(Not-so) secret green & glam spots in Paris to keep things light in the City of Lights.
Paris is known throughout the world for being synonymous with l’amour, so it’s no wonder that it’s also a wonderful place to indulge in self-love. From sumptuous spas to plant-based gourmet meals to moments of zen by the Seine, cocooning has never been so chic. Here’s your insider’s guide to self-care, au naturel.
Scents & The City: Plant-based aromatherapy at Le Crillon’s Sense Spa
This spot is part-Parisian historical monument, part-unofficial mod-fashion headquarters. The recently renovated Hôtel le Crillon boasts one of the best views of the city at the scenic Place de la Concorde. The real charm, though, lies in its indoor spa – a seductive sanctuary complete with a hammam, sauna and serene swimming pool. Don’t miss the Sisley Signature Treatment: A 2-hour skincare, makeup and fragrance experience developed exclusively for the Sense Spa. Finish up with an olfactory journey through Sisley’s fragrances, or participate in a yoga class with one of the city’s most in-demand private instructors, Nicole Marty.
Zen-en-Seine: Au revoir jetlag at the Mandarin Oriental
My experience at the Mandarin Oriental has never been less than perfect. From the best concierge staff and service in town (ask them anything; they’ll find it, do it, or make it happen for you) to Thierry Marx’s Michelin-starred-taste bud-transforming restaurants, it is an oasis of calm and chic in the heart of the central 1st arrondissement. While the rooms upstairs are cocoons of comfort, the downstairs spa is a place of true magic. Their Eastern-inspired treatments adapt to each guest’s individual needs and desires. Beyond treatments like the “Digital Wellness Escape” or “Paris Passion,” the “Jet Lag Comforter” is a popular choice among the hotel guests, designed specifically to treat the physical and mental stress associated with travel.
Shine Bright Like un Diamant: Upstairs at Tiffany’s
What’s American, a little bit French, sparkly, and every time you see it, brings immense joy to your heart? Thank you, I’m blushing, but I’m referring to Tiffany & Co. The Paris location in the Place Vendôme is filled with legendary diamonds and adorned with images of Audrey Hepburn who immortalized the jewelry in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Gaze longingly at the jewels in the upstairs lounge area – from Jean Schlumberger’s extraordinary creations to classic engagement rings to their most recent lifestyle and men’s collections. The Paris location also features exclusive items like Eiffel Tower charms, as well as diamond engagement ring consultations for those waiting to declare their amour in the most romantic city in le monde.
The Perfect Matcha: Teatime at Ogata Paris
In a city defined by its café culture, tea is often cast aside in Paris. At Ogata, however, it is sacred. This brand new unique spot is a true taste of Japan in the middle of Le Marais, centered around the five pillars of the Japanese art of living: tea, cuisine, craftsmanship, hospitality and culture. The four-story space features a downstairs tea shop, an upstairs tearoom, full-service restaurant, pastry shop, bar, and even an art gallery and craft shop. In the Sabo tea room, embark on a voyage of sipping and spirit with afternoon tea ceremonies or simply a perfectly brewed Matcha. Pair the experience with Wahashi, traditional desserts made with rice pastry and red or white bean paste. At Ogata Paris, the Art of Being meets the Art of Tea-ing.
Haute Vegetables: Lunch or dinner at Four Seasons’ Le George
Like its chef Simone Zanoni, the cuisine at Le George is a burst of Mediterranean freshness – always unpredictable, modern, and full of energy and color. The restaurant offers a full vegan (and gluten-free!) menu that changes with the seasons. Think: a viscous pumpkin soup, a truffle oil and yuzu-infused spinach salad, or a meaty eggplant millefeuille. Sustainability is also on the chef’s menu at Le George – from growing his own vegetables on a farm in Versailles to converting 80% of the food to compost that goes back to the garden to generate organic produce.Plus, with no dress code and an authentically friendly, warm staff, it’s a true comfort food experience from start to finish.
OM Away From Home: Yoga at Omm, Sputnik and Modo
Omm Studio: This lovely spot in the heart of le Marais (just a quick hop from the Places des Voges) is beautiful, clean, peaceful and incredibly unpretentious. Its spacious room located in the back of a long courtyard is a true haven of peace and relaxation where you can find some of the city’s best teachers and laid-back community of local yogis. Benoit Piernot has amassed a cult following for his meditative movements that are quite simply, true “yoga.” Alexander Avila’s classes are always dynamic and creative and will literally keep you on your toes.
Sputnik Yoga: Walk down a narrow street in the center of the bustling 2nd arrondissement and open the doors to an almost hidden yoga studio to embark on a worldly voyage to another planet. Board a “Rocket” (the name given to the signature class by Sputnik founder and yogini, Dasha Romanova) that is physically invigorating and mentally uplifting. Though drawing inspiration from Ashtanga, this class is a completely unique, healing and challenging experience that is accompanied by burning incense, calm music, and all around good vibes.
Modo Yoga: With classes all day, every day, this studio offers options for both the seasoned yogi and the beginner. While they do offer classes in a non-heated room, Modo’s mojo is hot yoga. Note: not Bikram yoga, but heated yoga at around 40°C and 40% humidity. The studio is spacious and clean, incredibly well-organized, and the friendly staff and studio community truly set it apart. Annsonia’s hot freestyle class will keep you smiling through the sweat. Antoine’s ebullient energy will make your heart burst with joy. Sasha’s effervescent personality and mind-body savoir-faire make for unforgettable experiences. Don’t miss the Friday night Modo Flow class with a live DJ!
The Place to Breathe: Breathwork with Susan Oubari
This American expat in Paris takes the phrase “just breathe” to a whole new level. Susan Oubari’s “Breathe in Paris” classes are a truly unique and transformative experience. She combines Reiki, breathwork, mindfulness and spiritual coaching into sessions or workshops that use a simple, yet powerful breathing technique to calm the body and mind: lying on the floor with two-stage Pranayama breathing through the mouth. Music and candles provide a backdrop for Susan’s vibrant energy and inspirational dialogue. The goal: to feel and release emotions, connect to your body, and feed off of the energy in the room. Warning: May cause intense physical or emotional release and a sense of peacefulness and ease that lasts. Results are noticeable after just one session and no preparation or experience is necessary – just an open mind.
In Good Hands: Massage and personal training with Jimmy Jarnet
This masseur and personal trainer has been named “Best Massage Therapist” in France and is the favorite of Parisian elite. His magical hands have been known to make any ache, pain or tension zone disappear. It’s not just a massage—it’s an unparalleled experience. A former nurse and podiatrist, Jimmy knows the human body like the back of his very strong hands. His philosophy can be summed up with the acronym WIN: “What I Need.” His treatments are guided by listening and intuition to achieve maximum relaxation of body and mind. This in-demand star of the Parisian wellness world is only available by appointment at some of the most très chic spots in the city, from Balmain to Sinner to the Akasha Spa at the Lutetita Hotel Paris.
Secret Garden: Produce from les Terroirs d’Avenir
The whole concept of “farm-to-table” is laughable in France, a country where eating seasonally and locally has always been the natural way of things and not a trend. While it would be unrealistic to live only “farm-to-table” in a bustling urban playground like Paris, Les Terroirs d’Avenir offers a more sustainable alternative for city dwellers looking for an as-close-to-farm-to-table-as-possible alternative. The produce is delivered daily by local farmers and mostly labeled “bio,” short for biologique (organic), and is always local, sustainable and high-quality. It’s the go-to provider for some of Paris’ best restaurants. The original location is on the rue du Nil in Montorgueil, but they also have two other locations in the 11th arrondissement.
Glow for It: Clean Beauty at Rose Cartel
Gloss’Up is hands down the best manicure spot in Paris, and now the team behind this beauty bar has opened a new wellness cocoon in le Marais on the rue de Picardie. Rose Cartel is 100% clean and offers facial and body treatments, lash and brow care, plus classic or gel manicures and pedicures with hot stones. Everything is tailor-made for each individual, since Rose Cartel’s approach is that it’s the “singularities of each woman that make them sublime and that naturalness is the beauty of tomorrow.” This means no injections, no controversial products – just completely clean, green beauty. Try the “Cocoon Mani,” a full detox for the nails complete with a floral bath, eco-friendly polish, exfoliating scrub and massage.
Oh, Naturel!: Natural beauty at Oh My Cream!
Oh my Cream! has always been a one-stop shop for all things natural beauty. They now also offer in-house treatments, ranging from simple manicure and pedicures to makeup, waxing, body treatments and beauty “coaching” sessions. These can take place either in store or in one’s own home bathroom. Their specialties are luxurious facial treatments using Tata Harper, Ren Skincare or Dermalogica products.
Bliss Out at Le Bristol: Le Spa by La Prairie
Le Spa Le Bristol by La Prairie is one of the most luxurious spots in the city to indulge the body, mind, skin and spirit. In addition to its vast menu of treatments, the spa also offers a wellness menu with unique experiences such as Reiki sessions, sophrology and meditation sessions. From Vermont to Paris, Tata Harper’s pioneering brand has invadedLe Spa Le Bristol by La Prairie with a completely green & glam space. The fresh and natural décor welcomes guests for a true moment of serenity and skin-rejuvenating treatment. Try the new Perfect Pore Face Care treatment, designed to be an organic detox juice cleanse for the skin.
For a Quick Escape: La Grée des Landes, La Gacilly
This eco-hotel and spa from French brand Yves Rocher is a one-of-a-kind experience. Each room comes with a private terasse, or you can opt for a deeper escape in botanical suites. Every detail is eco-friendly – from the organic cotton duvets tothe oak flooring. Go for a hike on the premises and stop to wave to the cows and horses. Make sure to book a treatment at the spa or in a private treehouse cabin. The signature “5 Plants Ritual” is divine, complete with an organic rice scrub, face mask and full body massage. Take a dip in one of two indoor pools or enjoy a traditional hammam. Les Jardins Sauvages is a true farm-to-table experience where tables overlook the on-grounds organic farm. The food is organic, local, and features several gluten-free, dairy-free and vegetarian options. Plus, La Grée des Landes supports “Plant for the People,” an initiative of the Yves Rocher Foundation that plants one tree for every night spent at the hotel. Good for you; good for the planet.
Rebecca Leffler is a Paris-based writer and journalist who, after a career as the French correspondent for The Hollywood Reporter and as a film critic on Canal+, traded red carpets for green smoothies. She’s written five books about healthy lifestyle from Paris to NYC and beyond, including Très Green, Très Clean, Très Chic: Eat (and Live!) the New French way with plant-based, gluten-free recipes for every season, and most recently Le Nouveau Manuel de la Cuisine Végétale. Rebecca has pioneered the “vegolution” in Paris, where she continues to organize events focusing on healthy eating, yoga and la vie en rose… And green! You can keep up with Rebecca on Instagram!