GUEST POST BY JAMES RUBEC
Authenticity is something that you can’t buy, however, authentic experiences are. When we left the fast-paced, busy world of Paris this past summer the team from Yves Rocher brought us to a pastoral wonderland, La Gree des Landes, Eco-Hotel Spa in La Gacilly.
Staying at the Eco-Hotel was less about its amenities and more about a state of mind. To slow down, de-stress, and literally smell the wildflowers.
The biodiversity in this property is unsurpassed. It is a high watermark of actual ecology and makes every urban hotel with a green roof in the world look like a farce. Owls, partridges and sparrows populate the grounds and make for great bird watching. Crickets, hummingbirds, and a variety of bees build an auditory experience worth emulating.
The cream in your morning coffee is milked from a cow on-site, grain grows regionally and on the 25 acres of land on the property; it is entirely possible that the bread they bake in the morning is made from wheat processed at the hotel. The carrots on your plate in the dining room are harvested from a garden just steps away from the kitchen. The cornflowers that decorate the plates are grown in the fields adjacent the Botanical Garden Laboratory in La Gacilly.
You see what is grown, understand both its commercial and culinary purpose it brings the concept of vertical integration into delicious and practical relief.
From the hotel you can wander down to the village of La Gacilly, and when you do be sure to visit La Maison Yves Rocher. It features an exhibit that is part biography of Yves Rocher himself, and part amusement ride; we found it fascinating. Wandering is a must.
Yves Rocher was the Jeff Bezos of beauty products in France; his goal was to deliver affordable, high quality products which yielded benefits from the natural botanical ingredients found in France and beyond. His obsession with botanicals led to him using more plants as the base element of his products meaning more farming and more production facilities in La Gacilly.
The botanicals are real, it is far more than window dressing for packaging and branding. The essential oils and enzymes in the plants are the brand and the core element of the products. The fields of chamomile are gorgeous; there are warehouses full of dried flowers, preserved for a maximum of three years to supply the factories that produce Yves Rocher products. Forget farm-to-table, welcome farm to vanity mirror. However, if farm-to-table is your thing, the Eco-Hotel does this perfectly. Slow down, relax and eat something wonderful.
This is not a sponsored post, however I’d like to give a huge thank you to Yves Rocher Canada for allowing me and my husband the opportunity to travel to France with them for an incredible experience! All content is original and opinions are my own.