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Brittany

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1 800 735 2478

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Official partner of the Routes du Bonheur

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the Routes
du Bonheur of...

Olivier Roellinger
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Owner of the Maisons de Bricourt
The Sentier des Douaniers forms an uninterrupted circuit around the coast of Brittany. I invite you to join me on this unique journey, full of flavours and iodine

I was born in this corsair’s house, where I have gone on to cook for nearly thirty years. Today it is a charming hotel and a spice workshop, where we create our own powders and mixtures. I never needed to put a shell to my ear to hear the sea; all I had to do was tear down the little road in front of our house. Here we learn to row a boat before learning to ride a bike. As a child, I was even lucky enough to play in an attic where Robert Surcouf himself had played. The Sentier des Douaniers passes just a few metres from our door. This trail tells our history, from the Gallo country to the Bigouden, and narrates all the sufferings and all the joys of the people. Over to you to discover it…

Relais & Châteaux proposes its Routes du Bonheur for your inspiration: they are suggestions of itineraries that you can adapt to your preferences and desired experiences. Our advisors are at your disposal to individualise your routes and help you make reservations at our properties.
Example for a five-night stay from €1165*
* Minimum indicative rate per person, subject to availability, on the basis of a double room with double occupancy, including accommodation, breakfast and dinner (menu, without beverages) in the properties suggested for the itinerary.
Activities on site and nearby must be reserved by you.

My Route du Bonheur
First stage: two days, one night

Les Maisons de Bricourt

The spices and the sea
Les Maisons de Bricourt
Bricourt is a large 1920s villa which overlooks the bay of Mont-Saint-Michel, and a restaurant and workshop, in which we grow herbs from all over the world. There is also a cottage with a view of the oyster beds, and gîtes which demonstrate our desire to welcome you to Brittany, and share with you its wind and air, unlike anywhere else on earth.

Close to the property...

Annick Prod’Homme’s oysters

I knew Annick as a child, we grew up together. She naturally became the oyster farmer of the family. I should mention that she comes from a family of oyster farmers, a tradition handed down from generation to generation. Annick is a true Cancalaise, a woman with a strong and determined character, whose work is remarkable. Her oysters, available to purchase at Le Vauhariot, are absolutely delicious. My favourites? The wild flat Cancale oysters – the truffles of the sea!

Look out for the bisquine La Cancalaise

Also known as the “black widow”, this is a replica ship which was launched by the great Éric Tabarly. The ship, which has many sails and is very powerful, was formerly used to dredge for wild oysters. As one of the fastest fishing boats on the continent, it has been able to challenge yachtsmen on the Solent in England. Two examples remain, one in Cancale, La Cancalaise, and another across the way, La Granvillaise. But during regattas, it is often our ship that wins…

On the route...

La Touesse beach

It was at this superb beach that I learned to swim. It’s got the lot: a unique current, an incredible soundtrack and intoxicating aromas. The wind blows off the sea, you go down without ever seeing the beach. First of all, you smell the sea, then hear it, and then, finally, you see it. The beach opens up like the doors of a cathedral. It is incredibly beautiful. This is also the site, at Rozven, of Colette’s house. This is where she wrote Le blé en herbe in 1923.

We can advise you on booking your route. Contact central reservations :

1 800 735 2478

Indicate the code : ROELLINGER

Calling from another country ? Click here

Revenir en haut de page
Stage 2: one night, one day

Manoir de Lan-Kerellec

The magic of Brittany
Manoir de Lan-Kerellec
Gilles and Luce Daubé are very dear friends. Their manor house, built entirely of granite, is a family home with a very warm welcome. I like to settle down in their warm, wood-panelled restaurant which looks out over the ocean, where you can view some of the most beautiful sunsets in the world. There is a great sense of serenity in this place, as we approach the Côte de Granit Rose (“Pink Granite Coast”)…

Close to the property...

Take a walk on ?le Milliau

Île Milliau is a small island which seems to float in the sea, a stone’s throw away from Trébeurden. It can be reached at low tide via the Passage du Gois (watch out for the tides!), a walk of which I’m particularly fond. I love the pink granite, and these sites which have an almost druidic atmosphere, abounding with telluric energy. With a little luck, you might find some wild orchids on the island.

On the route...

Morlaix and its half-timbered houses

Morlaix is the only town in Brittany where you can still find these half-timbered houses, which were built in the 16th century by rich linen merchants. The Maison à Pondalez at number 9 Grand rue, with its street-facing corbelled facade, is a rare surviving illustration of the golden age of the town.

The Calvary of Saint-Thégonnec

A few kilometres from Morlaix, take a brief detour from the Sentier des Douaniers to discover the magnificent parish close of Saint-Thégonnec. Completed in 1610, its impressive calvary illustrates the Passion and the Resurrection of Christ. The sculpture was made possible by donations from villagers who had made their fortunes in horse breeding and fabric production.

We can advise you on booking your route. Contact central reservations :

1 800 735 2478

Indicate the code : ROELLINGER

Calling from another country ? Click here

Revenir en haut de page
Stage 3: one day, one night

Hôtel Brittany

The Brittany of pirates and white sand
Hôtel Brittany
This former merchant’s house, property of the Chapalain family, looks like a fortress. Roscoff was for a long time the territory of corsairs, a place where smugglers would gather. However, this splendid 17th century house does not come from here, but from Morbihan. It was moved and rebuilt stone by stone in 1974, opposite the ?le de Batz – to the great delight of those who appreciate charming hotels in Finistère.

On the route...

Aber Wrac’h and Aber Benoit

There’s no need to go all the way to the Scandinavian fjords: the adventure starts right here. I have many memories of sailing in the rias [abers, in Breton] of Brittany. I have often dragged the anchor in these waters which are not always easy, but are so wild and exciting. Many times I have sought refuge from the northwest wind in the rias, and I’ve also had a few scary moments here. That’s the price you pay to experience such beauty.

The Sentier des Douaniers… at the full moon

Walking along the Sentier des Douaniers on the night of a full moon might well be the most enchanting experience there is. On the one hand, there is the moon, sparkling on the sea, on the other, waves crashing on the rocks, creating strange fluorescent effects. It is then that you understand this land of magic and legends, and you discover bright black, true black, the black of Soulages – reminiscent of the black of the finest vanilla in the world.

The Créac’h Lighthouse

I am close friends with the present keepers of the Créac’h lighthouse, on Île Ouessant. Along with Molène and Sein, Ouessant is the last piece of land before the expanse of the Atlantic. Their lighthouses are all the more important for it. It must be remembered that the lighthouse keepers were for a long time amongst the few people who remained on the island, as all the others went off to join the navy or the merchant navy, to work in inshore fishing or headed for the open sea. That’s because here, in order to succeed, it has long been necessary to leave.

We can advise you on booking your route. Contact central reservations :

1 800 735 2478

Indicate the code : ROELLINGER

Calling from another country ? Click here

Revenir en haut de page
Stage 4: one day, one night

Hôtel de la Plage

Absolute tranquility
Hôtel de la Plage
This splendid establishment first calls to mind the fervour of the Tro Breiz pilgrimage. The chapel above the hotel always attracts the largest pilgrimage in Brittany. This is also the site of the world’s finest collection of works by Mathurin Méheut, a painter who had such an influence on our region. The hotel was bought in 1924 by the grandmother of the current owner, Jean Milliau. Your journey stops at its door, in front of the deserted beach. Like in a dream.

Close to the property...

The port of Audierne

Audierne is one of the fifteen ports in Brittany which still have a fish auction. No one knows how much longer it will continue. The fishermen are now a minority compared with the armada of recreational boaters. However, there are about twenty vessels which still practise line-fishing, one of the most beautiful and most dangerous types of fishing.

On the route...

La Boutique de Pont Aven

This is perhaps the best Breton shop I know. It is run by the Pérons, an old family of biscuit bakers. You can find the finest Breton products here. Their delicate galette biscuits (the recipe has been passed down through three generations), chocolates, Breton syrups and jams are delicious. And it is in this shop, at Place Gauguin in Pont-Aven, that I buy my “standing sardines”…

The Sentier des Douaniers, an enormous herbarium

The Sentier des Douaniers is a gigantic herbarium: campion, wild sorrel, burnet, wild fennel, anise, glasswort, saltbush and sea purslane. You can find all kinds of smells and flavours. On the shore you can also collect seaweed, from laver to dulse and sea lettuce. This marine garden is incredibly rich, but most people are unaware of it…

We can advise you on booking your route. Contact central reservations :

1 800 735 2478

Indicate the code : ROELLINGER

Calling from another country ? Click here

Revenir en haut de page
Stage 5: one day, one night

Château de Locguénolé

Life at the water's side!
Château de Locguénolé
This is one of Brittany’s great sites, and I love it passionately. Owned by the same family for more than two centuries, it was handed down only between women. Today, the establishment is managed by Bruno de la Sablière, a fine man and a great sailor. The château has a 120-hectare wooded park and the most beautiful rhododendron garden I have ever seen. And at the very end of it, within the estate itself, is the Sentier des Douaniers.

Close to the property...

?le de Groix

Known to Bretons as “Witch’s Island”, this little island has long been a productive spot for tuna fishermen. The evidence: take a look at the top of the church tower in Saint-Tudy, and you will see that the weathervane is a tuna and not a rooster! The island retains its wild side, with a nature reserve on its north-west tip.

Le musée de la Compagnie des Indes

Through model ships, old maps, prints and porcelain, this museum describes the splendid history of the trading companies which unloaded their wares, direct from Africa and Asia, onto the docks of Lorient in the 17th and 18th centuries. A visit to the museum is also a voyage into the world of spices, a world which is very close to my heart.

On the route...

The Carnac Stones

Who has never heard of Carnac? The three big groups of menhir alignments are known all over the world. These megaliths, of relatively modest size – the largest are less than 4 metres tall – have still not given up all their secrets…

We can advise you on booking your route. Contact central reservations :

1 800 735 2478

Indicate the code : ROELLINGER

Calling from another country ? Click here

Texts : © Guides Gallimard