Chocolate from the Spa :: France, Indonesia, Pennsylvania

Love – and chocolate – have powers well beyond Valentine’s Day. And a great new trend, if for nothing but the aroma, is using chocolate in spa treatments. The French, Indonesians and the choco-fans visiting Hershey, Pennsylvania, all swear by its skin-softening and anti-aging properties.

I know that putting chocolate in my mouth makes me feel better, so putting it on my skin ought to do the same, right?

At the CGH Group hotel properties ( in the French Rhone-Alps, chocolate is used in the spas for body wraps and masques said to soften skin, improve blood circulation and reduce stress. Sandrine Daviere’s Spas & Beaute Montagne uses 95 percent pure cocoa butter in three different treatments: body exfoliation, body wrap and an anti-wrinkle masque.

The most indulgent “cure�? offered through CGH spas is a three-day, chocolate-infused, 750 Euro splurge called the Avalanche de Douceurs – the avalanche of softness. The first day includes an orange blossom Jacuzzi soak, massage and reflexology. Day two brings a facial, eye contour treatment, body wrap, massage and another round of reflexology. The third and final day includes another Jacuzzi soak, body wrap, facial massage, hot stone body massage and a final reflexology session.

In Jakarta, the Dharmawangsa Hotel spa offers several chocolate treatments including a scrub/massage with ground cocoa beans mixed with essential oils. A second scrub using more finely ground beans follows, with each scrub lasting an hour. The Jacuzzi swirls with a mix of hot water, chocolate soap and chocolate skin-softening cream, which sounds a lot like soaking in a cup of hot cocoa.

Chocolate spa treatments can be found throughout Jakarta. A good list of spa locations and options can be found at Jakarta Java Kini Magazine (

Closer to home, the town that chocolate built, Hershey, now offers its own Chocolate Spa at the Hotel Hershey ( For $165, guests are pampered with a 75-minute facial that makes use of chocolate’s anti-oxidant, anti-aging properties. The M&Ms in the bowl on my desk now look a lot more healthful.

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