The Best Kept Secret in Paris: The Saint James Albany Hotel Spa and Pool


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:

Dave: “144.”

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.

11 thoughts on “The Best Kept Secret in Paris: The Saint James Albany Hotel Spa and Pool

      • You are very welcome! It was a really nice one 🙂

        Well, I’ve already been to Paris, but it’s long ago. We were about to visit the city last September but our flight (KUL-CDG) got cancelled due to the AF-strike. Anyway, we’ll head over in 2015, especially because we want to test one of the luxury hotels located right on the Champ Elysee, they look so promising 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Ha! That’s hilarious. Interesting read: I get to vicariously visit the spa and also have a good snort-laugh. Thanks. BTW, when I was pregnant my doctor informed me gravely that I was “following the weight gain curve for twins.” I wasn’t carrying twins. Thanks, Doc.


    • I ended up gaining 37 pounds by the end of my pregnancy, well above the recommendation. I lost all the weight and am more toned and fit now than I was pre-pregnancy. So who cares if you’re not following the guidelines. I have no regrets for my indulgences during pregnancy. You’ll see what I mean when I release my post on Pastries of Paris!


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