Abbaye de Fontevraud
NUMBER OF ROOMS: 54 rooms, including 2 suites, 5 family suites and a duplex apartment
CLOSED ANNUALLY: Open all year round
THE STORY: No need to enter the holy orders anymore if you want to spend the night behind the medieval walls of the Fontevraud Abbey, one of the most immense monastic towns in Europe, at the heart of the Loire chateaux region. Once reserved for nuns, the Saint-Lazare priory became a hotel in 1980. It was just redone from top to bottom by the Jouin Manku agency (the team behind the Plaza Athénée décor), while preserving its monastic minimalism and adding a high-tech touch: customized beds and an advanced sound system in the ultra-silent bedrooms, futuristic furniture under the white stone arches, and then, because the flesh is weak, a gastronomic restaurant and a bar dedicated to sparkling Saumurois wines. Double rooms starting at €140, suites starting at €165.
TOILETRIES: Artisanal soaps from the Martin de Candre savonnerie in Fontevraud.
INTERNET: Wifi (free).
BREAKFAST: Served around the cloister, buffet formula at €16 with homemade cakes, viennoiseries, homemade breads, charcuterie, eggs, smoked salmon, cereals, artisanal yogurts, compotes, homemade spreads.
LITTLE LUXURY: Guests of the hotel have access to the Fontevraud abbey, and have exclusive access to nighttime strolls amongst the illuminated buildings. Family with children will enjoy themed visits, games, workshops, performances and exhibitions for all ages.