More than just a hotel, this place is on a mission to reinvent the concept of (re-)connecting with nature. Loire Valley Lodges is owner Anne-Caroline Frey’s “perfect’ hotel, shaped using the best bits from all the hotels she’s ever stayed at. And the result is nothing short of mind-blowing for that very reason.

There is the kind of serious attention to detail here that you rarely find at other hotels. Every space has been meticulously studied and designed with stressed-out urbanites and nature-lovers in mind, so staying here is an absolutely seamless experience. Add carefully chosen amenities like organic coffee and tea, including little beakers of home-grown loose tea leaves as well as milk (staunch tea drinkers, rejoice!), and personal touches like a range of hand-picked books and thoughtful notes that guide those that are flagging back to their essence.

However, the big box-tickers that give each cabin its wow-factor, are the huge wrap-around windows that give you the impression you’re sleeping up in the trees, and the bathroom that leads onto a wooden deck with your very own hot tub to float in while looking up at big blue skies.

Every cabin was designed by an artist picked out by Anne-Caroline, some of whom have also contributed giant artworks you’ll find scattered around the forest and the main hotel building. Here is the reception and a boutique packed with some of the owner’s favorite things from organic soap to made-in-France eau de toilette. In the back, the restaurant with an outdoor terrace looks out onto a pool with smart black sun loungers and a Nordic bath – perfect for a dip first thing in the morning while the other guests sleep in, and the sun pulls itself slowly up above the tree tops.

At Loire Valley Lodges there’s plenty on the activity menu too, from a tour of the forest to having a reinvigorating massage in the privacy of your cabin. But whatever you decide to do while here, don’t forget to ask for directions to the cinq chênes (five oaks) for a memorable stint in the forest.

A brilliant starting point for resetting, catching your breath, gaining some focus, and perhaps even making some of those changes you might have pondered through previous lockdowns.

published 2022-06-08 08:47:00