Let me introduce a secret side to France and a luxurious and romantic hotel with a beautiful spa completely off the beaten track. Located in the splendour of Auvergne’s Wilderness in the iconic Massif Central, “Instants d’Absolu Ecolodge & Spa” is a place to let your thoughts wander. Surrounded forest you can immerse yourself in the scenic grandeur of the Auvergne Volcanoe Reserve and explore the wilderness of Pinatelle on foot, on horseback, on a mountain bike or cani-kart – which is dog sledging on wheels.
To reach this unique retreat, the drive will wind you up onto the plateau through a primitive forest of Scots pine, fir and beech trees… simply following your natural sense of roaming on small country roads and enjoy beautiful scenery. Just an hours drive south of Clermont Ferrand and a 30 minute drive from the A75 motorway linking Paris to Montpellier and an hour from Clermont-Ferrand which can be reached directly from Gatwick via Ryanair, “Instants d’Absolu Ecolodge & Spa” has surprisingly good access to the highlights of the region. You will discover some of the most beautiful medieval villages in France like Salers, Tournemire, Blesle or Lavaudieuand, castles including Anjony and the home-castle of Marquis de La Fayette who helped the Americans during the war of Independence, gorges such a La Truyère and roman chapels perched on the high isolated plateaus. More adventurous travellers can fly off these plateaus by paraglider or uniquely fly on an ULM with the wild geese from Christian Moullec (who participated to the film “Le peuple migrateur”).
The ecolodge itself sits on the shoreline of a 40 acre-lake, and is surrounded by a 6,000 acre-forest where volcano summits are part of the scenery. What makes it so special is that you can enjoy this completely unique scenery from the luxury of the Eco Lodge, the spa, sauna, a steam bath or by simply sitting in the outdoor hot tub in total relaxation.
With just 12 rooms including 1 suite and 3 junior suites, this truly is a boutique wilderness retreat. Rooms feature personalised decoration which connects each individual room to the views of the neighbouring lake, the forest or volcanoes. The rooms have been designed in an ancient Safari style and tones of restful creams and oatmeals with old trunks for dressing, small tables and colonial chairs or seats made of linen or cashmere, all with a view to being a natural extension of such remarkable natural site. Plaids in alpaca, linen or virgin wool, skins of sheep or rabbit are part of the Eco Chic atmosphere. Bathrooms offer bio verbeina bath products. The lack of a TV or phone means that the silence is only disturbed by the sound of frogs and birds.
At “instants d’Absolu” Ecolodge & Spa, there is a strong sense of place that pervades everything, from the exceptional views onto nature to a gourmet cuisine crafted with the best and freshest local ingredients. Enjoy a gastronomic restaurant offering a refined cuisine that celebrates Auvergne’s strong table tradition: Salers beef, peas and Slowfood lentils of the Planèze (volcanic plateau), local cheese and products direct from the farm. The restaurant is also partly based on wild plants from the forest. A rainbow of gourmet pleasure is waiting just for you in one of Nature’s secret gardens.
This romantic retreat is a superb example of Eco Chic. Halfway between civilisation and nature, this luxurious space is the ultimate place to leave daily life behind and just to enjoy being you. Uninterupted.
Instants d’Absolu Ecolodge & Spa also features in our top 5 best nature resorts in europe.
Disclosure: Our property, service and product reviews are sponsored by the proprietor or brand being appraised. All opinions remain our own and are in no way influenced by the sponsor.