Check-in desk at the Willow Stream Spa.
Fatigued is how I always arrive in France, but I NEVER succumb to it. I usually have an ambitious experience-driven agenda and insist on photographing the heck out of each and every little step of the day. My mind races throughout the day second guessing if my camera captured any great shots and if I remembered to document the address of the obscure shop we just stumbled upon, interspersed with thoughts of “What time is it at home? What are the boys doing right now? I wonder if Mr. Weekend In Paris remembered to pick up his dry cleaning?” At night I dream in French and usually speak fluently, only to wake up just after the recurring nightmare dream that I am back in freshman French and failing a final exam. Needless to say, my mind and body benefit greatly when I stop to take care of them once in a while and I was very pleased to do so in Monaco at the Fairmont’s Willow Stream Spa this past January.
Serene ladies lounge area where you wait for your therapist to take you in for your treatments.
One of the best things about being a travel writer is being offered some pretty nice perks, like a complimentary spa treatment at the Fairmont. One of the negatives of being a travel writer is when you are disappointed with a service or accommodation. It can make things awkward. Lucky for me my experience at Willow Stream was AMAZING! I was checked-in at the front desk by fresh-faced and smiling Morena for my “Stress Relief” massage appointment who offered me a 90 minute treatment. But as Murphy’s Law was in effect, I could not fit in a whole 90 minutes and instead had to settle for a 60 minute treatment. What am I nuts? Clearly, because once my capable massage therapist Melanie began diligently working to relieve my stress I wished I had cancelled everything on my agenda to spend the day under her thumbs, working out every knot built up in my shoulders and back from years of poor posture, sleeping curled up on airplanes and stress from having given birth to two busy, charming but independent boys.
Private spa room photo courtesy of Fairmont Monte Carlo.
The spa itself was an oasis of tranquility bathed in natural light and decorated with soothing colors from the Mediterranean Sea. Each person I encountered within the spa had a calm and centered manner about them, which set the tone for the overall relaxing experience. What I think is a really cool concept, the Willow Stream Spa has private individual treatment rooms where you can apply various scrubs, take an aromatherapy steam shower and soak in a hot tub overlooking the spectacular water. You have the opportunity to go at your own pace and try the various mud scrubs without a therapist in sight. I think this unique concept works for many men and women who like their privacy. Of course, they also have rooms for a more social spa day where a group of women can get together to laugh and compare treatments over a healthy lunch served in a relaxed, but fun setting. Boy would that be a blast to have the whole group of gal pals in there at once chilling out. It would be a dream come true!
My takeaway from the visit to the spa is that I need to build time into my hectic schedule to re-energize, rejuvenate and allow my mind to slow down. After my Stress Relief Massage I was more focused and at ease the rest of the trip. I don’t think it was a coincidence, I truly felt it made a difference. So when in Monte Carlo, do as the high-rollers do and get yourself to the Willow Stream Spa to relax in-between sightseeing excursions. You won’t regret it!
12 Avenue des Spélugues, Monte Carlo, Monaco, 98000
Phone: (+377) 93-506600 Fax: (+377) 93-300157
Unless otherwise noted, photos are the property of Weekend In Paris. Must obtain permission before use.
The Weekend In Paris received the Stress Relief Spa Treatment complimentary, but the opinions about it are my own and never compromised.