Bright red roses seem to climb everywhere outside Hotel du Golf Barriere, a lovely property built in the half-timbered style of the Normandy region of France where it’s located. Situated on top of Mount Canisy, the hotel overlooks the golf course and the seaside city of Deauville, a five-minute drive away.
Inside, an old-fashioned opulent charm pervades—with an Art Déco inspired décor. Plush burgundy-red sofas and upholstered chairs fill the lobby—giving the place a vintage glamour and relaxing vibe versus a typical golf club atmosphere. Old-world luxury aside, the hotel staff is anything but stuffy; instead, they exude the friendliness of a small rural countryside village that is used to catering to a sporting crowd.
There are 178 rooms in this classical storied building with checkered stone on its façade–including eight junior suites. All vary in size as well as views offered. My room was a Superior Sea View room—and like most of the rooms, it was done in the rich reds and butter yellow colors of the region. While it was not huge, it was spotless and offered everything a room should have: two upholstered chairs, a small desk area, t.v. and comfy bed.
The best part of the room were the crank-out windows that opened onto a panoramic view of the Deauville-Trouville bay in the distance, with the lush greens of the beautiful Barriere golf course directly in front of me.
The bathroom was petite but perfectly outfitted with the necessities like a hairdryer and robe—and still had enough space for one of the deep soaking French bathtubs I always adore.
Besides its golf course, the Hotel du Golf Barriere also features an indoor tennis court, and an outdoor swimming pool, along with a stone terrace that affords everyone access to the gorgeous panoramic vista of the city, sea and golf course (even if your room doesn’t).
Dining options include the main hotel restaurant, Le Lassay, which overlooks the twinkling lights of Deauville during the evening (through the immense curved glass floor to ceiling bay-windowed wall) and serves up traditional French cuisine, with an emphasis on regional products. While I often feel many hotel restaurants can be skipped, this dining experience is not to be missed. But be sure to make reservations at the same time you reserve your room at the hotel; it’s a popular place to dine. Also if you can, take time to sip a cocktail or sample one of the famous Normandy hard ciders in Le Green bar—another cozy glam spot that exudes style and retro charm.
The Hotel du Golf Barriere offers various themed packages (see website) and also makes a good base for exploring the Normandy coastal town of Deauville—especially movie buffs interested in attending Deauville’s American Cinema Festival, held here every September. (The beach boardwalk’s changing rooms are named for various American movie stars.) Betting types will enjoy the small classy casinos and horse lovers shouldn’t miss the Hippodrome de Deauville-La Touques; its three tracks host the largest number of horse races in France. Early risers can watch the horses as they head to the beach in the morning (street signs in the town give horses the right-of-way) after their training sessions. As the guides will tell you: “The sea water is good for the legs of the horses, like a thalasso.” Visitors find the sea water here good for not only their legs but their entire bodies as well.
Hotel du Golf Barriere is part of the Hotels Barriere group which has hotels in France and Morocco.