Paris Spas: The Perfect Getaway
Thu 23 Aug 2012
L’Echappée is a Paris spa tucked away in an unassuming residential building, but it provides an experience that’s anything but ordinary. The overall atmosphere is quiet and relaxed, like all Paris spas should be, with natural stone and tile covering most of the interior. My friend and I were greeted at the front door by friendly staff, who welcomed us and showed us to the locker room. While the ladies’ locker room is in need of a minor facelift, that was only a small glitch in the otherwise tranquil experience.
After my friend and I changed into our robes and sandals, I was taken downstairs for my Californian massage and my friend went a separate way for a facial. The downstairs consists of low, dark hallways with the stone interior giving the feeling of a cellar in a medieval castle—one with aromatherapy, adequate heating and calming music, that is. Off the hallway, lit perfectly with lanterns, are the treatment rooms, which have a similar atmosphere. I enjoyed 60 minutes of bliss, which were relaxing enough to send me into a snooze but too enjoyable to fall asleep completely. The masseuse as well as the facialist was completely professional and hospitable, adding to the comfortable atmosphere.
After my massage ended, I went upstairs and was greeted by my friend, who looked as calm and serene as I did, and a delicious, freshly squeezed orange juice. We quickly raved about the quality of our treatments, then headed off to relax and enjoy the spa facilities. These include a heated pool with a massive skylight, which gives guests the sense of being outside but with the comfort of the indoors. The spa also includes a yoga and Pilates studio, a hammam and a restaurant upstairs. The pool is surrounded by comfortable lounge chairs and magazines, while the pool itself is the absolute perfect temperature. Spending many moments of life shivering, terrified and purple at the ocean’s edge or a pool’s ledge, I feel fairly qualified to judge. To the side of the pool, the spa provides juices, teas, coffees and nuts for you to enjoy if you’re feeling hungry or need a pick-me-up after whichever incredibly relaxing treatment you choose.
Adjacent to the pool is the hammam, which consists of three rooms that are progressively hotter or colder depending on which route you take. The design of the hammam is straightforward and simple, as it needs little else. After relaxing by the pool, I triped the restaurant upstairs, where the natural atmosphere continued with simple, neutral tones and a modern look, adding to the organic feel of the rest of the spa. The restaurant has particular hours (listed on the spa’s website) but is usually the most happening for brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. It’s the perfect end to a relaxing day by the pool or the perfect start to a treatment in the beautiful rooms. Overall, this hidden spa is the perfect getaway from Paris for unwinding and treating yourself to a much deserved afternoon lounging by a picturesque pool.
L’Echappée Spa and Tea Salon
64, rue de la Folie Méricourt, in the 11th Arrondissement. 01 58 30 12 50.
Editor’s note: GG2P Travel Club members will enjoy 15 percent off every euro they spend at L’Echappée. Why not make a day of it—swim, have a massage and a facial and end with lunch at the spa’s darling restaurant?