These palaces of pampering, born of a desire to offer relaxation and well-being expertise in a single space, whisk your senses away on a rejuvenating journey. Experience innovative treatments and leading-edge facilities as you release, refresh, and recharge.
1. On the waterfront with mountain views at Auberge du Père Bise, Haute-Savoie
On the shores of Lake Annecy, solicitously encircled by mountains, the Auberge du Père Bise is a peaceful, down-to-earth place where relaxation reigns supreme. This lovely property, now run by Chef Jean Sulpice and his wife, Magali, is a cornerstone of France’s rich gastronomic heritage and is rendered more exquisite still by the splendid natural surroundings, an inexhaustible source of inspiration for the chef’s creative gourmet cuisine. The brand-new spa adds even greater appeal, with elegant shapes and raw materials showcasing this nature with warmth and simplicity. Deeply relaxing massages and natural treatments, formulated and perfected in the French Alps, redefine the very essence of well-being and beauty, while the sauna, hammam, and whirlpool prolong the enchantment of your senses as you contemplate the scintillating waters of the lake.
2. A breath of fresh air at the Relais Bernard Loiseau, Burgundy
Bernard Loiseau was a multi award-winning three-star chef, whose legacy is being continued by Patrick Bertron in the kitchens. While the restaurant is a prime attraction in the area, it’s not the only reason to stay at the five-star Relais. Bordering the Morvan Forest, the hotel is characterized by the surrounding wilderness. Guest rooms look out onto a leafy garden, home to a variety of birds, which is the pride and joy of owner Dominique Loiseau. In 2018, she unveiled a 1500m2 four-story spa, taking the hotel up a notch in the hospitality game. It comes with a multitude of pools, steam baths, water bikes, ten treatments rooms, a sea-breeze cabin and even its own restaurant combining health and pleasure run by the new chef Virginie Jacquet. But the standout feature has to be the VIP spa-suite with its own balneotherapy bath and hammam for a weekend of complete relaxation.
3. Dare to dream at Prés d'Eugénie - Maison Guérard, Landes
This small luxury hotel in the countryside is a family establishment, a romantic haven offering a feast for the senses. Here you will rediscover the true meaning of bliss as you pamper your body while freeing your soul to indulge in tranquil contemplation. Tucked away on the edges of the Landes and Béarn regions, the surroundings are ideal, the gardens simply magical, the accommodations aristocratic – and the cuisine crafted by Michel Guérard a symphonic score seasoned with celestial intonations. The idyllic La Ferme Thermale spa, embraced by greenery within this former 18th-century farm, shelters two thermal springs that both sooth and cleanse. When combined with medicinal plants, they constitute excellent holistic therapies. Each week this fall, the Maison is celebrating the union of well-being and culture. Explore a variety of enlightening, enriching themes: a master class on painting and artworks, the secrets of gilding wood, the benefits of Chinese medicine, meditation, and yoga.
4. Where action meets relaxation, Hôtel & Spa du Castellet, Var
Set back from the bustling Riviera, flanking a forest of pine trees and planted with fragrant lavender and slender cypress trees, Hotel & Spa du Castellet, with its powdery terracotta stone villas is a must in the region and the perfect picture of Provence elegance. Guests looking for respite among the sun-drenched hills of rolling vineyards, will find it all right here because not only does it offer three-star dining by chef Christophe Bacquié, but it also comes with a superb 700m2 spa with a pool, sauna, steam rooms and top-notch treatments. Focused on innovation, its high-tech equipment allows for precise analysis of your skin and promises an unprecedented avant-garde experience. In fact, Hotel & Spa du Castellet snapped up the award for best spa in 2018. The hotel also has its own six-hole golf course, is located just nine miles from the sleepy stone village of Castellet, and is next door to a Formula 1 racing track, so a weekend here can be as relaxed or active as guests choose.
5. A taste of bewitching Provence at the Château de Berne, Provence
Slotted in amongst achingly pretty surroundings of forests and vineyards, the Chateau de Berne is a French countryside fairytale an hour’s drive from Cannes. Think rays of sunshine falling through cloudless blue skies, warming the cluster of 18-century stone houses, white parasols lining the infinity pool that affords vistas of the Provence landscape, and we haven’t even started on the Michelin-star dining or the 800m2 spa. A wellness haven with a pool lined by more of those incredible views and spirals of leafy grapevines clinging to the railings, the spa is smart and comes with Jacuzzis, a steam room, a sauna and a relaxation room with a large choice of herbal teas. It also offers gorgeous smelling Cinq Mondes treatments inspired by ancient traditions around the world. To go even further in the well-being experience, 3 energy signature massage treatments have been developed, designed to relieve pain and find balance and mental and physical well-being.
6. A retreat for nature lovers at the Chateau de Riell, Languedoc-Rousillon
An 1860 ivy-adorned baroque folly of a hotel that certainly stands out from the rest, the Chateau de Riell is blessed with some of the most incredible views of the Pyenean peaks and its surrounding southern French forest that runs as far as the eye can see. Inside its slate grey brick exterior, rooms are a mix of rustic chic with period details like Victorian portraits and toile de jouy wallpaper. A retreat for nature lovers, time here, ticks to the pace of nature and relaxation. The hotel is perched above thermal spa town Molitg-les-Bains, where locals bathe in plankton-rich waters, and guests can make the short trip from the hotel in between sessions at the hotel’s Roman spa, offering 1,500m2 of wellness, including an indoor thermal pool that curves through the impenetrable French Catalonian forest. This exquisite environment is resolutely oriented towards detox retreats including: naturalist hikes, Sylvo Yoga (yoga under the trees), Yoga Nidra (sleep yoga), meditation in the mountains.
7. Off-the-beaten-track Brittany at the Domaine de Rochevilaine
Set atop the rocks of the Pointe de Pen Lan, the Domaine de Rochevilaine looks out over the waves and its nearly 1,000 feet of private seafront. The hotel is located well off the beaten path, embraced by the Gulf of Morbihan, yet is just 20 minutes from Vannes. With genuine Breton spirit and ever-changing sea views, it is the perfect place to refresh and recharge, inside and out. The quiet, cozy rooms boast panoramic views of the ocean, as does the gourmet restaurant. Here, the Breton terroir is unabashedly celebrated, with cuisine honoring both surf and turf and a famed four-course lobster menu. The spa pays homage to the Phoenicians, who pursued the sun along the Tin Road in Brittany, through exclusive treatments and entirely renovated décor. The indoor pool, hot tub, and treatment rooms with ocean views ensure moments of lasting serenity.
8. Secluded beachside chic at the Grand Hotel Cala Rossa, Corsica
The Grand Hôtel de Cala Rossa, set on a lush private peninsula in a peaceful cove of the Gulf of Porto-Vecchio, has already traversed four decades as an exquisite family establishment. Dining pleasure is, naturally, part of the guest experience here, with light gourmet cuisine crafted from the finest local ingredients, including the treasures to be found in the family vegetable gardens. The rooms and suites have all been redecorated in seaside chic, subtly blending touches of the past with hints of contemporary cachet. The creation of the Nucca brand of “homemade” natural cosmetics, derived primarily from endemic Corsican plants, gives the spa even greater appeal. Let your senses explore the Corsican maquis as you enjoy comprehensive pampering, for a decidedly different kind of well-being.
9. At one with nature at the Hostellerie La Cheneaudière, Alsace
Travelers seeking refined pampering while in the arms of Mother Nature will be gratified with a stay at this hotel, on the edge of Alsace and the Vosges, in a peaceful village between Strasbourg and Colmar. Greenery, wood, and stone are everywhere in the décor, each space feeling like an extension of the surrounding forest. Far from the hubbub of the cities, time spent here feels more like a getaway to a friend’s house in the countryside than a stay in a five-star hotel. Guests can relax in the peaceful atmosphere of the rooms and suites and indulge in the chic yet down-to-earth restaurant. In between, they can experience a “nature spa” spanning 27,000 square feet, looking out onto the natural surroundings and the peaks of the Vosges mountains, snow-capped in winter. Arranged over four floors, this spa is flooded with natural light and designed for the happiness of body and soul, with no fewer than five saunas, four swimming pools (two of them outdoors), and an incomparable floatarium.
10. A relaxing break in the middle of lavender fields at the Couvent des Minimes, Alpes de Haute-Provence
France has a great many legendary hotels, and the Couvent des Minimes is one of them. Close to a handful of picturesque villages, a stay here guarantees a taste of that enviable Provençal way of life. Combining local medieval architecture (some of its buildings date back to 1613) and contemporary tastes, the Couvent sits in sun-drenched terraced gardens that are over a century old. A former convent that was inhabited by nuns until the late nineties, the hotel is now a hotel brimming with soul and that offers the whole package for unwinding, from spectacular surroundings to a cutting edge L’Occitane spa. In the three single and two double cabins, a full range of body and facial treatments are proposed, from relaxing massages with lavender and citrus oils to almond cocoon wrap, ayurvedic massage and anti-aging facials. Targeted treatments to be enjoyed alone or in duo to appreciate the therapists' skillful protocols that appeal all the senses. The spa's heated relaxation pool, an extension of the outdoor pool, offers views of the iconic vineyards and cypress trees out in the gardens.