By Paige Donner
Paris Rooftop Honey Facial. What does that say to you? Savor those words for a moment. Visualize. Do you see yourself ensconced in a plush white robe, reclining on a spa lounge bed on a Paris rooftop while a holistic practitioner dips her hands into fresh batches of honey and then slathers it on your face in a modern, urbanized beauty ritual a la francaise?
Nice, but when it’s December and snowing outside, not too practical.
Now let me paint you another picture, one that reflects the true and unimagined beauty experience that Six Senses Spa on rue Castiglione, Paris 1st has awaiting you: A couple of blocks down from the bejeweled Place Vendôme and a few up from the gorgeous Tuileries gardens, you will come upon the door of the Six Senses Spa. The first thing that strikes you as you ring their bell will be the vertical planted “Living Garden” wall that hugs the polished wooden stairway leading down to the spa treatment area.
Living walls have become popular indoor and outdoor urban features and not just in Paris. The Quai Branly Museum boasts a vertical living garden plant wall on its exterior, and the Six Senses Spa boasts a living wall on its interior. You are immediately sealed off from the brouhaha of the busy Parisian street as the glass door is opened by remote pushbutton and you are welcomed into the warm and inviting sensorial spa waiting for you at the foot of the stairs.
The Living Wall is an important statement for Six Senses and goes well beyond a simple design choice. The entire philosophy of Six Senses spas is: SLOW LIFE. Sustainable Local Organic Wholesome. SLOW. Learning Inspiring Fun Experience. LIFE. The husband and wife team who created Six Senses, Eva and Sonu Shivdasani, have embraced their service mantra, “Atithi Deva Bhava.” It means “Guest is God” in Sanskrit and they have scented their entire operation with that philosophy.
Hence, the Living Wall that is the first visual to greet you upon entry at rue Castiglione, Paris was chosen with the mindfulness that nature receives you into this oasis of wellbeing and healing. The Vertical Garden helps eliminate CO2 emissions and other toxic elements as well as being a refuge for biodiversity. On a subliminal level, the wall instantly signals to you that you are now in nature’s care and that more than just your physical beauty will be looked after.
The next visual that permeates your senses and immerses you in the spa’s philosophy of “balancing senses” are the cocoons that Parisian architect Pierre David designed for the smallest of all the Six Senses spas. The cocoons are made from hand-shaped light oak wood and are lined inside, like a Japanese lantern, by back-lit paper. There are four single treatment cocoons and two for couples. There is no more ideal setting to receive a Paris Rooftop Honey Facial than inside one of these terrestrial cocoons.
Designed as a “de-ageing” facial, the spa practitioners of Six Senses thoughtfully chose to reach out to the association, “l’Abeille du Grand Paris,” which translates as the “Bee of Greater Paris.” Wholly embracing a mindset of “the energy of local produce contributes to my well being,” Six Senses sources its honey from this association, which has worked for the past 10 years to install and maintain bee hives on the roofs of many private and public buildings in Paris. This is to counteract the disappearance of the bees and to promote biodiversity. The Paris Rooftop Honey is purer than that culled from the countryside because of its lack of pesticides and it’s also found by many to be more flavorful because of the varied plants in Paris.
Once your treatment is finished, your gracious therapist will gently cover your feet with the slippers you are given at the same time as your robe when you prepare for your treatment. At Six Senses, Paris, the staff readily tells you how proud they are to work for a company whose management philosophy is respect for the employee and who supports a sustainable way of life for those who work for them.
The slippers, too, are significant and not just simply a delightfully pampering detail. They are made from TENCEL®, a fiber pioneered in France. It is made from the wood pulp of eucalyptus farms that practice sustainable harvesting. TENCEL® is 100% biodegradable and disposable so use of it allows the spa to avoid using vast amounts of water and chemical detergents that most spas use for their laundry needs. The fiber itself produces ten times more fabric than the same weight of traditional cotton harvested.
The spa’s menu is full of tempting choices. They offer a Jet Lag facial and other specialized treatments. This spa is a Green Globe Spa that is most definitely a luxurious, urban sanctuary.
Tél: 01 4316 1010
3, Rue de Castiglione, Paris 1st