Set within the medieval splendor of Fontevraud, this series of outbuildings was once the abbey's lepers' hospice, but you'd never know it—a gorgeous, understated redesign has made it one of the more unusual hotels in the Loire Valley. In a muscularly Romanesque side wing, the erstwhile monks' and nuns' cells have been transformed into small but alluring guest rooms, where minimalist chic rules the day and soft grays and whites complement the fine wood accents (the linens and mattresses are even custom-made). The more expensive rooms have baths rather than showers, and some have breathtaking vaulted ceilings. The entrance gives onto the vast salle capitulaire (conference room), and the cloisters now house a superb restaurant (reservations essential), where Bocuse d'Or winner Thibault Ruggeri prepares such delicacies as venison dressed with root vegetables and turbot glazed with abbey-made honey. Staying here lets you explore the abbey grounds when its gates are closed to the public, which is itself an exceptional experience.