Secrets of Paris 
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About Secrets of Paris

American-born travel journalist and guidebook author Heather Stimmler-Hall created the Secrets of Paris in 1999 to share the hidden side of the City of Light. Discover what you've been missing:

* Custom Travel Content 
* Free Paris Resource Guide
* Calendar of interesting Paris events
* Private Secrets of Paris Tours
* Monthly Secrets of Paris newsletter
* Secrets of Paris Videos

Read more about the Secrets of Paris here


Calendar of Paris Events

July 22-August 23
The annual Open-Air Cinema Festival takes place Wed-Sun nights at the Parc de la Villette's Triangle Prairie (M° Porte de Pantin), starting at sunset (around 10pm), free entry (deck chair rentals from 7:30pm). This year's haunting and spooky and horrific theme is "Home Cinema" (all films can be downloaded to watch at home from the website), including: Last Days, Beetlejuice, shutter Island, The Shining, Moulin Rouge, the Ghost Writer, and many French and international films (all in VO with French subtitles). 

Through August 23
The 30th annual Fête des Tuileries funfair with carnival rides at Tuileries Gardens starts today, free entry, rides with individual tickets. Plenty of food stands, too!

August 25
Sex & Booze: An Erotic Book Club at The Chamber, a private pop-up cocktail club, where Heather will be moderating a discussion about another controversial work of 18th-century French erotic literature, The Anti-Justine, by Nicolas-Edme Rétif. Special discount on Naughty Paris Guides for Chamber members. From 8pm, nibbles and fabulous cocktails to accompany the cock tales! Limited guest list, tickets €25 (members) or €45 (non-members; get €10 off with the discount code naughtyparis). 

Click here to see the full calendar of events...

Secrets of Paris gives 10% of all tour fees
to the French food bank, Les Restos du Coeur

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Saturday
Apr042009

5 Paris Spas for your Spring Detox

Jetlagged beyond belief? Too many museums and monuments wreaking havoc with your feet and back? Or are you simply ready to shed your scaly winter skin for spring? Here are some great Paris spas where you can find a new you in no time!

1. O'Kari (22 rue dessoubs, 2nd, tel 01 42 36 94 66), a traditional North-African hammam devoted exclusively to women, is my current favorite. Opened just four months ago in the newly-trendy Montorgueil district, it has the perfect combination of luxurious pampering, beautiful setting, all-natural products, and authentic spa techniques perfected by Arab women for centuries that will have you glowing. When you enter, the friendly owner Karima will show you to your locker, where you'll be provided with a robe, towel, flipflops and disposable panties to wear in the steam baths. Guests are offered mint tea, refreshing citronnade, or fresh squeezed juice cocktails and North African snacks in the lounge area while filling out your questionnaire. The detox begins in the mosaic tiled steam room, which twinkles with fiber optic stars. This is followed on a heated table with a gommage, an all-over body scrub with an olive-oil based soap that will get rid of the dulling dead skin build-up. Then a honey-based facial mask is applied and allowed to set while your hair is washed and untangled. After a quick rinse under the shower you can relax further in the heated Jacuzzi, surrounded by North African pottery, candles and soothing music. This basic treatment costs €150 and lasts about 2 hours. Treatments range from €90-€330, with a specialty in masks and massages. The current "Bring a Friend" internet special is for two women for €200. Appointment required.

2. Au Pied Levé (9 rue Mulhouse, 2nd, tel 01 42 33 10 90,ktimarin@yahoo.fr) specializes in the four-hand massage for the face and body. Located in the leafy courtyard in the Sentier district of Paris, this small salon welcomes one patient at a time, with a calming musical soundtrack and professional products by Skinceuticals. For €120, you'll receive a complete oxygenizing facial and body massage that focuses on the hands, feet and legs. They even have these amazing pressurized massage booties that will get the circulation flowing, perfect for feet swollen from jetlag or too much sightseeing. Appointments available daily from 7am-11pm.

3. Spa l'Occitane (47 rue de Sèvres, 6th, tel 01 42 22 88 62) uses the all-natural products from its world-famous boutiques in their spa near the Bon Marché department store. In an atmosphere that focuses on being "ecologically friendly", clients are treated to organic cotton robes and slippers. Treatments include the grape-seed detox body wraps, the almond-based cellulite reducer, anti-age facials and honey-lemon softening sugar scrub. Treatments start at €25.Closed Sundays.

4. Spa Anne Sémonin (at the Bristol Hotel, 108 rue du Faubourg St Honoré, 8th, tel 01 42 66 24 22) is where the Parisian ladies who lunch get their spa treatments and travel editors from around the world recover from jetlag. The facials, body treatments and massages are done with essential oils and sea-based products, all completely natural. The signature treatment at the Bristol location is a heated herb wrap with hazelnut, sesame, oregano, mandarine orange and lavender oils, followed by a warm stone massage (€125). And if you reserve well enough in advance you can even get a pedicure by the foot guru Bastien. The setting in this luxury hotel is divine, don't pass up a hot chocolate in the garden afterwards.

5. La Sultane de Saba (78 rue Boissière, 16th, tel 01 45 00 00 40) is another women-only spa with a decadent "Temple of the Orient" atmosphere. There are several locations around Paris, this is the largest. The hammam (steam bath) packages include exfoliation gommage for face and body, a miniaturizing body wrap, essential oil massage, and facial mask for €105. You can also try their traditional hair removal treatments, Oriental-style manicures or pedicures, and eyelash and eyebrow tinting. Make sure you leave plenty of time to relax on the silken cushions with a mint tea in the low-lit lounge. Their entire Oriental-beauty spa product line is sold at the spas.

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Reader Comments (4)

O'Kari Hammam was a fantastic moment of relaxation! ill gonna be there again!
June 29, 2009 | Unregistered Commenteramely
I came to Paris from Florida, USA and I discovered this hammam on internet. It was a fabulous moment of relaxation and the Staff is very warmfull and so nice. The hammamn and the massage are great and the mint tea is excellent.
July 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKathy
O'Kari was elegant and fairly priced, and they did a great, thorough, exfoliation, but I was disappointed by the rather cold (room temperature, definitely not HOT) temperature of the jacuzzi. It was my first spa in Paris, perhaps the thermes in the provinces are different?
December 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJacqueline
I'm pretty sure it's not supposed to be hot. The steam room is hot and the jacuzzi is for cooling off afterwards...in some hammams they're ice cold!
December 22, 2009 | Registered CommenterHeather Stimmler-Hall

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