Imagine waking up in what was once a church, a stable, an hospital! Discover this hand-picked list of fascinating historical sites turned into unusual, interesting and comfortable to stay.
A former Jesuit Chapel in Poitiers
In the heart of Poitiers is La Chapelle du Gésu, a very special 4-star hotel. Previously a Jesuit chapel built in 1854, the church was then used to hold government archives before architect François Pin converted it into a charming hotel and restaurant in 2012. Book one of the rooms in the nave for incredible views over the entire city.
Hôtel Mercure Poitiers - 14 Rue Édouard-Grimaux
The national stud farm in Strasbourg
Les Haras is a prestigious hotel in Strasbourg with plenty of history. The stunning 18th century building, erected along the medieval ramparts, was once the National Stud Farm and headquarters of the city’s horse-riding academy. Its 55 rooms are tastefully decorated with traditional riding materials in leather and wood, and the award-winning Brasserie serves contemporary versions of classic French dishes.
Hôtel les Haras Strasbourg - 23 Rue des Glacières
A 19th century church in Nantes
Wake up to the sun streaming through colourful stained glass windows. The Sōzō is a 4-star boutique hotel inside a renovated, fully-furnished 19th century chapel, with 24 personalised rooms, spa facilities and business spaces. The interior is decidedly modern, contrasting beautifully with the original stone vaults and windows, which have been left as they were when the chapel was built in 1883.
Sozo Hotel Nantes - 16 Rue Frédéric Cailliaud
The gas tower in Bordeaux
If you’re a design-lover, stay a few nights at Mama Shelter Bordeaux. The former headquarters of France’s national gas company has been transformed into a cult hotel with 97 ultra-modern, super-stylish rooms personally designed by Philippe Starck and featuring unusual extras such as iMacs equipped with Photo Booth, Batman masks that double as lampshades and organic shower products. In summer, discover the hidden rooftop bar with panoramic views over the city.
Mama Shelter Bordeaux - 19 Rue Poquelin Molière
A 5-star luxury hospice in Lille
L’Hermitage Gantois, Autograph Collection is a luxury hotel, restaurant, bar and spa in Lille, just five minutes from La Grande Place. The elegant 15th century building was once a charity hospice before its second life as Lille’s first 5-star hotel. Today, you can still wander around the courtyards, visit a small on-site museum and even get married in the picturesque chapel.
L'Hermitage Gantois Lille - 224 Rue Pierre Mauroy
The iconic Hôtel-Dieu in Marseille
One of Marseille’s most impressive buildings, the InterContinental has taken over the site of the Hôtel-Dieu, a stunning 18th century hospital which was personally inaugurated by Napoleon III in 1866. An exquisite blend of old and new, its suites boast private terraces, two gastronomic restaurants and an original stone staircase leading down to Marseille’s Old Port.
Intercontinental Hotel Dieu Marseille - 1 Place Daviel