One of our most experienced travel writers, Sabi Phagura headed to France to discover more about the La Clairière wellness hotel in Alsace, France
“Breakfast like a king” is the motto here at the bio and spa hotel La Clairière. And taking one look at the buffet spread, I’m inclined to agree. With 100% organic food, you can start your day on the right foot. Expect spreads of pastries, meats, cheeses, olives, fresh bread, buckwheat pancakes, homemade granola and gluten free products. There’s even breakfast ‘soup’ of daal to keep energy levels up all day. If you can, try the homemade Crêpes with mascarpone and blueberries – you’ll think you’ve gone to heaven.
Rediscovering the pleasure of food, coupled with rejuvenating the mind and body in idyllic surroundings, is the whole philosophy behind this hotel. Angele Van Dijck and Robert Strohmenger were captivated by the place in 1981, and decided to build a small hotel in a clearing of the forest. Twenty years later, and those ten rooms have expanded into 50, and today their daughters Lisbeth and Kareen have taken over the family business and look after this little gem in the Vosges du Nord Nature Reserve. The La Clairière hotel is now home to a wellness spa, an English pub and a top restaurant which became the first hotel eatery in France to be certified as organic.
The spa is quite literally a window on to the forest. You can do absolutely nothing, but just stare out into space at the trees from a sun lounger, and feel a sense of calm and that you are a million miles away from your hectic life. Technology detox is encouraged throughout the hotel, so don’t even think about connecting to the Wi-Fi – unless you’re in the communal area. It won’t work! But with so many relaxation options, why would you want to?
It includes a steam bath, tepidarium, light sauna (60°C), Finnish sauna (80°C), infra-red sauna (42°C), cold water plunge pool, ice fountain, Whirlpool, relaxation room, solarium, health café and a yoga room. There are two swimming pools: an outdoor hydrotherapy pool for relaxation, heated to 30°C all year-round, and an indoor swimming pool (12 x 6m), ideal for swimming laps. If you’re feeling more active, you can also head to the gym, but I would recommend ditching the four walls of the exercise room, to instead wander along the forest paths around La Clairière which are ideal for hiking and cycling.
Click the link below to go to page two of the La Clairière feature