Spread across over 300,000 hectares of alternately sylvan and precipitous uplands, Livradois-Forez National Park is one of Auvergne’s best-kept secrets. Since 2023, however, the nature reserve has had its own world within a world: Bois de Luna.
Hidden away on the fringes of Cunlhat — a hamlet near the eastern border of Puy-de-Dôme — Bois de Luna is a family-owned glamping getaway that has the feel of an off-world oasis. Featuring geodesic dome lodges (named, quite appropriately, after constellations), it gives guests the chance to escape the everyday and sleep under a sea of stars. Each home boasts a Nordic spa and wood-burning stove, plus various other amenities.
To learn more about Bois de Luna’s story, I spoke with one of its co-founders, Alice Leridon.
A.D. Manns: Why did you choose to leave Paris and invest in the Bois de Luna project?
Alice Leridon: The first goal was to leave a big city to move to the countryside. We love nature and calm, so it was obvious we would move someday. We grew up near Paris, but we didn’t want our children to do the same. We wanted to offer them another way of living.
Then we began to think about creating our own company. We love unusual places to go on holidays, like cabins. Each time we had some ideas to improve the place we stayed in, and with time we realised we wanted to create the place we’d been dreaming of.
The place is perfect for us with our needs of comfort, calm, and nature.
AM: What were your primary aesthetic influences with regard to the sustainable design of the eco lodges?
AL: We wanted an eco lodge with an open view on nature. We did not want to be in the middle of the countryside with these amazing landscapes in a totally closed house.
We searched a lot of unusual architecture styles and we loved the dome so that was it. The big bay-windowed view allows you to watch the stars from your bed.
AM: Could you tell us more about Bois de Luna’s relationship with local artisans and producers?
AL: When we moved to a little village, it was obvious for us to work with local companies in every aspect. We worked with local companies to build our domain. We have partnerships with local people for whatever activities our clients are interested in. And of course we buy food from local producers because it’s delicious!
AM: What was the most challenging part about creating the business?
AL: The first really challenging subject was to find the right land. To have land in the middle of nature is easy, but finding land that allows us to build what we want is really the most difficult thing to do in France. We have strict laws on building rights to protect nature, and it’s prohibited to build on most land.
When we constructed everything, the main thing was to never settle for less than we expected. There’s always a new idea, a new spend. And we had to stay vigilant on what was worth the cost to maintain high quality and what was just a detail we couldn’t afford.
AM: What do you love most about Livradois-Forez?
AL: We fell in love with the hilly landscapes. It’s simple, but we are still amazed by the views we have from our domain or when we go on hikes.