The Philippe’s renovation of this central Troyes townhouse – a national heritage site – is a triumph. It took three years of careful restoration to turn this 15th, 16th and 17th-century building into a hotel. It’s cleverly unfussy but also elegant, with touches of quirk which sit happily with ancient beams, stone, tiles and parquet. Pierre loves to meet guests and his enthusiasm for the hotel and all things Troyes is inspiring. Stroll to good restaurants and take advice on Champagne vineyards and other visits. So, you’ve all the independence of stylish, family-friendly apartments: on various floors, in different wings, with courtyard and rooftop views, kitchenettes and sitting areas, plus the bonus of caring hosts. Breakfast baskets are left at your door: the best local baguettes and croissants, jams and cheeses, to be eaten whenever. The design of each apartment differs; one has a medieval balcony, another a 16th-century door, most have fireplaces; each has furniture from the original house, great beds, bathrooms the perfect mix of characterfully old and super-modern. Extra special.