The hotel here is for sale, so the owner doesn't feel the need to accommodate her guests. There is no room service, no cleaning or change of towels, and the owner is not on the premises except at breakfast. My husband and two children and I were jet-lagged and came to breakfast at 11 am, and she scolded us for getting up late and said "I have a life, you know!" Hmmm, at $500 a night, you'd think her life was accommodating her guests. Coffee for two was 16 euros, breakfast for four was 70 Euros. Restaurants were minimum 20 minutes away, no refrigerator, no food on premises. A local man warned me against buying the hotel or its three little properties. He said it had a lot of problems. The incessant and very loud and jarring church bell sounded at least 30 times a day, a trick, by the locals, I think, to deter anyone from buying the property.
Overall, I loved the experience of staying so deep in the countryside, but the disagreeable owner and the church bells made me happy to leave there.
Les Duex Abbesses is no longer a Relais & Chateaux hotel. The owner has 3 beautiful and unusual rooms, along the tiny cobbled lanes threading the village. Our room had a marble bath beside a huge window and it was bathed in sunlight with a wonderful view. The village is on a headland with deep gorges either side and a population of 8. There is an historic church and ancient churchyard. It is quite out of this world to stay somewhere so away from the ordinary and beautiful. Laurence, the delightful owner, gave us a vegan dinner that was in itself an adventure and a new experience for us. The meal consisted of lots of small vegetarian dishes, all of which were utterly delicious. Breakfast, again was interesting. The dog, Ebony, was sweet and our hostess was very interesting, having lived all over the world and she is now a renowned breeder of Arab horses.
A recent e-mail from Les Deux Abbesses prompted me to look at the Trip reviews and I noticed someone had commented after a 4.5 year absence.........which made me want to write a (very belated) review even though it was 2009 when we last visited and that followed our first visit the year before.
Saint Arcons d;Allier many not be on the most well trodden holiday route for us Brits but it is in a truly lovely part of France and we enjoyed exploring the vertiginous landscape,taking a big detour from the Dordogne to return for our second visit. We discovered this property in leafing through a Relais & Chateau guidebook and were intrigued by a destination that appeared to be an integral part of a small hilltop village with a central chateau for dining and individual cottages dotted along narrow cobbled streets, in fact you had to park at the entrance to the village and walk in which all added to the ambiance.
We stayed in La Maison Blanche on both occasions. On the ground floor is a a large open shower and a huge bathtub mounted on a raised platform, bathing was a true luxury and even in high summer you had to enjoy the opulence. Upstairs was a large comfortable bed which was framed by what I recall were silver birch timbers and lights - comfortable and romantic.
A short walk from the cottage was the chateau and entering through iron gates you emerged into a walled garden, in fact three areas with the latter providing vistas on three sides. The wonderful red wooden Adirondack style furniture lent the garden a sense of 'Alice in Wonderland' and having afternoon tea here as well as pre dinner drinks on a cloudless summer's evening was a memorable experience.
The food was very individual, dinner a set meal using local produce and enjoyed in a large stone dining room. Breakfast was equally individual and served outside in the garden when the weather was fair.
Madame Percevel Hermet was a charming hostess, perfect English and impeccable taste - the little hares in different guises that adorned the property very personal to her.
Sadly, we hear he chateau with it's garden are now sold......but three of the best village cottages remain, including La Maison Blanche, let's hope they remain but when they're gone they're gone. If nothing else do visit the website and dream.
My husband and I stayed here for 3 days on our honeymoon, in between Cannes and Paris. We've been married 4.5 years now and I always intended to write a review about the magical stay we had at Les Deux Abbesses. I'm so pleased that the reviews are still sky high and I'll now add my two cents even though it's years late!
I remember we rented a car and had an ~2 drive to get there, after a few hours, our GPS tried to put us, literally, on a dirt tractor path through an endless field of grass. That didn't seem like a good idea so we called Deux Abbesses and they gave us more solid directions. We arrived several hours late, after dark, and as most guests were finishing dinner. The staff stayed late and we had a delicious private dinner alone in the dinning hall. Thank you.
We stayed in La Maison Blanche which is rustic, yet modern, private, unique, charming. During the entire stay we felt like we were had our own little slice of olden day France, but with all the comforts of a modern hotel running smoothly behind the scenes. The room/cottage itself is enough to make you want to stay in bed all day, it was so perfect. But then you look out the window and see the rolling hills covered in grape vines and the picturesque bubbling brook and the stone bridge, and you must request a picnic basket from the kitchen and go explore!
Les Deux Abbesses is a magical place, and I'm not just saying that because I was on my honeymoon. If you can, you absolutely must stay here.
We had 3 perfect days in this amazingly beautiful place smart decor huge rooms service atmosphere were everything you could wish for probably the best place we have stayed in France in 45 years!! the food was outstanding menu changed each night and as good or better than 3 stars we've stayed.how lucky we were to have found our nirvana long may it remain