Relaxation Treat: Cocoon Urban Spa

Whether you’re in Athens for a day or forever, it’s great to know there’s a place such as Cocoon Urban Spa where you can receive top-quality therapies for face and body, either as a one-off treat or as a course of treatments that bring results. 

As someone who has been passionately interested in holistic wellness for decades, I was among the very first to visit Cocoon Urban Spa when it opened 20 years ago. In my post-lockdown slump, I headed over there to try some renewing and reviving therapies that could facilitate the process of returning to the land of the living. 

My Own Experience: Tried & Tested!

I tried the CBD Oil Massage and the vitamin C Facial, in that order. I arrived stressed out from work, life, and a year+ of lockdown inertia and was ready to surrender to the hands of the spa’s skilled therapists. I was not disappointed. The CBD Oil Massage is a head-to-toe therapy using an ingredient that has become widely lauded for its effects in reducing anxiety and muscular pain. The therapist used strong yet caring strokes to ease away my blocks and gracefully accepted my invitation to converse about the therapy itself and various other personal questions regarding my body’s health. I was impressed not only by the fantastically relaxing experience but also by her depth of knowledge and charm. 

Next, was the Vitamin C Facial, which involves a face cleansing (with Murad products, not hands or a machine) and a reviving massage that help a strong dose of Vitamin C. Vitamin C is considered to leave the skin glowing because it stimulates the production of collagen and elastin, accelerating healing and removing fine lines to reveal skin freshness, brightness, plumpness, and shine. Again, the aesthetician kindly explained the entire process to me and offered me extra tips for my skin type and beauty routine. 

I certainly left Cocoon Urban Spa feeling as dreamy and relaxed as I’d hoped, with skin that glowed for days and has improved in texture ever since. 

NOTE: Unfortunately, I forgot to bring my swimsuit along, so I missed out on the chance to enjoy the sauna, steam room, and jacuzzi, but there’s always the next time!


While at the Spa, I stopped for a chat with Maria Poulada, the co-owner of Cocoon who together with her sister has led it to develop and evolve into a truly fantastic place of holistic wellness for Athenians and visitors alike.

Getting to Know Cocoon Urban Spa: Q & A with Maria Poulada

How has the wellness scene in Greece changed since you first opened 20 years ago?
It has broadened and multiplied, which is great. However, more and more schools and Yoga Teacher Training programs are churning out “therapists” and unfortunately, during my recruiting efforts, I’ve seen that the quality has dropped significantly, and inexperienced teachers and masseuses are being absorbed by the market and lowering the standard. 

Where do your therapists train?
Most of our therapists are very skilled and have studied Natural Health Science. It’s one of the oldest and most respected schools in Attica. I usually ask the teachers from that school to recommend grads for me and it’s worked out great.

Who are your customers?
Cocoon Urban Spa has a wide range of customers, from people who come for a profound life-change (to decrease chronic stress or pain, improve sleep, etc.) and visit us on a regular basis and then there are people who come once a year to treat themselves on their birthdays or to give a gift. I think we are the only place in the city that offers a truly holistic wellness approach, passive and dynamic therapy, encompassing treatments, yoga, acupuncture, and homeopathy.

What would you recommend as The Ultimate treatment for post-lockdown stress?
It’s a bit subjective. Some would say it’s the Shirodhara or any classic massage. For me, personally, it’s Yoga. The Hatsumomo is a terrific overall detox treatment and if you couple it with a deep cleansing facial or a Renewing Facial, you’ll look and feel brand new! The CBD oil massage is deeply relaxing and works well for anxiety-related stress.

What kind of products do you use for treatments?
We’ve remained very old-school, sticking to our philosophy of hands-on therapy and natural products. It’s vital to use the highest-quality products for massages and facials. We’ve been using Decleor and Jurlique for ages because they’re natural, organic, and biodynamic. Also, the quality is terrific. You relax just by smelling them and the results are fantastic.

As published in In+sights Greece (www.insightsgreece.com)

Home - Cocoon Urban Day Spa
Cocoon Urban Spa is on Souliou 9 & Erifilis Str, Halandri, Athens. Email : info@cocoonurbanspa.gr &
phone : 210 6561975

Eye Spy… Beautiful Lashes!

Nowadays there’s nothing more cringesome than a testimonial, and even worse, a testimonial telling you that the original testimonial is true. I’m a copywriter AND journalist by trade, so I should know. My super-sceptic uncle, a seasoned traveller, globally-awarded visionary and professor at Imperial College London once gave me a book titled ‘The Mad Old Ads’ that exhibited the craziest inventions of the 18th and 19th centuries and the most hilariously unbelievable testimonials that accompanied them as their hardest selling points. It sold me on the idea that all testimonials were utter BS. Today we have incredibly sophisticated social media, and photoshop dictums that invole even the most drop-dead stunning models shot 1 million frames a second for 8 hours straight being resmudged to fit some kind of insane ideal. Not to mention countless streams of fake news and sinister agendas for making money by fooling our at-heart-trusting human souls. So how can you believe any product that claims to ‘guarantee‘ results? You just can’t. Yet, as a pragmatic optimist I decided to give a particular product a chance, because it was introduced to me by a trustworthy and brilliant woman representing the DE MOI firm of cosmetics, and it was so great I wanted to write about it here.

Conscious Beauty Entrepreneur Demee Koch Bio Serum

Conscious Beauty DE MOI Entrepreneur Demee Koch

It all came about during a conversation with a dear friend about eyelashes, as some of us women like to have amidst talking of politics, personal aspirations, social issues, metaphysical visions, the economy and crap ex boyfriends. I mentioned that I was considering trying eyelash extensions and she told me there’s a new serum that her PR company represents that guarantees that your eyelashes – even if they are less than existent! – will grow into beautiful, long, shiny things. I told her I certainly wouldn’t mind trying it, and a few weeks later I received a box from DE MOI.

The Switzerland-based company was created by dynamo ‘conscious beauty’ entrepreneur Demee Koch, who has become known not only for her successful cosmetics range but also her influential ethical stance supporting animals (no testing involved in her products) and several humanitarian charity initiatives
. As an advocate of female empowerment, Koch is also the author of the book ‘Breaking Conventions In Heels’, and was awarded GLOBAL FWN100 2019 MOST INFLUENTIAL FILIPINA IN THE WORLD. Indeed, DE MOI’s mission statement says: “We aim to be the catalyst in bringing positive change into the world by creating awareness on spending consciously on products that give back to the society while making sure that these products do not harm the animals and the environment.”

Now… However excited I was about trying this amazing-sounding product and seeing my eyelashes (and parts of my brows that I’d obviously plucked with bad lighting at several times of my life) flourish to their bushiest, plushest potential, I suddenly recalled something my mother said to me. Just a week before receiving the DE MOI Bio Serum it just so happened that my dear mother had been complaining about how disgruntled she felt about the state of her eyelashes. She had tried extensions a year earlier and found them bothersome, yet was considering getting them again, although with profound hesitation. So how could I resist? I handed her the serum and instructed her to use it religiously, every night, for six weeks.

And here comes the time for that dreaded, but hand-on-my-heart-true testimonial, because I am a Witness to the Incredible and Beautiful Growth of my mother’s eyelashes, as is my sister, who actually asked her if she was wearing falsies! I really, honestly did not expect to see the results I did, and since I did, as did my mom (read her experience below), I felt it was really worth sharing the news on my blog – that there is real hope for your lashes, and it comes from an exemplary alchemist who’s creating beauty treats for the world.

Turns out, not all the news is bad in 2020!


My mother’s experience of using DE MOI Eyelash & Eye Brow Bio Serum:
“It has always been a top priority for me to purchase excellent products and makeup for my eyelashes and brows (as for my face and skincare generally). It was also recommended to me by my optician, plus I enjoy using eye creams and applying high quality makeup to my eyes. As years passed however, I began to notice a change in my lashes. They were not shiny, they had shortened in length, and there was no fullness any more. I grew desolate, seeing my lashes in such a bad state. I was reccomended extensions, which I tried, to no avail. Layers of mascara wasn’t the answer either, as it gave a heavy, made-up look.

After telling my daughter about my frustration over my short-bristled lashes, I was presented with BIO SERUM ADVANCE FORMULA For Eyelashes and Eeyebrows by Demee Koch for DE MOI Swiss Products. “Use this for six weeks and see if your lashes grow back to size”, she suggested, telling me she hadn’t yet tried it herself but a friend of hers had and was thrilled by the results. Her friend is in her ‘30s though, so I thought it might not work on me at all!

It was a colorless liquid eyeliner to be applied on the roots of the lashes or brows before bedtime. For the first two weeks nothing changed. I began to feel discouraged. But….after the third week, I began to notice a difference. My lashes began to grow, and become fuller. A shining fresh look came into my eyes. After 5 weeks, my lashes have grown so long that they hardly need mascara! I apply BIO SERUM every night. It’s now a key part of my night beauty routine, and I’m so grateful for this “magical” product. Thank you DE MOI!”

My mother is happy, and I love my mother, so I’m happy for her too. And I’m also happy that my cynical heart has been softened and alleviated somewhat to discover that there are actually sophisticated products with big claims that actually do deliver what they promise. Please note, the Bio Serum needs to be used ongoingly for ongoing results, it’s not a once and for all solution, because eyelashes keep falling out naturally and regenerating, but after the first six weeks it can be used every other day or every few days. 

When you live in a locked down world you have many serious concerns that stretch way beyond your eyes and eyelashes, but as a beloved, wise and wonderful friend of mine hilariously yet aptly once said: “We all cry about life, but isn’t it great if when you’re crying and pass a mirror if you can stop and find something to feel good about?” Clearly she meant this about both about the outside and the inside, but it’s relevant both ways.

And with life being very much about masks right now, our eyes are one of our greatest assets for communcating with the world. So we might as well give it our best shot to exhude the light of own heart through our well-curated vision.

Demee Koch Bio Serum
Demee Koch , beauty entrepreneur and inspirational author of the book ‘Breaking Conventions in Heels’