I must be one of those people - the hard to buy for. Over the holidays (which was also close to my birthday) I was given a few gift cards to enjoy at various spas around the city. My friends and family know me well. I don't need or want a lot of "stuff" but I love "experiences" and spas are always on the top of my list. That, and bubble bath.... Molton Brown or Dayna Decker, thanks!
So, once all the holiday entertaining was out of the way, it was time to sloooowww things down. For me, it was time to get in a spa visit.
The new Four Seasons Spa Toronto is one I've been eyeing over the past couple months. I wanted to enjoy this little treat just at the right moment. Having experienced other Four Seasons Spas, I knew that this was one spa that I definitely would not want to rush. I also knew with the spa service, I had access to the steam room, pool and whirlpool.
The Spa Menu is full of decadent choices - some exclusive to the Four Seasons and it wasn't easy to decide! On the website I was intrigued by the Asian Fusion Massage - described as a mixture of Thai, Balinese and Malaysian techniques to relieve stress and restore energy balance - sounded perfect! But then my eyes wandered and found the Warmed Lavender Honey Wrap with Aloe and Arnica - it sounded soothing too. Then there's the Gold Plumping Facial that sounded divine - but probably better if I was going out afterwards to something swanky. My friend Susie had gone to the spa and suggested the Head to Toe retreat with two therapists working simultaneously. But I realized that I was in desperate need of a good facial.
I thought it was best to call the spa for some recommendations. The receptionist had a few suggestions and I had asked her if she's tried the Effective Anti-Aging Peel. The description said it would help reduce pigmentation, fine lines and wrinkles revealing instant skin radiance by using high levels of completely natural fruit acids and AHAs...revealing a more youthful-looking complexion. And with her glowing recommendation I went for it - which included a neck, shoulder and arms massage. I had never done a "peel" so here was my chance. And off I went!
Located on the 9th floor of the new hotel on Bay Street, it is the largest of the Four Seasons Spas and the largest hotel day spa in Toronto. The 30,000 square foot facility is equipped with 17 oversized service rooms, 4 deluxe suite for two, 1 luxury suite for two, indoor pool, steam room, whirlpool and outdoor terrace. And if you want to escape from the winter blahs, this spa may just do the trick for you. I had the sense of being away for a few hours and it was enough to rejuvenate me knowing that I'd be back to the routine in coming days.
Once I turned off my iPhone and peeled off the layers of winter clothes, I slipped into one of their luxurious robes. Ashley welcomed me into one of the cozy spa services room. You're offered a selection of spa music channels depending on your mood. I chose the "chill" station. Ashley asked a series of questions to determine what my needs were and the reasons for selecting this particular facial. I sense that if I wouldn't benefit from this service, she probably would have recommended a different one. She examined my skin and walked through the steps before beginning the customized treatment. She also offered me a pair of cashmere socks to wear while I was being pampered. Yes..I could get use to this!
The products used in the services are exclusive to the Four Seasons Spa. The facial I had experienced showed immediate results. I was surprised that my skin felt smoother and appeared even with no blotchiness or redness. "Just wait a couple more days, if you're happy now, just wait," said Ashley. And that massage? I didn't realize that I needed one so badly until she started easing the tension off my neck and I exhaled with the biggest sigh of relief. Ever.
Once the service was done I was lead to the relaxation room that had some very inviting contoured lounges just begging me to melt into their curves. I happily obliged as Ashley tucked me in with a plush throw blanket and offered a hot cup of honey yuzu tea with a selection of cookies from the in-house pastry chef.
I settled into my spot with only one other person relaxing in her nook in the same room. I may have nodded off for a few minutes. Ok, I did... it was as tranquil and as restful as it gets.
This is luxury in the city.
The Four Seasons Spa is a great spot to retreat for a a few hours alone, with friends or your significant other. Just don't rush it...and remember to bring your bathing suit to enjoy the pool areas that are included with some of the services.
To find out more about what services they have to offer, visit the website at www.fourseasons.com/toronto/spa
Remember to take time out for your well-being.
Ahem...and you may want leave Facebook and Twitter hints for your significant other too...Valentine's Day is coming up!