Fontevraud I’Hotel — Anjou, France
Amid the winelands of Anjou and Saumur in France is the 12th-century monastery L’Abbaye de Fontevraud. Once part of the French penal system, this was one of the less glamorous draws on the Loire Valley châteaux tour, but Parisian design duo Jouin Manku has turned that upside down by working its magic on the interiors. Guestrooms in the new 54-room hotel see a reduced colour palette of beige with mustard-yellow accents and similarly rigorous materials: blackened steel, wood, wool and linen. There is an ascetic scholarliness behind the design with single items doing double duty: when stacked along the wainscoting, bespoke folding dining-room chairs become decorative elements and perforated-steel screens slide across the TVs, so they can serve as art installations. The raw modernity echoes the building’s monastic heritage.