#SpaDiary: Cote d'Azur Spa
Tucked away on a quiet street just a few blocks south of busy Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena, California, sits a quaint Victorian cottage surrounded by a lush garden. Owned by husband and wife team, Darrin and Carolyn Jaques, Cote d'Azur is an award-winning day spa that has been open since 2003, although it has been in its current location for the last six years.
Cote d’Azur combines the highest quality body work, subtle energy therapy and time-honored indigenous practices into its impressive menu of treatments, which includes acupuncture, energy balancing, a range of massages and facials, custom aromatherapy, and even Gleeminex for pets (energy clearing and balancing for our four-legged friends!)
The moment I stepped foot onto the beautiful property, it felt as if I was visiting a charming bed and breakfast or my grandmother's house. The spa is located in a quiet residential neighborhood, so there are no outside distractions, which lends to the overall peaceful and relaxing nature of the spa. It felt like I was on a mini-vacation!
The spacious outside patio has several comfortable chairs where you can sit before or after your treatment and just simply take in the beauty of the surroundings while enjoying a moment of peace.
As a certified green facility, the spa doesn't offer hydrotherapy services like showers, a jacuzzi and sauna. Their focus is to provide guests with the best massage and holistic treatment services found anywhere.
Cote d'Azur prides itself on being a sacred destination hideaway that local residents and international travelers acclaim as "a classic, ageless kind of place that excels at creating and providing idiosyncratic spa experiences."
Their retail area carries a variety of natural beauty products and healthy snacks, from handmade soaps to special tea that helps PMS. They also sell Cinq Mondes skincare products, which are one of The Spa Insider's favorite brands because they feature patented plant and bio-technological active ingredients that stimulate and rebalance the skin's natural metabolism.
The spa also has a registered aromatherapist, Dawn Shipley, who offers a custom aromatherapy experience (more on that later). Her company, Blue Dawn Aromatherapy, provides nourishing, 100 percent all-natural botanical skin care and wellness products, which are also sold in the spa.
She makes a variety of great products, from natural cream deodorant and chocolate espresso body scrub to strawberry scrub lip balm and more!
Jaques also makes and sells a line of beautiful Shibori scarves. Shibori is a Japanese dyeing technique that involves twisting, folding and bunching cloth, then binding and dyeing it in indigo to create a variety of unique and one-of-a-kind patterns.
Tip: To stay cool during those hot summer days, wet your scarf with cold water and dab it with essential oil, then wrap it around your neck, head, or other area that needs it!
I sat down in the relaxing lounge area, where guests can also opt to receive foot soaks and treatments at an additional cost. The spa offers an amazing Tibetan Foot Soak ($60), which relaxes and rejuvenates with fresh lemon and mint in a hand-hammered kadai filled with smooth river bed stones, finished off with a deep acupressure massage.
For refreshments, I sipped on a delicious citrus-cucumber infused water, but they also serve hot Bengal spice tea for those craving a warm and soothing drink.
Next it was time for my treatment: the Indigo Massage blends multiple massage techniques, custom aromatherapy, hot stone placement and therapist-specific energy work to return the body to a state of balance.
Prior to the start of my massage, I was offered my choice of aromatherapy blends to incorporate into my service. Not only do they create a more relaxing and customized experience, but they also help can help sharpen intuition, improve mood, and more depending on what you choose.
Jaques, who performed my massage, was incredibly in tune and was able to sense where my energy was blocked or stagnant. She used the right amount of pressure where needed, and tackled any knots I had. She explained that the "crunching" sound my muscles make when they're being massaged is actually created by a build-up of lactic acid, which is produced when there isn't enough oxygen.
Tip: Practice taking several deep breaths throughout the day to increase the amount of oxygen in the body. This is a simple exercise that can be done at your desk, in the car while driving, or even while you're lying in bed. It's also a great way to relax and de-stress throughout the day!
After my relaxing massage, I enjoyed a custom aromatherapy experience with Shipley. The hour-long service consisted of me filling out a questionnaire and answering several questions for her about my health condition, any ailments/issues I wanted to address, as well as my preferred fragrances.
She then proceeded to custom mix a unique blend for me which I got to take home at the end of the session. You have the option of choosing your oil in a more diluted mist bottle formula, or a highly concentrated oil that you can apply to various pressure points on the body, as well as just open the bottle and take a few deep inhales throughout the day to relax.
We tend to forget that the skin is our body's largest organ, and that by applying natural aromatherapy oils daily, we can see health benefits that include less anxiety and stress, increased energy, fewer headaches, improved sleep, pain reduction, and so much more!
Hours: Tuesday - Sunday by appointment, closed Mondays
Parking: The spa has a parking lot in the back as well as unrestricted street parking.
Pricing: On average, massages start at $60 for a 25-minute massage, $90 for a 55-minute massage, and $135 for an 85-minute massage. Facials start at $85. A la carte treatments such as foot scrubs are $30. For more information on pricing, see their detailed service menu here.
Cote d'Azur is located at 41 W Bellevue Drive, Pasadena, CA 91105
Tel. (626) 396-3030
[Images courtesy of The Spa Insider]