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Le Prieure d'Orsan - Luxury holidays to the Loire Valley

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  • About this holiday

    Le Prieure d'Orsan dates from 1107 and offers seven intimate guestrooms in a converted priory amid beautiful gardens. Exquisite gardens provide the backdrop to Le Prieure d'Orsan, where modern interruptions such as TVs are totally absent, allowing you to live the simple rural lifestyle.

    The journey and how you get there

    Complimentary

    Included in your holiday

    Expressions Holidays includes scheduled flights, hire car and dinner, bed and breakfast.

    Holiday prices

    Sample prices for Le Prieure d'Orsan are per person based on two people sharing a Type A double or twin room.
    Low season from £1330 for 5 nights.
    The prices displayed here are a guide only for this hotel and each holiday price will be tailor-made at the time of booking to reflect the actual flight costs and all up-to-date special offers. 

    Hotel code

    EXH1347

    Our opinion

    An incredibly magical place to stay, where ancient buildings crawl with creative garden design. A homely rural escape.

    Hotel description

    The priory dates from 1107 when it was founded by Robert d’Arbrissel, who also founded the Abbey of Fontevraud, burial place of Richard the Lionheart and numerous other Plantagenets including Eleanor of Aquitaine. It is a boutique Relais & Chateaux hotel but also home to the incredible gardens, inspired by the mediaeval monastic gardens that would have been here for years. The gardens as they are now are credited to Patrice Taravella, the unassuming but hugely creative owner of Orsan. The gardens have come to the interest of the British public recently due to being featured in Monty Don’s recent BBC Two programme on French gardens and deserve to be visited almost more than any other garden in France. The gardens are situated between the priory buildings and are divided into individual areas of intense interest: there are vines, fruit trees, a flourishing kitchen garden, a maze, lavender beds and wild flower meadows. It is an artistic creation that resembles a tapestry yet where organic crop rotation is practised. The thought and care that goes into the attention to detail is spectacular. It is a truly wondrous place. The gardens are peaceful, the birdsong is intense and butterflies abound. The gardens are open to the public and you are allowed to walk on the grass! However, the adjacent priory is not open to the public, while the shady courtyards and pergola covered tables and a wild flower garden are only accessible to guests of the Prieuré. Restored by Patrice Taravella and fellow architect Sonia Lesot, the first floor of the priory comprises inter-connecting sitting and dining rooms where guests can relax and browse the library of books on art, architecture, garden design and so on. The handful of bedrooms are located on the second floor and on garden level where they open out onto private garden areas. There are no televisions, phones or mini-bars in the rooms. The boot room is a characterful and unusual room – it is here you can select gardening clogs to wear into the woods and fields or borrow a straw hat. A highlight of a stay here is dinner. Patrice serves a menu of the day, based on seasonal and local produce, including of course many of the fruits, herbs and vegetables he grows. Dinner here is a delight because it is unusual, wholesome, flavoursome and relatively unfussy. Breakfast is equally unusual with slices of goat’s cheese, cake, home-made quince or plum jam and their own apple juice.

    Location

    Maisonnais

    Official star rating

    no rating

    Annual opening

    29 March to 2 November 2014.

    Distance from airport

    Under and hour's drive from Châteauroux

    Closest airport

    Châteauroux

    Room types

    Le Prieure d'Orsan offers just 7 rooms, each with lovely garden views.

    Hotel facilities and services

    Orsan Gardens, Living room, Lounge, Library, Dining rooms, Laundry, Parking, Cycling, Functions, WiFi, Gardening workshops.

    Water sports

    Land sports

    Out and aboutnearby/local interest

    Bourges, Sancerre vineyards, Le Château de Valençay.

    Sports nearby

    Cycling

    Children

    Minimum stays

    Other information

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