I was one of the happy few who got the opportunity to enjoy a 3-day stay at La Grée des Landes, Yves Rocher’s eco hotel and spa in La Gacilly, France. During these days, I got to learn about the history of the Rocher family and got an inside look at the activities of the natural beauty and skincare brand that is Yves Rocher.
Monsieur Rocher wanted to be the first to make skincare products with natural ingrediënts of vegetable origin accessible to all women, at reasonable prices. At first, people in Paris mocked him and his idea. They didn’t care much about a man using his own name to sell skincare products that only women would buy. However, he had thought it through carefully and had elaborated a plan in the attic of his little house in the picturesque village of La Gacilly, which we got to visit. We saw old sketches, correspondence with some of his clients and the first Yves Rocher packaging.
Monsieur Rocher didn’t back down and opened his first Yves Rocher store in Paris himself, in 1959. The success that still lasts today soon followed. His original vision of using only the best, most natural ingredients hasn’t changed to this very day. On the contrary. A professional team works day in day out to elaborate the most natural formulas with the best, most visible results. The products are being tested in laboratories and are suitable for all women, regardless of age, skin or hair type. Even people with the most sensitive skin can use Yves Rocher products without any trouble.
Furthermore, their packaging is 100% ecological. In short, nature is their prime ingredient, from the field to the skin.
And all of these products come at very reasonable prices. How this is possible? Monsieur Rocher really wanted to make cosmetics available to all women. At Yves Rocher, they grow and harvest most of the plants that are used in their skincare and cosmetics themselves. Furthermore, they produce and distribute their products themselves, using their own network. In the end, you only pay for the product itself, not for all the intermediary agents and/or companies.
It was an honor to be able to visit the gorgeous Yves Rocher site in France, la Gacilly. We started our tour in the impressive botanical garden, where a whopping 1100 different plant species are grown and studied to be used in the different beauty & skincare collections of the brand. We also visited their workshop, where everything is selected, packed and finally distributed across the globe. We finished our tour with a visit to the Yves Rocher meadows, including a magnificent flower field in bloom, which resulted in a lot of Instagramproof pictures, of course.
After getting to know the history behind the family business, we enjoyed our stay in the eco hotel and spa La Grée des Landes****, where a sustainable lifestyle, spa & wellness and organic food are key. Since most of the people in the group were vegan, they only served vegan dishes. I have to admit that I myself can really enjoy a piece of meat, but I didn’t miss it for a second. Their vegetable dishes were delicious and rich in flavor, prepared meticulously, combining unexpected compositions with surprising flavors. Everything went straight from the kitchen garden to our plates. The setting of the hotel, with its splendid view and relaxing activities like massages, yoga sessions, swimming pool and other wellness facilities, made it easy to relax. Wi-Fi is only available in the lobby, so you can escape the rest of the world for a while. Lovely!
La Grée des Landes is highly recommended if you’d like to escape the daily stress with your significant other. You can even rent a treehouse for two, separate from the hotel, surrounded by nature. Two days and one night in the treehouse suite set you back at € 635, access to the spa and wellness facilities included. Definitely a place to remember for a special occasion. A room in a hotel (breakfast included) costs € 151 a night. Suites start at € 165 a night.
You can find more information about the hotel at La Grée des Landes . Information about all new Yves Rocher products and launches can be found at yvesrocher.be. Did you know that most Yves Rocher stores have their own beauty salon? You can go there for a lovely pamper session or for professional tips and advice.
I would like to thank Yves Rocher Benelux brand marketeer Liza Huyghe and PR agency Oona, in particular Manon Aerens and the other Yves Rocher lovers for the unforgettable trip!
Photographer Wouter Maeckelberghe