24 hours at the Hotel Mildiss to soak in green Auvergne


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Avec son architecture en verre, béton brut et bois, l'hôtel Mildiss se fond dans le décor du massif du Sancy, en Auvergne.
© Marc Mestas - Avec son architecture en verre, béton brut et bois, l'hôtel Mildiss se fond dans le décor du massif du Sancy, en Auvergne.

Reading time: 0 minPublished on 5 February 2024, updated on 15 April 2024

Located 45 minutes from Clermont-Ferrand, in Auvergne, the Mildiss Hotel opened its doors in early July 2019. Very contemporary, the 4-star hotel promises to be the new "it" destination on the southern side of the Sancy massif. Get a peek here!

9 am: A minimalist hotel

At the bend of a curve stands a building covered its whole length over with wooden pergolas in geometric lines. Perched on top of a hill, above meadow waiting for next spring to burst into bloom, the futuristic silhouette of the Mildiss Hotel captivates the eyes of all viewers. The architect in charge of the project, Jean-Jacques Erragne (to whom we also owe the amusement park Vulcania), explains that the name Mildiss takes phonetically mimics the altitude of the building (1010 m—in French, mille-dix), an ideal situation on the halfpath between plains and high mountain. The building is made up of blocks, alternating at different heights, which gives spectators a feeling of space. All in glass, concrete and wood, the hotel relies on great sobriety. “The architectural bias is deliberately minimalist to enhance surrounding nature. Everyone must be able to immerse themselves in the landscape from any place in the building,” the architect said.

9:30 pm: A bed in the meadow

The 32 simple and functional rooms are located on the lower level of the building. They are all facing south, and offer the same view of the meadow and the surrounding undergrowth. Lying on the particularly comfortable king-size bed (bedding has been chosen to fit rugby players), one is engulfed by the green landscape on the other side of the bay window. A bird has decided to land on the pergola above the window. Its song hardly disturbs the silence. Sleep surrounded by the meadow.

13h: The terroir revisited on the plate

Hotel Mildiss’s restaurant showcases local products, including the unmissable Saint-Nectaire, Cantal beef and Velay verbena, while adding a touch of modernity. To make these local delicicies their own, the hotel teamed up with star chef Gilles Reinhardt (l'Auberge du Pont de Collonges) who designed the menu. Just looking it over makes the mouth water. Opt for the gnocchetti of pike perch and scallops with vanilla white butter. Surprise—the dish contains no flour or potatoes, but a tasty fish mousseline with a white butter sauce enhanced by notes of vanilla. Bon appétit!

3:30 pm: In the footsteps of Queen Margot in Besse

After this feast, a digestive walk is de riguer. Head for the small village of Besse-et-Saint-Anastaise, recommended by the hotel’s receptionist. A 10-minute walk from the Mildiss, this small medieval town is dotted with beautiful lava stone mansions, decorated with red shutters. The town boasts an exciting history, marked by Catherine de Medici, heiress via her mother of the family estates of the Tower of Auvergne. Lost in the beautiful pedestrian alleys of Besse, discover superb heralidic blazons, a sign of the richness of this commercial city where the products of the mountain passed through. At the bend of a street stands a beautiful two-story house where Queen Margot is said to have stayed. All may be legend, but the famous sovereign was exiled for 20 years to the nearby castle of Usson, so the rumors may be true!

6 pm: Relax under the beeches

When it's time to go back to the hotel, let yourself be pampered at the spa, a large space of 200 m² (2000 ft²), hewn from Volvic stone. Two rooms are dedicated to treatments and massages in partnership with the Sothys brand. Ayurvedic massages, hot stones, Mildiss' ritual promises a chance to totally disconnect! This spa hour is completed with a long bath in the jacuzzi overlooking the large beech trees of Auvergne.

By Sarah Chevalley

Lifestyle journalist and avid traveller, passionate about visual arts, beautiful landscapes and new discoveries. Find her at: