5 unusual guest houses

Farfadine & Troglos – Maine-et-Loire

Spend the night underground in a 19th century troglodyte cellar! Karin and Christophe host visitors in tastefully decorated subterranean rooms in Doué-la-Fontaine. Karin also offers guests introductory pottery classes in her ceramics studio – also underground.
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La Bonne École – Vendée

In the Landes-Genusson, not far from the Puy du Fou, Alice and Philippe have converted this old schoolhouse into a charming little bed and breakfast while retaining the character of the place. The result: a large chalkboard hangs in the lobby alongside maps of the world and board games, an open lemonade bar provides refreshment for guests and the classrooms serve as bedrooms. The place also includes provides excellent evening meals in a setting reminiscent of a lovely old refectory.
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Le Domaine des Vaulx - Mayenne

Tucked away north of Laval in La Baconnière, in the amazing setting of an old stud farm, this family house is somewhere between a small château and a contemporary residence. The spacious, timbered rooms, called Marie-Caroline, Edouard and Bonne Maman, artfully play with different design rules. Outside, the estate has a pool, jacuzzi, treehouses, unusual bubble-tents and a fishing pond.
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La Valise à Cheval – Sarthe

Will you choose to sleep in the trapper's cabin, the cowboy's den or behind the bars of the sheriff's jail? Located north of Le Mans in Mézière-sur-Ponthouin, this funny place is all about a Wild West feel and even has a saloon to provide sustenance for tough cookies... unless you'd prefer to eat something by the campfire! The place also offers introductory horse riding, country dancing, lasso and knife-throwing classes.
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Château du Pé – Loire-Atlantique

One bedroom hides its bed under a trapdoor, another sports a talking false window, another still has cases with insects from around the world on the walls... Located in Saint-Jean-de-Boiseau, between Nantes and Pornic, the Château du Pé gives nothing away behind its façade of a respectable 18th century residence. It is home to the six rather fantastical worlds of different artists, which represent works on the Estuaire Nantes <> Saint-Nazaire circuit.
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In the Pays de la Loire, make a stop in these guest houses quite unlike any others. You can spend the night in a troglodyte cellar, an old schoolhouse, an artwork or a trapper's cabin!

What could be better than staying at the home of a local to really get the feel for a place? Less impersonal and often cheaper than hotels, guest houses are having something of a moment, especially when they are set up by passionate, considerate people who are never stingy with precious tips for your visits or getaways. If your accommodation includes a "table d'hôte" (providing evening meals), don't hesitate to give it a try! It makes an excellent alternative to a restaurant and is friendly too.

Here are a few ideas for places to stay in each department that are highly recommended and above all original – or even totally unusual. Sleep well!

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