How could you possibly stay indifferent in a hotel situated within a compaund that was once the biggest religious complex in Europe formed of churches and monasteries in which the King of England, Henry II, his wife, Eleanor of Aquitaine, and son, King Richard the Lionheart were buried in 12th century. Today, the Royal Abbey of Our Lady of Fontevraud is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and its buildings are hosting a cultural centre since 1975, the Centre Culturel de l’Ouest and this elegant L’Hotel , completely integrated in this monastic architecture and atmosphere.
Abbaye Royale de Fontevraud is located in Loire Valley, in the province of Anjou. An excellent location to explore endless castles and towns in the Loire Valley and yet very far from millions of tourist which are pouring from all around the World to admire these opulent mansions and their art collections and gardens. Fontevraud, on contrary, is a small charming village with a picture perfect square with its Hotel de Ville, two nice restaurants, church and a bakery, of course! The rest of this village is l’Abbaye Royale de Fontevraud.
Right off the square there is a secret entrance to the monastery complex where only guests of the Hotel can enter by dialing their access code on the entrance gate.
Indeed, after 8PM only hotel guest and artist are allowed to enter this enormous and secluded monastery complex. Passing that door is like crossing to another world – with its own atmosphere, quite and solemn, like the the buildings and the history behind them. Guests have a privilege to walk around huge hallways, churches, parks and gardens at any time of the night and there is a high probability the you will not see anyone until you reach the building of the hotel. In the mean time you have all the time to enjoy many art installations, architecture or simply enjoy the walk with lanterns and the classical religious music in the background.
Hotel rooms and the atmosphere of the hotel spaces in general is perfectly integrated in this impressive setting of massive white stonewalls and vaulted ceilings. The interiors are simple, very minimalistic but comfortable and very high tech. Sober and truly monistic 🙂
The breakfast area is located in the main restaurant surrounding the cloister and its “broken pottery” garden.
Gardens surrounding Fontevraud may not be so impressive as the one you will see around chateus around the Loire Valley but they are equally beautiful in this simple and monastic setting with fruits, vegetables and wild flowers…
Finally, give it a try to these guys and let them be your hosts to visit this extraordinary part of France!