What We Love
- 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
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
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.
How to Get There
I have wanted to visit the Abbey at Fontevraud so was absolutely delighted to discover a hotel on the site. We stayed here as we were looking for something special for a 'significant' birthday. The Abbey is out of this world and hotel guests have free access day and night. We toured on arrival and again after dark when we felt we were the only visitors in the entire place which made it extra special. I can honestly say it's one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited in my life. The Abbey has been restored to the point where it looks newly built but still retains the charm, peacefulness and simplicity of the original abbey. It's also used for a number of modern art installations which were a delight to discover and a fantastic mix of the old and new together breathing new life and interest into this historic site.
The hotel is set amongst beautiful gardens. Its peaceful and tranquil and is furnished in a simplistic and minimalist way entirely sympathetic to the abbey itself.
We chose an 'emotion' room on the 2nd floor. It was comfortable and roomy with large windows overlooking the rear gardens. Beautiful thick soft towels although I would have preferred them to be larger. Like other guests have mentioned it would have been nice to have the coffee machine in the room itself rather than downstairs in the refectory but we managed to survive without a coffee until breakfast! Food was very good. We chose not to eat in the restaurant as we were unable to secure a booking for the actual birthday and the set menu for the night before included items we d8dnt fancy. Breakfast was superb though with homemade butter and fresh crusty bread as well as a good supply of locally sourced cold meats, cheeses, jams and pastries.
The Plantagenet restaurant just outside the entrance gates was a hood alternative choice for dinner.
All the hotel staff were very friendly and welcoming. We absolutely loved our stay and would recommend. I'd live to come back again one day as we still have so much more to explore in the Loire valley.
We stayed here to take advantage of the fine dining restaurant and were not disappointed. Free 24 hour access to the Abbey enabled us to walk round the site including the Abbey itself without anyone else being there. This was a truly magical experience.
Our bed was comfortable and the room well equipped. Breakfast was served in the restaurant and one of the best I have eaten.
My only complaint was that, contrary to the hotel policy, full payment for our accommodation was taken 10 days before our stay. The receptionist did however acknowledge the error and apologised.
This is an eco hotel. The design is splendid; kudos for the minimalist font, furniture, look, feel. Comfy bed, shower is perfect. Clean and nice towels. Staff is friendly and professional. Drive into the gate at the north of the abbey- you ring for entrance. Staff pick you up, take you and your luggage to your room. Quiet, lovely.
We stayed her in a twin room, refined and peaceful with a huge window to open and see the stars,Beautifully lit grounds and Abbey at night, and well stocked shop. Welcoming front of house staff and fabulous restaurant with Michelin star chef. The waitress described each dish in English for us. Great experience, with very few people in the grounds .
Only used the restaurant. They serve a good range of dishes and a wonderful location to eat in the square opposite the entrance to the Abbaye. Friendly service good wine selection and a wonderful view