Monday, March 18, 2013
Living Social: Spa Package at Aquamoon Vendôme
There's no doubt about it. Paris is an expensive city. Spend 11 euros for a ticket to the Louvre, 5 euros on a cappuccino and 38 euros for a 3-course dinner at the local brasserie and your hard-earned cash is gone in the blink of an eye. Fortunately, there are also ways to save money if you plan in advance. One of them is to subscribe to Living Social Paris, a deal-of-the-day website that features discounted gift certificates. After my daughter introduced me to the company in December, I've purchased a five-course meal at Guy Savoy's Les Bouquinistes for 59 euros per person, a three-hour spa package at Aquamoon Vendôme for 99 euros and a two-hour wine tasting class for two for 39 euros. As I redeem my vouchers, I'll review the experiences so that you can decide if Living Social is right for you.
Determining which gift certificate to use first was easy. The gloomy Parisian sky quickly convinced me that I needed a break, a mini-retreat from rain, umbrellas and frozen fingers. I picked up the phone last Sunday afternoon, dialed the number for Aquamoon Vendôme and scheduled an appointment for a massage at 5:30 pm the following day. The receptionist suggested that I bring a swimsuit and arrive at the spa two hours prior to my treatment so that I could make full use of their facilities. To confirm the appointment, she sent an email within minutes of our conversation. So far, so good.
Conveniently located next to the historic Ritz Hotel, which is currently closed for a complete renovation, Aquamoon Vendôme is an oasis of well-being in the center of Paris. As I entered the courtyard of the elegant mansion, the sounds of the city miraculously disappeared. When the receptionist offered me a cup of herbal tea with some drops of Bach Elixir and a hot towel to cleanse my hands before asking me to complete a brief questionnaire, I felt the tight knots in my shoulders start to relax.
For the next two hours, I stretched my body in the heated pool inspired by Roman baths, came close to falling asleep in the hammam, took a peek inside the sauna and rehydrated myself with more herbal tea while reposing in the relaxation room. Most remarkably, I only encountered one other guest the entire time that I was there. What a welcome change from being cheek-to-cheek with the other passengers on the metro and rubbing elbows with strangers in cozy cafes. It felt as if I was alone in paradise.
Just as I started to drop off to sleep while resting on the daybed, my massage therapist roused me from my reverie and escorted me to one of the 12 treatment rooms. For the next 60 minutes, Sandra's skilled hands kneaded my muscles and worked out all of the remaining knots of tension in my body. By the time that she lightly touched my shoulder to tell me that the session was finished, I felt recharged and ready to face the world again.
Rating of this Living Social Offer: The entire experience from start to finish was a breeze. I didn't have any problem making an appointment at the time that I wished to visit the spa and the 99 euros voucher, which included use of the pool/hammam/sauna for 120 minutes and a 60 minute massage, was very good value for the money.
If you purchase a voucher from Living Social to use while you're in Paris on vacation, be sure to check the expiration date of the deal.
[Edit] After publishing this post earlier today, I discovered that Vogue France included Aquamoon Vendôme in their new list of the eight most beautiful Parisian spas. Click here to read their review.
19 Place Vendôme