I fall asleep to the sound of the Vézère River flowing just a few yards beyond my window and wake up to the morning light warming the golden stone of Montignac, in France's picturesque Dordogne region. This beguiling village is known as the home of the famous Lascaux caves but is worth a wander in its own right. Even better, stay at the Hostellerie La Roseraie, a charming small hotel along the river, with a beautiful rose garden that gives the property its name. It's a wonderful base from which to explore the Dordogne's decorated prehistoric caves, medieval towns, and undulating green landscape.
The 14 rooms are all different in size and shape, but the individuality is part of the charm. My room, the Blueberry Room, was a comfortable and spacious corner room with a double bed and one window facing a small square and another facing the river and the hotel's outdoor terrace. The breakfast buffet each morning was ample - when I was there in May, delicious local strawberries were in season, and I pretty much inhaled dozens of them every morning. What really made La Roseraie special, however, was the welcome. Owners Katia and Thierry Guedj made me and the group I was leading feel like personal guests of the family. I'm already looking forward to my next visit.