Home Style
| Register
Banner






Q: I find that my nails get brittle during the cold season and that they often break easily. Can you recommend any treatments or products to strengthen them?
Click here for the answer
Ask 2 Experts
 
1. Couple Makeover: Toronto
2. Couple Makeover: Cabo San Lucas
3. How Not to Look Cheesy in Photos Together
4. Couple Makeover Jamaica
5. LOOK: Disney Princesses Reimagined As Hipsters
6. Absolutely Amazing Spas for Him and Her
7. Top 10 Worst Celeb Tattoos
8. Kate & Diana Wear Identical Dresses 30 Years Apart
9. Is Kate Dressing Too Sexy For A Princess?
10. How Size 8+ Mannequins Might Actually Help Retailers
Advertise With Us!
 
Absolutely Amazing Spas for Him and HerLooking for romance? Stress-relief? Pampering? Softer skin? Done! Amy Rosen, author of Spatopia: Unique Spa Experiences From Around the Globe, gives us a tour of some of the best spas in Canada, from city day spas to full-on mountain retreats.

Close-up photograph of a man giving a woman a massage.

Ancient Cedars Spa
Where: Tofino, British Columbia
Why it rocks: Deep in the woods around Tofino, a four-and-a-half-hour drive from Victoria, a lucky few are breathing deeply while sitting in Muskoka chairs overlooking the ocean. Their feet are soaking in large copper basins at Ancient Cedars Spa in the Wickaninnish Inn—the perfect setting for a high-end, laid-back West Coast spa vacation. The inn is located at the westernmost point of Chesterman Beach, at the gateway to Pacific Rim National Park Reserve and Clayoquot Sound. There are six treatment rooms and a unisex steam room in the spa, but best is the “Cedar Sanctuary,” a massage hut for two that includes floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the Pacific, two massage tables and a fireplace. It is here that you and your sweetie can partake of a signature spa treatment, such as an aroma body wrap or a decadent duo hot-stone massage, while imagining all of the suckers toiling at the office back home. 1-800-333-4604; wickinn.com

Willow Stream Spa at the Fairmont Banff Springs
Where: Banff, Alberta
Why it rocks: With its postcard-perfect setting and Fairmont pedigree, the Willow Stream spa at the Banff Springs has been a favourite of upmarket holidaymakers. And following a multimillion-dollar makeover in fall 2003, this backwoods mountain mama has suddenly become…“The Swan.” Just kid­ding. But the place is looking gorgeous. Spa facilities include separate men’s and la­dies’ lounge areas, whirlpools, saunas and steam rooms, as well as an indoor Hungarian mineral pool, outdoor whirl­pool, several wa­ter-treatment whirlpools, and a large lounge for spa food nibbles and coed ca­noo­dling. Deluxe suite packages for two take place in the new spa suite, and duo experiences can include “Mountain Memories” (dry brush exfoliation, pine bath, Alpine aro­matherapy massage) or “Wild about Ro­mance” (wildflower body polish, cham­omile bath, rosehip wrap, neck, head and shoulder massages). The health-club facilities are also not to be missed, including indoor and outdoor pools, kids’ wading pool, full spectrum of fitness machines and free weights, and a good roster of classes. 1-800-404-1772; fairmont.com

Urban Oasis Mineral Spa at the Clarion Hotel
Where: Winnipeg
Why it rocks: Who knew an airport hotel in the ’Peg that advertises complimentary cold-weather car hookups could be so exotic? And romantic? And kid-friendly, too! Let’s start with the indoor water park, which includes a two-storey waterslide, waterfall, oversized heated pool, hot tub, mineral spa, steam room, kiddy pool, rock wall and aqua massage. Should you leave the offspring at home, the hotel offers six romantic getaway theme rooms, including Hawaiian, Moroccan, Japanese, Safari, Egyptian and Venetian. All suites have two-person Jacuzzi and king-sized sleepers, and if you opt for a romance package you’ll receive a bottle of bubbly, bouquet of flowers, box of gourmet chocolates, and a late checkout time of 1 p.m. If you two crazy lovebirds really want to go whole hog on the romance, the Urban Oasis day spa and fitness centre offers packages that range from the “Waikiki Wake-up” to the “Couple’s Retreat”—three hours of spa treatments for two, plus a night in a deluxe theme suite. Yippee! Hotel: 204-774-5110. Spa: 204-783-8131; urbanoasismineralspa.com

Indulgence: The Spa at Taboo Resort
Where: Muskoka, Ontario
Why it rocks: They say that couples who golf together, stay together. So say, “Fore!” at Taboo Resort, a secluded spot overlooking twinkly Lake Muskoka, just 90-minutes north of Toronto. Taboo offers luxe accommodations, five-star dining and wining (think Korean beef ribs, lobster pomela salad, scallop cannelloni), and golf champion Mike Weir’s home course. The recently renovated Deluxe Spa Suites are larger than most to make way for two treatment beds and an oversized aromatherapy bath—per­fect for sharing. Wrap yourself in the decadence of Frette robes and mood music designed to soothe. Purrrr. Spa suites also have sitting rooms with fireplaces should your partner choose to go at her cranberry-maple body polish or his cocoa-butter body wrap solo. 1-800-461-0236; tabooresort.com

Skoah Spa
Where: Vancouver
Why it rocks: Located in the utopian yuppie village of Yaletown, Skoah boasts an airy, modern vibe that says boutique hotel more than downtown day spa. The six treatment rooms, including one double room for skin-loving couples, are expansive and chic with wood-trimmed mirrors, cozy chairs and suspended sinks. And how hip is this joint? A “Facialiscious” treatment (coupled with a night at the neighbouring Opus Hotel, opushotel.com) was one of the gifts given to Oscar presenters earlier this year. Skoah’s five different treatments, all for the skin, are from their own line of natural products. Skilled aestheticians dish out cucumber tonics, melon masks and mimosa massages with calmness and clarity, and then polish you off with matte-look moisturizer so you both can immediately show off your new visages during cocktail hour in Yaletown, without risk of impunity. 1-877-642-0200; skoah.com

ElmSpa
Where: Toronto
Why it rocks: A strong Thai influence runs throughout this day spa—from the icy lemongrass tea to the music, decor and treatments. Located in downtown Toronto, the look of ElmSpa is born of nature, with a feng shui space plan and a Zen-like left hook. The perimeter of the spa is defined by a wooden walkway (with a positive chi flow) anchored by river stones, linen window coverings and recessed water-bubble wall features. Six treatment rooms bearing Canadian indigenous tree names lie at the spa’s core. Excellent body treatments range from the Siam herbal tension release and Moor mud body bliss to the paraffin de­toxifying body mask. Additional gentleman-specific services run the gamut from sports pedicure with heat treatment to back waxing. This is the type of day spa where minutes slip through an hourglass instead of flashing by on a digital clock. It’s a Thai oasis in the centre of the city. 416-964-4500; elmspa.ca

Silk Road Natural Spa
Where: Victoria, British Columbia
Why it rocks: The selection of treatments at this spa and shop in Victoria’s historic Chinatown is a veritable tea chest of natural aromatherapy spa experiences, like green-tea facials and ginger-and-green-tea exfoliation massages. Spa packages range from one-and-a-half hours to the half-day “Aphrodite.” “Bride” and “Groom” (three-and-a-half-hour refreshers) include facials, manicures, aromatherapy massages and body wraps. While many spas boast modern, gender-neutral spaces, most offer but a handful of men’s treatments. Not so at Silk Road. Their roster includes men’s pedicures and manicures, “Mark Antony’s Facial,” the “Adonis Facial” (deluxe men’s), along with a goodly choice of guy-friendly wraps and scrubs. With no fuchsia nail polish in sight (all nails are left in the buff here), and the added bonuses of all-natural products, pottery and tea leaves to be bought and sipped, Silk Road is bound to be just about everyone’s cuppa. 250-704-2688; silkroadtea.com/naturalspa

Haldimand Hills Spa Village
Where: Grafton, Ontario
Why it rocks: This network of striking buildings, all stone walls and well-heeled turrets and gables, is surrounded by more than 200 hectares of woods, farmland and gardens, and the village is centred around Ste. Anne’s Country Inn & Spa in Grafton. Just down the road from Ste. Anne’s is Maison Santé, a fitness centre for daily doses of personal training and group classes. Seductively Edwardian bedrooms are ripe with crackling fireplaces and four-poster beds. The dining room overlooks lolling English gardens where there are gazebos for alfresco massages, an outdoor stone grotto hot tub, and tennis courts. You can be as busy as you please: Try circuit-training sessions, Moor mud baths, personal yoga lessons, Thai massages or nature walks. 1-888-346-6772; haldimandhills.com

Le Spa at Hotel le St-James
Where: Montréal
Why it rocks: Staying at this uberdecadent hotel in the most romantic part of town, Old Montréal, is like event slumbering. And booking an appointment at its personal spa turns the event into a downright extravaganza. Imagine having a spa to yourself. That’s basically the deal here. The entrance into the sole treatment room is a curved steel wall that locks electronically. Once inside, though, it’s strictly Old World (save for the gorgeous under-lit onyx floor, Denon stereo and Vichy shower). The basement area is the former vault of the old merchants’ bank that the hotel was built on, with original brick ceilings, archways and stone walls from the centuries-old rampart. On offer are a good range of massages (Swedish, sports, deep tissue, stone, Vichy shower or kinetic), ex­foliation treatments, body wraps and peels. Lovers can take advantage of the private and luxurious setting by indulging in a side-by-side couples’ massage, and then by booking a hotel suite and ordering the full caviar service to their room. 1-866-841-3111; hotellestjames.com