Sightseeing, shopping and touring opportunities in Paris are nearly limitless, and it's human nature to try to cram as many “must-see” activities into your trip as possible. But after a few over-scheduled days, it's easy to find yourself in “vacation overload.” Why not take a “day off” from your vacation and enjoy a relaxing massage, facial, hydrotherapy treatment or a mani/pedi?
Pampering options in Paris are available in all price ranges, from mid-range to luxurious beyond imagination. To help you choose, we sent our Paris Perfect reconnaissance team out into the city to experience and review four spa options. Chandler shares her first of four reviews below with a visit to the Spa L’Occitane in Paris.
While shopping in the popular St. Germain-des-Prés area in the 6th, we came across the Spa L’Occitane almost by accident. L'Occitane en Provence is a popular French brand known globally for their luxury soaps, fragrances and skin care products from the south of France. We stopped in the boutique at 47 rue des Sevres for soap and gift items and found they also offer spa services upstairs.
L'Occitane describes their Spas as “a natural extension of L’Occitane products: authentic, natural ingredients…fused with traditional therapies to offer a voyage of the senses…designed as true sanctuaries of tranquility to rejuvenate your body and soul.” Facilities include a “Vichy rain shower, VIP rooms with private hydrotherapy treatments, a Provencal steam bath, as well as a couple’s suite.”
I was hooked! I picked up a spa brochure and to my delight found that it was much more reasonable than other spas I had researched online, with a one hour massage priced at €90.
Some items from their extensive menu:
- Expert facials, such as the signature “Immortelle Secret of Youth”
- Body massages to meet all needs, including the popular “Aromachologie Relaxing Massage,” “Deep Tissue Intense Relief” and “Shea Nurturing Massage”
- Advanced body treatments, including scrubs and wraps, using our star ingredient, almond
- Hydro-therapiesand hair care
I took the brochure with me, and phoned back several days later for an appointment. They were fully booked, but luckily worked with my schedule to fit me in. Everyone spoke English very well. The spa is located upstairs above the boutique and is tastefully decorated with light woods and neutral tones.
I was initially shown into a small room where I was served water and fruit. My masseuse came in to discuss my massage and then showed me to a small, but well- appointed changing room where I was given a large, fluffy organic cotton robe, slippers, a package of disposable panties to wear during the massage and a key to a locker to store my belongings (they even provide a small basket for jewelry).
She then escorted me to the massage room, which was dimly lit and carefully set up. I was pleasantly surprised to hear soft, real music, not the annoying sounds of chirping birds normally played at spas. She first asked me to sit in a cushy leather chair and brought a large wooden basin of warm water to me and washed and massaged my feet. She then had me lie down on the massage table and gave me a medium to light pressure, relaxing Swedish massage.
When the massage was finished, I really hated to leave my tranquil surroundings, but knowing there was serious shopping at Le Bon Marché right down the street, I forced myself to quickly change, pay, tip and be on my way. I saw and heard only one other customer, although I know they were booked solid.
Things you should know: Be prepared for the massage to include your stomach and breasts. I have never experienced that in the States, but it occurred at several of the spas I visited. It was different, but not at all uncomfortable.
The spa was very clean and luxurious in an understated way; the staff spoke English well, the masseuse made every effort to make sure I was well taken care of; and I loved the foot washing!
I really wanted a longer massage and a facial, but they had no openings, so call ahead.
Although a full spa with indoor pools, saunas and bathing facilities is a treat, if you have limited time or a limited budget, this is the perfect place for a massage and/or facial treatment and its proximity to fabulous shopping is big plus. They also offer gift certificates, which would make a lovely gift for someone you love going to Paris.
47 Rue de Sèvres, 75006 Paris, France
+33 1 42 22 88 62 Call for appointment and opening hours
Metro lines 10 & 12: Stop: Sèvres-Babylone
(Image Credits: Dennis Wong, Elise Cai, Mr.TinDC)
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