Where to get luxuriously pampered during TIFF
Here are 10 Toronto spas and salons to get you red carpet ready
Stargazing season is upon us. Whether you’re heading to a TIFF after-party or just want to look your best for a much-fantasized-about celeb encounter, here are 10 Toronto spas and salons to get you red carpet ready.
1. The spa at the St. Regis Toronto
We’re nominating the St. Regis for the most exorbitantly opulent spa experience in town. From September 8 to 18, this altitudinous pleasure palace, located 31 stories above Bay Street, is offering a $1,904 2.5-hour treatment dubbed Caroline’s Red Carpet Retreat. The full-body experience begins with a skin softening granita scrub followed by a head-to-toe massage. Once every last knot of stress has been detangled, it’s time for the facial, featuring porcelain flower oil, rose stem cells and Sothys La Crème 128. Then your dedicated spa butler will lead you into the Iridium Lounge, sabre a bottle of Louis Roederer Cristal Champagne and serve you a selection of 24-karat-gold vanilla-and-rose chocolate pops. And, as if that wasn’t enough, you’re then sent home with a full-size pot of La Crème 128, which retails for $795.
325 Bay St., 416-637-5595, stregistorontospa.com
2. The spa at Four Seasons Hotel Toronto
After six decades, Toronto’s home-grown luxury hotel brand has got pampering down pat. Even the decor here is indulgent: precious stones with purported healing properties decorate the treatment rooms. And Midas himself would blush at some of the more upscale offerings, such as the Signature Rose Gold Facial: a $420 90-minute process featuring a bio-cellulose gold mask, a rose quartz crystal massage and a gold-infused serum. Comprehensive spa services also include facials, restorative body treatments, tension-melting massages, mani and pedis, blowouts, and foot rubs to heal those stiletto-abused feet. Make it a daycation: spend over $185 on treatments and gain access to the hotel’s light-dappled infinity pool.
60 Yorkville Ave., 416-964-0411, fourseasons.com
3. Miraj Hammam Spa at the Shangri-La Toronto
You’ll find this mashrabiya-windowed oasis nestled on the fifth floor of the Shangri-La hotel. The spa is known for its traditional hammam and gommage services, but it’s the personalized treatments that smooth-skin-seekers crave. The Custom Glow Facial ($235 for 60 minutes) will cure any post-party puffiness. Using the techniques and products of French skin care line Biologique Recherche, visages are left plump and radiant. Those craving the cut chin and cheeks of Angelina Jolie should opt for the 30-minute Advanced Face Lifting Add On. Using TriPollar technology, this alternative to Botox and fillers melts fat while stimulating collagen and elastin production. Once your skin has been lifted, tightened and toned, a purifying anti-pollution mask relieves city-beleaguered pores.
188 University Ave., 647-253-5770, mirajhammamtoronto.com
4. Spa My Blend by Clarins at the Ritz-Carlton
The first outpost of this plant-powered Parisian brand outside of France is right here in Toronto. At Spa My Blend by Clarins, estheticians work to create treatments specific to your skin’s needs—and far beyond the traditional trio of dry, oily or combination. They’ll ask about your lifestyle: Are you a jet-setter? Are you SPF negligent? Are you more active or leisure oriented? From there, they’ll create custom creams and serums. The My Blend facials use these bespoke balms alongside state-of-the-art tech—LEDs, vibrations and cryotherapy—to rejuvenate skin. If facials aren’t for you, there’s plenty of other pampering to choose from here, including body treatments (mud wraps and scrubs) as well as 12 different types of massage ranging from aromatherapy and hot stone to lomi lomi, a Polynesian technique focused on energy flow.
181 Wellington St. W., 416-572-8000, spamyblendtoronto.com
5. Youth MediSpa
In a Victorian rowhouse a stone’s throw from the Distillery District, you’ll find this modern medical spa. On offer is a swath of youth-promising, needle-free procedures. Those looking for camera-ready faces with zero downtime come for the Bespoke Medical Facial or the V Carbon Peel. For the former, similar to a by-the-book facial, the face is cleansed, exfoliated, hydrated and given a lymphatic massage. But there’s an additional step: a non-ablative skin-tightening laser is used to stimulate collagen. It essentially feels like a gentle hot stone massage that begets flawless skin. The V Carbon Peel, meanwhile, isn’t your typical red-faced-for-days peel—it uses acid-activated black charcoal to draw bacteria, dirt and other micro-particles to the surface. The result: a photo-ready face the minute the procedure’s over.
79 Berkeley St., 647-968-8467, theyouthmedispa.com
6. Stillwater at the Park Hyatt
The Park Hyatt’s newly reopened spa—closed for almost five years during the hotel’s overhaul—is ready for showtime. The serene subterranean space, embellished with contemporary Canadian artwork, is the perfect refuge to escape the TIFF tumult above. Whether you’re looking to primp for your night out or to reverse the effects of last night’s premiere party, their spa services will leave you glowing. For those in a hurry, Stillwater’s TIFF trifecta (express 30-minute treatments: facial, massage, manicure) will have you party ready with time to spare. And come back the next day to be resuscitated by their Detox and Revive, a body treatment that wakes you with a citrus oil scrub, restores vitality with a moisture layer locking massage and finishes with some stretch therapy (think yoga while you nap). You’ll leave feeling blissful and ready to do it all over again.
4 Avenue Rd. 416-925-1234, hyatt.com
7. Her Majesty’s Pleasure
This primping palace pampers from tiara to toe: blowouts, manicures, facials, waxing and massages are all on offer here. At this spa, beloved for its cocktail bar vibe, those looking for Tinseltown-ready talons can sip champagne and nibble on patisseries mid-manicure. Whether you’re heading to a party in Yorkville or to TIFF Bell Lightbox, the salon’s two locations make for oh-so-convenient cuticle care. The Design Manicure ($100) includes a custom consultation to create the perfect premiere look. Once shellacked, indulge in an Express Up Do ($65) or opt for a blowout with bonded extensions for an enviable red carpet look.
102 Yorkville Ave., 416-546-4991, majestyspleasure.com
8. Wellness Lounge at 1 Hotel Toronto
If Gwyneth Paltrow comes to town, we have a sneaking suspicion she might opt to stay at this boho hotel. Their standard monthly programming—which has included aura readings, ear seeding and sound baths—seems straight out of Goop. For TIFF, 1 Hotel Toronto has reconfigured two hotel suites into the celebrity-driven Wellness Lounge, where a limited number of guests can experience the polar pleasures of hot-and-cold therapy. One of the suites will be dedicated to raising body temperature with HigherDose infrared sauna blankets—imagine all the benefits of a sauna while swaddled and reclined. From there, celebrity facialist and esthetician Vee Mistry will cool you down. Her eight-step facial reduces inflammation with gua sha cryo sticks while microcurrent, ultrasonic-wavelength and LED lights optimize the delivery of serums and masks.
550 Wellington St W., 416-640-7778, www.1hotels.com
9. Hammam Spa by Céla
Sink into a eucalyptus-scented state of serenity for the perfect TIFF detox. Relax and unwind in this spa’s gorgeous turquoise-tiled steam room, which reaches a zen-inducing 39 degrees. The Black Gold Scrub (45 minutes for $175) features dark-roasted coffee blended with sugar, cupuaçu butter and abyssinian oil to invigorate festival-fatigued skin. The facial pressure-point stimulation and full-body cream application that follows leaves skin feeling beautifully balmed.
602 King St W., 416-366-4772, hammamspa.ca
10. Body Blitz Spa
Since 2005, this women-only spa has been the go-to downtown destination for thermotherapy, the centuries-old practice of heating and cooling the body into relaxation. Those seeking calm can embark on a circuit of therapeutic pools, saunas and steam rooms designed to rejuvenate and detoxify. One full circuit takes about 2.5 hours and involves a few shockingly cold dunks in an icy plunge pool. The polar dips aren’t exactly pacifying, but the adrenalin spike they unleash results in a phenomenal afterglow of warming endorphins. In addition to the waters, the Body Blitz also offers mud wraps, body scrubs, facials, massages, hair treatments and scalp massages.
471 Adelaide St. W. and 497 King St. E., 416-364-0400, bodyblitzspa.com