ILET AUX PALMISTES
Guesthouse | The Ilet aux Palmistes guest house, with the Gîtes de France label, is nestled in the heights of Vincendo, at the heart of the Wild South Coast, surrounded by the exceptional diversity of Reunion Island plant life.
Raymonde and Rémy Vienne have set up a family suite on the ground floor of their house, with two adjoining bedrooms, each with a double bed, and a triple bedroom with a double bed and a single bed.
This farming family originally from the Wild South Coast acquired this 10.5-hectare plot of land 35 years ago and transformed it into an ode to Reunion Island nature and native plants. They decided to call the estate Ilet aux Palmistes and here they have a rare plantation of Barbel Palms, and the heart of these palm trees is a delicacy that is eaten in salads. Before tasting it, food lovers can help prepare it, from cutting down the palm trees in the fields with Rémy, to making a superb lemon vinaigrette with Raymonde.
But palm is only a very small part of the sheer wealth of the Ilet. Raymonde Vienne’s Créole garden is full of “lontan” plants. Some of them are ornamental, such as the begonia, azalea or camelia, others are medicinal such as cinnamon, lemongrass or ayapana. These plants are then skilfully distilled to make herbal tea or a delicious flavoured rum. Overhanging this traditional dwelling is an array of local native plants, that visitors will be delighted to explore, including benzoin and Antirhea borbonica, anthurium and bird-of-paradise, or quatre-épices, clove and even vanilla.
The welcome you’ll get from the Vienne family reflects the whole atmosphere of the estate: authentic and inviting. Above all, the hosts wish to share their traditional Créole culture and their passion for farming and nature. The dinner is a warm and friendly moment of the day, prepared in a wood-fired oven with products from the estate. Relaxing, invigorating and enjoyable: these are the three promises of a stay at the Ilet aux Palmistes.
The Ilet aux Palmistes is in the town of Saint-Joseph and is a haven of peace in the heights of the Vincendo district, less than 5 minutes’ drive from the main road. A location that guarantees visitors will have a feeling of calm and isolation, while enjoying a breath-taking view of the Indian Ocean, and more particularly of the Pointe de Langevin, the most southern tip of Europe.
The Ilet aux Palmistes is right at the heart of the Wild South Coast and is the perfect base camp for exploring the south of the island and its natural treasures like the lava flows in Sainte-Rose, the Saint-Philippe coastline or the waterfalls at Langevin river. It is above all an experience in the most protected and wildest parts of Reunion Island.