There are plenty of ritzy spas across Paris but when it comes to a place where Parisians of all ages go to rebalance their body, mind and soul, it’s Les Bains du Marais. This bathhouse follows the Turkish or hammam principles of steam, scrub and massage and they really get down to business.
Rule number one is to not be shy – there are all bodies, shapes and ages here. Most people wear their swimmers for the communal steam room but they also have disposable shorts and one-pieces for those who have forgotten to pack/bring their suits. You get a locker for your valuables and are assigned a robe and flip-flops/thongs for the purification process, which can take up to two hours after a few visits to the relaxation room with a herbal tea, in between scrubbing and massaging appointments.
You then arrive back at street level a new person – not to mention a shade or two paler.
The former Jewish quarter of the Marais is a melting pot of cool corners. Whether you are seeking casual bistros to watch the passing fashion parade, local art galleries, organic supermarkets or specialty artisan stores – also note that the Marais is the only designer shopping district open on a Sunday – this arrondissement’s cobblestone streets posses style in spades.
Les bains du Marais
31-33 Rue des Blancs Manteaux, 75004 | +33 1 44 61 02 02