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Meet Our 2016 Canadian Spa & Wellness Awards Winners

Canada is home to an incredible spa industry, as you’ll soon discover. From British Columbia in the west to Nova Scotia in the east, spas and related businesses of all shapes and sizes are endeavouring to deliver world-class service to their clients. The 2016 Canadian Spa & Wellness Awards provided a taste of what the Canadian spa industry has to offer. Some of the spas and businesses featured here will be familiar faces, while others are brand new. They all have something different to offer and they have all earned their place in on this list.

Redwood Medi Spa – Toronto, ON

While our neighbours to the south have been gripped by election madness, we’ve been having a bit of voting ourselves. Canadian spa consumers made it known this year that their vote is with a little boutique medi spa in downtown Toronto, which has only been open since November 2015. “We’re a one-stop-shop” says Maggie Guo, Director of Operations at Redwood Medi Spa. “We have everything ranging from the traditional medical spa services to wellness services.” Redwood Medi Spa recently added to its repertoire with microblading and scalp micropigmentation services; a Lumecca Photofacial, which deals with sun damage and brown spots; and a body contouring and cellulite reduction treatment, which is a non-surgical solution that is combined with a nutritional counselling program. “We do the photo facials… we do the chemical peels, but it’s not a cookie-cutter,” Guo says adding, “Every treatment is customized.” Every treatment is preceded by a free half-hour consultation to get to know the client, learn about their lifestyle and present them with a tailored program. “It’s such a great honour,” Guo says of Redwood’s Consumer’s Choice Award. “It raises the bar even higher. We take such a pride in what we do.”

Victoria Park Medi Spa – Westmount, QC

There’s a reason Victoria Park Medi Spa stands out in Montreal’s competitive spa scene. For one thing, the medi spa is one of a select few that is supervised by a medical team of leading plastic surgeons, dermatologists and oculoplastic surgeons, as well as highly trained medi spa technicians. The medi spa is also nestled into the larger complex of Victoria Park, which includes a traditional spa, a health club, and two world-renowned restaurants. “We’ve been told by numerous people that we are unique and a leader in North America, not just in Canada” says Jeffrey Hart, President of Victoria Park. It has been a year of great change for Victoria Park. In September, Hart opened a second medi spa in another part of Montreal, and in November a fire forced Victoria Park Medi Spa into a temporary location. “It’s a great story in the sense that we were up and serving customers on the spa and medi spa side within three days,” Hart says. “We’d secured a lease and everybody worked together to move the services over and be back in business.” The medi spa is currently in short-term accommodations across the street, but Hart says that renovations on the original location have given him the opportunity to enhance the facilities. “When we reopen in early 2017 it will be that much better than it was before.”

Scandinave Spa Blue Mountain – Blue Mountain, ON

Returning champion Scandinave Spa Blue Mountain knows its niche: Scandinavian baths and registered massages. With a staff that is almost 100 strong, 13 massage rooms, and a plethora of bathing and relaxation areas, the spa has not only stuck to its niche, it has excelled at it. “We know how competitive and how the spa market is growing, so when we do get the opportunity to win an award like this, we realize that it’s because we keep working hard and providing a service and a product that people love,” says Mylisa Henderson, Co-owner and Director of Marketing and Sales at Scandinave Spa Blue Mountain. The spa celebrated its 10th anniversary on December 13, 2016. It has been 10 years of watching the wellness tourism business grow and Scandinave Spa Blue Mountain become a destination in the south Georgian Bay area, Henderson says. The spa is currently expanding with a new, 1,500 square-foot building that will include an infrared sauna and another relaxation area, opening in January 2017. “As any spa owner or franchise can attest, you’ve got to differentiate yourself,” Henderson says. That’s why she felt it was important to participate in the 2016 Canadian Spa and Wellness Awards. “If you can find something that you offer that nobody else can or does, then you’ve got a story to tell and you should make sure that everybody hears about it.”

Hammam Spa – Toronto, ON

Toronto’s Hammam Spa returns this year as Top Day Spa. “We’re unique,” says Spa Manager Paula Aveling. “We definitely bring something different to the table, to the spa industry, and I think in a city that’s dynamic like Toronto, that’s very welcome.” Hammam Spa’s focus on corporate and individual wellness sets it apart. Custom-tailored service and personalized feedback on wellness and lifestyle ensures each guest to the spa gets the most out of their experience. In a busy urban location, Hammam Spa has created a peaceful haven where spa-goers can escape into an 8,000 square-foot subterranean facility. The design of the spa has an earthy and androgynous appeal, which may be part of the reason it can boast that 40 per cent of its clientele are male.

Spa St. James at the Ritz-Carlton Montreal – Montreal, QC

This year’s Top New Spa has been open since Valentine’s Day weekend, 2016. The family business – owned by the St. James and Turner families – is a warm and welcoming place, infused with a mother’s love, says Spa Manager Jordan St. James. “It’s my mother who founded the spa,” he says. “I see it in how she deals with the customers on a daily basis and how our employees are inspired to do the same.” Spa St. James previously occupied another location, but its new home at the Ritz-Carlton Montreal includes new services and amenities. “This new location has permitted us to really create the environment from scratch that we really wanted to create from the beginning,” St. James says. The spa has implemented a new purchase-based rewards points program which clients can use toward products, services, as well as inviting friends. Being situated in a hotel allows Spa St. James clients access to amenities like the saltwater pool on the penthouse level with its stunning views of the city, the steam room, and the dry sauna, among others. “All of these amenities are new to our guests,” St. James says. “They’re just loving it; they’re eating it up.”

Ste Anne’s Spa – Grafton, ON

Once again, Ste. Anne’s Spa has won the Top Destination Spa award. “We’re thrilled once again to be recognized in this manner,” says Spa Manager Wanda Hoehn. “We’ve been around for 25 years and to continually be chosen, not only by consumers but by our industry peers, as Canada’s Top Destination Spa, it’s truly meaningful.” The spa works very hard not to become complacent, Hoehn says. The spa recently expanded its massage chair room with a breathtaking view of the rolling hills that surround it, and renovations on a new kitchen and dining area are expected to be completed in the spring. New renovations will soon add a new hydrotherapy facility, which will act as a Nordic-style continuation of the Grotto experience, and a culinary school to the grounds of Ste. Anne’s. The spa has been running yoga retreats twice a month, Hoehn says, up from once a quarter due to their popularity. “I think consumers really look to third-party feedback when it comes to making the right choice,” Hoehn says, when asked about the importance of the Canadian Spa and Wellness Awards. “Taking time for yourself is an investment, not just a time investment but a financial one, and you want to be sure you’re making the right decision.”

Riverstone Spa – Winnipeg, MB

Janice Colatruglio taught esthetics and electrolysis for 14 years at European School of Esthetics in Winnipeg before she came to her current position. Before that, she ran her own nail and skin care business for almost 10 years. “This is all I’ve been doing for my entire life,” says the Spa Director at Winnipeg’s Riverstone Spa. “I love the spa industry.” Colatruglio says she’s very proud to have had a hand in building Riverstone spa from the ground up. “I helped to develop the Riverstone Spa by creating the menu, the services, [and] doing the educational training for our staff,” she says. Colatruglio also helped usher Riverstone Spa through SIAC’s Quality Assurance program, making it the first Canadian spas to do so. “As an educator, that was really important to me… to make sure that we exceeded all standards,” Colatruglio says. Riverstone Spa has since requalified for the Quality Assurance program three times and exceeded expectations every year, Colatruglio says. “It’s a team effort here [at Riverstone Spa], I don’t take all the credit,” she says. “I work with the staff to help create and to listen to what our clients have to say. I think it’s really important to listen to the feedback of your staff to create what clients are looking for.”

Spa Addiction

The multi-service industry partner Spa Addiction successfully defended its Top Spa Partner title this year. Managing Director Nicole Fisico thinks it might have something to do with how quickly she gets back to her customers and her flexibility in terms of special requests. “I think flexibility goes a really long way, on both sides,” Fisico says. “If for some reason an order can’t quite go out the same day as their order is placed, everyone understands and it’s a real give and take. I think we’ve created a real family environment in order to make both our businesses successful.” 2016 marks Spa Addiction’s fourth year in business and a third year for its spa skin care brand, Face Addiction. “It’s definitely been an exciting year of growth,” Fisico says. “We have nearly 40 stockists in Canada now, from coast to coast. People are really starting to get to know the [Face Addiction] brand and are really excited to present that to their clients and their customers, so it’s been a great year.”


This New Award Category Recognizes Individuals Who Have Contributed To The Growth, Betterment And Recognition Of The Canadian Spa Industry.

Leslie Lyon

Leslie Lyon’s 35-year career in the spa and wellness industry has seen her serve as a practitioner, entrepreneur, consultant, educator, author, speaker, advisor, and chair and board member to prominent businesses, publications, and associations around the globe. Lyon currently heads Spas2b Inc., which specializes in online spa management certificate courses designed to cater to the needs of spa professionals. “It is such an honour to be recognized for something I’ve dedicated my entire career to,” Lyon says of receiving the SIAC Chair Award. It is one of her proudest accomplishments to date, she says, right up there with the time she served as Chair for Global Wellness Institute’s Global Internship Program in 2015 and 2016.

Lori Robertson

Lori Robertson has 25 years of experience in the spa industry. She points to her time as spa manager at Temple Gardens Hotel Spa in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, as her most enjoyable experience. Robertson says that 2016 has been a year of change for her, but also for the spa industry. “I feel the industry is at a fork in the road,” she says. “I have seen evidence of significant strides toward greater professionalism and much more focus on the business of spa business. I am gratified to see increasing conversation, collaboration and cooperation between spa management and educational institutions to address needs and bridge gaps, and in developing young professionals.” Robertson greatly appreciates the acknowledgement this recognition represents, but she says she would be remiss if she didn’t acknowledge all the passionate and dedicated volunteers that help to promote and support the industry. “This award belongs to all of them,” she says.

We Want To Give A Special Mention To Our Top 25 Spas:

  • Ste. Anne’s Spa – Grafton, ON
  • Iwa Spa – Blue Mountain, ON
  • Spa St. James at the Ritz-Carlton – Montreal, QC
  • Ten Spa – Winnipeg, MB
  • 100 Fountain Spa – Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON
  • Spa My Blend by Clarins at the Ritz-Carlton – Toronto, ON
  • Dol-as Spa – Wallace, NS
  • Sweetgrass Spa – Toronto, ON
  • BALNEA reserve thermale – Bromont, QC
  • Hammam Spa – Toronto, ON
  • Willow Stream Spa at Fairmont Empress – Victoria, BC
  • Grail Springs Wellness Retreat & Spa – Bancroft, ON
  • Grotto Spa at Tigh-Na-Mara – Parksville, BC
  • Elmwood Spa – Toronto, ON
  • The Spa at Langdon Hall – Cambridge, ON
  • Spa du Manoir Saint-Sauveur – Saint-Sauveur, QC
  • Riverstone Spa – Winnipeg, MB
  • Sante Spa Victoria – Victoria, BC
  • Holtz Spa – Ottawa, ON
  • Spa 901 – Fernie, BC
  • Scandinave Spa Blue Mountain – Blue Mountain, ON
  • Scandinave Spa Whistler – Whistler, BC
  • Miraj Hammam Spa by Caudelie Paris – Toronto, ON
  • The L Spa and Wellness Centre – Grande Prairie, AB
  • Glow Medi Spa – Toronto, ON
Hermione Wilson

Hermione has a background in lifestyle and entertainment journalism. After graduating from Humber College’s journalism program, where she wrote for the school’s newspaper and various magazines, Hermione interned at TV Guide Canada, writing television reviews, and at Canadian Living, where she sampled goodies from the Test Kitchen.

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