Inside the New Dior Spa at the Hôtel Plaza Athénée in Paris |

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Inside the New Dior Spa at the Hôtel Plaza Athénée in Paris

First opened in 1913, the Hôtel Plaza Athénée has maintained a strong relationship with the house of Dior for decades. In fact, the location of the Plaza Athénée—mere steps away from Champs-Élysées boulevard—was the reason behind illustrious fashion designer Christian Dior’s decision to open his boutique just opposite the hotel on Avenue Montaigne in 1946. 

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The Dorchester Collection property, situated among the flagship boutiques of the world’s top fashion labels, recently renovated its subterranean spa. And given the 208-room hotel’s reputation as a place to see and be seen during Fashion Week, it’s fitting that the spa is run by the haute couture house Dior.

“You should know we’ve redone everything,” Justine Klar, communications manager for the Hôtel Plaza Athénée Paris, tells Observer. 

The shared spaces have been updated. Matthieu Salvaing

The Dior Spa at Hôtel Plaza Athénée first opened in 2008. Over a decade later, as Klar recalls, the hotel management decided that the spa was due for a refresh, especially to keep up with new Dior Spas sprouting up, including at Dorchester’s newest property, the Lana in Dubai, as well as in response to the Dior Spa at the nearby Cheval Blanc Paris, which opened in 2021.

Inspired by Christian Dior himself, who actually initially wanted to be an architect before pursuing fashion, the Dior Spa was designed to exude a clean, modern and elegant atmosphere. Spanning 5,382 square feet, the Dior Spa is composed of six treatment rooms, including one double, as well as a hammam, a sauna, a relaxation room, a manicure/pedicure suite and a state-of-the-art fitness center. 

The Dior Spa light therapy room. Matthieu Salvaing

At the center of the remodel is a groundbreaking addition to the Dior Spa brand (and a first for European luxury hotels): a new light therapy room, dubbed the Dior Light Suite. This innovative space utilizes a one-of-a-kind, LED-studded ceiling to mimic the natural sky and sunlight. The light therapy provided is intended to synchronize guests’ circadian rhythms, positively impacting their daily wellbeing, energy levels, sleep patterns and even skin health.

“We are the first location with this Light Suite,” Klar notes. “It’s a new innovation. You can’t find anything else like this in Europe, so we’re very proud of that.”

The Dior Spa offers the option of three rituals using different light intensities, helping to realign guests’ biological clocks, alleviate stress or revitalize energy—all of which are ideal when traveling and overcoming jet lag. These standalone sessions last approximately 105 minutes, but spa guests can also add on a 90-minute trip to the Light Suite after a traditional facial or massage.

The new treatment rooms. Matthieu Salvaing

“The concept is light therapy, not just on the mask, but all over the space,” Klar explains. “So we propose different kinds of massages, depending on the cycle of the sun. And it depends if you need to rest or recover.”

And while, naturally, the spa offers all the other critical wellness treatments with a variety of massages and facials to choose from, the Dior Spa touts its treatments as bespoke—each fashioned for an individual guest based on their respective needs, desires and skin types, step-by-step, for both instant and (ideally) long-lasting results.

The Dior Spa menu also includes two new treatments featuring electrostimulation and cryotherapy, specially created for Hôtel Plaza Athénée, focusing on the face or the body, and lasting either 90 or 120 minutes. Additionally, four three-hour rituals have been created to address specific needs for body, face and mind, including the top-of-the-line package: the D-Tox Therapy. This 225-minute session, described as “the ultimate reset therapy for body and mind,” includes a body scrub, a trip to the hammam, the “D-Waves” treatment (involving electrostimulation and cryotherapy to tackle cellulite), a Hydrafacial treatment followed by some time under the Dior Skin Light LED Mask, and a private fitness session in the Dior Spa fitness center. 

All Dior everything. Matthieu Salvaing

Speaking of the gym, the Dior Spa partnered with Gymate, a Parisian fitness company specializing in private fitness spaces and with a roster of the city’s top-notch trainers. Guests book classes or private sessions with professional trainers to cover weights, yoga, pilates and meditation. And for those who want to go on their own, there is plenty of state-of-the-art gym equipment to choose from, including treadmills and stationary bikes, but also don’t miss checking out the Christian Dior-branded balance balls and yoga mats, the likes of which you won’t find anywhere else.

But the spa isn’t only about technological innovation—it’s also a response to guest feedback.

To start, the spa expanded from one cabin to six, accommodating many more guests—and not just from the hotel, but also locals and tourists. The services and treatments menu has expanded as well; previously you could pop down for a massage or facial, but anything more substantial—such as bespoke makeup—was relegated to the guestrooms. And while that might seem more convenient for some hotel guests, it is often far easier to offer (and clean up after) treatments within the Dior Spa treatment rooms rather than a suite bathroom.

“It was not very comfortable for anyone,” Klar says. “So we created the beauty room, where clients of the hotel or outside of the hotel could come here and get their makeup done.”

A Dior beauty boutique. Matthieu Salvaing

Elsewhere within the spa, Dior has spruced up the relaxation area for guests to unwind pre- and post-treatments, offering bespoke fruit and vegetable wellness shots and a selection of herbal teas. And naturally, there is a Dior boutique—arguably one of the most hidden and least crowded in all of Paris—with Dior fragrances, makeup and other home accessories available for purchase.


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