Story Ideas

Canadian spas go local

Signature ingredients such as seaweed, mud and maple syrup provide treatments you can experience no where else

07 November 2012
by Nikki Bayley

How would you like your massage therapy today? Locally-sourced? Hand-harvested? The fascination with provenance has spread from the food world to the spa scene. After all if you care about what you put in your body, then you'll care about what you put on your body too, and what's better than a little something that is locally Canadian?

On Vancouver Island, the Grotto Spa Tigh-Na-Mara Seaside Spa Resort is set in an arbutus and fir forest next to the ocean. Start your spa journey with a soak in the Grotto Mineral Pool. Let your body float, the satiny warm water caressing your skin. The pool is infused with natural minerals and trace elements that detoxify the body and rejuvenate the spirit. Relaxed after being pleasurably pummeled by the two-storey waterfall, it’s time to experience an organic seaweed body ritual with seaweed hand-harvested right on the doorstep. For example, the Signature Pacific Body Balance treatment begins with a full body sea salt exfoliation before being wrapped in thermal layers with a seaweed & glacial clay body-firming mask. The seaweed is cool on your skin for a second and then warms as the therapist expertly slathers your body with the nutrient-rich algae and then deftly wraps you in towels. Close your eyes and enjoy a toe-curlingly good head massage. The treatment is finished with a nourishing seaweed body butter massage. Afterwards, take your silky smooth self out for a barefoot walk on the sandy beach. 

Try a sugary treat at Spa Eastman Health & Wellness Retreat in Québec’s Eastern Townships, where you can sample the local maple sugar at its body buffing best. A four-hand massage is probably the most decadent experience you can have in a spa – two therapists working in perfect harmony on your body, their four hands creating a kind of waterfall-massage effect. As their hands smooth and scrub your skin with the sugar and shea butter, you can smell the delicate scent of maple in the air.

Go from something sweet to something squelchy at the award-winning Ste Anne’s Spa in Grafton, Ontario. Try the local Golden Moor Mud, which is harvested from nearby Casselman and mixed with a dash of Saskatchewan clay to soothe sore muscles and soften skin. It’s a rather gorgeous sensation having warm gloopy mud smoothed onto your skin. Sit up on the couch as the therapist covers your back first, then lie back and squelch! Legs, arms, front and you’re done. Your therapist cocoons you in a toasty set of towels and then takes relaxation to a new level with a face, scalp and foot massage as your body soaks up those muddy nutrients. 


Follow us on Twitter @DestinationCAN / Suggested Tweet: Indulge in the bliss of locally sourced spa ingredients @Tigh_Na_Mara @Spa_Eastman @steannespa

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