Les Sources de Caudalie really is a unique spa that connects the brand with its origins in the vines of South Western France. Situated amongst the bucolic vineyards in picturesque countryside just 20 minutes from Bordeaux, it’s international reputation for food, wine and spa is unparalleled.
The hotel at Les Sources de Caudalie
The hotel features modern rooms that pay homage to traditional French design. Many of the original rooms are decorated with antique furniture, whilst the new suites, opened in 2014 retain the warm sense of charm, with a more contemporary colour palette and quirky design notes that work perfectly in the country setting. Cosy and comfortable, they are of the highest standard with well-appointed bathrooms that are (naturally) stocked full of Caudalie products.
The property is the spiritual home of the Caudalie brand (and is the ideal escape for couples wanting to taste wine from the neighbouring Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte whilst dining in the two Michelin Star restaurant, La Grand Vigne. The food was exquisite. That’s not to dismiss the other restaurants. Rouge serves French and Mediterranean inspired tapas or tasting plates. Super for a quick bite with a glass of vino for lunch. And La Table du Lavoir evokes memories of an auberge with hearty, tasty food that’s another delight for the palette.
Landscaped gardens, perfectly manicured lawns and beds of wild flowers give the hotel a sense of place and adds to the authentic look of the barn style wood work of the buildings. For the more active amongst you, there’s small fitness suite, an indoor pool, plus a 25 metre outdoor pool attached to the spa. Walking amongst the vineyards is a joy anytime of the day or you could hire a bike, following a fairly well-worn trail through a nearby forest.
The spa at Les Sources de Caudalie
The spa really is the main event and its huge. Recently expanded, it now occupies 2,600 sqm. Given that it was the first spa to open in France, it has aged very well thanks to impeccable architectural design and an ageless classic concept.
The main entrance is bordered by flowers making which offers a lovely welcome as you approach the main reception. On arrival, you are checked in at the large reception desk and the retail space features every single Caudalie product – as you would expect.
On entry, you are taken directly to the changing rooms which lead onto the spa area consisting of indoor pool, steam, sauna and jacuzzi. The central pool is perfectly positioned with a high ceiling adding to its spacious feel with exposed beams featuring slatted windows allowing diffused natural daylight to filter through.
The steam room sits opposite the pool which is surrounded by corridors and a small shallow water feature that edges the space.
To the right is a large relaxation lounge that looks out to the outdoor pool and the gardens and hotel grounds beyond. It’s all very elegant and well-appointed with plenty of relaxation loungers, seating and sofas.
The spa features some great smaller relaxation areas, one with an outdoor terrace looking over the vineyards. In the newly opened wing, the jacuzzi is a long pool that runs the entire length of the room parallel to the vast window looking out across the vines. My pick is to nab one of the four relaxation loungers which are perfectly positioned to capture the best view in the house.
Beauty Elixir Ritual
A unique protocol that has been developed for this new treatment at the Caudalie spa. The full Beauty Elixir Ritual includes body and face and begins with your choice of a body scrub. I chose the Crushed Cabernet Scrub. The, using its hero beauty product, Beauty Elixir, the aromatherapy blend is massaged into the body but doesn’t act like an oil and is immediately absorbed by the skin. What follows is a dry massage treatment that combines some pressure point work, acupressure with fine kneading and manipulation of the muscles. Grabbing hand-over-hand the therapist worked into my neck and shoulders as requested and then proceeded to massage the entire body, front and back. First applying the antioxidant rich elixir then working it into the body. But it’s more than a body treatment, as a facial experience follows with cleanse, mask and appropriate cream applied, worked in using some nice facial massage. It’s thoroughly relaxing and I felt revived and calm at the same time.
The best bits at Les Sources de Caudalie
The Crushed Cabernet Scrub
Eating grapes and drinking wine to complete the cycle of vinotherapy
Enjoying two Michelin star dining at La Grand Vigne
Swimming laps in the outdoor pool
The massage technique in the Beauty Elixir Ritual
Walking through the vines at sunrise
Room to improve
I thought the men’s changing room was a bit cramped
Some reading material in English would improve the experience
Beauty Elixir Ritual (half day) – 260 euros
• Beauty Elixir Ritual (Body treatment followed by a Facial treatment) – 100 minutes
• Bath or wrap of your choice – 20 minutes
Other top picks on the treatment menu:
Winemakers Massage (50 mins) – 110 euros
Crushed Cabernet Scrub (35 mins) – 90 euros