Vichy Leading tourist resort of the Allier region and Auvergne !
Rich architecture, a prestigious Art-Nouveau opera house, spas, luxury districts, parks and gardens, a race course, golf course, fashion boutiques and exceptional surroundings…
The place occupied by Vichy in the memory of people from France and around the world is inversely proportional to its size. « Queen of spa towns » and « the French Bayreuth » are just two of the accolades which illuminated the epic rise of this small spa town which became a star thanks to Napoleon III taking the waters there on many occasions. Its opera house, parks, passages and facades in a mix of period styles, its thermal baths and race course give Vichy a delightful air of the « French Riviera », a pleasure-seeking oasis which has come to terms with the end of its golden age.
The story of wellness and hydrotherapy in Vichy
Admittedly, Madame de Sévigné had sung the praises of the waters which miraculously caused the rheumatism which was hampering her writing to disappear. Admittedly, Louis XV’s daughters and Napoleon’s mother had been there to take the waters. But it wasn’t until Napoleon III arrived on the scene that the former Aquis Caldis and capital of the chatelainry of Vichias began to flourish at an astonishing rate. The Emperor discovered the town in 1861 and returned every year, making himself the « benefactor » of Vichy. Money was no object, buildings and parks were created transforming the town into the « Queen of Spa Towns ». Before the Second World War there were 500 hotels welcoming 100,000 guests to take the waters every year. The aura of Vichy and its waters have remained sufficiently strong to ensure that the spa activity has withstood the test of time.
Created in 1853, the Compagnie Fermière de Vichy (CFV) promotes the benefits of bottled water under the brand name Vichy Célestins. It also directly and indirectly runs three hotels, each linked to thermal baths or a balneotherapy centre (Vichy Célestins Spa Hotel****, Hotel Vichy Thermalia with the Centre Thermal des Dômes and the Hotel Ibis with the Thermes Callou) dispensing all types of fitness and relaxation methods. Packages on offer include « Impérial », Fitness and Vitality, Slenderness and Balance, Beauty and Radiance, Wellness and Maternity and even Wellness for Men.
In 2006, the CFV launched the programme « Lose weight at Vichy », a new overall approach to treating weight loss by associating body treatments, physical activity and diet.
Vichy aims to become the European Centre of Excellence in the field of weight loss.