Although somewhat larger than our usual size, we include Le Cep because it is a good hotel with plenty of character, and the best address in the centre of Beaune. A stone's throw from the Hôtel-Dieu, it has sumptuously furnished public rooms and attractive bedrooms, with antique furniture and beams. Breakfast ('excellent; much more than just croissants') is served in the vaulted former wine cellar or, in summer, in the pretty arcaded Renaissance courtyard. Although only breakfast is served, most guests dine in the restaurant next door. The Bernard family and their staff are genuinely friendly and hospitable.

We get consistently enthusiastic reports of Le Cep, praising the friendly, personal welcome; the location; the service; even the secure parking. Three new suites have recently been created, with 32 suites now available. Rooms vary in size, but prices are fair all round. Another recent addition is the Spa Marie de Bourgogne with high ceilings, wooden beams and frescoes and fitness facilities. Providing a vast range of unique beauty treatments, as well as having an exciting cosmetic line with unusual items such as chardonnay, pinot noir and blackcurrant berry buds, it has earned them a number of awards at the World Luxury Spa Awards and 5/5 Lotus on the Spa de France label.