In a residential area, behind private gates on the outskirts of Rivedoux Plage, is a modern single-storey hotel, whitewashed, shuttered and impeccably maintained. The design and the décor have been carefully considered and calm reigns supreme. Nothing is too much trouble for delightful Christian and Jocelyne, who will pick you up from the airport and insist on giving you the best: snowy towels for the bathroom, coloured towels for the pool, delicious pâtisseries for tea. Christian is proud to be a founding member of the Ile de Ré cricket club – hence the cricket pitch in the garden. Guest bedrooms, which open to a smart wicker-chaired terrace, are roomy, restful, flooded with light. After breakfast at 9am – no earlier please, you’re here to unwind – slope off to a cushioned sunbed by the pool, spotlessly clean and heated to 28 degrees. Or spin off on a bike (there are ten, in tip-top condition and free of charge) and acquaint yourself with the island: the hollyhocks and whitewashed houses of villages like La Flotte, the fabulous white sand beaches, the chic shops and markets of St Martin.