St. Barths Island Interview: Excellence des Sens

Excellence des Sens is one of our favorite spas on St. Barths. Conveniently located in Gustavia in the Cour de Vendôme (across from the parking lot), it is a sanctuary. On vacation, we love when clients find something “just for them”, a certain “me” time. With many body treatments as well as a Gyrotonic exercise studio, this revered spa offers a variety of ways to find an hour just for you. Below, we speak with proprieteur Christophe and therapist Sophie on new hygiene measures, as well as ways to re-charge. {All photos courtesy of @JeanPhillippePiterPhotography}

Proprietor Christophe
Proprietor Christophe

Although St. Barths has been Covid-free since April and will require testing for all visitors, what new “precautions” are in place in terms of massage tables and sanitation?

We already practice many. Hygiene measures are part of our job: washing hands thoroughly with soap before and after the treatments and spraying disinfecting essential oils in each room and in the reception. What we have added is extra time between each client to: diligently wipe down the massage table, the face rest, and all gyrotonic machines with alcohol wipes before and after use.

We recommend to the guests to wait outside the spa until we open the door, and we invite them to leave their shoes in the basket and wash their hands on arrival. Alcohol wipes are always nearby to wipe down frequently-touched surfaces (desk, keyboards, door handles, floors, bathroom…)

Treatment rooms at the Gustavia spa
Treatment rooms at the Gustavia spa

Will practitioners wear masks? Will clients be required to wear masks?

Our therapists wear masks during the session. It may not be pleasant to wear a mask while you are having a massage, so it is the client’s choice to use it or not.

Will you continue to offer in-villa treatments?

For sure, clients love doing treatments on location, particularly in these unprecedented times.

Do you have any new precautions or procedures for your exercise equipment?

As usual, Machines are totally disinfecting between each client as well as the air of the room, regularly cleaned with purifying product based on essential oils ( scientifically-proven efficacy)

Gyrotonics in action, a practice that helps restore mobility in the spine and hips
Gyrotonics in action, a practice that helps restore mobility in the spine and hips

Now, on to more “fun” questions! What treatment or exercise do you recommend for someone who has come to St. Barths to clear their mind, and detox from stress?

Our recommendations:

  1. A simple breathing practice: This can even be straight from your terrace or garden. It’s just a 5-minute meditation to start the day. Inhale for four, hold for two, exhale four, hold 2, and repeat. We could help you with the yoga techniques to learn how to properly breath, meditate and relax.
  2. Getting outside: At Saline, Gouverneur, St. Jean beaches.  As simple as it sounds, even just taking a short walking barefoot is extremely grounding to reconnect you with the earth’s energy, plus a sun bath increases your level of Vitamin D.
  3. Movement: The body was designed to process emotions through physical movement. Swimming is a great way to clean emotional energy. The more you move, the better you feel. We can also help you with the Gyrotonic Expansion System and the gyrokinesis at the spa.
  4. Body Treatments: Personalized massage, osteopathy, reflexology, acupuncture, body scrub, and facials. Make a full reset of your body and help it to boost your immune system and the natural healing power of detox.

What essential oils do you recommend for those who need a sense of “calm” right now?

A few drops of fine lavender essential oils on your pillow will help to calm the nervous system.  And Sophie Arnaud will recommend custom made on demand. [Editor’s note: Sophie is incredible!]

Essential oils for relaxation
Essential oils for relaxation

What do you miss most about your clients? What do you love most about having the island to yourselves?

The most difficult for us is not being able to shake hands, kiss, or hug our dear guest. Now, we use the Namaste which is more hygienic!

Like our clients, we fell in love with the island, that is the purpose to live here, to enjoy the benefits of the water and the telluric energy so typical of Saint Barths. We are recharging our batteries and enjoying the virtues of healing open air and thalassotherapy [seawater as a form of therapy.]

To book treatments at Excellence des Sens or in your villa, please contact our concierge Thibault at Namaste!