The Top Spas to Book in Historic French Cities

Enjoy a wellness break at Les Sources de Caudalie near Bordeaux
Enjoy a wellness break at Les Sources de Caudalie near Bordeaux | Courtesy of Les Sources de Caudalie /
Jo Fernandez

Who doesn’t love a spa break in a luxury hotel? Sometimes you want a little more, a wellness weekend with a side of history. From Toulouse to Montpellier, follow our guide to the finest spas in France’s oldest cities, all bookable on Culture Trip.

1. Les Sources de Caudalie, Martillac

Boutique Hotel, Spa Hotel

Indoor pool building with high ceilings, exposed wood rafters and wraparound windows at Les Sources de Caudalie, Bordeaux
Courtesy of Les Sources de Caudalie /
Surrounded by the organic Château Smith Haut Lafitte vineyards, this hideaway is at the forefront of wine tourism. If you’re a fan of Caudalie’s beauty products, you’ll pop your cork over the rustic-chic vinotherapy spa, housed in a timber-framed building. Make sure you take advantage of the pool and barrel-shaped hot tub with water sourced from a natural spring. Sip a glass or two of wine at the two-Michelin-star restaurant before sleeping well in a richly decorated room. Les Sources is barely a 20-minute drive from Bordeaux, the world’s largest urban World Heritage Site and wine capital.

2. Hôtel de la Cité and Spa, Carcassonne

Luxury, Chain Hotel

Traditional French bedroom in cream and red hues with antique furniture and wainscoting at Hotel de la Cité Carcassonne
Courtesy of Hotel de la Cité and Spa MGallery /

Staying within the ramparts of Carcassonne, a heart-stoppingly lovely Unesco World Heritage Site, is soothing in itself. Add in the Cinq Mondes spa at this medieval-style château, and you’ll feel totally blissed out. Lap the seasonal outdoor pool, flanked by cypresses and thick hedge, before a treatment using Swiss Cellcosmet or own-brand Cinq Mondes potions and a session in the hammam. Go back for a sensory shower and phyto-aromatic bath with essential oils.

3. Cour des Loges, Lyon


Bedroom with antique headboard with landscape painting, exposed-beam ceilings and heavy curtains at Cour des Loges Lyon
Courtesy of Cour des Loges Lyon /

You wouldn’t expect to find a spa in Lyon tucked away down a slender cobblestone street. Yet, amid the atmospheric Vieux-Lyon setting of this museum-clad city, four Renaissance townhouses create a lavish layer of rich fabrics, claw-foot tubs and airy verandas. Styled on Roman baths, the Pure Spirit Spa features a deep, turquoise spa pool and doles out every type of face and body treatment, from a firming cranberry wrap to a nourishing Himalayan rose facial. Heat things up in the wooden hot tub, before a candlelit Michelin-star supper at the on-site restaurant.

4. La Monnaie Art & Spa Hotel, La Rochelle

Spa Hotel

Bright bedroom antique fireplace, striking art-themed wallpaper and chandelier at Hôtel La Monnaie Art and Spa, La Rochelle
Courtesy of Hôtel La Monnaie Art and Spa /

This spa hotel in La Rochelle is easy to find, at the base of the medieval lighthouse, close to the city’s medieval houses. Bright rooms and suites in the modernised 19th-century mansion feature glamorous touches, such as gold and turquoise Louis XIV chairs; book the Sirène Suite for a bath that’s big enough for two and a sun terrace with rooftop views of the Tour de la Lanterne (lighthouse sounds sweeter in French). The relaxation area is an actual spa with a sauna, chromotherapy showers, a whirlpool bath and two hydromassage tables with 12 options, aimed at reducing stress, fatigue and insomnia.

5. La Cour des Consuls Hotel & Spa, Toulouse


Luxury king room with wide tufted headboard, soft grey carpet and tall windows at La Cour des Consuls Hotel Toulouse
Courtesy of La Cour des Consuls Hotel and Spa Toulouse /

In the charming Carmes neighbourhood with its medieval-style streets, by the banks of the Garonne, the pink-brick facade of this hotel hides a pretty courtyard. This spa in Toulouse is designed as a home-from-home – that is, if your home is a swanky apartment with parquet floors, velvet sofas and open brickwork. Relax in the mosaic-tiled steam room ahead of your massage. Afterward, keep the world at bay in the tisanerie (tearoom) by reclining on a chaise longue, nibbling healthy snacks and sipping herbal infusions.

6. Prévithal Hotel de la Baie, Granville

Spa Hotel, Resort

Cosy bedroom with wood accent wall, striped curtains and floor-to-ceiling window with bay view at Hôtel de la Baie, Granville
Courtesy of Prévithal Hôtel de la Baie /

Exhausted? Try this spa in the genteel seaside resort of Granville in Normandy. The town is the birthplace of Christian Dior and has a museum devoted to the designer. But for a spa retreat, the location of this beachfront beauty on the outskirts is hard to beat. So is its connection to the Prévithal thalassotherapy institute, which means access to a world of seaweed baths and marine mud wraps in the seawater wellness centre. Take a dip in the balmy 32C (90F) pool before trying one of 10 aquatic workshops.

7. Empreinte Hotel and Spa, Orléans

Boutique Hotel

Stylish room with double bed, artistic black headboard, exposed stone wall and river views at Empreinte Hotel and Spa, Orléans
Courtesy of Empreinte Hotel and Spa /

Set in a graceful 19th-century building overlooking the Loire River, this spa hotel in Orléans is as soothing to the body as it is to the eye. Bag a sophisticated suite for the balneotherapy bath and riverfront views to get your wellness weekend off to a good start. Unwind further in the sauna and steam room after a lemon-peel scrub, chased by a deep tissue massage. Then it’s over to the herbal tea room for a green tea and an afternoon snooze. Feeling better? There’s a champagne bar waiting for you. Toast Joan of Arc, who saved the history-rich city from an English siege in 1429.

Fancy a little adventure with your spa retreat? Head to one of these top French ski resorts where you can carve down slopes during the day, and kick back in the hotel hot tub at night.

Culture Trips launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes places and communities so special.

Our immersive trips, led by Local Insiders, are once-in-a-lifetime experiences and an invitation to travel the world with like-minded explorers. Our Travel Experts are on hand to help you make perfect memories. All our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.?>

All our travel guides are curated by the Culture Trip team working in tandem with local experts. From unique experiences to essential tips on how to make the most of your future travels, we’ve got you covered.

Culture Trip Spring Sale

Save up to $1,100 on our unique small-group trips! Limited spots.

Edit article