Do you remember how last week I was talking about the universe giving you what you need when you need it? Well, it did it again.
After finding out that I needed to move in one of the busiest times of the year, having a promising romance come to a close (funny how I end up in these beautiful places when it's time to reflect on love), and mediating a great deal of changes related to work, last weekend I was given the opportunity to check-out and ground down at La Clairière Bio & Spa Hotel in La Petite-Pierre, France. How's that for timing?
You might think "if you're so busy, why go away?" My dears, that is exactly why. During the busy times it is even more important to reflect, step back and reassess. Keeping your head up is vital in living this life fully. And what better place to do it than in a luxury spa placed beautifully in the middle of nature?
Upon arriving I was greeted by the wonderful woman at the front desk and was offered a welcome drink. I came in the evening, so I relaxed a bit in the room before beginning my first detox culinary experience at the EcoCert restaurant.
Surrounded by a beautiful lush natural reserve called Parc Naturel des Vosges du Nord (where you might have seen a few “location stamps” from my Instagram over the weekend - and is actually a UNESCO biosphere reserve), La Clairière was a complete bliss out at the perfect time.
What made it so special? Well the word “bio” in the name should give you a little hint. This beautiful (4 star) wellness hotel nestled in the woods was all about pampering naturally. Their mission is based on harmony with nature, and they were true to it - in every aspect.
It was a place of natural beauty tailor made for harnessing one's own natural beauty: physically, emotionally and spiritually.
When I arrived I was given my Detox program schedule which included a Traditional Chinese Medicine Doctor consultation to go over my personal history and health, two infrared sauna treatments, a ginger body scrub, 2 Bol d’Air Jacquier revitalizing oxygenation sessions (3 to 5 min), and a detoxifying body treatment with ginger and lemon essential oils. All my meals were curated specifically with what my health concerns (vegan, no problem, gluten-free, of course!, ginger before each meal, done!). The detox menu was absolutely amazing -- as you will see in a minute.
All programmes include : • a welcome drink; • room (equipped with mattress and bed linen made of natural materials, shower, bathrobes and complimentary slippers); • initial consultation to determine your specific needs; • bespoke programme covering nutrition, hydrotherapy and holistic activities and treatments; • organic DETOX and VEGAN breakfast, lunch and dinner; • Yoga/Pranayama classes, Qi Gong, beginner's meditation course and outdoor exercise sessions; and • unlimited access to Spa with heated outdoor hydrotherapy pool, steam baths, saunas, Whirlpool, gym and indoor swimming pool. • -10% discount on all extra treatments
Not looking to detox? What about just destress, or try out some yoga? Below are some of the other programs which range in elgnth from 3. 5, 7 and 10 day stays.
Food & Dining
The food? Spectacular! Organic and local where possible - in fact the restaurant is certified organic by Ecocert. All of the food is based on energy-building ingredients, leaving you feeling light, healthy and balanced.
The kitchen uses:
- Exclusively seasonal organic or fresh, wild ingredients
- General amounts of fresh aromatic herbs and spices (Ayurveda plays a strong role in many of the dishes)
- Food is prepared close to it's natural state (think raw sauerkraut, and food combinations that create flavour based on the natural ingredients)
- Gentle cooking for energizing cuisine (rich in vitamins & nutrients)
- Food compatibility principles are used
- Herbs are sourced from the garden
As a vegetarian, or a meat eater, you will find the menu to be more than satiating. It boasts one of the most beautiful menu's I've seen at a spa hotel - taking into consideration all elements of health (not just "low sodium" or "low fat"). The meals were incredible and here I give you a "taste" of what you could expect to experience on some of the detox menus.
Ayurvedic principles are found in many of the meals - especially the detox program. Each meal begins with raw ginger and sea salt to start awakening the digestive juices. Even breakfast you could enjoy a lentil dahl (among a great many other choices) on the detox program (below).
Fresh pressed juices, curated herbal teas, non-dairy milks and many other antioxidant laden dishes are abound at both the breakfast buffet and in the set menus.
The hotel is not too small - so there is some atmosphere - housing 50 rooms, meaning you’ll never feel overwhelmed by too many people. The room I stayed in had an old country French style about it - charming. It had a private balcony – but when you stay, make sure you grab a room on the side of the hotel facing the forest. The rooms were clean and the showers had waterfall shower heads.
Greensleep matresses were in the rooms - which are made of natural latex and organic wool. All the bedding was also made with either organic wool or cotton. A non-toxic sleep made me a very happy guest. All the products used to clean were also environmentally friendly and there was no wifi in the room (goodbye digital toxicity), although you could get it in the communal areas.
Did you miss my snapchat story on La Clairère? Add snap.kate for future Snap Stories :)
Spa & Wellness
The spa at La Clairière was wonderful, peaceful and well rounded in terms of facilities. The treatments were among many, and while I didn’t have enough time to take advantage of everything, I indulged in some beautiful treatments as I listed in the detox program.
The spa, which opens out into the forest, uses essential oils and is powered by solar panels and a wood-burning furnace and boasts a heat recovery tank. All treatments in the spa are holistic and inspired by Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda and Naturopathy. If you plan on getting a facial? The products used are Dr. Hauskchka (so no nasties while you’re doing your detox).
The facilities included an outdoor heated hydrotherapy pool, whirlpool and indoor swimming pool. There are a series of different types of saunas, steam rooms and other areas to partake in wellness - including a relaxation/nap room (I took a couple naps here).
Check out the complete list of spa treatments here.
The activities include meditation, yoga, forrest walks, Qi gong, cooking classes and other nature excursions. During my time I partook in yoga, meditation and a forrest walk.
Each day the activities are listed on the board at the front of the hotel. You can sign up at the front desk for whichever you prefer.
As for yoga: mats are provided, but if you love your own mat, feel free to bring it on your trip. Also, the yoga classes are fine for beginners, so newbies don’t be scared!
My Stay in a Nut ShellOverall, the stay was wonderful and nourishing (both physically and emotionally) and just what I needed. The surroundings, facilities and staff were lovely.
I recommend it for anyone looking to reset and recharge - it's a great place for couples as well, very romantic, but also cozy for the busy individuals that just need some time to check out.
The detox retreat starts from €780 in a classic room for 3 nights.
I want to send a heartfelt “merci” to the wonderful people at La Clairière Bio Spa & Hotel.
I hope you beauties get a chance to unplug and head down to beautiful Alsace, France for a detox (digital or physical) at this beautiful bio spa. Don’t forget to check out the wellness programs that might suit you best.
Hope you’re connecting with nature and giving yourself some self-love this week too.