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U Spa Paris, Fouquet's Barriere (1st visit)

One Paris hotel spa that’s sure to please if it’s luxury you’re after is the U Spa at Fouquet's Barriere.

From the moment I walked into this hip hotel just steps off the Champs Elysees, I knew I’d come to the right place. The first thing you see you upon entering the beautiful spa space is the spacious pool. This is, in fact, the largest spa pool in Paris.

Next you notice the quiet elegance. The dark, rich woods and low lighting create the perfect effect, and the little portholes alongside the pool create the feeling that you could be on a luxury ocean liner. At the end of the large pool, gauzy curtains separate a sitting area where you can relax with tea, juice or water, read the paper or just close your eyes for a respite from the bustle that is fabulous Paris.

Beside this relaxation oasis is another smaller pool with cascading water jets that can return those aching neck and shoulder muscles back to their proper state.

After a few laps in the larger pool and then a nice long soak in the jet pool - where my aching neck was especially appreciative - I’m ready for my spa treatment. I’ve eagerly anticipating The Delectable Essence, which I desperately need after a hard day of sightseeing (the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower and more) plus shopping on the famous, tree-lined Champs Elysses.

My masseuse escorts me to the ultra quiet treatment room. I’m struck by how relaxing and the spa space is, and I admire again the dark hues as we pass by.

The treatment room is beautifully arranged with a bowl of rose petals under the massage table’s face cradle, and all the wonderful concoctions that await me atop the table. She starts me out with a medium pressure exfoliating scrub and then prepares me for the wrap. Once I’m cocooned, I think I actually nod off for a few minutes - the sign of an excellet treatment. But I do rouse for the finishing massage. Umm, heavenly.

What I find I especially to love about the treatment is the use of Terrake products. The product line is divided into face and body, and the spa manager generously gives me some samples to take back home to the States. I absolutely fall in love with them. The products are offered in four groupings - earth (terra magica), water (primordial waters), plant (luxuriant plant life) and air (of air and light).

I am instantly drawn to primordial waters for amazing face hydration. I learn that both the Serum Cream Ultra-Moisturizing and Skin Awakening Mask Ultra-Moisturizing have Antarctic marine extracts. Antarctic waters! No wonder I love it.

So, fully relaxed and hydrated, my skin glowing and my mind cleared of clutter, I’m ready to hit the town again, the wonderful City of Lights, this time for a night cruise on the River Seine. Ohh-la-la.

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