Museum Hotel in Valenciennes, Royal Hainaut Spa & Resort Hotel
To holiday at the Royal Hainaut Spa & Resort Hotel, is to leaf back through the pages of France’s history .
Imprinted with the past, this establishment is living testament of three centuries of life in Valenciennes.
On orders of Louis XV and under the guidance of his trusted architect, Pierre Constant d’Ivry, construction work for the future general hospital of Valenciennes began in 1752 in the Canonniers neighbourhood. Given the magnitude of the project, its inauguration took place some 15 years later in 1767, and was only fully completed in 1774 with the erection of the chapel. General hospitals had existed since the reign of Louis XIV. Paris’ hospital (1656) and all others of its kind, built throughout the kingdom at that time, were a haven for society’s most disadvantaged, including the elderly, beggars and children. Reattached to France between 1667 and 1715, the province of Hainaut thus earned the right to house such establishments.
The hotel cuts a fine figure with the facades of its grand buildings punctuated by a succession of tall windows spread out over two floors, and organised around three large square courtyards - the ceremonial courtyard, the kitchen courtyard and the one referred to as the courtyard of the “insane”.
This “hospital palace” architectural style pays homage to tradition and local savoir-faire with its use of red brick for the walls and Hainaut bluestone for the door and window architraves and corner armatures.
You enter the hotel through the 3,500m2 Ceremonial Courtyard that, with its triangular pediment, forms a truly majestic entrance.
The chapel can be found further back and is the only remaining 18th century religious building to have been conserved in Valenciennes, complete with its beautifully proportioned barrel-vaulted nave.
The architecture of the other buildings centres around long hallways opening out onto a variety of rooms.
The whole conjures up a sense of medieval fortresses and inspires a feeling of safety.
The general hospital was listed as a Historical Monument in 1945.
Learn about the history of the museum hotel in Valenciennes
The centuries roll by and the site maintains its hospital status until 2009.
Then a vast and ambitious renovation and rehabilitation programme is launched, culminating in the inauguration of the Royal Hainaut Spa & Resort Hotel on the 23 May 2019.
With the opening of this museum hotel, in the heart of the Hauts-de-France region, a new page is turned. Outstanding heritage conservation combines with luxury hospitality, boosting Valenciennes’s notoriety throughout France and beyond.
Watch the video of the colossal construction project of the Royal Hainaut: