Cote d’Azur combines quality body work, energy therapy, and time-honored indigenous practices to create the ultimate spa retreat.
By: Kamala Kirk
Along BellevueDrive sits a charming Victorian house that is slightly hidden behind tallbamboo hedges, lending a sense of mystery to the place. But as soon as you walkin the door, you’ll quickly discover that there are no mysteries here—just aspa sanctuary dedicated to providing authentic treatments aimed to relax andheal the body. Founded in 2003 by Carolyn and Darrin Jaques, Cote d’Azur wascreated to offer a unique spa experience.
“Our focus is ontribal fusion, healing with energy, sound, stones, aromatherapy, and naturalingredients,” Carolyn explains. Adds Darrin, “Science meets art was the ideabehind everything. We look at ancient modalities and incorporate them into ourtreatments.”
Named after theFrench Riviera to inspire a vacation-like setting, it’s easy to forget thatyou’re just minutes away from busy Old Town. “Cote d’Azur is an escape forEuropeans, and this is an escape from the city,” Carolyn says. “You come hereand feel like you’re somewhere else. It’s timeless.” The spa is a certifiedgreen facility: Water usage is limited, and treatments only source all-natural,sustainable ingredients. Many of the ingredients come directly from the property’son-site herb garden, where Carolyn grows rosemary, sage, lavender, and mint.
The spa’s menu featuresa variety of healing therapies, ranging from deep tissue and Thai massage toTibetan foot soaks and custom aromatherapy. There’s also acupuncture, energybalancing for pets, destressing treatments for kids, as well as space clearingfor the home and workplace. Great emphasis is placed on customization, as eachtreatment is tailored to the client’s needs. The staff includes severalcertified massage therapists, an acupuncturist, and a registeredaromatherapist. Soon facials and acupuncture facelifts will be added to themenu, as well as body sculpting services.
The Jaqueses havetaken great pains to preserve the historic feel of the property, which wasbuilt in the 1890s. Aside from sealing a few doorways and applying a fresh coatof paint, everything else remains untouched. An original black-and-white photoof the family that used to own the house is on display in the reception area.
“I had asked the homeownerfor 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 familythat built the house and lived here for generations, so we love continuing thathistory and feeling their presence. That’s what Pasadena is all about—historyand maintaining a respect for it. Being here has been part of our evolution andhelped us find ourselves more.”
The couplerecently celebrated 15 years together—as business partners and as husband andwife. They say their secret to success is working synergistically whilerecognizing 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 toa state of balance.
Unique: Blending color therapy, qigong, sound, and Native Americanpractices, this energy-balancing treatment aims to clear blocked energy andrestore one to a place of grounded openness.
Custom: Create your own essential blend by working one-on-one withan 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.