From Our Archive
This story was published before Summer 2021, when we launched our new digital experience.

Sun, Sea, and Saunas

Thanks to three new hotel spas, the Côte d’Azur is fast proving that “farniente” can rhyme with facials.

How to Shop Vintage


How to Shop Vintage

“Euphoria” costume designer Heidi Bivens talks retro hunting.

Design as Destiny


Design as Destiny

Jean Servais Somian turned to art in times of hardship — and now he’s thriving.

Perfectly Packed


Perfectly Packed

Troubadour’s Embark Duffle is the unintentional diaper bag of your dreams.

1. Four Seasons Resort Provence

Housed in an Italianate, ocher-colored villa in the hills near Nice, the mammoth spa at the Fours Seasons Resort Provence is a destination in itself. The large black-bottomed pool is lined with majestic pillars and the antique-thermal-bath feel is heightened in the wet area, where the sauna and steam room are complemented by a laconium, which keeps a milder atmosphere. The Infusion café serves light snacks and teas with healing virtues, such as basil to revitalize and lemon thyme to detoxify. In addition to 12 treatment rooms are two VIP suites with their own saunas and hammams.

Of the 60-some treatments, the most luxurious is the Provençal Escape ($350), a nearly two-hour-long succession of scrub, wrap, and massage that draws on local ingredients. A blend of Camargue sea salt, crushed lavender buds, and Provençal olive oil is used for exfoliating, while the moisturizing wrap is of clay, aloe vera, and white-heather honey. 33-49/439-9000;

2. Hotel Byblos

It is hard to believe that until last summer, St.-Tropez’s iconic Byblos hotel lacked a spa on par with its top-notch service and jet-set clientele. But the wait proved worth it, since the resulting Sisley spa—the world’s first—is beautiful and intimate, with indulgent treatments bound to please finicky Byblos regulars.

The outdoor relaxation patio, with its soothing trickle of water and sixties ceramic-tile floor, is a winning mix of Orient and Riviera. On the list of services are emblematic skincare picks as well as distinctive facials and massages geared toward the St.-Tropez crowd. The after-sun repair facial ($265) is a must following a day at Club 55, the private beach spot for Byblos guests. The St.-Tropez Sunset massage ($205) is a restorative body treatment designed to calm sun-damaged skin. Although the pressure of the massage is purposely milder than in the spa’s others, it includes the same memorable shiatsu, Thai, and Californian techniques. 33-49/456-6812;

3. Château de Valmer

The spa at Château de Valmer is the perfect mix of sleekness and Provençal comfort. The sunny and airy main room has deep white sofas, bright-orange Louis chairs, white lilies overflowing tall vases, and carafes filled with cold verbena. The floor-to-ceiling windows of the lower level enclose a large pool and six treatment rooms. Carita and Cinq Mondes products are used in a variety of face and body treatments.

Here, as at the Carita flagship on Rue Faubourg St.-Honoré in Paris, the skincare company’s world-renowned antiaging Rénovateur facial ($235) features a gentle but very effective roasted sunflower–seed scrub, a sculpting massage, and a variety of masks and serums applied according to skin type. It’s ideal when done in tandem with an exotic Cinq Mondes "body ritual" ($145): a Thai-inspired Balinese massage consisting of long strokes and soft stretches (finger- and toe-pull included). 33-49/455-1515;


Let’s Keep in Touch

Subscribe to our newsletter

You’re no longer on our newsletter list, but you can resubscribe anytime.