Les Prés d’Eugénie is a classy country house hotel in the south west corner of France that mixes old world charm, a warm and friendly welcome with world class cuisine and a thermal spa that is authentic and most memorable. Part of the Relais & Chateau group, the hotel is unequivocally French, decorated with furniture and art from the owner’s personal collection that dates from the 18th to 20th centuries. The rooms are warm and cosy and breakfast is served in the privacy of your own room each morning.
The large drawing rooms in the oldest part of the building are perfect for a pre-dinner aperitif. Large sofas and intimate spaces are punctuated by period pieces and rich colours. And the main event is the three Michelin star restaurant. Holding this accolade for over 40 years, the food is outstanding, innovative and one of life’s great experiences. Aside from this haute cuisine, spa guests can enjoy a programme that includes the Eugenie Slimming Cuisine, prepared by world renowned Michel Guerard. He developed the programme in 1975, which is calorie controlled but totally innovative and supremely flavoursome and satisfying.
La Ferme Thermale Spa
The spa at Les Prés d’Eugénie has created its rituals and treatment regimes around the healing thermal waters that are reported to benefit patients with arthritis and metabolic issues. It’s only natural then that the focus is on slimming treatments. Combining a variety of different bathing rituals and unique mud bath of kaolin and thermal water, guests visit for between one and three weeks to bathe in the waters. They enjoy a series of targeted water therapies and massage combined with the minceur cuisine developed by Michel Guerard.
Eugenie Slimming Cuisine is not overly restrictive and combines the gastronomic wonders of Guerard’s kitchen. The Great Slimming Cuisine comes in around 1200 calories per day and is combined with the pure spa, anti-ageing and anti-stress programmes. Minceur Essentialle Slimming Cuisine is more restricted, at around 900 calories per day, and combined with detox and slimming regimes, but equally tasty and a feast of the eyes and palette.
The programmes are guided by doctors and dieticians who work closely with the kitchen and spa to ensure that client goals are met. Fitness plays an important role with personalised training ground each day an essential element.
Whilst at the spa I had two baths in the thermal waters, one with a citrus (orange and lemon peel) scrub and the second day it was a bouquet of herbs featuring Rosemary, thyme and sage. I used it as a soak and to exfoliate the skin.
One of the baths was situated in a huge room with its own open fireplace with crackling log fire. As it was raining outside with the odd rumble of thunder, it was a truly cocooning experience and one I will remember for a long time.
The mud bath is a real treat as the combination of thermal water and kaolin clay is quite dense and your body is suspended in the solution. This combination was created by Guerard when the spa first opened. Skin soothing and mineral rich, it was a highlight of the stay. I had a massage and Vichy shower, plus a soak in the hydrotherapy pool too. In between you relax by the open log fire sipping naturally brewed teas. It really was heavenly.
Below is a picture of me in the mud bath. Not quite as elegant as the model shot!
The best bits
Bathing in the thermal waters
Dining in the three Michelin star restaurant
Meeting Michel Guerard
Floating in the mud bath
Walking around the property in the early morning sun
Enjoying freshly brewed tea by the open fireplace
Room to improve
It would have been a nice touch to inform guests of the benefits of each treatment prior to indulging. Maybe it was a lack of English. But this would have helped.
A classic room in the main house at Les Prés d’eugenie starts at 270 euros per night in low season.
3-Michelin Star Cuisine – menus from 133 euros
Spa treatment packages from 170 euros which includes thee Signature Whit eClay bath, Hot Springs Bath, Thermal Bath, hydro Massaging Shower and Thermal Turkish Bath. (2 hours).
Custom made massage 65 euros for 30 minutes