The Insider’s Guide to TIFF 2016: where to get pampered
Get the star treatment at these premium spas, salons and gyms
Where martinis meet mani-pedis
Her Majesty’s Pleasure
556 King St. W., 416-546-4991
This full-service spa is not your mother’s beauty bar. Her Majesty’s Pleasure offers the full gamut of pre-gaming beauty essentials—manicures, pedicures, blowouts—as well as a menu of delicious cocktails and indulgent sweets. Pro tip: the oasis has party packages for groups of five or more—in other words, a great way to kick off a night of party-hopping and star-spotting.
Where the cuts are a cut above
Axe and Hatchet
101 Yorkville Ave., 416-901-3634
Gents need pampering, too. For that, there’s Axe and Hatchet, Dante Perrone’s Yorkville barbershop. The shop’s services won’t break the bank: cuts run a modest $50, while fades, beard trims and straight-razor shaves top out at $35. Plus, they’re a local-star fave: Jason Priestley, Blue Jay Troy Tulowitzki and TFC stud Sebastian Giovinco are among Axe and Hatchet’s clients, so you never know who will pop in for a trim during TIFF.
Where to do your ‘do
Blo Blow Dry Bar
180 University Ave., 416-599-4164; 102-626 King St. W., 416-703-1256
You’re not ready for the TIFF party circuit until your hair is. For that, there’s Blo, the popular updo franchise with a high-wattage clientele that includes Gwyneth Paltrow and Barbra Streisand. The Holly Would—a big, Barbarella-worthy blowout—may seem the most TIFF-appropriate, but we suggest the High Society ($38), an elegant topknot that Blo promises “is guaranteed to get you whatever you want.”
Where to get a caviar facial
199 Bay St., 647-497-5158
The ultra-sleek American gym chain counts Cameron Diaz, Mark Wahlberg, Renée Zellweger and Bradley Cooper among its members, so keep an eye peeled for star power among the Bay Street types while you’re spinning at this 35,000-square-foot Toronto outpost. If exercise doesn’t fit into your idea of getting pampered, pop by the on-site spa, where staff offer indulgent facials using chocolate, caviar and 24-karat gold.
Where massages make you beautiful
100 Yonge St., No. 1703, 416-366-1703
Dr. Liza Egbogah has worked with clients like actors Jamie Foxx, David Oyelowo and Emmanuelle Chriqui. For years, her patients told her that her technique didn’t just make them feel better, it made them look better, too. So, last February, she opened the Fix, a “cosmetic chiropractic” clinic, where the spinal adjustments and deep-tissue massages are rumoured to improve posture, eliminate wrinkles and do just about everything short of give you eternal life. If you want to drop by during TIFF to see if you can spot some VIP patients—or look like one yourself—it won’t be cheap: each hour-long treatment will run you up to $275, while a four-session package is $1,000.
Where to take a post-ramen retreat
Miraj Hammam Spa
188 University Ave., 647-253-5770
Done scarfing down noodles at Momofuku? Head to the Shangri-La’s stylish spa, a Middle Eastern–inspired labyrinth of mashrabiya windows, Persian rugs and relaxation stations. Miraj offers full-body revitalizers, including a slimming wrap ($165) and a Crushed Cabernet scrub that exfoliates your skin with—you guessed it—wine grapes. But what really sets Miraj apart is the hammam, an exquisite traditional steam and body exfoliation.
Where to float your boat
H2O Float Spa
138 Danforth Ave., 647-349-0426
Bouncing from early-morning cortados and pre-noon screenings to pricy hot spot meals and premiere parties can be taxing for even the most seasoned TIFF veteran. H2O offers respite in the form of $49 floats from Monday to Friday. Though you’re not likely to run into too many celebs while sealed in your individual pod, Float has had its share of celebrity visits. Among them: Laurence Fishburne. Apparently, the Matrix star loves to float.
Where to forget the fest
Spa My Blend
181 Wellington St., 416-572-8000
The Ritz-Carlton’s airy, luxe spa is the stuff of pampered dreams. It offers every beauty treatment you can think of, plus half- and full-day retreats for more run-down festival-goers. Keep in the spirit of the fest with a champagne manicure, a 60-minute treatment complete with hand massage, paraffin mask and a glass of bubbly.
Where to get the wrap
4 Avenue Rd., 416-926-2389
The Park Hyatt hotel is a sea of celebrities during TIFF, and the most famous of faces usually take their Stillwater treatments in their rooms. Non-A-listers can still enjoy a little pampering in the form of Stillwater’s Red Carpet Rescue Wrap ($240), a 90-minute, head-to-toe citrus grass salt scrub, wrap and rubdown in agave oil that will have you feeling baby-soft.
Where to get red carpet ready
67 Portland St., 2nd flr., 416-599-2711
Facialist Lorinda Zimmerman’s treatments are a favourite among TIFF-bound celebrities, who often visit W prior to parties, screenings and galas. Particularly popular: the Doubleblast ($250), the holy grail of Hollywood treatments: it’s a back-to-back microdermabrasion and cold-laser treatment that creates a flashbulb-ready, ten-years-younger face without a single injection.
Where to lash out
70 Yorkville Ave.; 785 Queen St. W., 416-777-9465
The icing on any good outfit these days is eye-popping lashes. Kit out your lids with 45 natural-looking falsies ($125), or go high-drama with the Volumized Lavish set ($395), which features a whopping 330 lashes per eyelid. Not ready to take the plunge? Winks has recently branched out into the brow business.
Where the spa comes to you
Wright Spa Mobile Services
Twin sisters Juanita and Joanna Wright turn their clients’ homes, offices and hotel rooms into pop-up spas, offering facials, massages, manis and pedis on their terms. Bill Murray, Melissa Joan Hart and Joe Carter have all used the Wrights’ services, and TIFF itself is a corporate client. Of course, you won’t see any celebs when the sisters and their staff stop by your place—but they will make you feel like one.
More of The Insider's Guide to TIFF