To be pampered in the City of Light must be among the most decadent and indulgent activities imaginable. With that in mind, author Kim Horton Levesque assembled a list of the best spas and manicure, perfume and makeup boutiques in Paris for women and men. Some are in luxurious hotels, others in more humble settings. But no matter the location, all have this in common, according to Levesque: “Each place provides extraordinary service from true professionals.” And for anyone who might be intimidated about visiting a spa in Paris, Levesque says not to worry. All the places that she has chosen welcome visitors from abroad “whether or not they are fluent in French or familiar with European practices.” In addition to the traditional French treatments, some boutiques offer therapies from the Thai, Chinese and Indian traditions as well as such modern treatments as chromotherapy, an alternative therapy that uses color and light “to balance a person’s energy.” Levesque also explains the cultural nuances of spa etiquette in France (most spas, for example, include a light chest massage) and includes a glossary of terms that she hopes will help clarify differences in French spa and salon terminology while listing the best products from French pharmacies. No time for the full spa treatment? No bother. She concludes this lovely guide with a description of the “well-being” services available at both of Paris’ two major airports.
June Sawyers, Chicago Tribune