The Pays de la Loire has always offered a wide range of places to stay, to suit visitors of all ages...and all budgets: grand chateau hotels and B&Bs, family-run inns and restaurants with rooms, self-catering gîtes and immaculate campsites. But the region is blossoming with unusual places to stay: in lofts and on barges, in converted mills and churches!
THE SODAROOM: A LOFT-HÔTEL IN THE HEART OF ANGERS
This chic, sleek new retreat demonstrates that the Pays de la Loire isn't all about the past. Called a "loft-hotel", the SODAroom is actually somewhere between an urban cottage and a New York apartment. Totally practical and minimalist, it sleeps 2 to 4 and is in the centre of the city. All Nantes' cultural attractions are on the doorstep. it really doesn't get any more hip than here! And the more nights you book, the cheaper it is.
STAY THE NIGHT IN A CASTLE KEEP:
RETURN TO THE MIDDLE AGES IN SAINTE-SUZANNE
By contrast, staying in this 13th-century keep, surrounded by walls and a moat, is like travelling back to the Middle Ages. Dinner and breakfast are based on medieval recipes and served communally in the hall, in front of the fire. In the morning, guests use the fire to heat water for washing! That's because this is an authentic experience: there is no electricity, no running water and no heat - except for that communal fireplace!
RADISSON BLU COMES TO NANTES:
THE OLD LAW COURTS TRANSFORMED INTO A NEW HOTEL
At the end of 2012, the former law courts in Nantes will reopen as a stylish new 4-star hotel: the Radisson blu. Since the courts moved to the new, Jean Nouvel-designed complex on the Ile de Nantes a decade ago, the 19th-century Palais de Justice has been empty. Now, the Radisson group is transforming it into a hotel, but preserving architectural features, such as the beautiful woodwork in the Assize Court. There will be 150 rooms, with 20 suites, a restaurant, spa and business facilities. There will also be a large space dedicated entirely to contemporary art.
S?Z? HÔTEL IN NANTES:
A LUXURY HOTEL IN 19TH-CENTURY CHAPEL
The idea of sleeping in a 19th-century chapel may sound improbable, but that is what will be possible early in 2012. The S?z? hotel will be in the centre of Nantes, close to the railway station and opposite the botanical garden. The 28 luxury rooms will be in the existing nave, 60 feet/17 metres up in the towering arches. Contemporary in design, the hotel is providing everything for the international traveller, from 24-hour concierge service, room service and parking to free Wi-Fi.
SLEEP IN A COMMUNAL LAUNDRY: B&B IN SCEAUX-SUR-HUISNE
Deep in the Perche Sarthois countryside, la Ferme du Prieuré has a new guest house. Close to the village church, with its historic bell tower, it is in the 14th-century "lavoir", the outdoor, communal laundry! Where monks once washed their clothes is now a cosy room for two overlooking the water. The shower is in the room. From 65 € per night for 2, including breakfast.
LE DOMAINE DES MOULINS A NOIRMOUTIER:
CAMP RIGHT ON THE BEACH!
The idyllic island of Noirmoutier offers a perfect site for a summer camping holiday - right on a sandy beach. Called ORIGINAL CAMPING, the site features ECOLODGES, luxurious yet eco-friendly accommodation built of canvas and wood.
Sheltered by trees that were planted to protect the surrounding dunes, the popular campsite has just been awarded its fifth star!
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