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,email@example.com) 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.