Closed to the public since 2011, the abbey, founded in the 12th century and listed as a Unesco World Heritage site, will reopen as a four-star hotel with 54 rooms.
Developers spent 18 months on the new hotel located within the Saint-Lazare Priory, one of the Fontevraud Abbey's four former monasteries. The architectural firm Agence Jouin Manku oversaw the renovation of the site and the creation of the new hotel.
The decor is refined, minimalist and elegant, featuring a range of whites and browns and the vaulted ceilings have been maintained as a key detail of the priory's original structure. At the same time, the hotel will be firmly anchored in the 21st century – in its iBar, visitors can consult touchscreen tablets to learn about the history of the site from 1101 to the present.
A gourmet restaurant, seating up to 80 guests, will be on site, stretching across the priory's cloister, refectory and chapter hall, with a separate banquet room. The hotel opens today (29 May).