J’adore Dior #2

4 Sep

Copyright Dior Institut/Hotel Plaza Athenee


Another reason I adore Dior.   

In June, I went to Paris and stayed at the incredibly chic Hôtel Plaza Athénée, home to the Dior Institut spa. This is the hotel in which Carrie Bradshaw bagged her Mr Big having been bitch-slapped by Petrovsky. See the Virginia Creepers and red geraniums that cover the walls surrounding the courtyard dining space, La Cour Jardin? We all had bedrooms looking out onto these walls of flowers, and the birdsong was insane at 5am the next morning. Idyllic, yes, but at 5am I felt it a shame that Dior don’t do slingshots.   


The Dior Institut has to be the most incredible spa I have ever visited thus far in my career as a beauty writer. It’s a phenomenal, blindingly-white space, the like of which I had only seen once before – the anti-ageing clinic Meryl Streep frequents in Death Becomes Her. Don’t take my word for it – take the virtual tour: http://www.plaza-athenee-paris.com/diorecard/plaza_dior.html   

So there I am wandering from the surreal relaxation room to the avenue of treatment rooms behind the French-speaking vision of beauty I was told would be my masseuse, in the fluffiest white robe I have ever donned. And not much else (which is a strange sensation when you’re engaging in polite chit-chat with your fellow beauty writers and editors, of course). Anyway, Isabelle leads me to a room of pale pink and white leather quilting with faux starlight above us. She did her best to mime what I should do with the paper thong laid out for me while she out of the room, and I sort of bowed in compliance, which is the only thing you feel you can do at such a special spa, without a French phrase book. I was just starting to think, “This is the life!” in a semi-smug way, and “Thank God I shaved”, when my nose started running a little. Within minutes I had a full-blown cold. So just as Carrie Bradshaw (and this is the last time I will quote her, I promise) said before me “I fell at Dior.” Well, that is to say I snotted at Dior.   

Lying on your front with your face through a hole is the worst thing you can do when you have a cold. To begin with I tried the most dignified snuffles I could muster. But the mucus was overtaking me. There I was in one of the chicest spas in the world, being treated to the most luxurious massage treatment I would probably ever enjoy, and I was using every fibre of my being not to drip on the Dior-floor. It is usually my way to hide my embarrassment with jokes, but clearly every single titter was lost on poor Isabelle, who thought I was crying, and eventually handed me a box of tissues, sat me up, and used a flannel to conduct what felt a bit like a bed-bath but far more soothing and Dior-ish of course. I still managed to float rather than walk out though, such was the prowess of that French goddess, Isabelle, and the spa’s other-worldly power of relaxation.   

Anyway, it’s typical that the aptly named common cold would bring me crashing back down to earth just as I start to embrace the high life, right?


2 Responses to “J’adore Dior #2”

  1. cazz September 5, 2010 at 8:53 pm #

    You paint a wonderful pic, I wish I had been there, maybe one day ah

  2. natashabailie September 6, 2010 at 8:20 pm #

    You are my real life Carrie Bradshaw!

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