NEW YORK — After revealing it would be closing the doors to its spa in the Plaza Hotel here late last year, Caudalie is opening its first concept spa in the U.S. today.
Mathilde Thomas, cofounder of Caudalie, said she started conceptualizing the French brand’s first freestanding spa — modeled after her own Parisian apartment — when the eight-year contract with the Plaza was winding down.
This story first appeared in the March 2, 2017 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“We took our therapies with us and located the stand-alone spa to a place that’s more convenient for our Upper East Side customer. They were complaining that our spa was too much in Midtown,” Thomas said of L’appartement Caudalie on Madison, located on Madison Avenue and 68th Street in the Landmark Building.
L’appartement Caudalie on Madison has four treatment rooms (one with double beds) and decor elements that include two capo-styled chairs inspired by an Italian restaurant in Shanghai; a French Paradox Wine Lounge with a Louis XVI fireplace; chevron wooden flooring, and a “typical vintage Haussmann-inspired mirror.” Thomas said she kept the Manhattan brick wall and painted it white to go with “a lot of white oak,” brass shelving and a large collection of books, objects and vases she got from an artist friend in Cambodia. She noted that all boutique spas have the same Pelle light fixture from Brooklyn, which resembles a “beautiful grape cluster.”
The space will offer five new services, too: The Vine [Activ] Treatment with LED lights, electricity and oxygen; The Hydra Facial, a more gentle form of microdermabrasion that’s done with water; a Beauty Elixir Facial and Massage using the brand’s signature Beauty Elixir; a 50-minute Crushed Cabarnet Scrub, and an eye service add-on eye patch with jade rollers and stainless steel massage sticks.
The Vine [Activ] treatment corresponds with a new Vineactiv range that rolls out March 10. The offering is comprised of four products — a serum, a day moisturizer, an eye cream and a night oil — that retail from $40 to $55. According to Thomas, the formulas contain an “anticell burnout” and antipollution effects to help “reload cells so your skin can produce its own antioxidants.”
Thomas maintained that although Caudalie has 10 exclusive spa partners in a handful of global markets from Marqués de Riscal in Bilbao, Spain, to Les Etangs de Corot in Paris, this is the first that’s not in a hotel (about 40 spas in the U.S. work with Caudalie, but not exclusively). She added that the brand offers services in all of its 30 freestanding boutiques, but these are limited to one to two treatment rooms, depending on the size of the store.
In August, the brand opened its fifth U.S. boutique and second in New York, a 500-square-foot space at Westfield World Trade Center. A second Miami shop bowed last fall, Thomas said there are plans to open additional doors in the U.S., which is the more than $200 million brand’s second largest market behind France.