Do you dream of sleeping in a church? I have! For a very long time! And our little tour of Brittany in France made this dream come true. We stayed at the Sozo hotel in Nantes and it was great!
I don’t intend to do a lot of posts on hotels. I’m not Booking or Trip Advisor and I think they do a great job at supplying ample details on accommodation opportunities which enables anyone to find the perfect shoes that fit their delicate feet.
However, every now and then, I do want to tell you about unconventional accommodation Mr A and I had the pleasure of staying in. The Sozo hotel was one of them and I think it is totally worth mentioning!
The Sozo hotel is located in Nantes, in a 19th century church which received 3 years of intensive care and great design to look the way it looks now. There are 24 rooms on 3 different floors, which all have their specificities.
Our room had a superb stained glass over the bed, and the remains of the stand and canopy of a statue in the bathroom in addition to an impressively high vaulted ceiling.
The decoration of the hotel is impressive, the very modern and design furniture fits perfectly and create a serene atmosphere.
The owner, Benoit Boiteau and his staff were extremely friendly and helpful.
Sozo means “creation” or “imagination” in Japanese and “rehabilitation” in Grec. Both definition suits this hotel beautifully.
Marie Jeanne by Emmanuel Debarre
Access to the spa was a great addition to our stay. It includes a sauna, ice room, steam room and a signing shower which was a bliss to use after our journey.
The ice room above and the steam room below. OK not the best pictures but you get the idea of how relaxing the whole space is.
These lamps, which looks like diamond corset, fit perfectly in the decor.
When we arrived at the hotel, it was already night time. The stained glass magically appeared with the morning light!
The above picture might be weird to you, but you know how much I love churches so I wanted to share with you the layout of the hotel. As you can see, the entrance of the hotel is in the quire which is the lobby / reception / bar, not by the nave, which I found quite interesting!
Obviously the church was desacralized before becoming a hotel.
Another thing worth mentioning is that technically, this is not a church, but a chapel. If you need to revisit your basics on the appropriate church vocabulary, check out my mini guide 😉
Les Soeurs de la Sagesse (the sisters of wisdom) to whom the chapel belonged still live next door.
In case you are wondering, this is not a sponsored post. I was indeed invited there… by Mr A 😉 who knows my love for architecture, design and churches! When a place combines art, history, modernity and zen as well as the Sozo hotel does, it deserves all the attention it can get.
The technical bits:
The official website of the Sozo hotel: www.sozohotel.fr
All rooms are equipped with Nespresso coffee machine, TV, iPod stations, safe, wifi…. everything you might need!
There are conference rooms in the hotel which look very cosy.
Nantes is a beautiful city, the botanical garden is across the street from the hotel, the Ducs of Brittany castle is at walking distance and worth the visit before heading to the old town. From Nantes, you can easily reach the sea and start your tour of Brittany to admire it’s landscapes, coasts and rich history.
Other amazing European hotels located in churches:
The Kruisherenhotel in Maastricht is another great hotel located in a gothic church and a former monastery. We didn’t manage to stay there last time we were in Maastricht but it sure is on our list!
The Martin’s Patershof hotel, in Mechelen, Belgium (not too far from Brussels) seems so perfect as well that it’s now on our list! Check it out: www.martinshotels.com
Transforming churches into apartments or hotels is a trend well developed in the UK where you can find all sorts of accommodations, from B&B to 4 stars. At the Chapel, in Somerset, is fantastic example. It’s only 17 miles from Glastonbury, 23 miles from Cheddar Gorge, and would be an ideal location to stop and rest, on your way to Cornwall.
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