Our selection of Provence's best spas
Fancy treating yourself to a relaxing break? Provence is home to some lovely spas dedicated to well-being and relaxation. Discover L'Occitane's best venues to savour a few hours of joy in these havens of peace.
By Mélissa Darré
LE COUVENT DES MINIMES
The setting: A stone's throw away from the charming village of Forcalquier, this former convent has been converted into an exceptional hotel boasting medieval architecture with some delightfully modern touches. A unique setting, with a traditional garden filled with olive trees, lavender bushes and cypress trees.
The venue: Opened in June 2008, the only 5-star destination in Alpes-de-Haute-Provence is a temple to well-being, with all the benefits of Mediterranean nature for the ultimate spa experience. Designer furniture, natural colours and exquisite materials come together in this spa bathed in soft light that creates the perfect atmosphere for some peace and quiet.
The icing on the cake: The signature treatment, "Chaud-Froid Verveine-Citron". Body and mind come together during 1 1/2 hours of pure pleasure, as you enjoy a hot scrub with Camargue salts, a refreshing shower and a relaxing massage, not forgetting plenty of essential oils and fragrant creams.
© Couvent des Minimes - Virginie Garnier
LE MOULIN DE VERNÈGUES
The setting: Surrounded by vines and olive trees, this 17th century windmill boasts all the charm of the old with the wood, steel and glass of the new. A hamlet that has recently been redesigned in the Scandinavian style of French interior designer and actress Valérie Stroh, half-way between Avignon and Aix-en-Provence.
The venue: Nestled in converted farm buildings, the spa at this Provençal gem invites you to enjoy an unusual wellbeing experience. In the cool shade of its exposed stone vaults, six treatment rooms pay sensory tribute to southern beauty rituals. Soothing lavender, nourishing Shea butter or regenerating Immortelle, the choice is yours!
The icing on the cake: The signature treatment, "La Ronde des Mains Provençale". Give in to complete relaxation in the capable hands of two experts taking it in turns to give you a slow, deep-tissue massage experience. The whole ritual is enhanced by the use of relaxing essential oils. A real indulgence.
LE CHÂTEAU DE VALMER
The setting: Nestled in a tree-filled park lulled by the soothing sound of cicadas, this period farmhousehas all the charm of an impressive country home . In the outskirts of Saint-Tropez, its stylish décor in Provençal colours is a subtle link between the venue's heritage and its modern character.
The venue: The ultimate ode to relaxation, the spa at this former wine estate boasts a welcoming, sophisticated setting overlooking the château's gorgeous park. The welcoming atmosphere is totally conducive to a relaxing experience after some surprisingly sensory treatments.
The icing on the cake: The signature treatment, "La Pinède Plage". This invigorating massage uses pine essential oils to reawaken all your senses. A clever combination of Swedish, Balinese and Lomi Lomi techniques for ultimate fulfilment.