Is there such a thing as a French legitimacy and vision of the spa? 

It’s a legitimate question to ask. France has so many talents and creators. So yes, France is legitimate for creating its own vision of the spa, even if it is at the origin of this concept. France has the capacity to reinterpret the spa and write a new history, especially in luxury hotels. To this, we must add the French attitude of elegance, smiling, refinement, authenticity of space, and the quality of the products used.

For this, we should not be looking to try what’s being done elsewhere but rather start from a white space on the base of our history, our culture, and our values for recreating the universe of the spa. Many hotels have sought to adopt Asian concepts by integrating them as is in their hotels, and yet this lacks an authenticity to such a degree that sometimes the client no longer has the impression of being in the hotel that he has chosen. While it is good to create a distinct space within one’s hotel, it is also good to keep a certain harmony with the hotel and this, of course, on the same level as the service.

French gastronomy is made up of many rituals. Some are transposable to the world of the spa. What surprises me is that far too many times in some spas, during a massage, for instance, you are asked to lay down as soon as you enter the treatment center. You almost never see the preparation of the ritual. Depending on the nature and the composition, we could imagine seeing more of the preparation, or at least the finalization of the preparation, to show all the importance devoted to the products. In my opinion, this can do no more than further delight the clients. This cannot work if it is just a question of opening a bottle and pouring massage oil. There, too, the process must be reinvented. There is so much to do…I would be happy to advise a brand to guide it in its conception of a new service offering in this direction.

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The Spa at the Plaza Athénée


Cover photo: Valmont Spa at Le Meurice


About Laurent Delporte 

Inspired by the service experience of luxury hotels, Laurent Delporte, expert in luxury hotels and the French art of welcoming, unearths the latest trends and consults on hotel projects while delivering the best of what is done. His insatiable curiosity, transversal perspective, and keen eye for luxury hotels, as well as his network of experts, investors, hotel managers, and talents, remain his strongest assets. In partnership with the architecture agency AW2, he designed for the Equip’Hotel salon the hotel room of the future.


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