By Paige Donner
There is one spa that was voted The Best Spa In The World by Condé Nast readers in 2010. That spa is in France's Bordeaux region and sits serenely in the middle of a vast and prestigious AOC Graves vineyard. The spa? It is Caudalie Vinothérapie Spa.
Photo by Paige Donner c. 2011
On her parents' vineyard and just next to her sister's Small Luxury Hotel, Les Sources de Caudalie, in Bordeaux, Mathilde Thomas discovered a naturally occurring hot springs 540 feet below ground. This is the site on which she and her husband, Bertrand, built the signature Caudalie Spa based on the anti-oxidant, ant-aging properties they have patented from the seeds and skins of grapes.
Caudalie Vinotherapie beauty products are used exclusively at this idyllic spa in the Bordeaux countryside, in a vast wooden structure planted next to a pond with swans and indoor-outdoor swimming pools. Treatment rooms are both upstairs and downstairs and it is possible to walk from your hotel room in your robe to your spa treatment in the Caudalie Vinotherapie Spa with only a few feet of exposure to the outside air.
Famous among their treatments are the Barrel Bath, the Honey and Wine Wrap, thePulp Friction Massage with fresh grapes and the Crushed Cabernet Scrub. At each of the relaxation stations are small dishes of fresh grapes alongside pitchers of fresh water. Portishead and other "lounge" music is piped in overhead from the sound system, unless you request classical or another genre.
You can also go for a simple Caudalie Grand Facial Treatment. This includes a full facial massage, gentle buffing cream made from a base of crushed grape seeds, a moisturizing (or purifying, as needed) mask and anti-ageing serum for eyes and lips. You also have the choice of a hand or foot massage. Afterwards you are welcome to linger downstairs in the lounge chairs that overlook the vineyards and dip into the pool that has strategic water jets fitted at just the perfect height to pulsate relaxing water onto your neck and shoulders.
There is also now a Caudalie Spa in NYC. Read More on Greening Beauty.