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A tale of two spas: Finding the perfect place for you

This week I was lucky enough to be invited to not one but two spas. I know – somebody pinch me!

I had a wonderful time at both even though they were completely contrasting experiences: not only was one was set in the city while the other was in cottage country, but on top of that, the country spa was also holding its annual five day conference for women where I found myself learning more than lazing around.

On Saturday I headed to the new eforea: spa at Hilton in Markham, Ontario. They offer elegant treatments in a relaxing and rejuvenating atmosphere. As Kim, the spa operations manager, said: “You have the opportunity to let everything go and take time for yourself,” and that’s exactly what I did.  I started my visit with the Signature Three Part massage also known as an hour and twenty minutes of heaven. The massage began with warm bamboo being rolled over my body to relax my muscles. This was followed by a full body rub down that included a face massage and the guest’s choice of either a foot or scalp rub—I opted for the foot which was spectacular. After applying a beautifully scented lotion (or oil? I was too relaxed to care) to my feet and calves, the massage therapist wrapped my legs in steamed towels. By the time my massage was finished my body felt like butter – warm, soft and smooth. Following a healthy lunch, I headed back in to the treatment room for my signature facial. I immediately fell asleep, but can you blame me after having such a rough day? My amazing aesthetician must have performed magic on my skin because it hasn’t looked this fantastic in months…seriously, just take a look at one of my previous posts to see some of my skin complaints.  By the time I left, I was rested, relaxed and ready to take on my work week…which started with another trip to the spa.

My Monday morning started early (4:30AM to be exact). I wanted to make sure I could spend the full day at my destination—Grail Springs Spa in Bancroft, Ontario. After a three hour drive, I arrived just in time for the opening ceremonies of their annual women’s event. The Lady Faire is for women who are seeking a holistic approach to improving aspects of their personal life like health, relationships, business, wellbeing and more.  Following some powerful speeches and a beautiful smudging ceremony, I headed to their outdoor spa area for a pedicure. During the event, Grail Springs takes their spa services outside allowing women to connect with nature as they get pampered with everything from body scrubs to facials. But Grail Springs and this event are meant for so much more than just spa services—they are here to help guests connect with their true, inner selves.  Aside from the conference, Grail Springs is a wellness retreat that facilitates spiritually-rich experiences. Spa director, Monica Lumley-Piercey, said that guests come to Grail Springs looking for a lifestyle change whether that means career, relationship or something else. I met women who said their stay at Grail Springs changed their lives, and as I sat listening to the speakers talk about the power of living with purpose and finding your true self, I genuinely started buying into the Grail Springs experience. No, I didn’t go home and break up with my boyfriend or quit my job (who would quit when their job sends them on spa retreats), but instead left feeling happy about my life, its direction and who I am.

As I drove home through the winding, tree lined roads, I started thinking about how the perfect spa visit starts with finding the perfect spa for you.  eforea was exactly what I needed on Saturday. It gave me a break from reality and allowed me to take a few moments to forget about work and upcoming deadlines. But by Monday I was in a different mental space, ready and eager for Grail Springs. It gave me exactly what I needed at that moment in time: a collaborative environment where I could reflect on my life and who I want to become.

If you’re looking to take your mind off your life then I would suggest a spa like eforea where they cater to your every need.  If you’re looking to focus on your life and create change, a more holistic and spiritual retreat like Grail Springs will be of benefit. The point is it’s up to you to know what you need and to find a place that can accommodate you. There’s a world of wonderful spas out there. Happy hunting!

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