Spa Vacations

June 21, 2010

By Nipa Mukerji

Spa vacations are growing in increasing popularity among travelers who are turning to more relaxing, low-key vacations.  A dizzying array of spa treatments is available at most luxury spas.  In Canada, Ste. Anne’s Country Inn & Spa in Grafton, ON remains the most popular and best-rated spa.

From the moment that a chauffeured limousine arrived at the front door of my home to whisk me off to Ste. Anne’s Spa, I knew that I was in for a vacation of ultimate pampering and rejuvenation. Prior to booking my vacation, I had to select which spa treatments I would receive as well as which room to pick in a spa that had been built in 1858. I chose my favorite room, the Wicker Room, which is large and ornate with two beds and wicker furniture and fully air-conditioned. It was more difficult to choose spa treatments from a list that is four pages long.

Among the spa treatments offered at Ste. Anne’s Spa are a full range of massages, ranging from the Traditional European Massage to a Shiatsu Massage and also a Deep-Tissue Massage for those experiencing chronic pain.  Some of the more esoteric spa treatments offered is the Eucalyptus Body Wrap, the Moor Mud Hydro Wrap and the Contouring Mud Stone Wrap. I opted for a Customized Facial as well as an Essential Oil Scalp Rejuvenation.

Upon arrival at the spa, I was greeted by a full team of staff, one of whom escorted me to my room, carrying my luggage. I sank into the luxury of the Wicker Room, ready to de-stress from my lifestyle in Toronto. I immediately slipped into the elegant white bathrobe that is customarily worn by all guests, even at mealtime in the elegant dining-room.

Afternoon Tea was awaiting me by a window seat that looked out onto the beautifully-manicured grounds. The refreshments served were first-class, just like the rest of the cuisine at Ste. Anne’s Spa. Because I had booked my vacation mid-week, all of the other guests in the dining-room were women. Married couples who go together to the spa usually choose weekends.

Then, I was ready for my first spa treatment, the Essential Oil Scalp Rejuvenation. I sank down into a comfortable armchair in the large and well-appointed waiting-room, that looks out onto the gardens. Almost immediately, a male esthetician came to greet me and to take me to a private treatment room. Included in the scalp treatment was a massage of the neck and shoulders. After spending entire days hunched at the computer, this massage was a welcome relief.

I barely had time to get out of the shower in my private bathroom, before it was time to go to the dining-room for supper. From the menu, I chose a Caesar salad that is not fattening, as well as a breast of chicken. Spa cuisine can be delicious and guilt-free, as all the meals are well-balanced and low in calories. Alcohol is not served in the dining-room at Ste. Anne’s, but many guests bring their own bottles of wine for their meals.

After a lengthy walk after supper, I retreated to my room and built a fire in the fireplace. I had brought ample reading materials for this private retreat. Then, I sank into the luxurious king-sized bed for a sleep that lasted longer than I get in Toronto.

I woke up in the morning well-rested and with the stress of my life in Toronto having already eked out of my body and mind. I chose the breakfast special from the menu, making sure to take a healthy portion of fruit from the fruit place. My coffee cup was instantly re-filled for me by the attentive staff.

Then I was ready for my Customized Facial Treatment, which lasted well over an hour. My esthetician chatted amiably with me and told me that Ste. Anne’s Spa receives guests from all the Canadian provinces and all over the United States. The facial included a foot bath and foot massage. By the time that the facial was over, I felt that I was in a state of heavenly bliss.

After lunch, I checked out of my room and waited in the reception area for my chauffeured limousine to drive me back to Toronto. For those who are unable to go to Ste. Anne’s, Spa Finder gives a list of luxury spas all over the world. While an overnight trip to a spa is highly-recommended, a day spa in your own city can offer many of the same treatments.

The benefits of spa treatments are well-worth the money that is spent. And for those with health issues, ridding your body of toxins and getting rejuvenated has health benefits. Spas are no longer just for women, increasingly, men are going for spa vacations and spa treatments. When you’re looking for a relaxing break, a trip to the spa for the day or week is the perfect vacation.

About the Author: Nipa Mukerji has been a published writer since 1988. She has worked as a journalist on the staff of a major daily newspaper, as well as a staff editor at three publishing firms.

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