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LUXURY SPAS: Les Thermes Evian, Evian-Les-Bains, France

We all know the benefits of drinking eight glasses a day of mineral-rich Evian water, but would the luxury of bathing in it be as beneficial? The Luxury Travel Bible was prepared to find out.

In 1789 the Marquis de Lessert discovered the virtues of the waters of Evian-Les-Bains and the first spa opened its doors in 1826. Since then the great and the good have been visiting the town, located on the shores of Lake Geneva, to 'take the waters'.

Evian water begins life as rain or snow, falling on the peaks of the French Alps before traveling through a vast mineral aquifer deep within the mountains before emerging fifteen years later at the spring in Evian-Les-Bains.

Evian Luxury Spa Resort

The Ambiance: The spa was fully renovated and redesigned in 2012 and as well as a menu of Wellness and Fitness treatments that can be booked 'a la carte' or as part of a programme the spa also features a fitness area (with views of the Lake), an Aqua zone and a Wellness centre.

The Treatment: TLTB opted for the signature 'Under the Rain' treatment from the menu which was conducted in what can only be described as a tiled, 'wet-room'. After being instructed to climb onto the plastic bed the therapist moved a mechanical arm to hover above my body. At this point I began to worry that this might be far too clinical for my liking (quite a different experience to the usual mood lighting, aromatherapy candles and tranquil music). However, once the warm Evian waters were turned on and started to cascade over my back, I was at once relaxed 'under the rain'. My therapist then worked with the water to give me a full body massage and erase any tension she found.

The treatment benefits from the noise of the waters as it allows you mind to wander and means that, unlike a 'traditional' massage where you can hear the therapist moving in the room (which can be rather distracting), you are only aware of the water pressure, the massage and the relaxing sound of rain.

Following my treatment a session in the Hydro-massaging Bath further released any tension that remained in muscles. At first the power of the water on my skin felt slightly uncomfortable (such is the strength of the jets that it is enough to undo the ties on your bikini top) after the session I felt that I floated to the relaxation area where I sat back with a glass of the on-tap Evian water and took in the stunning views of Lake.

The Result: Following my day at the spa I was left feeling refreshed, relaxed (and dare I say it) extremely hydrated. My skin was glowing and as soft as those infamous dancing babies - I guess there is a reason that the Evian slogan is 'Live Young'.

The waters might take years to reach the town, but the benefits are certainly worth the wait.

Luxury Spa Fact: You can purchase the famous 'dancing baby' products from the Evian TV adverts in the reception area of the spa.
Luxury Spas Link: www.lesthermesevian.com
Sarah Bryans 1/8/13
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