Rumored to be more exquisite than the famed Ritz Paris and the George V hotels, the Cheval Blanc Paris opened its doors to luxury travelers on September 7. Housed within the 72-room, luxury hotel overlooking the Seine sits The Dior Spa Cheval Blanc, a healing oasis that awaits weary travelers in search of deep, restorative relaxation. Designed to resemble an upscale Parisian apartment, the spa itself recreates what the brand dubs a Dior Universe, remodelled by Edouard Francois and featuring décor designed by Peter Marino.
But throughout its offerings and concept, The Dior Spa Cheval Blanc draws heavily upon certain earthly elements that gently convey a holistic element to the upscale spa’s offerings. Nestled within Paris, the pinnacle of urban and architectural beauty, comes a spa inspired in multiple ways by the rejuvenating and spiritual components of the natural world, aiming to deliver a transformational experience. At the spa, Dior worked with American artist Jennifer Steinkamp to place flowers and femininity at the heart of the spa’s aesthetic, where two of her pieces — Botanic 10 and Botanic 11 — create the digitally immersive experience of being in the garden, capturing the flower’s movements as though caught in a gentle breeze.
The floral theme makes sense as couturier Christian Dior possessed a well-known love of flowers. But to the artist, the poignance of natural beauty hints at her desire to capture the incorporeal — what she describes as a strong existential feeling that hints at the deepest questions we have about consciousness itself that can be found through nature. “There is so much more in the universe than what we sense and feel; I believe we are surrounded by sentience in all lifeforms,” Steinkamp says. “I use the tangible invisible forces in air and the uncanny forms and motion of flowers to communicate this through animation.”
In an interview with Dior, the artist explains that her Botanic series, begun in 2015, was originally commissioned for the Stanford Medical Center, depicting flowers upon a digital screen. “The flowers are blown by an unseen force, which causes the plants to collide with each other and the edges of the frame. With each collision, plants break apart into a diaspore of seeds, twigs, leaves, and petals.” Displayed on a loop, the digital artwork presents the continual transition between this disintegration and reintegration of its subject. “Plants have a wonderful way of responding to their environment,” Steinkamp continues. “My work draws our attention to the atmosphere around us.”
Her goal for her art is to “shift” the viewer’s emotions. “I believe any form of art gives you a feeling of contemplation and awe. I hope people feel transformed, perhaps this is similar to the feeling you have after you leave a movie theater or a spa, you feel like a different person compared to when you first entered.” With such a deep affinity for the unseen, more ethereal elements of life, there is perhaps no better way to deliver this multidimensional shift than through the incorporation of the earth’s natural healing gemstones. Throughout the spa, you will accordingly find alpha quartz-covered massage beds and white onyx bathrooms. The skincare line’s proprietary Sapphire Crystal Micro-Abrasion serves as the regenerating core of three of their bespoke facial offerings, while a hot gemstone massage called Precious Energy features rock crystal, rutile quartz, labradorite, and agate.
The French appreciation for nature is a fundamental part of the cultural experience, and all it takes is a Summer trip to Provence to experience the French countryside’s particular brand of earthly delight. Within in Paris, this harkening back to nature can be experienced within the manicured city’s many manicured parks and in produce so fresh that it still has dirt on it. At The Dior Spa Cheval Blanc, the luxury spa-goer can still enjoy this French return to nature in the middle of the city, in an upscale setting, delivered through the artful juxtaposition of old-meets-new.
The Dior Spa Cheval Blanc
La Samaritaine, 8 Quai du Louvre, 75001 Paris, France