“A former farmhouse turned chic ecolodge, the Instants d'Asolu is all about escaping the stresses and strains of modern life. Here you'll find a stunning remote hideaway, a million miles from city life (owners Laurence and Daniel decided not to install telephones or televisions in the bedrooms and suites). The ethos is all about reconnecting with nature and recharging your batteries. Situated beside a beautiful lake and surrounded by glorious countryside, you're in the heart of the Auvergne Natural Park - volcano country! The rooms and suites are contemporary and minmalist with white walls, wooden floors, alpaca throws and faux fur curtains all complemented by antique pieces. The restaurant is another big draw here - the chef prides himself on selecting the best of the season's produce and delivering creative gastronomic dishes from local ingredients. In addition there's a wonderful spa, for some serious pampering after a day exploring the countryside. The Boreal Spa specialises in treatments using the local botanicals and there's a Nordic steamroom, and the piece de resistance - an outdoor hot tub overlooking the lake! For those seeking total relaxation and a wish to get away from it all, the Instants d'Absolu is the perfect retreat.”
“Why do people love staying in your hotel?
More than a hotel, "instants d'Absolu" Ecolodge & Spa is a remote destination that invites you to make a break from civilization. Most of our guests actually come to breathe, disconnect from technology and reconnect with Nature. Doing nothing, contemplating and rejoicing is part of the pleasure. Instants d'Absolu is definitely a place to "re-earth" yourself through the seasons.
What is there to do in the area?
On the doorstep you can go either hiking or snow-shoeing (in winter) as well as mountain biking, horse-riding or dog-sledging through a 6,000 acre forest rich with deer, foxes, birds...Stop at the pottery or "Bois rouillé" where craftsmen design statues out of wood, inspired by the setting.
What kind of breakfast do you offer?
Our breakfast consists of bread, locally made jams including some with wild flowers, farm butter and cheese, eggs & ham as well as bio cereals, fruit salad, yoghurt and a delicious daily cake by our Chef. Not to forget pure fruit juices, a choice of Organic tea, coffee or hot chocolate.
Do you offer other meals? And can you recommend good places to eat out locally?
"instants d'Absolu" Ecolodge & Spa is at least 20 km (35 in winter) return trip from the nearest restaurant, so we always offer stays on a half-board basis (including Spa access). Our Chef prepares organic meals from ingredients sourced locally. But for a lunch time, apart from packed lunch -which is always available for those wishing to go hiking for a whole day - we will gladly recommend a "buron", kind of typical high-pasture farm remodelled into a small inn where you can taste local specialities that are part of the Auvergne gastronomy, but which we do not offer at the ecolodge. Our dinners are creative gourmet meals made with local ingredients like "pois blonds de la Planèze" (kind of peas) or "lentille blonde" (blond lentil with kind of a chestnut taste) as well as "beef from Salers" and the delicious local cheese.
Which are your most popular room types, and why?
The most popular rooms are lakeside ones with a lounge as well as the Junior suites and Suite. They all look onto the lake; some also have views over the volcano and the Junior suites and Suite offer extra amenities like a kettle for tea or coffee as well as a very comfortable bed with over-mattress.
What facilities do you have for children and can you fit extra beds in your rooms ?
We have no special facilities for children, "instants d'Absolu" Ecolodge & Spa is more a place for couples than for families. However, we do welcome families up to one child in the same room. If they are a bit older, we can offer two rooms one next to the other. However the Spa offers access to adults only.
What message would you like to give Hotel Guru readers?
Will the Auvergne be on your radar in 2016? A unique, volcanic and secret France is to be discovered and "instants d'Absolu" Ecolodge & Spa is a perfect base for exploring the Auvergne of lakes, volcanoes and forests. Plus there are fantastic days out including Cézallier scenic high plateau or Salers where the association of "Plus Beaux Villages de France" started. Or you could fly with wild geese on an ultralight two seater machine. Or visit Lafayette's castle.....the list is endless!”