Sleeping inside a true landmark: The Royal Abbey dates from 1101 and features Romanesque architecture, long galleries off its cloisters and Byzantine kitchens, plus reclining effigies of Eleanor of Aquitaine and her son, Richard the Lionheart
The guestrooms are spread across three sections of the abbey, but all 54 are individually designed to accommodate the building’s original features and have a contemporary style in modern grays, whites and mustard yellows
The IBar is a digital drinking den with tablets and computers built into the custom wood furnishings
Chef Thibaut Ruggeri is at helm of Le Restaurant, a gourmet destination that offers three set menus per day (dinner from Tuesday to Saturday and lunch on Sunday from 12:30 to 2 p.m.) in a special setting between the cloisters overlooking the gardens
What To Know
The Royal Abbey is a year-round tourist attraction, open from 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. most days, so the grounds are always busy with visitors
Reservations for Le Restaurant are essential
Prime location for exploring the Loire Valley’s chateaux and rivers by bike
The abbey hosts live music concerts, family events, exhibitions and conferences throughout the year
Parking is a five-minute walk away, but there's a shuttle service to the front door
No TVs or telephones in the guestrooms
Parking on site
Disclaimer: This content was accurate at the time the hotel was reviewed. Please check our partner sites when booking to verify that details are still correct.
Historic 900-year-old abbey turned cutting-edge style sleep on 32 rural acres of the Loire Valley
In the heart of the Loire Valley, Fontevraud L’Hotel is in an exceptional setting within its namesake 12th-century abbey. Architects Patrick Jouin and Sanjit Manku are behind the wholly contemporary redesign, which echoes and complements the abbey’s original character, from stained glass–inspired touches to pale oak paneling that matches the chalky white tufa stonework. The 54 guestrooms are in three portions of the abbey and retain the architectural details of the building. Some guestrooms have soaring ceilings and arched windows, while others are more compact, with sloping ceilings and small windows that offer just a glimpse of the 32-acre grounds. The rooms are light on tech, with no telephones or TVs, but all have floating writing desks and en suite bathrooms with stand-alone showers. Dining at Fontevraud is a serious affair, with Bocuse d’Or–winning chef Thibaut Ruggeri preparing three set dinners each night (Tuesday to Saturday), all made with seasonal local fare and served with Loire Valley wines. For a special lunch option, make a reservation for the restaurant’s Sunday daytime service from 12:30 to 2 p.m. only, and don’t miss breakfast, which is served every morning in a quiet corner of the dining room overlooking the courtyard. For evening tipples, the IBar is part drinking den, part media center, with computers built into the custom wood furnishings, and black fabric screens creating a cozy feel beneath the lofty chapel ceilings.
In the Area
Fontevraud L'Hotel is in the heart of France’s magical Loire Valley, so a stay here puts you within pedal distance of the region's historic chateaux and idyllic river routes. But first explore the abbey's myriad attractions. Most famous are the reclining effigies of Eleanor of Aquitaine and her son, Richard the Lionheart, as well as the medieval architecture of the 1101 abbey. Explore some of the site's 32 manicured acres on foot, or time your visit to coincide with one of the many live arts festivals, including open-air rock and baroque concerts. Horse lovers should plan a stop at the Ecole Nationale d'Equitation, in Samur, one of France's best-known riding academies, dating from 1828. While in Samur, take a tour of the town's fairy-tale château and see the 200 military vehicles at the Musée des Blindés. Farther east, the idyllic village of Turquant is famous for its many cave dwellings, most of which have been converted to cool cafés, shops and galleries.