By a long stretch the finest bed and breakfast in the town, Villa Josephine is a beautiful property with exquisite décor, spacious rooms and fine service. With only nine rooms it is also one of the smallest establishments in the town meaning that it is particularly quiet and that attention detail is that bit more focused. Great care has been taken over every aspect of the hotel and frankly it is difficult to fault it on any level! More of a couples retreat, this stunning villa is the place to come for that special weekend away by the sea. Try and get a reservation here before anywhere else!
Villa Josephine is situated on rue des Villas, in-between the town's main road and the seafront. It is a little off the beaten path (it takes around 15 minutes to reach the town centre on foot) however this does mean that it is perfectly silent. There is nothing of interest in the immediate vicinity of the hotel although the seafront is only a few minutes' walk away. If you are arriving by train then you'd be advised to catch a taxi to the hotel. The Deauville-St. Gatien airport is around a 15-20 minute drive away.
The hotel was opened back in August of 2005 by Joséphine Petit in a 19th century Norman villa which was once the home of M. Olliffe, former mayor of Deauville and personal doctor to the Duc de Morny who almost single-handedly founded the resort. Its name comes not from that of the present owner's but rather Empress Joséphine de Beauharnais, the first wife of Napoleon Bonaparte and grandmother of the Duc. The hotel is open all year round.
The Villa Josephine has a rather grand entrance in that it is surrounded by a fence on the corner of two quiet roads and one must buzz to gain entry. As the door swings open, teasingly slowly, a vast garden is revealed, split down the middle by a foot path leading to the house itself. The garden has some grand old trees within it and on the lawn are laid out a few table and chairs, both old and new. The lawn is well-kept as are the creepers on the front of the villa and the potted plants which line the façade. The L-shaped building features typical Norman timbers and balconies and a tall chimney poking gout the gabled roof to the right. The entrance to the hotel is at the corner of the L-shape and the lobby is a great introduction to the hotel, as it should be! Painted in fuscia, is features a similarly coloured reception desk upholstered in crushed velvet with two lamps on either side. In front is a bouquet of flowers also complementing the colour scheme while behind are shelves displaying various objects such as framed pictures, clocks and perfume bottles. The corridors are also home to various objects, this time in frame, while do not miss the 'gallery' of portraits on the first floor of the main building , featuring the personalities after whom the hotel's rooms are named (see 'Accommodation').
The hotel is kept impeccably and is spotless and the positively charming staff here goes above and beyond the call of duty to keep guests happy - to a level that we did not experience elsewhere in Deauville. There is complimentary wifi throughout the hotel as well as the option of dial-up.
The nine rooms at Villa Josephine are each named after someone of significant importance in the life of the Duc de Morny (his mother, father, wife, grandmother). Three of the rooms have their entrances giving on to the garden while the others are within the building itself. Every room is decorated differently, with allusions, through portraits or objects, to the person after whom it is named, however the amenities remain uniform throughout. Every room has a beautifully dressed queen bed (king in the larger rooms) using high quality linens and fabrics for the sheets and plaids which complement, in terms of colour, the rest of the upholstery and materials used in the room (each one has a different colour scheme). They all boast beautiful furniture pieces, including sideboards sourced from various places including sideboards, bedside tables, armchairs, lamps, bureaus and busts, many of which also follow the rooms' palettes. Each room has a flatscreen television, telephone, fully stocked minibar and bathrobes. In addition, there are several lovely touches that further mark the hotel out as one of the finest: a hand written welcome note, weather prediction cards each day and delicious chocolates on your pillow each night put there during the turndown service. The bathrooms are appointed with equal flair and taste and are all spacious. Most are accessed from the room through sliding doors which reveal well crafted vanities or sink units, bathtubs (some of which have claw feet) and or monsoon shower cubicles, heated towel racks, hairdryers, bath robes and Etro toiletries. Needless to say they are all spotless and in perfect condition with sleek fittings and nice details such as soap holders and tissue box holders.
The breakfast room at the Villa Josephine is the most elegant in Deauville, without exception. The style is entirely in keeping with the villa's late 19th century origins and is painted a teal colour to which the crockery is matched. On one side of the room is the fireplace, while opposite are more shelves displaying candelabras, old books and decorative porcelain. The walls are adorned with both lamps and portraits of people related to the villa's history. The round tables are impeccably laid with fine crockery and a flower centre piece. It's a shame that the windows are not floor-to-ceiling affairs as there would be an even better view of the garden just outside. At the front of the room is a buffet with a simple continental spread. The rest of the breakfast however is served at the table and includes a basket of patisserie and baguette slices accompanied with jams and yoghurt with fruit compote. Following this comes a hot breakfast of eggs cooked the way you enjoy. The hotel calls this a breakfast brunch however it is not as copious as this would suggest. It is nevertheless delicious and beautifully presented and sets you up nicely for the day.
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