It is well known that the French are dedicated to enjoying the finer things of life. Indulgence is an art, and not partaking is pure sacré-bleu. For the ultimate luxurious retreat, the wine-crazed city of Bordeaux holds the key, being host to the amazing Les Sources de Caudalie; the world’s only “vinotherapy” spa hotel.
For those of you who associate wine solely with unwholesome inebriation, Les Sources de Caudalie will change your ideas irrevocably, offering you a stay centred upon exclusive therapies using the healing properties of grapes. Each treatment uses the spa’s own brand products which all contain the secret ingredient of Polyphenols, an antioxidant produced from the red wine grape. Treatment techniques include using an artisanal wine-making rake to massage energy paths on the spine, as well as guests being able to bathe in an aromatic grape oils infusion.
Although this all sounds very fanciful, vinotherapy is based on very valid research that professes the healing power of wine. The concept links back to the late 20th Century French Paradox theory, which concluded that the French, despite their cholesterol high diet of pastries, cheese and white bread have astonishingly low levels of heart disease, which scientists believe to be due to their red wine consumption. Grape seed extract actually contain a wealth of powerful antioxidants, which extensive research has linked to a number of health benefits such as improving cardiovascular circulation, and promoting healthy skins and eyes. Based on this research, hotel owners Mathilde and Bertand Thomas Cathiard launched a line of wine-based beauty products, which after becoming extraordinarily successful, was the premise for the genius Vinotherapy spa hotel idea. The name of the hotel, “Caudalie” is even inspired by wine, meaning the persistence of wine of the palate.
The magnificient hotel is set on the exquisite estate of Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte, with has its own private lake, a vast 163 acres of land, a gym and a golf course. If this isn’t enough to keep you busy, the estate has a cellar of 13, 000 wines, a Michelin-star restaurant, a cigar salon, and provides personalised wine-tasting tours at the nearby chateau. The hotel itself stretched out over five building with rooms which range between five different sizes and prices. All are uniquely decorated with artful themes, such as wine growing and merchant ships, and are styled by antique furniture, yet equipped with all the modern comforts and facilities necessary.
Just South of Bordeaux centre, and only 10 minutes from the airport, Les sources de Caudalie is in a perfect location, and is a truly irresistible accommodation destination. After all, when finding yourself in a regional wine Mecca, why be so conventional as to just drink it, when you can literally bathe in it instead?