After a chilly day on the slopes in Whistler, make your way to the Taman Sari Royal Heritage Spa in the Hilton Hotel, the only authentic Javanese spa in North America (the island of Java is renowned for its rich culture and opulent aesthetic). The spa’s Prameswari Queen Massage ($285) will leave you feeling like royalty; for an hour, you’ll be under the care of two synchronized therapists using lemongrass-scented oil to massage each side of your body simultaneously.
Islanders and those looking for a weekend away can find solace at the Pacific Mist Spa at the Kingfisher Oceanside Resort and Spa in Courtenay. This waterfront gem not only offers lavish therapies and treatments, but also boasts one of the province’s most spectacular bathing-pool experiences. The Sea to Sky package ($165) starts with the signature Pacific Mist Hydropath hydrotherapy treatment, where you’ll be guided through a series of eight therapeutic pools and baths. You’ll finish off this treatment with a one-hour massage, leaving you entirely refreshed and relaxed.
4330 Island Highway, South Courtenay, 1.800.663.7929
Looking for a treatment that will pamper you from head to toe? Then try the Urban Escape package ($520, 4.25 hours) at the Spa at the Wedgewood Hotel. You’ll be treated with Epicuren skin-care products, a favourite of Hollywood celebrities like Jennifer Aniston, Kate Hudson and Alicia Keys. So while you may enter feeling tired, you’ll emerge refreshed.
Your session starts with a full-body exfoliation, which readies you for an organic seaweed wrap that contains nourishing seaweed algae that will help detoxify, soften and hydrate your entire body.
Next, you’ll be treated to a 90-minute cinnamon enzyme facial that has often been praised as a non-surgical facelift. Cinnamon has warming and detoxifying properties and also boosts circulation, which will leave your skin glowing. This is followed by an intense tree-bark enzyme mask that helps temporarily lift, tighten and firm the skin, leaving your face with improved clarity and texture.
Finish off your session with the perfect final touch: a Pacific Coast pedicure, which includes a vitamin-rich soak, a brown-sugar exfoliation, a ginger and green tea mask and a foot and calf massage. A slick of pretty polish completes your celebrity treatment.
Spa treatments can do wonders for those dreading the gloom of winter, healing both the body and the mind. This is especially true of well-designed spa packages like the new West Coast Lifestyles Series ($525) at CHI, The Spa at the Shangri-La Hotel. Starting with a personalized one-on-one 60-minute yoga session in an intimate private studio and ending with a spa-light healthy meal at award-winning on-site restaurant MARKET by Jean-Georges, this package is designed to rejuvenate all your senses.
The best part, however, might just be what happens in the middle of your CHI experience. After the yoga session, your hard work will be rewarded with a warm soak in a pre-drawn bath in an infinity tub. This sea-kelp soak is just the first in a series of luxurious treatments that will pamper and detoxify. After your muscles have been warmed and relaxed, you’ll be ready for the West Coast Wrap, which begins with a polishing salt scrub – perfect for treating dull, flaky winter skin (the salt in crystal form acts as a natural exfoliator). And just before your wrap begins, you’ll be treated to a full-body firming mask that contains nourishing seaweed, a great source of nutrients and minerals that works to detoxify and replenish skin.
Finish off with either a full-body wild-seaweed massage or wild-seaweed facial. After three hours in the treatment room, with its dark wood, private steam shower, heated floors, warm lights and exotic fragrance, you’ll start wishing you could just spend the night.
1128 West Georgia Street, Vancouver, 604.695.2447
Willow Stream at the Fairmont Pacific Rim
Renew your vitality and verve with the Van Active Body treatment ($245) at the Willow Stream Spa at the Fairmont Pacific Rim. This 90-minute treat, which will leave you feeling rejuvenated and re-energized, is for anyone looking to detox as all the treatments are designed to purge impurities and nourish the skin. You’ll begin with not one but two full-body exfoliations. The first is a dry-brush that will help slough off dead skin. The second features a re-mineralizing gel with geranium, pine and ylang-ylang – all three of which contain essential oils that can reduce and cure skin irritations or conditions, creating a healthier glow.
After a session in your private steam room to help pull impurities and flush out toxins, you’ll be fully prepped for a massage with a re-mineralizing lotion that is loaded with organic juniper, fennel and lavender oil.
Let steam rooms, cosy bathrobes and high thread-count towels keep you warm this winter
One of the true joys of winter is the visceral appreciation of the warm and cosy. And it’s even better when that warmth comes courtesy of the luxurious towels and perfectly drawn baths of a pampering day spa. These five local treatments will exorcise the deepest chill and send you back outside feeling radiant.
Catherine is a lifestyle writer, specializing in travel, style, food and beauty. You can read more of her work in WestWorld, Real Weddings, AsiaSpa, Darpan, Wine Enthusiast and others. Follow her on social (Instagram, Snapchat & Twitter) @TSEwords.