Why am I recommending the top 4 spas in Annecy, France, my adopted hometown? About a decade ago in my 40s, I promised myself I would prioritize my well being. At the time, my three kids were young (between 3 and 9), life was especially busy, and my wellbeing was going downhill. I was tired, moody, and my weight fluctuated. Furthermore, I wasn’t feeling like my normal, positive self. At that point in my life, I made some changes. One of these was treating myself to “me time” at spas.
To me, going to a spa is an act of self-love. In my previous version of “healthy” I was hard on my body with excessive exercise and not enough rest. Today I know that is not the recipe for wellbeing. Nor is it fun.
Slowing down from time to time
Although I fit plenty of exercise and sports into my regular life, I also enjoy slowing down. I appreciate the quiet, the inspiring scenery, the solitude, the slow pace, and the satisfaction of taking care of my skin and body at the spa. Whether I book a facial, a body scrub or an hour-long massage, I know that my mind and body are better for it!
Every January, I decide how many spa visits I will fit into my schedule (and budget) during the year. I book them, and I stick to it! I treat these visits like other important appointments in my life. If you happen to visit my corner of France, here are some of my favorites I recommend wholeheartedly. I have added the plus and minus for each of the locations.
All of these locations in my top 4 spas in Annecy offer an hour or two of their sauna / hammam / jacuzzi / pool space before the treatment.
Les Tresoms is a Hotel and Spa on a hill in Annecy overlooking the lake. It is close to the hustle and bustle of the old town, but in a secluded, wooded area. Thus, the perfect location for a relaxing spa retreat. The shared spa area is fairly small, but it makes up for it in ambience with an indoor jacuzzi pool and sauna/hammam area and an outdoor pool overlooking the amazing natural scenery of Annecy. In addition, the spa features products by a local, up-and-coming organic skincare brand, Douceur du Lac.
Plus: Secluded from the business of Annecy in a wooded area with great views. But very close and accessible to Annecy nonetheless.
Minus: Relatively small spa space, tiny dressing room area.
This hotel and spa is only a few years old. The greatest benefit of this spa is that it was built as a hotel and spa, whereas some spas are an add-on to existing buildings. Thus the shared spa space is vast. It includes a large pool, jacuzzi, saunas, hammam, a cold dipping pool and loads of lounging space. For the treatments, the spa features products from French skincare giant, Nuxe, maker of the cult classic product Huile Prodigeuse multi-purpose dry oil. The actual rooms are very large, often with a beautiful view. In addition, at the end of each treatment, one can relax in a large, cozy, relaxation room with huge windows opening up to splendid views of nature. Sip an herbal tea here and take in the calm before going back to real life.
Plus: Spa is purpose built and provides a lot of space and amenities, including a cold dip pool. The luxurious relaxation room after treatment is a huge bonus.
Minus: The vast size of the shared spa area is not particularly “cozy”. It is shared with hotel guests, not just spa guests.
The Imperial Palace hotel in Annecy is a gem from a bygone era. Originally built in the early 1900s, it has gone through different owners and renovations. However, it remains a landmark in Annecy with a casino, gastronomic restaurant and a spa built in 2016. The Cristal Spa is the chic’est spas of this list. The shared spa space boasts a see-through infinity pool with fountains overlooking the lake and mountains. Moreover, the spa features products mostly from Cinq Mondes, an award-winning, high-end French skincare brand inspired by beauty rituals from around the world.
Plus: Very chic and lovely spa area, in a beautiful hotel on the lake itself. If I were visiting Annecy as a tourist and booking a one-off spa visit, I would recommend this spa. Probably my number one choice on my top 4 spas in Annecy list.
Minus: Can’t think of any!
Take a 1.5 hour drive to Val Thorens from Annecy in the winter time and not only will you stumble upon the number one ski resort in France and in the top three worldwide, but also another of my all-time favorite spas, the Pure Altitude Spa. The name comes from the skincare products they use, Pure Altitude, a French skincare brand founded in the Alps, in Megeve. The hotel and spa are literally on the slopes and have a view of the Cime de Carron, the emblematic peak of the Three Valleys, the largest ski area in the world. Enjoy the indoor or outdoor pool, sauna, hammam, relaxation area. It is alpine luxury through and through.
Plus: The scenery, the luxury of the outdoor and indoor pool right on the slopes, the amazing smell and luxury of Pure Altitude products.
Minus: If you’re not going skiing in Val Thorens, Meribel, Courchevel, Les Menuires or Orelle, this is a long drive for a spa.
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