One of the highlights of a trip to the French region of Brittany is a stay in St. Malo, the ancient walled city that abuts the sea. Ringed by fortress towers, the town is witness to the highest tides in Europe (the difference between high and low tide can be as much as 14 meters). The place to stay is Le Grand Hotel de Thermes, built in the late nineteenth century as a Belle Epoque palace on the sand.
Newly awarded a fifth star at the end of 2001, the hotel has long been celebrated for its fantastic thalassotherapy spa with multi-jet baths, hammams, saunas, and six swimming pools—a sprawling space. A top-to-bottom makeover has refreshed the 174 rooms, the bar, restaurant, and beautiful oceanfront terrace with a contemporary look. For more information, see the website: www.le-grand-hotel-des-thermes.com