For our Bioregional away-day 2017 we were delighted to visit Villages Nature® Paris, an innovative tourist destination that’s used One Planet Living in its development. Ben Gill shares what it was like seeing its sustainability vision brought to life
What does a One Planet holiday look like? Visiting Les Villages Nature Paris
Opened in September 2017, Les Villages Nature® Paris used our sustainability framework One Planet Living® throughout design, planning and construction to create an enjoyable holiday where you don’t have to compromise on your sustainability principles.
Easily accessible by train, Villages Nature Paris is designed to provide a relaxing holiday where you can connect with nature. The large water park is heated by renewable energy, paths lined with greenery provide habitats for nature to thrive, and the car-free site creates a peaceful environment.
“Villages Nature Paris provides a naturally calming environment, with everything you need on your doorstep.”
Alan Penfold and his wife visited Villages Nature Paris in December 2018 with their two-year old daughter
“Villages Nature Paris’ location is great - just a short bus journey from the Eurostar. And it’s the perfect contrast to Euro Disney, providing a naturally calming environment with everything you need on your doorstep.
The Aqualagon was fantastic, neither me nor my wife wanted to leave – let alone our daughter. The farm and indoor play area were also a favourite, and the apartments themselves were very impressive.
I’d like to see the One Planet Living principles promoted more. Our daughter was in the nursery one morning and enjoyed it – this could be a good angle to promote sustainability awareness!
We would certainly go back – perhaps in the summer to really benefit from the outdoor activities.”
“We enjoyed walking everywhere – made all the better by plenty of birdsong.”
Ben Gill, One Planet Living Manager at Bioregional, visited in February 2019 with his wife and two children, 9 and 11
“What really stood out for us during our stay was how quiet and safe the site felt with no cars and electric transport. We enjoyed walking everywhere – made all the better by plenty of birdsong. It really feels like the resort is committed to creating green space that provide habitats for nature, rather than just putting in lawns.
The recycling communication could be improved – there wasn’t any more encouragement than in a normal hotel. It could also be interesting to incentivise sustainable behaviour. We came by train but there was no recognition of this even though it’s something Villages Nature wants to encourage.
The kids’ activities were great – especially as we could relax while they went off and entertained themselves. My sons loved the Aqualagon and the forest playground. It was fantastic to swim in warm water in the winter, guilt free.”
“We loved the peace of it, seeing and hearing frogs and birds, the flowers, lakes and trees.”
Sue Riddlestone, CEO and co-founder of Bioregional, visited Les Villages Nature Paris in June 2018 with her husband Pooran Desai, her three children and two grandchildren.
“I was blown away by how lovely Villages Nature Paris is. We all loved being in nature. We loved the peace of it, seeing and hearing frogs and birds, the flowers, lakes and trees. It was very relaxing – made even more so with no cars.
The Aqualagon and its slides were, of course, a big hit especially as we knew it was all being heated by geothermal energy. We also loved the bowling and went three times! Even though the weather was quite rainy, there was plenty to do that didn’t rely on it being sunny.
Having a kitchen in our apartment was ideal – we cooked three meals a day in there and loved the choice of sustainable food at the supermarket. But we would have liked to have been able to compost our vegetable peelings.
We would also have liked to have seen more emphasis on the sustainability features, for example telling the story of the innovative geothermal energy and how to live a One Planet Living lifestyle in the apartments.
We’ve already highly recommended Villages Nature to others, and I think some of our family will be coming back again with friends.”
Read Les Villages Nature Paris’ One Planet Living Annual Review 2018 and learn more about its sustainability achievements.
NB: everyone paid for their own holidays!