My Thermes Marins facial was very good – and it is obvious that the estheticians here are well trained. I asked mine about her schooling, and she explained to me that she had to complete three years of training to become an esthetician. Compared to the short training programs in many parts of the world (including the U.S., where one can become an esthetician within months), the standards here are definitely higher. No wonder the reputation for skin care in France and other parts of Europe is so much greater. It makes me think of how many skin care products come out of France…more than from any other country in the world by far.
My esthetician was able to answer my question about a stubborn bump on my skin that has been there for months, explaining that it was a lipid and would need my dermatologist’s attention. No esthetician or product would be able to relieve it. And even though I haven’t checked with my dermatologist yet, the esthetician’s “I’ve seen this many times before” attitude certainly gave me confidence that she knew what she was doing.
The spa uses Lancaster and La Prairie products, and used to offer Kanebo but dropped them after they became easily available in areas outside of the spa. Post-facial, I was shown downstairs to the water therapy area for my seawater bath and a massage.
Checked into my hotel – the Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort - around noon. After a quick shower and change, I head over to Therme Marins for the two spa appointments that had been arranged for me. Ever since Lee Katzoff, owner of the Greenhouse destination spa in Texas, told me that the best facial she had received anywhere in the world was at Therme Marins, I have looked forward to experiencing one myself. You would have to know Lee to realize what that recommendation means. I have never met anyone with such high standards and exquisite taste.
I spent the first hour of my visit to Therme Marins – which is a three-story spa right on the Mediterranean Sea with spectacular 180-degree views from almost every room – in the company of the PR director, who gave me a tour and filled me in on the spa’s history. The property has always been a place for thalassotherapy but was destroyed during World War Two. In 1995, the modern Therme Marins was created – directly accessible from the Hotel de Paris and L’Hermitage and a short walk from the center of Monte-Carlo.
Many of the spa’s facilities have an ocean view, including the thalassotherapy pool, the café, the fitness center, and the hair salon. Everywhere you look, there is seawater.
More about that facial tomorrow…
This morning I attended a “Breakfast with a Leader” gathering organized by Magazine Publishers of America. The guest speaker was Cathleen Black, president of Hearst Magazines. She drew quite a crowd. Hearst has some of these well-known titles: Cosmopolitan, Esquire, Good Housekeeping, Harper’s BAZAAR, O, The Oprah Magazine, Town & Country, etc. (a total of 18!).
She is a great speaker and shared some interesting insights. One I thought was particularly notable is that she had gone back to her notes from a speech she gave five years ago and realized how little attention was paid to the web back then. And how today’s internet megatrends – MySpace, Google Video, YouTube, etc. – have profoundly changed the landscape of magazine publishing. She said that magazine companies need to become “nimble” in order to meet the challenges of this new world.
Of course, the word “nimble” has been used to describe one of the key advantages of the internet – where, I would argue, it is much easier to be nimble. It will be interesting to watch how a large company like Hearst Publishing achieves nimbleness. (OK, that may not be a word, but I’m sure you know what I mean.)
I also like this comment from her talk: “The best way to predict the future is to invent it.”
‘Twas a good morning.
What a great name. I called Refresh today to talk with Karen, its PR person, and get more details on how the spa is doing. I expect to hear from her tomorrow, but in the meantime I thought I would share what I have found out so far. The spa is 4,500 square feet in size and has seven treatment rooms. It is on the second floor of the Dallas store. Selling products and apparel – organic mostly – is an important part of the business. Anyway – I’ll know more tomorrow. I do think the name Refresh is perfect, and if this spa is anywhere near as cool as the brand-new Whole Foods store in Austin (which I visited last month) – it will probably be a real winner!