A Spa Day In Paris: Where To
I’m a spa baby, for lack of a better term. Growing up in the world of Aveda I am all too familiar with spas and they are something of a haven to me and perhaps to you too. My beautiful mama and spa goddess came for a visit and we decided to try some new spots around my new city. I fell in love with a few for their own reasons, each incredibly different and absolutely worth the trip. From luxe as hell caviar facial to authentic moroccan hammams I’ve got you covered.
This spa is located in the Bristol Hotel on Faubourg Saint-Honoré in the 8th arrondissement. Bougie bougie bougie. Caviar facials starting at 180€ and ranging up to 280€.My mother and I both received a La Prairie facial which is known for including caviar in its ingredient deck and essentially being luxe as can be. Upon entering the spa we were ushered into a women’s dressing room, resembling a nice gym bathroom? We tucked ourselves into plush white robes and *surprisingly* comfortable slippers before being led to a softly lit waiting area. Detox water or tea? both? I did. We were soon met by two women neatly dressed in white with matching buns reminiscent of kids on their way to ballet classes. The room was clean and simple andI have to comment on the fact that the light through the window was bright, so much so that it felt more clinical than relaxing especially when paired with the too loud orchestral music playing from overhead but I was super happy that we could do a “couples” session so I got to be in the same room as my mom.
The facial: I was honestly shocked when the esthetician told me that I had super dry and blotchy skin (both of which are kind of true but she overhyped my skin issues for sure) they don’t sugar coat things here - note taken. The facial itself was relaxing and felt very choreographed and precise - nothing out of the ordinary BUT the results were…revolutionary? When we were done she handed me a mirror and I was stunned. I’ve never seen my skin do that much of a 180 in less than an hour. I was glowing in a way I haven’t glowed before. Holy shit. Price tag attached is maybe worth it if you’re trying to splurge and treat yourself.
Traditional Japanese aesthetic meets the Marais in central Paris in perfect harmony. We absolutely fell in love with Suisen, a spa harnessing the feel of a traditional Japanese Inn known as a Ryokan. Japanese culture has always been close to our hearts, having grown up in Hawaii which is heavily influenced by Japan - there is a sense of comfort in Japanese foods, aesthetics and customs. The spa is simple, you take off your shoes as you enter the door and are given a pair of slippers along with a tea menu while you wait. The spa’s tea selection alone is impressive - it features high end teas grown in Japan and available for purchase in the shop at the spa’s entrance. We both had a genmaicha and settled into the serene space tucked off of a busy street in the Marais. My mom and I both did a traditional shiatsu massage which was 190€ for a couples massage - (that’s less than 100€ per person, honestly not bad for Paris). The massage itself was amazing, it was everything I wanted and more - perfectly balanced between relaxing and effective in loosening my tight as hell neck #stress. The woman that did my massage was sweet, asked the right questions and was very responsive to my requests. A little note about massages in Europe: they massage your stomach - it feels weird, especially as an American where that is absolutely unheard of - it’s not a bad thing though, it aids digestion and feels really good afterwards, but I was definitely confused the first time I had a massage here and the masseuse moved her hands to by abdomen.
Following the massage we were given more tea and little Japanese cakes. 10/10. This place is sweet and relaxing sans frills - I will absolutely be frequenting this little oasis.
After spending time in Morocco several years ago, I fell head over heels for hammams. Hammamns were traditionally public baths within the Ottoman Empire and more broadly native to the Islamic world. Today you can find hammams in most large cities around the world and I urge you to check one out. The experience of these baths consists (to my experience) of a steam of some sort to open your pores and prep your skin which is followed by a scrub of your whole body with black soap which you then go back into the steam. It should be noted that it is expected that you’re naked, if you prefer though I believe that you can wear swimsuit bottoms if you’re not about the naked life in front of strangers. Finally the fun part, they scrub you’re entire body and you watch as dead skin rolls off of you. The combination of steam, soap and willpower releases both toxins and (literal) layers of dull skin.
This specific hammam is located 2nd arrondissement of Paris - tucked in the back courtyard of a building on a small street and is women only. Forewarning: you will spend several hours here and if you don’t speak French or Arabic you will be absolutely lost in the whirlwind of women singing, naked French women of all ages, mint tea and moroccan pastries. That being said it is absolutely worth it and don’t be intimidated and chances are there is someone there that speaks enough english to explain what can’t be conveyed through gesture. There’s something kind of cool about having absolutely no idea what anyone is saying around you and just being ushered from room to room with understanding smiles and cups of mint tea being periodically placed before you. We booked a hammam with black soap scrub and a 30 minute massage which was 113€ each for about 3 hours of bliss. If you want to go without massage you can have the hammam and black soap scrub experience for 69€ which, when I go back will probably be what I do. The massage was great but the hammam is what I’ll be returning for.
You leave GLOWING. Every dead cell on your body has been removed and I swear it feels like being reborn. You’re a new woman ready for the rest of your time in Paris. 10/10 because this isn’t a spa it’s an experience.
Thank you for reading -