At the Cheval Blanc Paris, a Dior Spa Offers a Multisensory Oasis for Body and Mind
La Samaritaine, a historic Parisian department store that towers over the banks of the Seine, spent the last 16 years undergoing an extensive renovation to its art deco building, first built in 1869 and reconstructed in 1930, and the surrounding neighborhood. It reemerged last month as a contemporary campus for top-tier French food, shopping, and culture, anchored by the five-star Cheval Blanc Paris hotel. Inside, the Dior Spa Cheval Blanc—a collaboration between the hotel chain and the French fashion house—promises “happiness in the heart of Paris,” a tall order somehow made attainable through its distinctive blend of wellness treatments and considered design, the latter created by architect Peter Marino. The spa’s director, Sophie Levy Kraemer, and her team spent five years developing a robust array of remedies that combine manual procedures, state-of-the-art technology, and Dior skin-care products. She also worked closely with Marino on the interior, including its textures, colors, furniture, and fixtures. The result is a one-of-a-kind multisensory retreat for the body and mind.
Guests enter by descending a winding limestone staircase lined with woven silver-thread panels, and onto a landing that faces a mosaic-tiled pool that spans nearly 100 feet—the largest in any hotel in town. Natural materials such as oak and leather inform the beige palette of the waiting room, which has the cozy appeal of an elegant Parisian apartment. Procedures take place in one of six spaces, each inspired by a different trait of Dior’s founder, Christian Dior. On a wall in the Mitzah suite, for example, hand-laminated partridge feathers reference an iconic leopard-print outfit worn by the fashion designer’s muse, Mitzah Bricard, while the Sauvage suite, alluding to Dior’s reverence for nature and the architect of La Samaritaine’s 1930 renovation, Henri Sauvage, features a heated, custom-made massage bed lined with alpha-quartz crystals.
A similar sense of tranquil refinement runs through the 48 treatments on offer. Performed by Dior beauty ambassadors (who are trained, as a statement by the spa describes, “by touch, to feel the energy circulating through every tissue”), each technique is a tactile conversation with the body. Guests might opt for the Radiance Detox, involving a thermo-heating mask that eliminates impurities and boosts circulation, or the Precious Energy massage, which uses a series of hot stones—labradorite for grounding and protection, yellow quartz for balance, agate for harmony, and rock crystal for detoxification—to bring out positive energy.
The spa also provides ways to bring its calming experiences home. It’s the only retailer of Dior’s delicately floral Cheval Blanc perfume, created specifically for the space by the house’s nose, François Demachy, as well as a line of Bains de Visage purifying face mists, nodding to the public baths that once occupied a boat anchored on the Seine in front of the building. To incorporate the treatments into your daily beauty regimen, there’s Solutions Professionnelles, a collection of high-performance skin-care products developed by Dior specifically for the spa. We suggest picking up the line’s matrix-firming bioserum, silky peeling lotion, or creamy repairing complex before departing from this heavenly sanctuary.