NOTE: THIS SPA CLOSED IN 2012.
Parisian chic meets Brazilian warmth at the one of Paris’s newer spas, thanks to Rio-born designer Anne Fontaine. As a teenager she spent several months living in the Amazon rain forest, an adventure that left her with a deep appreciation of nature. Studies in biology and ecology followed, and when she launched her own apparel company in France, she used only natural materials for the pure white blouses that made her famous.
The Spa Anne Fontaine, on the lower level of the designer’s flagship store on the rue St-Honoré, reflects the same love of nature. Designed by Andrée Putman, it’s a winning mixture of urban chic and cozy comfort. Charming surprises abound here, from the spacious and elegant dressing rooms to the color-changing cabines that spill emerald, rose and gold light into a hall where a buffet of luscious fruits and edible orchids forms an enticing still life.
Fontaine’s love of fabrics is reflected in the spa menu, and silk and cotton are featured in two signature treatments. In Rêve de Soie, a fine silk sheet draped over the body brings it to just the right temperature for the massage that follows, and the facial includes a cream incorporating silk protein. Douceur de Coton is a soothing head-to-toe massage with pure cottonseed oil.
The designer’s background is evoked in such offerings as the Goddess Bath, a soak based on a Brazilian purification ritual, using white petals and scented bath oil, and accompanied by a deep scalp massage; Amazonian Baptism, a slimming wrap with 11 essential oils, inspired by an indigenous initiation ceremony; and the Voodoo Massage, performed to the rhythm of music evoking tribal dances.
At one end of the spa is a beautiful watery refuge with an overflowing Jacuzzi, sauna and Turkish-style hammam steam room, next to a softly lit salle de repos where you can plug your earphones in to hear music or soothing natural sounds. Men’s treatments and couples massages are also available, and the boutique offers scented candles, home fragrances, cloud-soft cotton or bamboo-fiber loungewear and two new lines of natural cosmetics, again based on silk and linen.
370 rue Saint Honoré, 1st, 01.42.61.03.70. website
Originally published in the January 2008 issue of France Today; updated in December 2011.