A journey outside the comfort zone at a psychedelic-assisted therapy retreat.
Rooms with a view
Christienne Fallsview Spa at Sheraton on the Falls has a room with a view. The treatment room (pictured on the front cover) on the 14th floor of the hotel overlooks the grandeur of Niagara Falls. It was built to incorporate the incredible view and a private infinity pool.
“We actually created that room specifically for the infinity [pool] itself,” says Sarah Vasquez, Vice-President of Marketing and Business Development with Canadian Niagara Hotels, about the 144-sq. ft. room.
Christienne’s signature Infinity Spa Experience was designed to make full use of the well-appointed treatment room and includes a drinks menu, since the spa is licensed to serve alcohol. Vasquez says there are a lot of proposals that take place in the room. For birthdays, the spa can arrange to have a cake ready and waiting. The experience lasts for 20 minutes, which is the recommended time for the hot pool. It also allows time for it to be sterilized before the next client arrives.
Aside from the Infinity Spa Experience, Christienne’s most-booked treatments are its massages, of which hot stone, Thai hot stem, and reflexology are the most popular. In addition, as Niagara Falls is the honeymoon capital of the world, the spa often hosts couples looking for a romantic experience. They tend to favour the Couples Retreat spa package that includes two massages and a soak in the hydrotherapy tub. Also overlooking the falls is the manicure and pedicure room, which features floor-to-ceiling windows. It is separated from the relaxation and refreshment area by a piece of glass so » that both rooms can enjoy the view. “The angle is such that you can see both [the U.S. and Canadian] sides of the falls beautifully,” says Spa Director Diana Venturini. “The relaxation area also has floor-to-ceiling windows so you get this beautiful view while you’re sitting waiting for treatments or in between treatments.”
But what really distinguishes Christienne Fallsview Spa is its world-class customer service, Venturini says. “We really try to go above and beyond,” she says. “I always say to my staff, ‘You can get a massage anywhere.’ Massages are great most places you go to, but we really try hard to raise the level of expectation here. We try to make people feel like they’re a guest in our home.”
Venturini has chosen every detail of the spa very carefully, from the products used – Farmhouse Fresh for those who prefer the organic, vegan option, and Guinot for clients who tend more toward pharmaceutical-grade spa care – to the scents wafting through its halls. Throughout the spa, clients will smell a combination of lavender, orange and peppermint, Christienne Spa’s signature scents. “I started experimenting a little bit, and that [mixture] just tended to be more appealing to people when they walk in,” Venturini says. “They always make a comment about the scent.”
The spa’s high rating on the TripAdvisor site attests to Venturini’s dedication to providing an unmatched customer experience. Christienne is ranked number one in the Niagara Falls region and has been award TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence. “We put a lot of validity into TripAdvisor,” Vasquez says, adding that, as a Sheraton brand, the spa is also required to survey all of its customers. “We send out surveys to everyone who gives us their email address to see how we did, and for the last year we were at 9.4/10,” Venturini says proudly. “That’s pretty significant; that’s pretty high.”
Vasquez says a lot of the credit goes to Venturini, who came on board as spa director five years ago with 21 years of spa business experience. Since Venturini arrived, Vasquez says Christienne Fallsview Spa has been voted Niagara’s number one spa and one of the top five spas in Ontario on TripAdvisor five years in a row. “We give [Diana] a ton of accolades for that, because when she took over I believe we were in, like, the 20s and then she’s brought it up,” Vasquez says. “She’s been able to maintain the top five, but she strives every day to get to the number one spot in Ontario and then we’ll take on Canada.”
Spa Facts: Christienne Fallsview SPA
Size: 2,500 square-feet
Number of treatment rooms: 6
Number of staff: 20
Retail: Farmhouse Fresh, Guinot