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HOSTELLERIE DE LA MARONNE
ST-MARTIN-VALMEROUX

HOSTELLERIE DE LA MARONNE, ST-MARTIN-VALMEROUX
HOSTELLERIE DE LA MARONNE, ST-MARTIN-VALMEROUX
HOSTELLERIE DE LA MARONNE, ST-MARTIN-VALMEROUX
HOSTELLERIE DE LA MARONNE, ST-MARTIN-VALMEROUX
HOSTELLERIE DE LA MARONNE, ST-MARTIN-VALMEROUX

It's hard to imagine a lovelier pastoral scene. A handsome manor house standing proudly above a country lane. To the south, beyond the manicured lawn, the bells of Salers cattle tinkle in a tranquil, sunny valley, at its best in magical autumn hues.

The fastidious Monsieur and Madame Decock are an uncompromising couple and run the hotel very much on their own terms. They have invested over a number of years to bring a level of comfort and sophistication which is rare - and yet not out of place - in this gloriously unspoiled corner of the Auvergne. Some guests are not convinced that the upgrade to 4-star is entirely justified but regulars seem happy to ignore the shortcomings.

Now that son Thomas has taken over the kitchen, following a spell at the highly-rated Hotel Bristol in Paris, the quality of the cuisine should match all the hotel's other attributes. Guest rooms with balcony or terrace are the preferred option but nearly all the others have the same view.

The Maronne is therefore a good value hotel that somehow exudes elegance and confidence without any of the habitual pomp. And, if you get withdrawal symptoms for traditional Auvergnat dishes like pigs' trotters with lentils, the splendidly rustic Auberge de l'Aspe just down the lane will be happy to welcome you with a friendly smile.