THE GUIDE QUIRKY ACCOMMODATION 2019
the picnic table and dining area for a barbecue. €110 per night for two people, with breakfast delivered. www.chambres-lamesange.fr
25. Somn’en bulle + Noct’en bulle
In the heart of Aveyron, your hosts Amandine and Henri have established a magical eco-tourist haven where stress and pollution give way to nature-loving. Spend the night in an inflatable, translucent pod, with a celestial view to marvel at. It’s all about environmental impact here: Amandine and Henri wanted to create a link to nature but without tampering with it. The temporary, moveable bulles (bubbles) do just that, and your hosts have also fitted dry toilets and encourage guests to go easy on the water at shower time. Located on the banks of the Aveyron Gorges, with current and former Plus beaux villages de France Najac, Cordes-sur-Ciel and
The Perchoir des Pyrénées, near the Pic du Midi, gives you mountain views from within the warm and dry comfort of a transparent bubble
Pic du Midi (see page 146), this pastoral paradise in the Pyrénées is truly in the wilds; a place in which to breathe in the pure mountain air, relax and unwind from the pressures of life. Run by Élodie, her parents and her partner Yannick, the site has a very warm and welcoming atmosphere and three types of accommodation to choose from. Each provides a quirky element to complement the cosiness: a transparent bubble with a double bed; the Sibley tente, sleeping four; and the soon-to-be-completed three-floor pigeonnier, which will sleep up to five people (we’d recommend booking in advance). You will be sharing your holiday time with an impressive menagerie of animals, some of them wild, some of them domesticated, including horses, dogs and chickens, goats, sheep and even a donkey! Bubble and tent from €120 per night, pigeonnier from €140. www.leperchoirdespyrenees.co
150 ❘ FRANCE TODAY Dec/Jan 2019
23. Les Lodges du Château This very attractive family affair near La Rochelle, on France’s west coast, offers a surprising combination of accommodation. Colonial- and château-style lodges are dotted around the castle grounds, providing some old-school elegance in quite unexpected fashion. The Elisabeth and Victoria ‘tents’, named after the British Queens, are truly breathtaking throwbacks to what royal visits might have been like in the past, with Chesterfield sofas and porcelain, elegant throws and gorgeous bedding.
Meanwhile, nods to French royalty come with the Eugénie and Marie Antoinette lodges – think velvet sofas and the utmost in seductive comfort. In terms of inventiveness allied to interior design flair and modern amenities, Les Lodges du Château is truly original. €125 per night in low season, and €1,280 in peak season. www.lodgeslarochelle.co
24. Domaine de la Mésange Roselyne, Didier and Arthur the Westie welcome you to their five-hectare Normandy estate, where, besides the alluring charm of their guests rooms (themes: Mountain, Music, Sea and Countryside), and two gîtes, there is, secreted among the prairie and forest, a most unusual place to stay.
They are rightly proud of their marvellously restored ‘Gipsy
Circus’ caravan, which is decked out inside with wood and a luxurious 160cm-wide bed, plus shower and separate toilet, and all mod cons such as kitchenette and flat screen TV. It normally sleeps two people but the breakfast area can be cleared to accommodate a drop-down bed to sleep two more.
During warmer times of the
year, guests can also live outdoors and make the most of
QUIRKY ACCOMMODATION 2019 THE GUIDE
means it can be inhabited in all seasons, so you can whisk the flock away at your whim. And even with the biting kiss of winter gales, you can stay deliciously toasty thanks to the private hot tub sitting outside on the terrace, with a temperature of 37 degrees centigrade, as well as the hot shower and sink. There’s a microwave, too, so there’s no stopping you grabbing some comfort grub and heating it up ready to tuck into while you admire the view.
Get back to nature (while still staying toasty warm) at Brittany’s Domaine Arvor
Saint-Antonin-Noble-Val nearby – and all less than 90 minutes from Toulouse. €169 for two per night, inc. breakfast. www.somnenbulle.fr www.noct-enbulle.fr
26. La Hutte Gauloise La Hutte Gauloise is a pedigree example of the Hexagon’s
beloved tree cabins (cabanes dans les arbres). Nestled among the boughs, it’s one of Domaine Arvor’s many extraordinary digs in Lanvallay, Brittany.
This luxury hut sits six metres above ground, peering out across the entire estate. It sleeps up to five people and its insulated thatched roof and electricity
This truly is somewhere to head for a new perspective on living spaces. Gazing out across the green and the tree tops, drinking in the clean air and listening to the wind tickling the leaves, you’ll wonder why you don’t do this more often. From €235. www.domaine-arvor.co
27. Les Guetteurs
At first glance they seem to be an art installation (they were conceived by contemporary
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Private rental of the venue for seminars, private events, openings, product and project launches 6 Rooms 10/11 People
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The Elisabeth and Victoria tentes at Lodges du Château near La Rochelle Dec/Jan 2019 FRANCE TODAY ❘ 151
IMAGES © XAVIER RUSTUL / LOUISIANE BAYET, DOMAINE ARVOR, LES LODGES DU CHÂTEAU
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