In need of some seriously soothing relaxation time in Paris? Here are eight of the most swoonworthy spas in the French capital and beyond.
Come to France for the à la mode fashion, fine wine and gourmet cuisine… and stay for the mind and body renewal. There’s certainly no lack of lush spas in which to indulge the senses. From the capital city to neighbouring enclaves, here’s where to book a rejuvenating massage, invigorating body scrub or youth- enhancing facial, all frills included.
Now all the rage, you may be wondering how spas in France got their start. The origin of the word ‘spa’ comes from the Latin phrase, sanitus per aqua, which translates to ‘health through water’. It was in 19th-century France that treatments using fresh water first came into fashion, inspired by the famed baths of Roman antiquity, and their main purpose was to prevent or treat ailments such as rheumatism. These days, booking a treatment at a spa is one of the most relaxing and pleasurable ways you can invest in yourself and set about achieving optimal health. And where there’s a spa, there’s water, whether it’s in the form of a swimming pool or the steam of a hammam.
To best choose a spa in which to indulge your body and mind, first decide what needs a tune-up and how much you would like to splurge. Every one of these addresses is utterly inviting regardless of the ritual, in a country where natural beauty and holistic health reign supreme.
Ritz Club & Spa
Saunter into the recently reinvented Ritz Club & Spa in the style of the hotel’s former guests Coco Chanel, Zelda Fitzgerald and Colette and prepare for pampering within the sophisticated Art Deco universe that is uniquely Ritz Paris. Following a swim in the 16m mosaic-covered swimming pool to a medley of music, turn up the heat in the sauna or hammam. The signature massages named after flowers relieve all forms of tension from head to toe, while facials using the French brand Biologique Recherche rebalance and re-energise the skin. End the ritzy experience with a new do at David Mallet’s in-house hair salon before splurging on teatime at the hotel’s Salon Proust.
Chi, The Spa
There’s no doubt that Prince Roland Bonaparte, former resident of the elegant palace hotel Shangri-La Paris, would have found great pleasure at Chi, The Spa. Before taking a peek at what was once his private residence on the second floor, dip into the 17m swimming pool that opens onto a tranquil green terrace. Float back in time via a holistic tension-releasing treatment blending CBD and massage, with exactly the right amount of pressure. Both the body and mind will thank you for this unparalleled state of zen.
Banya at Kupala
Discover the art of the Banya at Kupala, the first of its kind to open in Paris. This hours-long Slavic wellbeing ritual, surrounded by warm wooden details by Maison Alchemy, includes aromatherapy using soothing scents of meadow and mountain herbs, a body sweeping with oak, birch, or eucalyptus branches, and a freshwater bath. The result? Deep muscle relaxation, improved breathing and blood circulation and a stronger immune system. Add a gentle honey scrub, a customised facial treatment using retinol or vitamin C, or a full-body massage for an even deeper dose of serenity.
Dior Spa Plaza Athénée
Dress your skin in Dior with an haute-couture treatment at the sumptuous new Dior Spa Plaza Athénée. With a three-hour-long ritual for both the face and body, choose between Dior D-Tox Therapy, Dior D-Stress Therapy, Dior D-Vibe Therapy and Dior D-Fit Therapy and you’ll be left with a deep inner glow. Meanwhile, jet lag and any sleep issues will be long forgotten upon entering the Dior Light Suite, a cabin that synchronises circadian rhythms. Pick up a fruit and vegetable juice by Wild & The Moon on the way out.
Spa Charme d’Orient
Escape into the centuries-old rituals and customs of the Middle East at the luxurious Spa Charme d’Orient. This hammam outfitted in stones and tiles boasts all-natural beauty products while the scent of orange blossom lingers throughout the inviting space. The sacred three- or four-hour ritual includes a body scrub using black soap made with eucalyptus oil and olive oil, a skin exfoliation and rhassoul clay body wrap, and a gentle head massage. The final step towards complete relaxation is an argan oil body massage. A cup of fresh mint tea reawakens the senses upon exiting.
Four Seasons George V’s Le Spa
There’s no need to choose between a facial or a massage at the iconic Four Seasons George V’s Le Spa. Skincare expert Olivier Claire delivers both, flawlessly, through his 120-minute regenerating regimen elevating both the mind and the body. His namesake products composed of locally-sourced plants will leave you glowing all the way to the pool. If it’s a facial massage you’re after, the Japanese ancestral tradition of Kobido, dating back more than 500 years to 1472, will add radiance while toning the face, as taught by Tokyo-based expert Dr Shogo Mochizuki.
The cherry on the royal cake at the Waldorf Astoria Versailles, next door to the park of the Château de Versailles, is undoubtedly the glitzy Guerlain Spa. Each tailor-made sojourn into beauty at the expert hands of a facialist or masseuse is fit for royalty. The Radiance Facial Treatment is true to its word, using products carefully plucked from the historic Maison Guerlain, plus tips on how to best care for the skin. For a complete detox before lounging by the Greek-inspired indoor pool, an Imperial Relaxing Massage will do the trick.
The magic of Chantilly lies not only in its centuries-old château and its famed Chantilly cream but also at the subterranean Spa Valmont, belonging to the Auberge du Jeu de Paume. Sink into the sensation of the Majestic Treatment for an unforgettable facial and neck massage using three massage protocols and four masks, unique to Valmont. Meanwhile, the signature Le Cavalier ritual starts with a detoxifying sauna session overlooking the Moroccan-style swimming pool and ends with complete inner calm. Tempting treatments by natural oil brand Maison Caulières are also on the menu.
From France Today Magazine
Lead photo credit : Ritz Spa Club © Jérôme Galland
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