You can go to Paris for a lot of things – romance, art, fashion (darling), crème brûlées – but let’s face it, unless you’ve got the Tour de France on your wish list, fitness doesn’t rank as high priority when you’ve got the Champs-Élysées in your eyes. “The French don’t do anything besides smoking and making love,” as one Parisian native (our very own cover girl) Marie Piovesen so smugly put it. Au contraire mon ami, the times they are changing. Out with the greenhouse gases, in with a health revolution that starts with a bio-bagel from Bob’s Kitchen on Rue des Gravilliers and ends in the Mandarin Oriental’s 24-hour fitness centre and herbal steam room.
A rare find hidden just off all the action on Rue Saint-Honoré, a neighbourhood Chanel headquarters also calls home. Here is where pleasure seekers unite in a boutique habitat of five-star plush with some serious women’s business going on beneath the surface. The hotel’s very own spa and fitness club is a beauty secret you only come by in the little black books of Lagerfeld’s clique (or on our digital travel insider: Kiwi Collection). Forget patisserie sweet décor, we prefer to do laps under this pomegranate glow (très Verner Panton). If there ever was a time to make use of your fuzzy Cèline pool slides, it would be here, between the swan dives, hammam sweats and treatments by Carita Paris - with names like Peau de Satin and Révélation de soie (you don’t need to speak the language to know these feel good) – this is rejuvenation central against the backdrop of Paris.
MANDARIN ORIENTAL PARIS
Just one look at this exquisite piece of architecture and it’s enough to speed up the heartbeats. This is the crème de la crème of temporary living where anyone who is anyone elects to stay. Come fashion week, this is where you want to be and not just to catch a glimpse of Rihanna in the lift. If you’re in the mood to escape from the world and re-align your body to a natural rhythm, don’t look back once entering the doors of the most grandiose spa in Paris. Let’s begin at the health-focused menu that tempts not with the chocolate croissant. Rise and shine with your daily fix of the fitness breakfast, which includes fresh juices and low-fat, gluten-free and spelt plate options. Round the clock room service also gets the healthy nutter tick of approval so once you have sweated it out with some of the city’s best personal trainers (take your fitness pick of pilates to cross training and beyond in the state-of-the art wellness centre) you can reload guilt-free. Slow it down at the spa with a tailor-made treatment just for you, which combines traditional Chinese techniques – stress less oriental bamboo massage or harmonise your meridians with scents of warming ginger, mandarin and frankincense all over. East meets West indulgence du jour.