Secluded spa hideaway

PENNY McCORMICK jet-sets into The Spa at Chateau de la Messadiere, St Tropez and re-discovers her natural look thanks to a lavender inspired facialů

Images L to R: courtesy The Spa at Chateau de la Messadiere, St Tropez

‘Luxe, calme et volupte’ – or luxury, tranquility and voluptuousness – is a much quoted maxim and could be used to describe the imposing hotel that is the Chateau de la Messadiere in St Tropez. Perched on a hillside with fabulous views and surrounded by carefully manicured gardens, the hotel offers luxury, peace and beauty for international travellers and jet-set visitors to St Tropez. No wonder. The hotel provides the sort of discreet service and intuitive details those accustomed to five star properties and a luxury lifestyle crave. And the spa is no different.

As an integral part of the hotel, there is a sense of space and airiness which is immediately relaxing. (Many spas, I find, can create a sense of claustrophobia). Here the spa is surrounded by an extensive gym and pool area. Throughout the hotel there are regular art installations as well as beautifully designed stained-glass windows and features, giving a special dimension to the hotel.

Designed in stone with mosaic tiling, and in shades of olive greens and terracotta, the atmosphere at the spa is relaxing and the service is efficient. On offer in exclusivity are treatments by La Prairie and Cinq Mondes – the latter celebrating a decade of success with products which smell as good as they feel.

There are several signature treatments at the Spa du Chateau. I opted for La Prairie en Provence, specially created for the spa and marrying the idea of the medicinal effects of lavender with the excellence of La Prairie products.

Coming early for the treatment, I was able to make full use of the hammam and steam area before my facial. The treatment room deserves a mention – twice the size of any normal spa room which further alleviates tension and stress. Lavender candles were burning and the facial began.

While the usual elements one expects were there, the facial is different as it is customised to suit the needs of the client and the products used are selected accordingly. One element I requested was a thorough cleanse of my pores before the signature facial massage which comprises much of the treatment.

The cleansing and refining part was thorough and the ‘gommage’ comprises AHAs and sea proteins to re-texturise and renew the surface of the skin. The massage uses lavender oil specially formulated for this unique treatment and gives a great sense of wellbeing as it comprises neck, shoulders, face and head. This of course, is the special Provencal ingredient to the signature treatment.

Once the masque is applied – over gauze and with a specially fitted mask to keep its shape (hard to describe, but works a charm!), an arm and hand massage is given. It’s a cold masque which is very refreshing and once removed and the skin further cleansed, the facial is finished off with an application of the Cellular Power Infusion serum, to smooth lines and restore luminosity. I guess it worked. Later that evening I went out and decided not to apply full make up – my cleansed skin was enough.

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