Interview & visit: Les bulles à flotter in Paris, France

I was excited to check out the first float center in Paris, France, a country where floatation is pretty much unknown. Very few places have a single tank; one of them, Meïsō (interview coming soon on this page), will open the second float center in Paris very soon.
Founder and owner of Les Bulles à flotter Vincent Reneleau, who opened his business just four months ago in June of 2016, gave me a warm welcome. The first thing which stood out to me was the modern, clean design. Plants and lots of wooden elements give it a natural feel as well. He explained to me that he put a strong emphasis on the atmosphere and design because they’re equally important as the float itself. Also, Parisians have high expectations with lots of 5-star spas and hotels in their city, he adds.
On the bottom floor, there is a bright lobby with a tea station, a couch, chairs, tables, and books, which also serves as a relax oasis post-float. Towards the back is the reception area and two of the three float rooms, all equipped with isopods.

Vincent led me to the top floor with the third room, which he enjoys the most, and leaves me there to float.

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After a great session, we sat down in the relax area and I interview him about his journey:
Four years ago, Vincent’s brother was based in Vancouver, where Vincent came to visit him and tried floating for the first time because his brother had recommend it. Vincent’s first float was in an old-fashioned tank with a small square door and “very frightening at first.” But, as so many of us, once the first awkwardness passed, he “loved it instantly.” His second float was the best.
After getting over the issues of money and timing and lots of research, Vincent took the plunge, quit his well-paid corporate job at Amazon and put his heart, sweat and effort into his float center. The thought that Les Bulles à flotter was to be the first floating center in France was very scary to him. The challenge of owning a business whose purpose the majority of people in his country don’t know about was and is still big.

 

His clients spread the word to their friends, but he also invites press and bloggers to get more exposure. That about 50% of his clients come back at least once or twice a month encourages him that he’s on the right path.
His clients are mostly French, but also some tourists, to which he’s able to relate a lot because he was also a tourist the first time he experienced floatation. Others used to float in the 1970’s and 80’s when more centers used to be around but closed. They’re excited that floating is finally back.

At Les Bulles à flotter, you can float from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

What kind of floatation devices:
3 isopods

I recommend this center for people who:
– are first time floaters
– love a nice, clean, modern design

I don’t recommend this center for people who:
– prefer to have a closed chill out room rather than it being the lobby at the same time

 

Photos are all courtesy of Les Bulles à flotter with the exception of the one with me in it.

Here’s a quick video of my visit at Les Bulles à flotter. They said, I am American, which is not quite true, but oh well 😉

 

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