A Beauty Lover’s Guide to Exploring Winnipeg, Manitoba
Retail therapy and aromatherapy for an indulgent weekend away.
Once you visit Manitoba’s capital city, Winnipeg, it just may be your new secret getaway go-to for a few days of shopping and some much-needed spa time.
Winnipeg is the largest city in the region and offers a wide range of things to do and see whatever the season—from a zoo with polar bears, to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, to historic walkable neighbourhoods, to a fabulous dining and arts scene, to fun summer festivals and more. But to zero in for beauty aficionados, here’s where to go.
The Forks Market at the Exchange District Image by: The Forks Winnipeg
The place: Skip the big box stores and stroll outdoors popping into unique one-of-a-kind shops and galleries in this national historic site.
Ask for: Berns and Black salon’s shellac mani/pedi for a long-lasting finish. Pick up some vegan, all-natural bath treats at SoGa Artisan Soaperie to use back home, like the Shower Smoothie (love the black raspberry vanilla sugar) or a Bath Snowball.
CF Polo Park
The place: Manitoba’s largest shopping centre, situated at Portage Avenue and St. James Street, has over 200 stores and services. Beauty lovers will appreciate having a Sephora, Saje Natural Wellness, L’Occitane and Kiehl’s under one roof.
Ask for: The Aromatime alarm clock from Saje, with a timer that wakes you each morning with energizing aromatherapy, is a better souvenir than a touristy t-shirt any day.
Outlet Collection Winnipeg
The place: A new, open airy shopping centre with beautiful clean lines and a chic modern look in the south end of the city. Be sure to visit the guest services desk to learn more about Collection Perks, available only for visitors from out of town.
Ask for: Beauty buffs will be delighted to visit Perfumes 4 U, a shop that specializes in hard to find fragrances. While you’re there, check in to Portia Ella, Canada’s version of Sephora; Winnipeg is home to their very first retail outlet, meaning you can be one of the select few to sample their popular products in person.
Ten Spa on the 10th floor of the Fort Garry Hotel Image by: Ten Spa
The place: An outdoor/indoor collection of pools and saunas offer thermal cycle therapy, which is a heat therapy treatment that involves alternating between hot and cold, followed by a rest period. Scandinavians have sworn by this as a revitalizing treatment for years.
Ask for: The signature Thermal experience, during which you can float between the spa’s pools, steamrooms, saunas and relaxation pavilion for just $55. Revved and detoxed simultaneously.
The place: On the 10th floor of the Fort Garry Hotel, this hidden sanctuary is a hot spot for locals and visitors alike.
Ask for: Intro to Hamam treatment. Start sipping Moroccan mint tea and nibbling Turkish delight, followed by a self-administered salt rub and traditional rinse. Then a member of the spa team will massage your head, scalp and feet on a heated marble slab. Heaven.
The place: Located at the Inn at the Forks in Winnipeg’s city centre, this recently renovated sanctuary for your sanity offers a modern take on sense-of-place décor in the prairies. Think blonde wood, pebble flooring, beautiful tile work in the steams and saunas, and a relaxation room with sleek furniture.
Ask for: The Indigenous Hot Stone Massage, which incorporates indigenous treatments that reflect the history of the region. The grounding treatment uses sacred elements including cedar, sage and sweet grass to cleanse and strengthen the mind.
Pocca Poca Spa
The place: This newly-opened thermal therapy spa brings the healing powers of Ganban-yoku from Japan to Winnipeg. Feel the warmth of the stones beneath your toes as you make your way to the spa’s smooth slab beds, where total bliss awaits.
Ask for: Ganban-yoku, the spa’s premier treatment, which uses rare stones that release therapeutic warmth to help relax the body and mind.