A beautiful and enchantered place located in a small renovated village of the Middle AGes .The restaurant and living room are located in the castle . Excellent cook , varied and imaginative that we enjoyed for week . The rooms are located in the houses of the village that overlooks the river Allier. A swimming pool but can go hiking, rafting and canoeing in a beautiful region stil unknow to mass tourism . Also as the town of LE Puy was the starting point of the pilgrimage to Saint Jacques de Compostelle, a lot of churches and monasteries to visit. the A must to discover France
First we must say that the “les Deux Abbesses” website is absolutely truthful.
We needed a relaxing holiday and the information on the website seemed to suggest that this was the place we were looking for and it actually was.
If you want to live a holiday” far from the madding crowd” this is the right place .
The whole complex is great, different from the usual hotels. The rooms are located in the small village of Saint Arcons d’Allier in independent houses so that you feel as if you lived in the old village itself -we were in the Atelier du painter , which was a very nice attic in what was the old ”Rectory” . Lots of amenities in the room and above all no TV.
The reception, the dining room and the tea room are located in what was the ancient castle where the old warm atmosphere is well preserved . You reach the castle walking on a cobblestone paving.
We spent 4 nights last 6th August and the fine weather allowed us to appreciate the cosy garden which ,for us, was one of the many beautiful spots of the hotel; there, we had our breakfast in the morning(so nicely served) and a glass of wine at the sunset , relaxing on the comfortable deckchairs overlooking a quiet woody hill : the only “noise” was the water flowing down the valley. There are small and intimate corners in this garden where you can appreciate its quietness and stunning views: all of that with a remarkable attention to details.
We enjoyed also the swimming pool and again the location is very nice.
In addition food was exceptional: I would say that the cuisine is "daring" but absolutely fantastic. IUnusual food matching and great service
All the staff was very kind and caring and the service very accurate.
Bernard proved to be very helpful and the lady at the receptionist gave us all the information we needed to visit the surroundings . They are beautiful and it’s like a step back in the old times: small villages and simple life.
So , we highly recommend this hotel.
anna and Francesco
If your idea of an ideal rural French hotel stay is to experience a view from one of the medieval hill towns you pass while exploring the countryside, then the Les Deux Abbessess is your ideal. The hotel occupies much of the restored village of Saint Arcons de Alliers, located in the sparcely populated Haute Loire department in the vicinity of Le Puy en Velay, on a hill overlooking two valleys of thickly wooded terrain. The town itself has only twelve permanent inhabitants, so the hotel comples is virtually the entire village. We had most of a village house including a terrace overlooking the Alliers valley, just a stunning setting for a romantic getaway. The main part of the hotel where the dining areas and reception are located, is a castle. There is an outdoor pool located below the castle, which is done in the same style as the restoration of the rest of the property, true to the character of a medieval restoration. Just plain classy! There is a garden behing the castle used to serve breakfast and cocktails before dinner, which is magnificently designed. The staff is very accommodating and the level of service is outstanding. Dinners are haute cuisine and the fare is innovative and certainly one of the draws for those who choose to stay here. The Deux Abbessess was one of the best Relais and Chateaux experiences I have had in France and I highly recommend it.
I am in France quite often on business and living for extended periods in Provence. I am a traveler who really knows his way around the Hexagone. I thought I'd share some of my more 'objective' opinions on tripadviser.
I knew I was off to a good start when during my correspondance with the owner, Laurence (yes...a lovely, lovely woman), she decided to upgrade us to a suite...just 'comme ca' . The hotel is a wonderful, unique experience. Situated in a number of buildings of what was the nearly desserted petite village of Saint-Arcons-d'Allier in the Haute Loire, built in the 13th century, the hotel gives you the sense of another time. Everything had been restored lovingly yet with every luxury you could desire. It is like staying in a living, breathing museum that is neither formal nor with airs. The views of the surronding Auvergne and Lozere countryside is breathtaking and we were lucky to have a terrace with a postcard view. Our renovated ancient suite had the largest fireplace in France for one hotel room and fine antiques mixed with beautiful modern luxury items and a bathroom out of 'Art et Decoration'. All of this just aded to the 'other worldly feeling' of this magical destination. I say destination because I could see how many returning guests easily come back to just enjoy 'being' in this amazing ville/hotel. The restaurant is fabulous and it boggles the mind that they don't have at least, 2 michelin stars. The dining room is lovely and yet unassuming in its amazing production of amuses bouches, unique appertizers made up of local fresh ingredients and my favorite main plate when I was there, the lamb infused with thyme and lavender. The desserts are pound-provoking as you can't resist the new offer each night. There are moderate wines from the region or the best Bordeaux money can buy, what you want will be recommended with your dinner. Tea is also served at 4Pm each day and there is a lovely free buffet of tea cakes, pastries and petit-fours to enjoy with your tea as you sit on the lawn in a comfy chair for two looking over the allier valley. Breakfast can also be taken in the garden and it is a lovely spread with breads and pastries, yogurt, fresh fruit, local jams, fresh juice and a slice of a morning homemade bread/ cake that is light and delicious. Honestly, I can't find one negative thing to say and I could go on and on about all the special things done to make our trip a memorable one, Laurence is a wonderful Hostess who is the epitomie of warm and friendly yet capable and ready to give you her useful advice. You must stay two night max ..but I'd recommend between 3-4 days. The different historic quarters of the hotel will be explained to you when you arrive. Then...you can decide what area of the hotel
you want to enjoy after exploring some of the lovely villages near by or perhaps to sit by the stunning pool area with a lovely bar and a true sense of a beach club.Like the movie 'Enchanted April'...I called my stay here last week 'Enchanted June'. I left feeling wonderful and well cared for. This is what makes a hotel stand out from other 4/5* hotels. It is evident in each tiny detail.
This was our second visit to Les Deux Abbesses. Our first stay there was last July (2009). We had to go back and bring our adult children who where visiting us here in France where we currently live. This is the most unique place we have seen in our extensive travels throughout France. If you like the outdoors, horseback riding, hiking, and want a place of total peace to relax and recharge, you will love Les Deux Abbesses. All of the rooms are unique and have special touches which makes this a luxury stay. The food is fantastic and the history of this hotel is amazing (12th Century). The owner made reservations for us to go horseback riding and it was the best experience in riding we have ever had. We plan to go back as soon as we can. You will never forget this place... This Winter they are a bed and breakfast with their dining room closed for the season; however, you'll find very nice places in town to eat for dinner and the breakfast at the hotel will last you all day! The owner of this hotel goes out of her way to make you feel special. I would like to go back again in the Summer and do more hiking in this area...it is like stepping back in time to a more peaceful and quiet and slower pace. You need to be able to walk well on cobble stones and be willing to walk up hill in order to stay comfortably here. They handle your bags for you which is nice because you must park a little distance from your cottage and from the main part (castle) of the hotel. If you want a hotel with a restaurant, you may want to visit here during their open season (Spring/Summer).