Cote d’Azur combines quality body work, energy therapy, and time-honored indigenous practices to create the ultimate spa retreat.
By: Kamala Kirk
Along Bellevue Drive sits a charming Victorian house that is slightly hidden behind tall bamboo hedges, lending a sense of mystery to the place. But as soon as you walk in the door, you’ll quickly discover that there are no mysteries here—just a spa sanctuary dedicated to providing authentic treatments aimed to relax and heal the body. Founded in 2003 by Carolyn and Darrin Jaques, Cote d’Azur was created to offer a unique spa experience.
“Our focus is on tribal fusion, healing with energy, sound, stones, aromatherapy, and natural ingredients,” Carolyn explains. Adds Darrin, “Science meets art was the idea behind everything. We look at ancient modalities and incorporate them into our treatments.”
Named after the French Riviera to inspire a vacation-like setting, it’s easy to forget that you’re just minutes away from busy Old Town. “Cote d’Azur is an escape for Europeans, and this is an escape from the city,” Carolyn says. “You come here and feel like you’re somewhere else. It’s timeless.” The spa is a certified green facility: Water usage is limited, and treatments only source all-natural, sustainable ingredients. Many of the ingredients come directly from the property’s on-site herb garden, where Carolyn grows rosemary, sage, lavender, and mint.
The spa’s menu features a variety of healing therapies, ranging from deep tissue and Thai massage to Tibetan foot soaks and custom aromatherapy. There’s also acupuncture, energy balancing for pets, destressing treatments for kids, as well as space clearing for the home and workplace. Great emphasis is placed on customization, as each treatment is tailored to the client’s needs. The staff includes several certified massage therapists, an acupuncturist, and a registered aromatherapist. Soon facials and acupuncture facelifts will be added to the menu, as well as body sculpting services.
The Jaqueses have taken great pains to preserve the historic feel of the property, which was built in the 1890s. Aside from sealing a few doorways and applying a fresh coat of paint, everything else remains untouched. An original black-and-white photo of the family that used to own the house is on display in the reception area.
“I had asked the homeowner for a copy of the photo, but he insisted that we keep the original in the house,” Carolyn says. “I like having the whole family here with us. This is the family that built the house and lived here for generations, so we love continuing that history and feeling their presence. That’s what Pasadena is all about—history and maintaining a respect for it. Being here has been part of our evolution and helped us find ourselves more.”
The couple recently celebrated 15 years together—as business partners and as husband and wife. They say their secret to success is working synergistically while recognizing each other’s individual roles.
“We complement each other very well because she has the more artistic approach whereas I have the technical background,” Darrin says. “It gives us two different ways of approaching the same thing. I love that we have the ability to impact people’s lives and make them feel better instantly. We have clients who haven’t been able to turn their heads or move a certain way in a long time, and after spending an hour here, they can stand upright, move their bodies, and feel a sense of freedom. It’s a higher level of work to be able to have an impact on people directly, and very few things can match that.”
Treatments to Try
Signature: The Indigo Massage blends multiple massage techniques, custom aromatherapy, hot stone placement, and energy work to return the body to a state of balance.
Unique: Blending color therapy, qigong, sound, and Native American practices, this energy-balancing treatment aims to clear blocked energy and restore one to a place of grounded openness.
Custom: Create your own essential blend by working one-on-one with an aromatherapy expert during this personalized session.
For Fido: Gleeminex for Pets assists with energy clearing and balancing for your animal companion.
41 W. Bellevue Drive, Pasadena, (626) 396-3030 or cotedazurspa.com. The spa is open by appointment only.