Inside a Well-Kept Secret Retreat in the South of France

The sleek curved lines of Souki Lodges & Spa make a striking impression against the backdrop of lush French countryside.

Located in Hérault in Occitanie, just under an hour’s drive from Montpellier, the two private lodges sit on a hillside overlooking picturesque vineyards and villages. Founders Fabien Morcel and Gilles Pascal knew the beauty of their home region would entice guests seeking a return to nature, and the duo dreamt up the idea of just two private residences to create a tranquil refuge in the heart of the wild forest.





To preserve the natural beauty, Morcel and Pascal built just two lodges, which took three years to complete, and ensured that each followed the natural shape of the ground to minimize the effect on the environment. It was the idea of creating a cocoon that inspired the lodges’ exteriors, which were crafted from and curved in the style of a hand wrapping around and protecting guests.




As a former interior designer, Morcel also oversaw the decor. The concept of Souki Lodges & Spa was to create a zen-like, natural space, and so he looked to Japan to design the minimalist wood-panelled walls that mirror the lodge’s exterior. For the furnishings, he drew from the list of names he once stocked in his design showroom to source contemporary pieces from the likes of Patricia Urquiola, from Moooi, and a light fixture of origami birds from Moooi. Ultimately, though, the focus is on the view, either through the floor-to-ceiling windows or from the terrace, which leads onto a new infinity pool complete with massaging jets and water cannons.



Morcel and Pascal live near Souki and take care of guests themselves. The couple cooks dinners that champion local, organic produce and, like the breakfast, are served to guests in their lodge. The pools will also be used for a newly introduced Janzu treatment that combines water massage with a meditative, floating experience on and in the water.

But it’s not all about staying cocooned. If you want to explore the region, Pascal and Morcel can advise on hiking trails, wine tastings, and more, or send you off into nature on one of the lodges’ e-bikes, equipped with a homemade organic picnic.

Photography by clonecolor.