About Secrets of Paris

Created in 1999, the Secrets of Paris is the oldest independent and locally-owned website about Paris in English, for both visitors and residents. Discover what you've been missing:

* Free Resource Guide
* Calendar of interesting Paris events 
* Monthly Secrets of Paris newsletter
* Secrets of Paris Tours & Travel Planning

Read more about the Secrets of Paris here

 

 

 

 

Calendar of Paris Events

November 5-13
The 41st annual Salon Marjolaine, the largest organic fair in Paris, takes place this week at the Parc Floral (Bois de Vincennes) with 550 stands selling everything organic you could imagine. There are also plenty of food stands for lunch onsite, a vestiaire, and a little shuttle from the metro Château de Vincennes to the entrance of the Parc Floral. Open 10:30am-7pm. Entry €10, but you can get a €3 discount voucher on the website to print out in advance. You can also see my article and video from my visit in 2010.  

Marchés de Noël - Christmas Markets are Here! 
Am I the only one who thinks it's wrong that the Christmas Market opens on the Champas-Elysées before Beaujolais Nouveau?  The two largest are opening mid-month this year.
- November 11-January 8 on the Avenue des Champs Elysées
- November 17-December 27 at the Esplanade de La Défense
Other Christmas Markets will be opening around Paris in December, see the full list (en françaishere.   

November 17 
Although it's rather low-key in France compared to the hype it gets in America, the annual Beaujolais Nouveau festival takes place in wine bars throughout Paris today. Read all about the history and the different varieties (good, bad, ugly) and where to celebrate in Paris in this excellent article by Aaron Ayscough, The Redemption of Beaujolais Nouveau (read the 2014 update here and his current on-location exploration of the Beaujolais region here). And for fun, here's a link to the little video I made at the Beaujolais dinner I attended in 2010 with Meg Zimbeck of Paris by Mouth and Bryan Pirolli.  

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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