Once you’ve seen the legendary monuments, explored the world-famous museums and tried a good fraction of those delectable French wines, patisseries and gourmet fare, you’ll probably want (and need) to be horizontal for a couple of hours — and where best to do that than in Paris’ top spas? We tested the city’s relaxing retreats and came up with our spa hot list.
Spa My Blend by Clarins at Le Royal Monceau – Raffles Paris
It’s not just the Philippe Starck-designed interiors or the wonderful plant-based Clarins products. The Spa My Blend by Clarins at Le Royal Monceau, one of the city’s most luxurious hotels, gets top marks for its warm atmosphere. Unlike at any other spa, the team interacts with guests easily and tailors each experience. Most importantly, the staff radiates a happiness that is infectious.
The bright white bubble of a space is uplifting and has everything you could want out of a spa: a sauna, a steam room that’s big enough to share with a football team, an ice room, seven treatment rooms and lots of Clarins products. The labyrinth is lined with floating floor-to-ceiling curtains, but instead of being cold and clinical, the pearly shades of white make the 16,145-square-foot area especially inviting — not forgetting the contemporary pool area with natural light flooding in through the large, square skylight.
The newest addition to the spa’s already elaborate massage menu is the 90-minute Art of Touch (approximately $260), which comes highly recommended for ultimate reinvigoration. The spa is also a pioneer in combining technology with complex My Blend products, which were created by Dr. Olivier Courtin-Clarins (son of founder Jacques Courtin-Clarins). With the help of a face scanner, the therapist mixes a range of My Blend products to best suit your skin type, smooth away wrinkles and nourish your dermis in time for the harsh winter.
The Spa at Four Seasons Hotel George V, Paris
A Paris landmark located in the Golden Triangle a few steps from the Champs-Élysées, the iconic 1928 Four Seasons George V has soul. And you’ll feel it in the sumptuous spa. The winning aspect here is its luxurious 1920s interiors, which, although were renovated in recent years, have retained that 18th-century charm the world travels to Paris to see. You’ll see lavish fabrics and toile de Jouy, and day beds with flowing curtains in a room with its own fireplace where you can relax in peace while wearing a heated shoulder wrap.
Step over the threshold into a world of cream and gold that could be mistaken for Marie Antoinette’s private boudoir. Old World charm exudes from every corner, from the individual changing booths with their gilded moldings to the elegant relaxation area and pool adorned with wispy blue skies on the ceiling and frescoes reminiscent of the days at Château de Versailles on the surrounding walls.
The spa carries several brands, including the chemical-free products by the Australian company Sodashi (“wholeness, purity and radiance” in Sanskrit). The 50-minute Sodashi Aromatherapy massage (approximately $265) is a great way to de-stress and will make you feel as decadent as the surroundings.
The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Paris
One of the city’s most recent luxury additions to the hotel scene is Mandarin Oriental, Paris, which opened in 2011 on one of Paris’ most sought-after streets, the designer-boutique-filled rue Saint-Honoré. Despite the grand but cozy interiors full of natural light and plant life visible from the floor-to-ceiling windows, the hotel’s soothing, sweeping spaces and discreet atmosphere are what draw people. And it’s the same in the spa: The ambiance is reposeful and private — especially since everyone gets a private massage suite (the three couples suites feature vitality pools), meaning you won’t have to share the locker rooms with other guests.
The spa uses everything from delicious-smelling Aromatherapy Associates products to the Super Aqua Serum from the gorgeous Parisian institution Guerlain. Although you will likely choose your treatment in advance, your therapist will largely adapt the massage to your exact needs. For a service guaranteed to bring out the maximum pleasure, request the 80-minute Oriental Essence massage (approximately $325) with Laëtitia Jouzel. This therapist’s hands ease out tension from places you never considered — every calculated touch brings you that much closer to nirvana.
Photos Courtesy of Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group and Spa My Blend by Clarins