Certainly, the most mythical hotel of Nantes, which cultivates luxury and discretion in the heart of the city.
In this article, we take a look at our night at the Hotel de France Océania Nantes, with our opinion and all the practical information you need to enjoy the incredible atmosphere of this hotel!
This review is completely independent, we stayed anonymously and paid our bill in full.
Why stay at the Hotel de France Océania Nantes
The Hotel de France Océania Nantes is for us one of the most beautiful addresses to discover Nantes:
- Ideally located, 2 steps from the Place Graslin, with its famous neoclassical theater and its art nouveau brasserie La Cigale, this hotel is close to everything. Slightly set back from Rue Crébillon, one of the most luxurious streets in Nantes, this former private mansion is quiet behind its thick walls.
- Hidden in a beautiful eighteenth century building, you will enjoy in the common areas, an authentic historical decor that recalls the richest hours of the city.
- Completely renovated in 2014, the rooms are now spacious and very comfortable. We found the cameo of patterns and colors particularly successful, for an atmosphere that resonates with the spirit of the place.
Plan your trip to Nantes!
- 15 best things to do in Nantes
- 5 thematic itineraries to visit Nantes in 1 day
- Our advice to visit Nantes in 2 days, or in 3 days
- 12 best hotels to stay in Nantes
- 15 best restaurants to eat in Nantes
- 8 best museums to do in Nantes
- Our tips for the elephant and the machines
- Visit the castle of Nantes
- All about the village of Trentemoult
- How to rent a car at Nantes airport
Is the Hotel de France Océania Nantes worth it? Our review
As we said, this hotel is for us the most mythical of the city.
It was first of all theprivate mansion of Jean-Joseph Graslin, an economist and high official of Nantes in the 18th century. A wise businessman, he embarked on a large-scale real estate operation and had an entire neighborhood built around his home, which has now become the Graslin district. The high point of this work was the construction of the Graslin Theater in a neoclassical style.
The date of the conversion of the mansion into a hotel is not known, but we do know that famous people stayed there, from the writer Stendhal to the pioneer of the surrealist movement Jacques Vaché, who died there in 1919 from an opium overdose. More recently, the greatest actors of French cinema, Jean Marais, Mireille Darc or Jacques Demy, stayed there during their shootings in Nantes.
From this glorious past, we find the atmosphere of these rich provincial hotels, with their discreet and intimate bar conducive to discreet meetings, their thick fabrics and wooden floors. If only the stones could speak...
And because we loved the old-fashioned charm of the Hotel de France Oceania in Nantes, it's on our list of the 12 best hotels in Nantes.
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Decoration and atmosphere
In a place so full of history, the challenge is to reconcile modern comfort and preservation of the spirit of the place. This is the (successful) challenge that Laurence Gouardon, from the Igglo firm, and Rozen Dumond, from the Océania group, took on when renovating the place in 2014 (18 months of work after all!).
In the entrance and lobby, while thegrandiose architecture with its perfect symmetries has been preserved, brightness has been added with a skylight and touches of bright colors that harmoniously complement the antique tapestries.
In the bedrooms, the interior designers also had to play with the constraints of the place, but were able to bring in just the right amount of modernity and comfort. A subtle balance perfectly mastered!
The luminous atmosphere is soft and harmonious and we really felt good in the room, in a cocoon protected from the tumult of the city.
The breakfast room does not have the same decor as the rest of the common areas, but it is spacious and uses the hotel's color codes.
A sweet and savory buffet awaits you, with quality products to start the day.
A special mention for the Nantais cake, a soft pound cake with almond powder soaked in West Indian rum and semi-salted butter. To be consumed in moderation, if you don't want to get angry with your scale... But we took it back twice anyway!
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The hotel has a bar in the heart of the historic part of the hotel. Largely redesigned during the renovation, it has kept the charm so particular to the bars of international hotels of yesteryear.
To recover from the Nantes cake and the bar, we ran a few miles in the fitness room of the establishment. This can be useful in a city where the rain sometimes interrupts the running...
The hotel offers a wide range of rooms, from the single room of 17m2 to the prestige room of 35m2. The price range is wide, even if we remain on a 4 stars.
Note that the hotel also offers the "room 107" decorated by the young artist Justin Weiler who works on the border between indoor and outdoor space. A pertinent question during a night in a hotel room...
Practical information about the Hotel de France Océania Nantes
Where is the Hotel de France Océania Nantes
- The establishment is located in Nantes
- Driving time from Angers: 1h15
- Driving time from Tours: 2h20
- Driving time from Blois: 3h
- Driving time from Orleans: 3h30
Need to rent a car?
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How to get there
The hotel is located in the heart of a pedestrian area and is inaccessible by car. It will take you about 100 meters from your car to the entrance of the hotel.
If you opt for public transportation, which is a good idea in Nantes, you can get within 300m of the hotel by taking advantage of the many bus and streetcar lines.
Parking is necessarily paid in the vicinity. The easiest way is to park in the Graslin covered parking lot or in the mediatheque parking lot. But beware, the seats are quite tight and your wing (left) may remember that!
Our top 3 things to do in Nantes
The elephant and the Machines de l'Ile
Over the years, the elephant and the machines on the island have become the cultural and tourist signature of Nantes. They combine incredible technical know-how with a phantasmagorical universe largely inspired by the Nantes author Jules Vernes. You can only succumb to these funny animals made of wood and metal.
The castle of Nantes (Dukes of Brittany)
The impressive castle of Nantes is a real architectural puzzle, the result of a tormented history, which it is pleasant to reconstitute. You will meet the Dukes of Brittany, the famous Anne of Brittany, wife of 2 successive kings of France, but also Louis XIV! The castle houses the surprising and very well designed museum of the history of Nantes.
- Discover all our advices and photos to not miss anything of the castle of Nantes (Dukes of Brittany).
The Pommeraye passage
An immersive experience in the bourgeois and wealthy universe of the 19th century, with this unique shopping mall in Europe. The play of light, the ironwork on the staircase, the sculptures... everything contributes to making this passageway a timeless place dedicated to the pleasure of window shopping.
And to learn more:
our complete selection of 15 things to do in Nantes
Our top 3 places to eat in Nantes
L'Aménité - best restaurant downtown
In one of the small pedestrian streets of the Bouffay district, not far from the castle, you will find what is, for us, one of the best restaurants in the city center, l'aménité. In a cosy-chic atmosphere, the chef Richard Cornet masters perfectly the textures and cooking temperatures to offer you a beautiful culinary moment. This former trader and psychotherapist did well to reconvert to cooking! Discover our detailed review and photos of the restaurant l'aménité
Sugar Blue - best healthy breakfast
If, like us, you love the atmosphere of Amsterdam's brown cafes, stop in for a light and healthy lunch at Sugar Blue. Here, everything is ultra-fresh and really greedy. Located not far from the famous Place Royale, it is a place that is full of energy and ultra-convivial. Our favorite lunchtime canteen! See the news of the restaurant
Le Manoir de la Regate - Best Starred
20 minutes from the city center, in a preserved natural setting along the Erdre River, a small 19th century manor house offers you a culinary journey to the heart of the wonders of the Loire and its banks: river fish, but also herbs, flowers, vegetables... You won't know where to put your taste buds! Really exceptional. Discover our detailed review and photos of the restaurant Le Manoir de la Régate.
And to learn more:
our complete selection of 15 restaurants where to eat in Nantes