To reconcile unusual hotel, luxury and proximity of thecity center, it is the tour de force which succeeds the hotel Sozo in Nantes.
In this post, we tell you about this night spent in this former churchconverted into a hotel. Our review and all the practical information you need to live this wonderful experience!
This review is completely independent, we stayed anonymously and paid our bill in full.
Why sleep at the Sozo
Among the few luxurious hotels in Nantes, the Sozo hotel stands out:
- By its location, 2 steps from the beautiful and pleasant garden of plants of Nantes, but also 400 meters from the entrance of the TGV station of Nantes and 15 minutes from the hypercenter.
- For its incredible architecture, in an old chapel of the XIXth century, completely renovated, but by preserving thespirit of the place (stone vaults, mullioned windows, columns...)
- For its decoration that mixes bright colors and black and white with the best of contemporary design. A bold composition that contrasts with the sometimes austere architecture of the place.
- For the calm and solemnity of the place. A real island in the heart of the lively city of Nantes that invites to a certain meditation...
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Is Sozo worth it? Our review
What makes the Sozo Hotel truly unforgettable is of course the location. This former chapel depended on the congregation of the Daughters of Wisdom until its desacralization in the early 2000s.
This congregation was founded in 1703 and recognized by the Pope in 1853. The Daughters of Wisdom are dedicated to teaching and assisting the sick, especially the poor.
The Chapel of Our Lady of the Angels in Nantes, built in 1883 in the neo-Gothic style, welcomed more than 300 young girls in boarding school or in parish classes at the end of the 19th century. In 1974, the school closed and the chapel became a"house of welcome" at the service of the diocese.
Desecrated, it was sold in 2005 to a real estate developer well known to the people of Nantes who undertook its renovation before handing over to the Breton group Beautiful Life in 2009. The latter completes its transformation into a luxury hotel after 3 years of intense work led by the architectural firm PVA.
The proportions testify to the feat of this project with a nave of 17 meters high, a volume of 700m2. We had to compete with ingenuity to redesign the enclosed spaces while respecting the building listed in the Bâtiments de France.
If you look closely at the old chapel, you will see that the lobby is actually located in the former basement of the chapel which housed the sisters' refectory. Surprising, isn't it?
And as we really enjoyed our unusual night at the Sozo Hotel, it is included in our list of the 12 best hotels to stay in Nantes.
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Decoration and atmosphere
Did you know that Sozo means"creation, imagination" in Japanese?
Far from being satisfied with its exceptional gothic natural setting, the decoration of the common areas gives pride of place to the great names of contemporary design (Philippe Starck, Verner Panton, Pierre Paulin, the Bouroullec brothers, Charles and Ray Eames, Ron Arad?)
The lamps in the lobby are by Ingo Maurer, the works of Chinese artist Huang Yan and the Kimi dolls are never far away.
In the rooms, sobriety dominates to let all the identity of the church and its beautiful stone vaults express themselves. A real invitation to live a pure moment of tranquility.
Before returning to earth, enjoy a final word of recollection over your breakfast.
In an atmosphere as pure as ever, fill up on vitamins and taste the excellent Muroise jams, made 25 km from the hotel in the heart of the Nantes vineyards.
The hotel offers a small spa equipped with a sauna, a hammam, an ice room and a sensory shower.
The relaxation area can be privatized for 45 minutes.
Our prices are comparable to other luxury hotels in Nantes. If you really want to feel the special atmosphere of this hotel, we recommend you to turn away from the "experience" rooms located in the sacristy, to go upstairs and enjoy the vaulted ceilings. It will only cost a few euros more.
Practical information about Sozo hotel in Nantes
Type of accommodation
Unusual and luxurious
Where is Sozo
- The establishment is located in Nantes
- Driving time from Angers: 1h10
- Driving time from Tours: 2h15
- Driving time from Blois: 2h55
- Driving time from Orléans: 03h30
OUR ADVICE FOR RENTING A CAR IN Normandy
- Compare prices on our preferred platform: DiscoverCars - one of the best rated sites.
- Choose a fairly compact car (many villages have narrowed the road).
- Think aboutfull insurance (parking in big cities is really tight).
- There is a lot of demand, book it early.
How to get there
The Sozo hotel is relatively accessible. Located in the Station district, you can access it by car in a one-way street.
The hotel also benefits from the entire public transport network that serves the TGV station: tramway and bus that allow you to reach the different points of the city in a few minutes.
The hotel has its own closed parking lot in the grounds of the Chapel. You can also choose to park on the street and pay for it.
A few minutes' walk away, the Gare - Château parking lot is another paying alternative, if the hotel parking lot is ever full.
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
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