Belle Etoile, La Roque Gageac, France

This is one of the loveliest hotel locations and best restaurants we’ve stayed at. It is built of the beautiful Dordogne honey-coloured stone and sits right beside the river in one of its most glorious sections. The restaurant’s open terrace on the first floor is draped in a wonderful old grape vine and looks down on the water. This is close to heaven. Rooms are better on the first than second floor. There is a suite with all the usual luxuries you would expect. The risk of a rock fall from the cliff behind the hotel caused its sudden closure in June 2010 but it has since reopened.