Towards the end of my month in Paris, the dull ache in my lower back became harder to ignore, and my legs were starting to feel very sore and swollen from our weeks of walking.
I needed to relieve the pressure my ever-growing belly was putting on my back. I needed to feel weightless. In short, I needed to swim.
I began my search for a pool. But not just any pool. I wanted to experience one of the luxurious, old-world pools that Paris is famous for. After calling about a dozen hotels around Paris, I finally found the Saint James Albany Hotel Spa, located at 202 Rue Rivoli in the 1st district.
The Saint James Albany is a picturesque four-star hotel situated across from the Tuilerie Gardens and the Louvre. Its underground pool, spa, and relaxation areas feature first-class services and rarely seen 17th-century stone architecture.
Those who are not guests of the hotel can book any spa treatment to gain complimentary access to all these amenities, making it one of the best kept secrets in Paris.
I enjoyed a relaxing, 50-minute pregnancy massage for €100 and then floated in the pool to my heart’s content. The icing on the cake was the relaxation area, which provided complimentary loungers, wholesome snacks, and herbal tea.
Funny story. I hadn’t weighed myself in months, so I asked my husband to convert my weight from kilograms while I changed into my swimsuit. Before I even reached the pool area, he intercepted me with a sheepish look on his face. Apparently, he had thought I was already in the pool and proceeded to inform me of my weight in pounds. He was actually talking to some other woman in the pool. Their exchange went something like this:
Strange woman in the pool: “Excusez-moi?”
Dave: “You weigh 144 lbs.”
Strange woman in the pool: “Uh, je ne vous comprends pas monsieur.”
In his defence, the pool area was pretty dimly lit. Turns out the woman in the pool actually spoke English. I think she just didn’t want to engage with a man telling her how much she weighed. I don’t blame her.