Saint Louis – A Luxury Hotel Boat in the South of France
Our 127 ton cruising hotel barge, the Saint Louis, was originally built in Holland, in 1923, as a bulk cargo carrier, mainly transporting gravel and grain within Holland. She is of a class of boat called a ‘Luxemotor’, recognisable from her size and her elegant, pleasing lines. The key requirements of such vessels when built included reliability, stability and practicality – which is why she made the perfect subject for her luxury cruise barge hotel conversion.
In 1994 she was refurbished from stem to stern and expertly transformed into a floating hotel haven of comfort and style, including the creation of three guest state rooms. This high quality foundation has been maintained and cared-for since then and in 2007 she underwent a complete refresh and restyle programme to keep her facilities thoroughly up-to-date.
Saint Louis’ style might best be described as ‘casual luxury’ – this is the style of the interior fittings and furnishings; and the outside lounge deck and its furniture. This concept encapsulates the ethos of the hotel barge, her skipper and crew; and the way in which cruises along the delightful waterways of south-west France aboard Saint Louis are experienced.
On the sun deck, there are cushioned solid teak chairs and sun-loungers to provide the perfect elevated canal-side view of the villages and the countryside, the locks and the bridges, as we cruise slowly past. Relax, chat, read a book – or do absolutely nothing except day-dream to the sound of bird-song. Or enjoy an alfresco meal of fresh local ingredients, with a glass of superb local wine.
Below, ‘up forward’ (at the front of the ship) are the guest cabins. In the centre of the boat is a generously sized saloon, dining area and bar. Aft (towards the back of the ship) lies the well-equipped kitchen, then the wheelhouse and finally the crew’s quarters.