There’s nothing more luxurious than a day spent at a top notch spa. Luckily for me, here in my hometown of Toronto, there are plenty of exquisite spas to choose from. This will go down as perhaps my favourite article I’ve written for Haute Appetite since I get to try out all the amazing spas this city has to offer! Ready, set, glow!
Miraj Hammam Spa – The Shangri La
This place is seriously heaven on Earth and definitely my favourite spa in the city. From first stepping foot through the doors to the second you leave, it’s a full sensory experience. Curated by famous French skincare line Caudalie, it’s no wonder the aesthetic of Miraj Hammam is so precise. The middle eastern theme is wonderfully exotic and utterly luxurious and is carried out to the smallest detail. After changing into a sumptuous bathrobe and slippers, I was ushered into a private room with the ambience of a tranquil eastern getaway. My massage was carried out to the specifications I outlined on a form prior, and was totally destressing and lovely. Afterwards, and in my opinion the best part of the spa, I went to the relaxation room. It’s a lounge that’s basically tons of huge daybeds where you can lounge around in your robe, read magazines, and nap while the staff brings you fresh tea and baklava. I definitely asked for seconds (and thirds!) While on the pricier end of the spa scale, it’s definitely a splurge well worth it.
The Four Seasons Spa – The Four Seasons Hotel
While Miraj Hammam transports you to another world, the Four Seasons Spa very much feels like an amazing Toronto experience. It’s amongst the largest in the city and is nestled on the 9th floor of the hotel. It’s simple, serene, and full of sunlight. It’s quite literally a sprawling piece of paradise hidden within an urban centre. Their spa menu is one of the most expansive as well – everything from manis, pedis, massages, body scrubs, Chinese medicinal practices and more. I opted for another massage (I’m addicted, guys.) and it was utterly relaxing. The change rooms are seriously amazing. Even if my massage was underwhelming (it wasn’t) the experience would’ve been worth it for the change rooms alone. Bigger than most apartments in the city, the change rooms provide everything you could need. Honestly, I hung out there more than I probably should of, but they were just so gorgeous and amenity-filled! I tried out the steam room prior to my massage a well. It was intense and I only lasted about ten minutes before teetering on the verge of a heatstroke, and my Ray Ban sunglasses were totally fogged, but I felt cleansed and detoxed after. I then went to the relaxation room which consisted of individual day beds you and lie on while you wait for your appointment. My masseuse came out to get me and I enjoyed another amazingly tailored massage. Another spa on the pricier end of things, but again, another one that didn’t disappoint.
I’ve been to Hammam Spa for both a manicure and a massage and enjoyed both of my experiences. Located conveniently in the heart of downtown, this spa’s demographic is young professionals who live in the area (including yours truly!) and want to find some momentary peace and quiet from downtown living. Smaller than Miraj Hammam and the Four Seasons but just as luxurious, Hammam brings plenty of soothing nature aspects inside with living green walls and still water features. I donned my bathrobe (I want to just wear bathrobes all the time now after this spa spree) and headed to their steam room. Spacious and not as intense as the Four Seasons one, I found I could comfortably stay there and enjoy the steam for a good 20 minutes. Also, there’s a visual aspect to the steam room with colourful and changing lights that I found soothing to watch. My massage was equally as soothing. Hammam is an ideal boutique option for urban dwellers looking for a tranquil treat.
Hand and Stone
Hand and Stone is a chain of spas with various locations all over the city, conveniently both uptown and downtown. Smaller and not quite as luxurious as the hotel spas, Hand and Stone is still a great option for those on a spa budget. They’re clean, bright and soothing with attentive service. I went to their downtown location for a massage and will definitely be back. While they don’t have a steam room or the amenities of a larger spa, it’s a great spot for those who get massaged on the regular as opposed to a special occasion spa day that I would save for somewhere like Miraj Hammam or the Four Seasons. My massage was in-depth and therapeutic, and I left feeling relieved of the knots that had built up in my back. They also have a membership program where you get a discounted rate for a monthly massage that’s automatically charged monthly to your credit card. With no other membership fees, I’d say it’s a great deal for those who get massages often.