Indagare member Stephanie Stokes just returned from Miramar Crouesty spa in France. Here are her impressions.
I just returned from an utterly divine—and very different—French spa: Miramar Crouesty (www.miramarcrouesty.com) in seaside Brittany. The hushed property is devoid of music, loud noises, or people speaking in louder tones than necessary. And when my fellow guests and staff were speaking, it was in French, the softest and most mellifluous of languages.
I found the 1000 calorie-a-day menu offered by the dining room to be better than most high-end restaurants in New York City. The cuisine is based on local seafood from the Atlantic and fresh vegetables. The benefit of being in France is that the spa encourages diners to drink one glass of wine with dinner.
Though the complex does include gyms, this isn’t an athletic spa. Rather, it is about relaxation and pampering. I spent my entire stay in either the spa bathrobe or yoga pants, and enjoyed the myriad treatments available. In addition to two-hour massages and facials, there are all sorts of “Thalasso therapy” options. I got wrapped in a bed of seaweed, then in mud, and finally rubbed in Indian oils. My favorite masseuse, Germard, was a magician. I would return to the spa just for two hours with her. The “Rituel Grand Neojeunesse” was easily the best facial I have had anywhere. Valérie, the aesthetician, measures and calibrates the age of your skin – I emerged “younger by five years.”
My room overlooked the coast and had a beautiful terrace, where I had tea while watching the sunset. The building is fashioned after a large ship that juts out into the water, complete with a bow and red smokestacks. Cocktails are available in the bow; dinner is served starboard.
After my three-day stay (I wish it could have been seven), I emerged far more refreshed and rejuvenated than had I pushed myself through loud aerobics and mountain climbing in a California spa. Miramar Crouesty is a great find, filled with only beauty and pleasure.
Getting There: I flew to Paris then took a three-hour train to Varennes, where the hotel picked me up for a half-hour drive through Brittany. The hotel can also arrange pick-ups from Paris.