Le Barn’s location is its trump card – under an hour from the centre of Paris, yet worlds apart in character. On the hotel’s leafy grounds, you can play pétanque, badminton and croquet. Put the spring back into your step with a limbering yoga class, or swing into the saddle of one the hotel’s trusty steeds. The surrounding forest is criss-crossed with walking, running and biking trails, and the valley is traversed by the scenic cycle route that runs from the centre of Paris all the way to Mont St Michel on the coast. Then again, the hotel’s just as suited to doing very little at all: weary city dwellers looking to slow things down will relish soaking in the open-air hot tubs, boating on the pond and wandering in the woods. If you’re serious about improving your riding, arrange a session at Haras de la Cense, the natural horsemanship centre that backs onto the estate. Founder and entrepreneur William Kriegel (who’s also one of the partners behind Le Barn) developed his own technique, the La Cense Method, which focuses on nurturing the bond between horse and rider. The hotel’s other neighbour is the Château de Rochefort golf course, an 18-hole wooded course that’s open all year-round. If you’ve never seen the Sun King’s palace, now’s as good a chance as any – Versailles is only 45 minutes away by car.