Makeup & nails
Feb 21, 2014

The 10 best Canadian spas

By: ELLE Canada

Author: Elle Canada

Makeup & nails
Feb 21, 2014

The 10 best Canadian spas

By: ELLE Canada

Photo courtesy of Willow Stream Spa.

Crafting the perfect spa experience is as much of an art as it is a science: while there isn't an exact formula, a delicate balance of ambiance, skilled therapists and natural setting help create a luxurious escape. Then amenities like mineral baths and chocolate biscottis come down to personal preference. So to come up with a list of the best spas in Canada, the ELLE Canada editors—each with varied tastes and needs—shared their experiences from recent travels. Sit back, relax and check out these ELLE-approved recommendations the next time you're in the area.

Best Canadian spa: The Spa at Nita Lake Lodge
The locale:
Whistler, B.C.
Why we love it: Whistler's picturesque mountainous setting may have had something to do with winning over executive editor Laura deCarufel. “I experienced 90 minutes of absolute bliss at Whistler's superlative Nita Lake Lodge spa,” she wrote. “The first 60 minutes were spent enjoying the signature ila Ananda Facial, a lovely rebalancing facial treatment, heaving on the rejuvenating facial massage. Post-treatment, I floated to the lounge, where I admired the view of famous snowy peaks through the floor-to-ceiling windows, while sipping piping hot herbal tea.”

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Best Canadian spa: Willow Stream Spa
The locale:
The Fairmont Banff Springs, Banff, Alberta
Why we love it: This could very well be one of the most naturally luxe spas in Canada—by virtue of its up-close proximity and view of the Canadian Rockies. A destination experience of a relaxing yet regal calibre, the spa requires a daylong commitment to fully soak up its amenities. “And just like the hot springs that drew world travellers to Banff over a century ago, the outdoor whirlpool against the majestic backdrop of the Rockies is worth a dip,” wrote our web writer Ava Baccari.

Best Canadian spa: Miraj Hammam Spa
The locale:
Shangri-La Hotel, Toronto
Why we love it: Deemed “a Middle Eastern oasis amidst the concrete jungle” by our web editor Noah Lehava, the Miraj Hammam Spa by Caudalie Paris at the Shangri-La Hotel is the perfect place to detox—body, mind and soul. Order a spiced chai tea and baklava, and enter your own private Hammam room to await your Old World-inspired treatments.

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Photo courtesy of the Quartz Crystal Spa.

Best Canadian spa: Quartz Crystal Spa
The locale:
Trump Hotel Toronto
Why we love it: Located 31 floors about the bustling downtown Toronto scene, this editor-approved mineral-inspired sanctuary doles out tranquil elegance and luxury in Trump-size proportions. And it reminds us of diamonds. Bonus? You can sip cocktails while having side-by-side manis and pedis with your BFF. “I love the Trump!” affirms our beauty director Vanessa Craft. Enough said.

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Best Canadian spa: Pure Simple Spa
The locale
: Three Toronto locations
Why we love it: This all-natural spa uses only high-quality organic beauty products in every skin and facial treatment, and is a favourite among the ELLE Canada staffers when in need of a natural glow. “The storefront is stocked with rows of natural cosmetics and skin care lines, so I come in extra early to browse—and end up spending way more than I intended before my appointment even begins,” wrote Ava Baccari. “Totally worth it.”

Best Canadian spa: Millcroft Inn & Spa
The locale:
Caledon, Ontario
Why we love it: Sometimes you have to make a true getaway from the city to fully indulge in the spa experience—and our production editor Ciara Rickard can vouch for that. “The Millcroft Inn & Spa, just an hour outside of Toronto, combines a pretty rural setting with pampering expert treatments,” she wrote. “Between facial and massage, you can lounge by a fire with complimentary tea and granola or soak in the whirlpool. A true escape.”

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Photo courtesy of the Stillwater Spa.

Best Canadian spa: The Spa at the Four Seasons Hotel Toronto
The locale:
Four Seasons Hotel Toronto
Why we love it: At 30,000 square feel, The Spa is one of the largest relaxation retreats in the city—offering 17 spacious treatment rooms, two steam rooms, and a full-service salon. Associate editor Alannah O’Neill, recently decamped for a staycation and couples’ massage with her husband: “The one-hour experience is an exercise in unadulterated luxury, and we both emerge feeling coddled, euphoric–and devastated that it’s over,” she wrote. 

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Best Canadian spa: Stillwater Spa
The locale:
Park Hyatt Toronto
Why we love it: There’s nothing quite like the urban sanctuary of the Stillwater Spa in Toronto—in terms of luxe escapism and total-body pampering. “Nestle in your robe and feel at home amongst the city’s well-slippered ladies while indulging chocolate biscotti in the tea lounge,” wrote Ava Baccari. Mark this on your to-do list when visiting TO—or whenever you just need to get away from it all.

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Best Canadian spa: Spa Balnea
The locale:
Bromont, Quebec
Why we love it: For this, Kathryn Hudson, features editor—and Montreal native—weighs in: “Located about an hour outside of Montreal, Spa Balnea is—I think—the best in the area. You can sip Veuve and enjoy the private lake. But for the ultimate experience, head out there in the fall, when you can take in the stunning leaves while sitting in your own hot tub. Of course, the food and massages are amazing too!"

Best Canadian spa: Pure Spa
The locale:
Charlottetown, P.E.I.
Why we love it: This tranquil spa, nestled in the gentle island, uses all-natural, handmade products from Éminence skin care in every facial treatment. “Situated on the bustling boardwalk near a thriving Charlottetown harbour, Pure Spa offers up a modern oasis within a quaint seaside town,” wrote web producer Sarah Thompson, who road-tripped to P.E.I. in the summer. “Watch boats sail by and indulge in Pure Spa’s contemporary atmosphere while sipping a pre-treatment beverage in a comfy lounge chair before your Savasana facial begins.”

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The 10 best Canadian spas