Paradise Search : Palika Lodge, Castets, France

Remember when I did these articles on Glamping back in April? Well you could say that I put my money where my mouth is and ended up booking a similar adventure for the end of August (because guess what happens when you browse too much travel websites? shocker, you end up traveling!).

I would have loved to rent a beach hut in Thailand, but since we only had a few days I settled for France.

But, you know me, always looking for that bit of surprise and exoticism (and for a place you can reach without a car, and for a river nearby, but let’s not digress), so when I stumbled upon the Palika Lodge, with its Maharadjah tents in the middle of a pine forest, I was more than intrigued.

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Well, it’s quite gorgeous. You’re on a dune overlooking a small lake in the middle of an airy pine forest and everything’s around you is actually from India.

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I almost feel embarrassed to call it a tent. It has hardwood floors, is bigger than my living room and has a real bed. If you want to have it rough, this is definitely the wrong place!

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It looks very good inside, no? Also the front of tent can be opened up during the day to let the light in.

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Remember you’re on a dune? It took me some time to realize that I could walk barefoot in the white sand around our tent.

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Morning and evening are obviously a delight in such beautiful surroundings, but also in the tent where it creates a beautiful chiaroscuro (which you can enjoy even better on your heated mattress).

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Forget about the no-shower policy of camping. Here, just a few meters away (well, 2 minutes away) you have a building with your own private bathroom.

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Marie, the owner, has here own brand of Indian products called Palika Bazar. This means that almost everything you will see comes from there, towels and ceramics included. You will find ayurvedic products in the bathroom as well, did you expect anything else?

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You can buy the objets you see at Marie’s shop in the village of Leon. A good thing if you fall in love with that door wedge for example.

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There is no shortage of beautiful details around the property. They only opened last June but it’s already quite thought out.

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Looking at the water could quickly become your number one activity.

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If you feel a bit more adventurous (and you’re trying to regain camper cred) you can take a dip into the transparent stream (I did!), it’s a bit fresh but so clean it’s fabulous.

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They offer breakfast and lunch and dinner on request. As you can see the setting ain’t too bad.

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The food is simple, locally sourced and generous, the way I like it! Fresh fruits, spicy vegetables, delicious ham, homemade desserts…you ask and Patrick delivers!

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Marie and Patrick live in a refurbished farm a few hundred meters from the tent, but at the entrance of the property there is also this absolutely gorgeous building by the water that will be transformed in a living area in the future. I would gladly set up my office there!

You could say that was an excellent introduction to glamping. It was definitely a great way to get away from Paris and to enjoy nature in…comfortable conditions! The very warm welcome from our hosts made it even more special. You can tell the whole project is one with heart and taste.
Always a good combo!

 

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Visit the website.
Castets is in the South West of France, 25km from the sea and in the middle of the natural park of the Landes forest.
We rented bikes and used the local cycling lanes (brand new and quite flat) to go to the beach and explore the forest.
We went there by train,  stopped at Dax (4h30 from Paris) and were picked up at the train station by Marie. 

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