I see the signs. Just passed the design district on King East in an industrial looking complex. The streetcar driver immediately sees my eyes light up and says "looks like someone is going to have a nice afternoon!" as he nods with smile my way. I do a bit of a hop and a skip off the vehicle and wave "have a nice day!" and I noticed that a few others are smiling too. Moments like this makes Toronto feel warm on a cold day.
As I approach the door I could smell ...deep breathe in...ah! eucalyptus.
And I immediately sense that calmness come over me as I take several more breathes before entering the newest location of the Body Blitz Spa. I SOOOO need this. But as I walked through the door at this 20,000 square foot complex, I realized that I had forgotten to bring my bathing suit when I shuffled the kids off to school earlier and rushed downtown. Oh well.
I knew a bit about this spa before going - it's not your typical spa. It's a health and wellness spa. It's primarily based on water therapies taking the best of traditional European and Asian bathhouse experiences and making it into an absolutely beautiful oasis in the city. And sorry boys, this is for women only.
I met with Sara deRuiter, the Spa Director who gave me a tour of the less than a month old spa. I immediately noticed her flawless, glowing skin and oooh'd in jealousy and she laughed. "When you work in this humid environment all the time, it does wonders for your skin!" said deRuiter. I look around and everyone is the same.
"Oh, and I forgot my bathing suit," I immediately tell her.
"Not to worry, you can buy a bikini here but you know it's optional," says deRuiter. "It's actually better for you to take in the therapeutic waters without restrictions allowing your skin to get the full benefits". But she knows not all women are comfortable with letting it all hang out in front of strangers and that's okay. So, I'm quite shy that way and I bought a bikini ($50). I haven't worn a bikini since I gave birth to my first son 13 years ago but soon enough I realized that no one here cares. It's a spa that makes those self-conscious thoughts disappear and quickly! And half way through my session I decided to lose the top. Women of all ages were here either in the buff or bikinis or half bikinis. No one paid any attention and it feels so liberating and safe at so many levels. I just had my mind at complete ease ready for the waters to caress my aching shoulders.
Each new visitor is giving a tour of the facilities and an explanation of how the "water circuit" works. You're also offered to select a smoothie, tea, or water from the drink menu from the Juice Bar that will be delivered pool side to help hydrate your body internally. You are also supplied with a clean robe, towels, flip flops, and locker for your stay.
The Water Circuit room is large and tranquil. Immediately you feel like you're away at some fancy 5 star hotel. You immediately notice the massive rectangular whirlpool with cascading waterfalls. This is the point of entry. The Dead Sea Salt Pool with jets hitting me in the right spots on my back easing away the stresses of life. I could get use to this! After about 20 minutes I moved onto the next stage. The Eucalyptus Steam Room where I sat for 10 minutes breathing in the soothing scent and feeling my body sweat out toxins. I know it's good for me and I kept thinking about just how cold it is outdoors which made this even more enjoyable. After a quick rinse off, the Cool Plunge Pool followed. This is the hardest part but an important part to the water therapies. You're advised to go neck deep into the frigid water for a minute to keep your heart rate up and to keep your body temperature in check. I went about waist deep and couldn't take it the first time around lasting a mere 15 seconds and said a few swear words under my breathe. I could see a few women smiling at me. They must have been thinking "newbie".
There is a recommended system here to achieve what is best for your body and you'll be alternating from hot to cold to keep your body regulated and functioning at it's best. But of course, everyone's tolerance level is difference and I noticed that women here are adjusting to what they can handle. I chatted with a few guests and they all said they followed the guidelines at their first visit then adjusting to their needs at subsequent visits.
After the Cool Plunge Pool the Infrared Sauna was next. It's more of a dry sauna with the deep woodsy smell from the cedars that heats from within allowing more toxins to come out. It's a warm treat after that cold plunge..but then back into the Cool Pool. This time I went still only waist deep and splashing my arms for about 45 seconds. In one of the resting periods I noticed a few older European ladies who went in the Cool Plunge Pool with ease and sat in for a while. I was so amazed and thought to myself, if they could do it then so can I! I'm such a wimp.
After that cool plunge I shuffled myself to the Epsom Salt Hot Pool. I like it hot so this was wonderful and soothing. I could feel the massaging jets on my lower back and it felt real good. REAL GOOD. Then the final dip into the Cool Plunge Pool ...this time I did it! I went neck deep. Surprised that it was easier now that I'm use to it. But I knew there was one final stop back into the warm Dead Sea Pool. Ah ! Bliss!
At the end of the circuit, I really wanted to have a nap in one of their curving relaxing lounge chairs. So I did for about 15 minutes. I quickly drifted off to the soothing sounds of waterfalls completely oblivious to others in the facility. And no one bothered me. IT. WAS. AMAZING!
On average the complete water circuit takes about 1.5 hours but you can linger and adjust to your needs (but following the cycle) and stay for 2.5 hours. Shower & locker facilities are clean and so is the "vanity room" where all the necessities are needed to get you back out into the real world. What I really noticed was the number of staff at the spa. They were constantly cleaning up after everyone making sure the place is spotless. The staff is also there to provide you with your request, need a fresh towel? another drink? They are fast!
You can also choose to add on services like body scrubs, body muds, facials and massages. All products they use are their own line made of all-natural ingredients and essential oils which are also available for purchase. I bought the face moisturizer and love the lightweight feel and it's been feeling great against this dry cooler temperatures we're facing these days.
Body Blitz Spa is a great experience for the body as a whole for those looking for way to relax, detoxify and replenish. It's benefits are amazing to help you focused and give you a healthier outcome overall. It's also something that can be enjoyed from teenagers right up to grandmas for therapeutic benefits.
The water circuit one time pass is $54. Gift certificates and memberships are also available. (Yes, I hinted to my hubby already) Prices for services include access to the water therapies and so worth it! Great for a "friends outing" or a mother/daughter time together or on your own.
I'm already planning my next visit. Who's in?
Body Blitz Spa has two locations in Toronto...
497 King Street East
471 Adelaide Street West
For more information please call 416-364-0400 or visit the website at www.bodyblitzspa.com
This post was not sponsored nor was I compensated for this write up. All experiences and opinions expressed are my own. We accept review invitations to such lifestyle experiences that would be of interest to our readers.