard menu that changes according to the catch of the day. Have a coffee at one of the hotel’s sidewalk tables before venturing out to kayak, bird-watch, cycle, or even walk through the water at low tide.
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