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Les Sources de Caudalie - Spa Review

Vinothérapie at the Sources de Caudalie in France

by Sandy Samuels

One of the pools at Les Sources de Caudalie in Bordeaux, France
One of the pools at Les Sources de Caudalie

After drinking grand crus classés at wineries in Saint-Emilion, Pomerol and Haut-Medoc (and eating foie gras in every restaurant in and near Bordeaux), we were ready for a few pleasure pampering days at Les Sources de Caudalie, the region's renowned wine spa. Not a place for your everyday facial, the spa requires reservations and a bit of a time commitment, so that guests can experience the best that this wine-inspired retreat has to offer.

Research indicates that the anti-oxidant qualities of polyphenols in wine grape byproducts fight free radicals better than Vitamin E. So the founders of Caudalie developed an entirely new line of anti-aging products, a related menu of about twenty unique spa treatments and a stunning spa centered around a natural spring on the estate. They incorporated abandoned barns and used beams from Château Lafitte Rothschild cellars in their décor to create an adjacent "hotel de charme."

A pool at Les Sources de Caudalie

Today, there are 49 four-star lodgings on an estate where horses plow the fields, workers hand-pick grapes and sculptures stud the vineyards. Here, service and serenity rival the joy of massages, facials and scrubs. We were enamored with the Grapeseed Facial and the Crushed Cabernet Scrub exfoliating treatment, during which crushed grape seeds and local Gironde honey were slathered on our skin. Although half of the spa’s visitors are men, you won’t find any sports massages here — all of the treatments are focused on beauty, and after several hours of pampering, guests will start to look as stunning as the surroundings.

So much is lovely about this retreat. The French Paradox bar serves vintages from the chateau, including its extraordinary whites; La Grand'Vigne — the hotel's gastronomic restaurant — serves a Degustation (tasting) menu and overlooks a sloping vineyard and a swan-filled pond, while La Table du Lavoir's low-calorie luncheon proves that healthful food can be both delicate and delicious. Amazing food, a pastoral setting, age-defying beauty treatments and hours of pampering — we wonder, why even bother going somewhere else?

Les Sources de Caudalie
Chemin de Smith Haut Lafitte
33650 Bordeaux Martillac
, France
33 (0)5 57 83 83 83

(Updated: 10/22/12 CT)

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