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Isolated in the middle of a landscape scattered with forests, lakes, meadows and extinct volcanoes, this former cantaloupe farm (now dedicated to the well-being) is a starting point for internal journeys and hikes through nature. The simplicity of the almost wild nature, the roughness of the lava stones and the refinement of the services offered here create a unique experience.
When we discovered this three-hundred-year-old lava stone farm on an exceptional natural site, we immediately felt that we needed to revive the place as we could see the potential for it to be incredibly beautiful. At the time, the lake was dry and the site had been left in ruin and partly tarred. By studying the property's file, we learned that it was located on an area of land classified as a Rural Revitalisation Zone. The ecolodge project seemed the obvious choice: a project for life and a project for the land. We immediately wanted to make it a place for sharing in an effort to contribute to a better world, more connected to the earth's nature and to our own human nature. We also wanted it to be a place of development as we work closely with local contributors.
It is a house in lava stone with slate roofs that are of Templar origin. Over time a farmhouse and a barn were added. We have completely eco-rehabilitated the property, taking care not to denature it and preserve its soul. The latest work has given it a more contemporary feel while respecting the original style.
The house is located opposite the Lac du Pêcher which was dug by Benedictine monks in the 10th century to meet their needs for fish and those of pilgrims passing through Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle. Located to the north of the Aubrac lands, between Mont du Cantal and the Cézallier Massif, it is located on an ancient route known as the Via Arverna. The route links Clermont-Ferrand to Cahors...And to think, when we named the project "Instants d'absolu" (moments of absolute) we did not even know about this part of its history!
The 3000-hectare Pinatelle massif (a real life enchanted forest full of deer, foxes and badgers) is full of walks and trails that can easily be reached from the house. We also give our guests a map of the hikes that we made ourselves. Moments of well-being can be enjoyed in our spa. Looking out over the surrounding nature, it includes a wild sauna, a hammam opposite the volcano and a hot tub with flowers from the lake. As the site is fairly isolated, the stay always includes dinner (local cuisine made with fresh produce from local suppliers) and breakfast. For the same reason and to be able to truly benefit from all of our well-being facilities, we advise guests to stay for a minimum of two nights. For those who want massages and treatments, naturalistic outings can be organised. Instants d'absolu is somewhere between ashram (a place of reconnection to the self) and a luxury hotel with the warmth of family home. It is utterly unique and guests quickly feel at home here.
The site is bursting with nature! The area is covered with snow from December to April, meaning exciting expeditions across the Cézallier with a team of sled dogs is a must. Summer brings a more verdant and flowery landscape from May to August, making it ideal for fishing, horseback riding and mountain biking on the Pinatelle massif trails. During the Indian summer from September to October (the time of the deer slaughter) the forest explodes with a stunning array of colours. Beautiful open spaces are all around, along with the likes of the Puy Mary (a Cantal volcano classified as a 'Great Site of France). Little parts of heritage can also be found with wood ovens and chateaus scattered about, endearing craftsmen (potters, confituriers, organic bakers), and the unmissable "most beautiful villages in France" which include Salers, Tournemire, Blesle, Lavaudieu and the medieval village of Murat.
"Instants d’absolu" is perfectly suited to organising seminars. A first meeting room of 100m2 is located under the roof with a clear view of the Lac du Pêcher. It can accommodate ten to twelve people for a residential seminar with full privatisation of the house. This would be ideal for a management seminar for example. For a simple day of study, a second room facing the lake can accommodate up to twelve participants around the same table. Here, work is combined with well-being. In addition to spa access and massages, a vitality moment led by a sophrologist is offered at break time. For a change of scenery, dinners can also be organised in a small summer cottage around a wood fire that serves as a grill before venturing out under the stars. For accommodation, participants have twelve rooms including a single room with a double bed, and the rest which have Italian-style king sized beds.