Eight perfectly hedonistic spa treatments for winter-weary minds and bodies

Photo by Graydon Herriott

1 The Self-Care Sweat guided session at Othership’s bathhouse retreat takes participants on a temperature adventure from near-boiling heat (95 degrees) to near-­freezing cold (two degrees). It starts with calming breathwork in a 50-person red cedar sauna. Participants work out their corporeal kinks by self-massaging with dowels and quartz gua sha tools. Then it’s off to the ice plunge. Sitting in bone-­chilling water may not sound relaxing, but the opposite extremes have restful results. After yo-yoing between hot and cold, visitors feel clear-headed, calm and ready to start the cycle all over again. 425 Adelaide St. W., 416-361-0101

Target area: Full body
Total time: 75 minutes
Cost: $55 per class
Sort-of-secret elixirs: Othership’s 100-plus essential oils add an aroma­therapeutic element to every session.
Spa perk: A steamy post-sweat cup of Clover Botanicals tea—a blend made with stress-dampening valerian root.

The Spa at Four Seasons Hotel

2 At the Four Seasons spa, legs and feet are given extra-special attention. The Rosedale Reviving Foot Therapy starts at the knee and makes its way down to the tips of the toes. The entire area is thoroughly exfoliated with a lime blossom macadamia scrub and massaged with hydrating macadamia nut oil and white tea bergamot lotion. Any muscle tension is worked away with heated hunks of hand-carved Himalayan salt, and pressure is applied to specific reflexology points in order to soothe the nervous system. 60 Yorkville Ave., 416-964-0411

Target area: Legs and feet
Total time: One hour
Cost: $225 from Monday to Thursday, $250 from Friday to Sunday
Sort-of-secret elixirs: Australian brand Jindilli, which uses hyper-pure cold-pressed macadamia oil in its products.
Spa perk: Spend over $185 on treatments and gain access to the hotel’s steam room, sauna, hot tub and light-dappled infinity pool.

Spa myBlend by Clarins at The Ritz-Carlton

3 The Rejuvenation Experience is a day’s worth of pampering. It starts with a hot-stone massage followed by a ginkgo biloba–infused mud body wrap. If that doesn’t mentally transport you to the beach, there’s more. A light-therapy facial uses LEDs to beam regenerative, undulating red rays onto the face, and the result is surprisingly soporific. Then, after a languorous lunch in the sun-drenched lounge, a mani-pedi ensures that every last body part is left feeling reborn. 181 Wellington St. W., 416-572-8000

Target area: Full body
Total time: Five hours and 30 minutes
Cost: $995 from Monday to Thursday, $1075 from Friday to Sunday
Sort-of-secret elixirs: The Clarins line of powerful, highly concentrated creams and serums made with plant extracts.
Spa perk: The high-tech myBlend Cell Synergy Machine provides personalized facials, switching between radio­frequency, electrostimulation, electroporation and thermoaesthetics.

Guerlain Spa at Hotel X

4 The Honey Repair Treatment starts with face, neck and chest exfoliation, in which dead skin is gently sloughed off with non-abrasive rice powder. Next, the freshly exposed layers are anointed with the thyme-and-­rosemary-infused Double R Serum. The therapist then massages the facial muscles using a secret century-­old technique developed by Guerlain. The mix of pressure-­point activation, stretching and circular movements smoothes wrinkles, promotes regeneration and lulls you into a tranquil state. Just as you’re about to nod off, a honey-rich face mask is applied for a repairing effect. As you flirt with REM, the attendant completes the treatment by massaging the neck, shoulders and arms. 111 Princes’ Blvd., 647-475-9288

Target area: Face, neck and chest
Total time: 90 minutes
Cost: $325
Sort-of-secret elixirs: Guerlain’s Abeille Royale amplifies the natural healing qualities of honey, royal jelly and propolis with added botanicals.
Spa perk: Lake views while sipping on complimentary post-treatment bubbly.

Hammam Spa by Céla

5 The Black Gold Scrub is a caffeine fix without the crash. This luxurious full-body treatment starts with an exfoliant made from raw sugar, rich cupuaçu butter, Abyssinian oil and dark-roasted, finely ground Arabic coffee beans. Java aromas fill the air as the scrub is gently massaged into the skin, draining the lymph­atic system and leaving skin plump and fresh. After the scrub and a rinse comes a mini facial with pressure-point stimulation followed by a full-body cream lather. 602 King St. W., 416-366-4772

Target area: Skin
Total time: 45 minutes
Cost: $175
Sort-of-secret elixirs: Their in-house line of skin-care products, Céla, is designed with northern climates in mind.
Spa perk: Access to the spa’s eucalyptus oil–infused steam room.

The Spa at the St. Regis

6 Caroline’s 400 Retreat, named for 19th-century New York socialite Caroline Astor, is the St. Regis spa’s ode to indulgence. The entire day of self-care starts with a reviving granita scrub. Next comes a full-body aroma­therapy massage to knead out every kink and knot (with the scent of your choice—the cedarwood-­neroli oil is intoxicating). Focus then shifts upward with a facial that leaves skin nourished and luminous. Once sufficiently spa drunk (that serene out-of-body sensation), head to the lounge to double down with a mani-pedi and a glass of bubbly. 325 Bay St., 416-637-5595

Target area: Full body
Total time: Four hours
Cost: $1,045 on weekdays, $1,125 on weekends (three-day notice required to book)
Sort-of-secret elixirs: Sothys, a 76-year-old, family-­run Parisian brand known for innovative, reinvigorating spa products that fight the effects of pollution on the skin.
Spa perk: A dedicated spa butler who serves Louis Roederer Brut Champagne and blinis with caviar.

The Spa by Valmont at the Hazelton

7 After thoroughly cleansing the face with products designed to maintain the skin’s good-for-you biomes, an aesthetician gently massages Hydra3 Eye serum around the ocular bones, stimulating circulation, banishing bags and promoting lymph­atic drainage with the Reflection on a Frozen Lake treatment. While the pure collagen eye mask is being absorbed by the skin, stress-seeking hands work at releasing any lingering tension in the shoulders and neck. Finally, a silky collagen-­boosting cream is applied, leaving the face plump and glowing. 118 Yorkville Ave., 416-963-6307

Target area: Eyes
Total time: 45 minutes
Cost: $155
Sort-of-secret elixirs: Valmont, a line of Swiss cosmetics made with glacier water and botanicals grown in the company’s Alpine greenhouses.
Spa perk: Stars like Oprah enjoy the privacy—appointments are staggered to avoid guest overlap.

Stillwater Spa at Park Hyatt

8 Depending on which essential oil blend you’re drawn to, the choose-your-own-adventure Ultimate Aromatherapy Experience can have relaxing, de­congesting or reviving results. The hour-long process is a mix of massage and energy work that combines acupressure, reflexology and chakra-balancing. After entering a trance-like state of deep meditation, you’ll come out the other side feeling as fresh and fragrant as an English garden. 4 Avenue Rd., 647-948-3120

Target area: Mind and body
Total time: One hour
Cost: $175
Sort-of-secret elixirs: Co-founded by Princess Diana’s personal aromatherapist, Aromatherapy Associates is an English brand that specializes in luxe essential oils.
Spa perk: Complimentary bites and sips, including collagen-packed gelées and immune-­boosting shots.


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