Villa Loiseau des Sens: Relaxation and Gourmet Cuisine in Burgundy

Bangkok, Dubai, Paris, Tokyo… this is just a sampling of the cities where I’ve tested some of the best spas in the world! Since I began traveling in 2009, I’ve been to numerous spas across the globe, enjoying some of the most exquisite massages. It’s truly always a pleasure to treat myself in havens of well-being like these! I of course had to check out the Villa Loiseau des Sens, which opened only a few months ago, and I since have crossed it off my list!

In the heart of the Morvan mountains, the Relais Bernard Loiseau is a lovers’ getaway, featuring haute cuisine and luxury accommodation. This little slice of heaven was only missing a spa, but today it includes its own 1500 m² (16150 ft²) sanctuary of well-being, which finally opened its doors after 15 months of renovations. Thanks to a colossal investment of about six millions euros, the spa offers state-of-the-art facilities in a gorgeous environment to its demanding clientele. It’s the perfect accompaniment to the outdoor heated pool which, with its 3000 m² garden, is a favorite spot for guests at the Relais Bernaud Loiseau (weather permitting).

The adventure begins in our room. We throw on our bathrobes and slippers and take the elevator down to -1. We can access the spa through the basement of the hotel building, but we’re not expecting such a pleasant surprise: the path takes us through the charming wine cellars, displaying Burgundy’s famous heritage. The ambiance is exceptional! And that’s just the first of many surprises!

Once we’ve entered the spa and left our towels on the deckchairs, we take a look around. Cutting-edge equipment is spread out over four floors, available to hotel guests as well as outside customers. The technical facilities are located on the lower ground floor, with the Multi-Sensory Universe and the Pleasure Universe on the ground floor; then, on the first floor, there are ten treatment rooms and a restaurant. The top floor is the icing on the cake: a private spa, 75 m² (805 ft²) big and available for a half-day or even overnight reservation! It would be an incredible opportunity and a unique experience, I’m sure!

March 2018 update : This is the private spa ! © Bernard Loiseau

Let’s return to the Multi-Sensory Universe. In this large pool, which I should mention is the perfect temperature (that is, not too cold for someone sensitive like me), there’s a series of massage alcoves, as well as geysers, swan neck fountains, bubble beaches… There are so many activities and treatments to enjoy! In the Pleasure Universe, we encounter a fabulous sauna (which is particularly lovely with its bay window offering a superb view of the gardens), as well as a hammam, an ice fountain, experiential showers, and a bucket waterfall (I’ll admit I didn’t try this last one, but I’m sure you understand that I’m not really into dousing myself with cold water!).

After an hour of relaxation, it’s time to get serious and receive a treatment. My therapist accompanies me to an ultra-modern treatment room, with a clean style and wood features that lend the space a warm atmosphere. I’ve chosen a facial and a 50-minute back massage with the product line “Secret de Cassis,” designed by Dominique Loiseau herself. The Burgundy blackcurrant’s nutritional benefits and sweet fragrance are employed throughout the spa’s unique treatment menu. The line also features the brands Decléor and Charme d’Orient. My treatment is fantastic, and the blackcurrant fragrance smells delicious! My skin feels soft and well-nourished, ready to face the chilly temperatures in this early autumn season.

Keeping up with this stimulation of our senses, we head to the Groupe Bernard Loiseau’s most recently-added restaurant. It has a simple concept: continuing to take good care of one’s self and one’s body, without forgetting an important factor—pleasure! This is the guiding principle for the restaurant Loiseau des Sens, with its Santé-Plaisir cuisine (“Health-Pleasure”).

We enter a beautiful room which flawlessly combines contemporary and period elements, featuring modern materials and styles along with historical accents, like this replica of The Lady and the Unicorn. The artwork highlights the five senses, the guiding principle for this brand-new project. In the summer, guests can take advantage of two outdoor terraces with a view of the English gardens. This gem of a building comes to us thanks to the architectural firm of Bruno Borrione and Mariana Casagrande, who knew exactly how to bring the concept to light with a highly successful interior design.

Chef Shoro Ito heads the kitchen. With his Japanese origins and many years of training in French cuisine, he knows just how to enhance healthy and light ingredients to make them tastier. For customers on a particular diet, there are vegetarian and gluten-free menus on offer, an undeniable asset. It’s time to try out the 32 € set menu meal, Retour du marché.

We begin our meal with a few hors d’oeuvres to get our appetite going before receiving our first course, a winter squash cream soup with coconut milk and a coffee aroma; the flavors are excellent. For our main dish, we both choose the “Grenoble-style” hake fillet, with leeks, romanesco, and spinach. It’s at this moment that I begin to understand the concept of healthy and pleasurable cuisine; the main course is delicious—I’ve rarely gotten so much enjoyment from a fish-and-vegetable dish! For dessert, a lemon tart finishes off the meal, followed by coffee with petit-fours. The service here is on par with the staff at the Relais Bernard Loiseau—that is, highly professional and welcoming.

The Verdict

I had a wonderful time at the Villa Loiseau des Sens. I’ve been impatient ever since it opened only a few months ago to see it, and I fell in love. It’s without a doubt the perfect lovers’ getaway in luxury form!

I loved:

  • The beauty of the establishment, both warm and modern
  • The perfect pool temperature
  • The varied and upscale facilities available

I disliked:

  • The lack of magazines or snacks in the relaxation room

Practical Information

  • The spa is open 7 days a week, from 9 am to 8 pm, for both hotel guests and outside clients.
  • The Restaurant Loiseau des Sens is open for lunch and dinner from Saturday to Wednesday.
  • Check out their website to learn more!

Thank you to the Villa Loiseau des Sens for the invitation to explore their establishment, as well as to Bérangère and Dominique Loiseau. Of course, the content of this blogpost was left entirely up to me!

Do you know the Villa Loiseau des Sens? Feel free to send me your comments or questions by posting them on social media.

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