Image courtesy of Park Hyatt Toronto Stillwater Spa.
Moscow Massage, $155, 60 minutes.
Where: Stillwater Spa at Park Hyatt Toronto. 4 Avenue Road, 1-416-926-2389
Spa vibe: Arrive at least 30 minutes before your treatment begins to bask in luxe, self-pampering amenities of the well-lit, under the sea-inspired spa, like the steam room and whirlpool. Nestle in your robe and feel at home amongst the city’s well-slippered ladies indulging chocolate biscotti in the tea lounge. Soft Russian music plays during the massage.
What: From Russia with love comes the hot-and-cold massage treatment inspired by the banya of Moscow – a cleansing and socializing "public bath" ritual. My massage therapist, Kimberly, tells me that this is an invigorating treatment throughout, not the kind of massage that will put you to sleep (it’s been a long week; I take her warning as a challenge as soon as I’m cocooned in the warmed bed). The treatment begins with a full-body massage. As my eyelids become heavy, a blast of cool, caviar-infused mist spritzed allover jolts me back to life. (This swift hot-to-cold contrast is part of the Russian banya treatment, which is said to tone skin and build up the immune system – and keeps you from falling asleep!) Next comes the tapotement treatment – a gentle, rhythmic beating with a whisk-like contraption made of bamboo. Then I’m rolled over on my stomach and the process begins again. Cooled from the mist once again, I snuggle under the warm blanket and finally relax for the facial massage with pure caviar extract that leaves a golden shimmer on my skin the rest of the day.
Luxe ingredients: Gold-tinged caviar in two forms, both indigenous to the waters from lakes surrounding Moscow.
Bliss factor: 4/5 aromatherapy oil drops
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