Checking into the celebrated George V (Paris, France), I could hardly believe my good fortune. The last time I was in Paris, my accommodations were a bit more modest. Although I remember fondly my friend and I sharing a non-descript room in a youth hostel with an Italian guy named Gino, I was thankful my circumstances had improved. There to check out the hotel’s lavish spa, I couldn’t wait to get to work. Conjuring up romantic notions of unadulterated pampering, the Four Seasons Hotel George V Spa does not disappoint. Despite being located in the legendary hotel’s lower level, the spa never comes off as an afterthought like many spas that have been relegated to the basement. Instead, the classic Louis XVI décor and indoor pool surrounded by hand-painted frescoes of the gardens of Versailles invite guests to step back in time and lose themselves in the decadence of a bygone era. The menu also echoes that sentiment and pays tribute to the country’s storied past with a host of treatments inspired by Marie Antoinette’s beauty rituals and her favorite scent, orange blossoms. To get a taste of the royal treatment, opt for the spa’s most popular package, A Stroll Through Versailles, which features a steamed orange blossom body scrub, a warm shea butter massage, and an orange blossom facial. Fortunately, the outcome is infinitely happier than that which Marie ultimately got. I experienced the spa’s 24 Karat Treatment, which involved a four-handed exfoliation, a massage, and a facial using the precious metal and followed with a moisturizing hair treatment, a blow-dry, and a makeup application. The package, as an indulgent treat, proved to be a topnotch pampering experience, which is precisely the draw of this decidedly luxe Parisian retreat.
Highlights: I was especially taken with the post-treatment green tea wrapped in 24-karat gold leaves from the French teahouse Mariage Frères and the decadent homemade macaroons topped with gold.
Product Lines: Beauté Directe, Carita, Décleor, Essie, Leonor Greyl, Sebastian, Sodashi