Faced with the health crisis, many of us have felt a deep need to reconnect with nature. So, on your behalf, I have been testing treatments at the Thermes Marins Monte-Carlo with the elements in mind.
Ten o’clock on Monday morning, and I’m not in the magazine office or working from home; I’m meeting my colleague for a day at the Thermes Marins Monte-Carlo. A whole-body cryotherapy session awaits us – so you could say we’re going straight to the heart of the matter! We spend about 12 seconds in the first booth, at minus 60°C, to acclimatize, then quickly moce on to the next booth at minus 110°. This just reduces the temperature at the skin’s surface. It gives you the benefits of fresh air, boosts your metabolism and regenerates the cells. You might think I’ve been ever so brave to do that – but really no, although I was apprehensive at the start. In fact you only stay three minutes at -110°. Making a few calm movements, Tai Chi style, as my colleague was doing, and coached by the therapist’s voice counting down, the session seemed to last no time at all. People in Eastern Europe, Poland for example, often take cryotherapy, and the Côte d’Azur’s sportspeople often come here to recuperate after exertion.
After that briefly extreme experience, we’re off for a hydrotherapy session in the spa suite for couples (twin bathtubs). Once the essential oils of your choice have been poured into the water, you settle in to relax in the whirlpool bath and enjoy the soft light therapy. Scents of myrtle and rosemary waft to your nostrils as the light changes from blue to red, green, yellow and white. Feeling almost like an ultra-modern magician, I let myself be surprised by the jets that massage me: feet, legs and up my back. Playful sensations that remind me of childhood bathtimes. After the bath, we’re awaited in the Direct Heat infrared booth. Oh – so it’s heat now – are you sure? “Oh yes, we usually couple the cryotherapy with the whirlpool tub and then the infrared.” Ok, here we go! It’s hot in here, but unlike a Scandinavian sauna or a traditional Russian banya, this technology takes the heat waves right into the skin cells, as deep as 4cm, without having to raise the external temperature very high. So technology has its good sides – especially as the wood-lined booth is a really cosy cocoon.
Earth scents, Earth power
Now it’s time to take our place in the Hirondelle restaurant, on the terrace by the sea. One nice touch is that you don’t have to get dressed again; I’ve stayed in my bathrobe. So after the senses of touch and smell, now it’s taste and sight that are treated to some healthy pleasure. Then finally the last stage of the day and the one that made most impression on me: the mud wrap. After the water that drains and stimulates blood flow, the heat that helps eliminate toxins and the energising fresh air, here I am covered in anti-inflammatory mud. The hot mud has an amazing smell that makes me feel like I’ve been reborn underground, wrapped in a cocoon. I love it. In fact the mud, rich in trace elements, comes from Guérande (the establishment here is Green Globe certified). Gazing at the red light overhead and listening to the relaxing music I feel I’m somewhere else, like in meditation. And naturally enough, after the day of super spa care I slept like a baby as well as having baby-soft skin and a reinvigorated body. What a treat in these tormented times!
Journée My Essential
A relaxing, wellness-themed break with access to the Wellness area two essential treatments:
– Customised 45-minute massage
– Exfoliating scrub or
Wrap or Bath
(your choice) 20 minutes
€195 – €235 with lunch
Meet the Direct Heat infrared cabin
By Eve Chatelet