As Ferrari claim victory after a masterful Monaco Grand Prix, what better way to ease away the stresses of race – watching it can be as tense as participating – than at Monte Carlo’s relaunched Spa Metropole. Rebecca Lipkin indulges in Givenchy…
Launched last month following a six month redesign project, the exclusive Spa Métropole by Givenchy, located at the five star Hôtel Métropole Monte-Carlo, is the epitome of indulgence, combining a striking design by renowned architect Didier Gomez which reflects the legendary fashion House’s distinctive style and sits perfectly within the elegant and traditional environment of the hotel, while a carefully curated team of beauty therapists are ready to personalise a range of treatments to suit your desires. Offering unrivalled spa luxury, there are ten spacious treatment rooms including two private suites, a relaxing chromatherapy bathtub and integrated Hammam shower, a relaxation room, a fitness studio with Technogym equipment and a manicure/pedicure studio by Bastien Gonzalez.
As the House of Givenchy’s first spa in Monaco the atmosphere of Spa Métropole is reverential rather than playful; a monochrome temple where clients from around the world go to worship this legendary company which has embodied the essence of Haute Couture since 1952. Having opened their first spa over twenty years ago at Le Mirador resort in Switzerland, followed by Hotel Sahrai in Morocco, this new venture shares the same core philosophy; exceptional location, a luxurious space, sophisticated bespoke treatments and absolute well-being.
Each treatment has been created by Givenchy using the brand’s range of cosmetics and their extensive scientifically-advanced, cutting-edge skincare, formulated by the Givenchy Laboratories to meet the needs of each and every skin type. It goes without saying that this spa experience has been conceived to be unlike any other and is designed for people who take pleasure and themselves very seriously. “Givenchy offers distinctive luxury, enabling each person to assert their own identity, the different aspects of their personality, their desires. To never leave an onlooker indifferent, or even, to become unforgettable.” Expectations are bound to be high with promises such as this, yet the new team appear meticulously well trained and comfortable with the carefully choreographed experience despite the spa having been open less than a fortnight on my visit. Everything, from the receptionist’s impeccable make-up (Givenchy of course) to her graceful, almost balletic, way of touring me around the spa, surpasses my expectations.
After a short questionnaire to establish my current skincare regime and whether I had any health concerns, I was asked to choose a style of music for my Signature 90 minute custom-tailored treatment, exclusive to the Hôtel Métropole Monte-Carlo. The ‘classique’ soundtrack, inspired by Hubert de Givenchy’s most famous muse, Audrey Hepburn, sounded the most appealing. I was also asked to choose two Givenchy fashion mood boards so as to give my therapist a better understanding of my personality and tastes. These selections were then matched with two out of the eleven Givenchy fragrances which heighten the senses during treatments; my selection being Néroli Originel, inspired by a dress worn by Hepburn and featuring sweet, feminine vanilla and heady notes of musk. Spritzed onto a handkerchief which I took with me into the treatment room, it was a novel ritual that added something almost hypnotic to the experience.
My therapist was extremely conscientious about managing my expectations and succeeded in tailoring the perfect body massage for me; taking into account the neck tension I experience as a result of spending so much time at the computer, along with my poor circulation which she stimulated by focusing on the legs and kick-starting the lymphatic system. The bed itself was heated and unusually wide and comfortable, while each of my limbs was in turn enrobed with the silkiest massage oil I have ever experienced. Meanwhile, the gentle, sentimental-sounding music, the fact that the room was scented with the Néroli fragrance I had chosen, and the therapist’s adept technique combined to make me forget, other than the sensuality of her hands, that she was there at all. I almost forgot I was there too.
When the body massage element of the treatment was complete I was tucked under the softest of blankets to relax for the express facial finale showcasing the prestigious anti-ageing range Le Soin Noir, Givenchy’s patented formula using Vital Black Algae which scientists discovered possesses an amazing power of regeneration and an exceptional capacity for survival in the most hostile environments. While Algae survives, adapts, grows and regenerates in the depths of the sea to the icy cold of the arctic, Givenchy have captured this powerful extract of nature to restore the radiance of youth in skincare. I may only be in my early thirties but prevention is better than a cure. I rarely, if ever, use a facial scrub due to fearing redness, yet here my dead cells were removed with the gentle Le Soin Noir scrub, an ingenious invention featuring coal and absolutely no irritants. My therapist removed this with a facial sponge, which, when applied in gentle circular motions, also happened to be extremely soothing.
Other steps included the application of Givenchy’s City Skin Solution; a serum to use ahead of your daily moisturiser in order to combat pollution and other environmental skin stresses, while the cryotherapy device (a word that is taken from the Greek cryo (κρύο) meaning cold, and therapy (θεραπεία) meaning cure), which felt akin to an ice cube being rotated around my eyes, targeted the dark circles around my eyes. This non-surgical, entirely painless tool, now used by the rich and famous ahead of important events, uses extremely low temperatures to decrease inflammation and improve skin tone, smooth lines and wrinkles, and increase cell rejuvenation.
The Signature treatment was followed with plenty of time to come back to earth in the relaxation room, which my therapist had prepared ahead of my arrival with tranquil music, restorative herbal tea and a French macaron and financier, and there was plenty of time to explore the Givenchy boutique at the very heart of the spa, filled with fragrance and make-up counters, along with all the skincare products I had enjoyed. You can probably guess that the cost of purchasing the facial products by far out-weighed the 300 Euro price ticket of the Signature treatment, yet after seeing the results of the facial and my silky smooth body, it was impossible to deny the benefits. Monte-Carlo is all about looking your best and therefore this is the place to come.
Spa Metropole by Givenchy at Hôtel Métropole Monte-Carlo, 4 Avenue De La Madone – 98000 Monaco. For more information please visit the website.