It shouldn’t come as a shock that many of us are eager for a spa visit. Anxiety and other forms of tension can take a nasty toll on our bodies, and 2020 has been, well, you know. Now that Stage 3 of reopening in Ontario is underway, many of the stress-relieving facilities we typically frequent, like gyms, salons and spas, are welcoming guests again. While these spaces were always required to follow stringent sanitization measures, safety guidelines are, understandably, even more rigorous now. Along with physical distancing, spas are taking additional precautions in order to safely accommodate staff and guests. Here’s what you need to know before booking your next beauty service.
Caudalie Hazelton House
Where: 7 Hazelton Ave
What you need to know: French skincare brand Caudalie’s flagship location opened its doors in Toronto’s Yorkville neighbourhood for the first time in early July. The newly appointed multi-level retail and spa space will soon be home to the brand’s official Canadian headquarters – look out for the ritzy event space and rooftop terrace to come. The charming boutique is equipped with hand sanitizer and accommodates two guests at a time (three if there is only one employee on the floor – a capacity limit determined by the square footage of the space.) To avoid lineups at the street-level entrance, Caudalie is also offering phone-in skin consultations: clients can choose to place products on hold for pick up at their convenience.
Guests who plan to indulge in one Caudalie’s signature face or body treatments will need to fill out a COVID health check form beforehand. Masks must be worn at all times by staff and clients during body treatments. Aestheticians are equipped with masks and face shields for the entirety of facial treatments, and frequent hand-washing is implemented throughout all services. Massage tables are covered with a disposable sheets, and to preserve post-facial freshness, masks are provided for guests to use after their treatment. Individually served cups of tea, water and grapes are offered with booked appointments in the waiting area. Keep in mind, the waiting area is limited to one person and disinfected after each use, so we recommend showing up at your scheduled appointment time.
Note: Mention ELLE Canada when you book your service at the Hazelton House and automatically receive a complimentary 15-minute add-on treatment of your choice!
Miraj Hammam Spa at the Shangri-La
Where: 188 University Ave
What you need to know: Miraj Hammam, located inside Toronto’s Shangri-La Hotel, re-opened its doors on July 7th. While patrons may be accustomed to a buzzing atmosphere – it is, after all, one of the city’s most visited high-end spas – the present vibe is markedly tranquil. The number of guests and staff allowed inside the spa is limited, as are the designated points of entry.
Prior to arrival, guests are asked to complete a pre-screening form and must complete a temperature check via a no-touch thermometer at the door. Once inside, a second wellness screening form – indicating that hand washing prior and post treatment is mandatory for both staff and guests – must be filled out. Sanitizer is available at virtually every entrance and most chairs are blocked off in common areas to all for social distancing.
You won’t see shared amenities in change rooms and common areas (say goodbye to morsels of Turkish delight and fresh fruit for now), but pre-packaged snacks and bottled water are available. Lockers are assigned (once again, for effective distancing) and stocked with basic amenities. For those who would rather skip the common areas, there is the option to forego them and head straight to the treatment room. Guests are provided with gloves and can opt to have their treatment performed with gloves, if desired.
As the Hammam can be a high-traffic zone, doors are propped open to minimize repeated touch, and touchless payment options are available. Treatment rooms are thoroughly sanitized between services, and all staff must complete a “Spa Safe Infection Control” course prior to returning to work to ensure your experience is as safe and comfortable as possible.
Hammam Spa by Céla
Where: 602 King St W
What you need to know: Located on King West, the Middle-Eastern inspired Hammam Spa by Céla has re-emerged from lockdown with a shiny new look. Besides all the gorgeous slabs of marble and gilded details to feast your eyes on, this opulent space offers a slew of treatments, ranging from invigorating Turkish baths (if you haven’t been brushed and scrubbed head-to-toe with eucalyptus-laced black soap yet, you’re missing out) and medical-grade facials performed with SkinCeuticals products.
Visits are by appointment-only and a mandatory COVID-19 waiver form must be completed prior to any scheduled services. Guests without an appointment are not permitted and waiting areas have a limited capacity, so be sure to arrive solo for your treatment.
Guests are receive a sealed bag with a sterilized robe and pair of slippers that must be worn while inside the spa. Disposable wipes, masks and gloves are also provided. Treatment rooms are sanitized rigorously between treatments, and all staff members are equipped with gloves, masks and face shields, and must complete a temperature check and safety check-in before beginning each shift.
Where: Within the GTA
What you need to know: Eager for a spa session but not ready to enter into public spaces just yet? There’s an app for that. Primped, a Toronto-based start-up that launched back in September 2019, offers beauty services at the swipe of a finger. Download the app and schedule your service of choice – manicure, spray-tan, blowout, whatever it may be – and a certified professional will arrive at your door.
In order to conduct the service safely, beauty professionals and customers are screened via online questionnaire prior to the appointment. This applies for group bookings as well, which must consist of household members or those within your 10-person social pod.
Clients and professionals must wear a mask throughout the service, and clients are required to fully disinfect their workstation (be it a kitchen table or an office space) prior to the appointment: all tables and chairs used during the service must be wiped down with appropriate sanitizing solution in advance. Carrying cases brought by the service provider will be sanitized at the doorway and hand-washing is mandatory before and after any services. Garbage accumulated throughout the service will be disposed independently by the professional, and disposable tools are used wherever possible. Customers can also choose to have their service performed al fresco if they are uncomfortable with indoor spaces – a big plus for those with shaded patios.
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