It’s not easy to launch a top-of-the-range establishment on an island in Ponant. Obtaining authorizations by the sea, bringing in the materials, building on time… Subject to innumerable constraints and authorizations, this project required years of maturation.
Postponed to spring, the opening of Ushant Sport and Spa slipped until the beginning of August, with a clientele immediately at the rendezvous. At the origin of this project, a doctor-anesthetist, originally from the south of France, Sophie Chalve, owner of a second home on the island for twenty years. Located above Lampaul beach, with a full sea view, its soon-to-be-four-star establishment offers five bedrooms (ten in the long term) and has been filling up since this summer. Its 20 m by 3 m and 1.5 m deep swimming pool has entered into service, for the moment, mainly for hotel guests.
Schoolchildren and residents all year round
The initial project, however, provides for the provision of the pool for schools on the island, forced to join the mainland to learn to swim in a pool. The new hotel should also welcome residents all year round, through the “Sports and health centers” system, on terms and times that remain to be defined.
An association was created to make this reception possible for the locals, at the end of a meeting on September 6, where the impatience and annoyance of some participants were felt. In particular the “secondary” residents, outraged at being excluded from this swimming pool.
Bomb, in the night
Despite the turbulence, the association “Sport santé à Ouessant” was launched. “For schoolchildren (a separate subject), the authorizations will follow with the approval of the academy”, explains the project leader, Sophie Chalve. It also remains to settle the presence and financing of a lifeguard. As the bad weather finally dissipated at the bottom of Lampaul Bay, the clouds returned overnight from Sunday to Monday.
The slogan “For the rich, a heated swimming pool. For our kids, water at 14 ° C to learn to swim ”was sprayed at night on the facade of the main building of the brand new hotel. “Immediately, a company specializing in refurbishment came to offer its services for immediate repair! », Says Sophie Chalve.
“Funded to the tune of 300,000 euros, the swimming pool will require additional arrangements to accommodate the island’s schoolchildren in the future,” assures the project leader, who has finalized three hires. “But I do not hide from you that since these acts of vandalism (his car parked in the courtyard of his personal home was also tagged), I have been thinking about the rest of my commitments”. “I will file a complaint when the gendarmes return to Ushant, in a fortnight”. Gendarmes who had just returned to the mainland.
“It’s a private project, nothing obliges it”
For his part, Mayor Denis Palluel recalls that this is a private project and that its instigator took the trouble to offer accessibility to his swimming pool without being obliged to do so. “She obtained all the authorizations (State permits), after having bought this land at the Armorique Park, which wanted to develop a first tourist project there (Pierre et Vacances)”. “Nothing obliges him to open his basin to the residents of the island. Some Ouessantins, a tiny minority, pretend not to understand! “
High-end phobia? Hated properties with swimming pools (there are three on the island)? “We are not, however, facing a disproportionate hotel complex for Ouessant,” said Denis Palluel. “We are not talking about an Olympic swimming pool but a pool that could be accessible to the people of Ouessant”. The bottom of the air is still as invigorating on the side of Fromveur!