FORGET ALL YOUR TROUBLES IN THE SOUTH OF FRANCE
BY SARA DARLING
If you are seeking some r & r after the stress of lockdown, the recently refurbished Maison ilā in Languedoc-Roussillon, southern France, may be just what you need for your first vacay away. Referred to informally as "the Languedoc", this tranquil region extends from Provence to the Pyrenees Mountains and borders Spain, so offers a perfect blend of nature, history and culture, and ilā is a hidden treasure, tucked away from the crowds.
Managed by British couple Denise and her husband John, who relocated to the sun-baked region, which is best known for its vineyards (producing a third of France's wines), and its popularity with the locals who flock to the beaches which sprawl along its Mediterranean shore. They saw something magical away from the crowds, and wanted to share the green scenery of gorges, forests and the surreal moonscape plateaux with other kindred souls.
The enchanting setting was chosen for the launch of organic skin and spa brand ilā’s first permanent wellness retreat ‘Maison ilā’. A former Chambre d’hôtes, the original stone, seven-bedroom property includes a communal dining space, snug, treatment room plus a yoga and sound healing studio. Surrounded by blooming gardens- including a soul garden full of healing herbs and plants, which are used in the Maison’s kitchen to complement the mostly plant-based menu, the location is a low key base for those interested in spirituality and healing.
The accommodation is thoughtfully laid out, offering privacy and space for every guest along with optional communal activities, which include daily yoga practise, meditation, sound healing or wild swimming in neighbouring natural pools. Or you can just enjoy the peaceful surroundings with a book and experience your own personal journey.
However, healing from the inside is the basis of Maison ilā’s core beliefs, so there are plenty of options to consciously relax the body, soul and mind. With a curated menu of face and body therapies as well as shamanic journeys (including Flexbeam red light therapy), the Maison has just launched its own CBD Therapy products. These include body balm, massage oil, hero salve and bath salts which are used in body wraps, facials, hot stone and deep-tissue massage, and have protocols which energize, nourish and address health concerns such as poor sleep, low mood and stress.
Whether you are just looking for some ‘you time’ or have a particular issue you would like to address, Maison ilā will give you a chance to disconnect from the rest of the world to rebalance and reconnect to your inner essence. Alternatively, check out the programme of expert practitioners and movement workshops which are taking place throughout the year to enlighten and educate the soul.
Find out more here
20 Place de l'Église
11230 Sonnac-sur-l'Hers, France
04 68 31 73 01
+44 7976 353 668