Miraj Hammam Spa Toronto by Caudalie Paris: A review of the Vine[Activ] facial
This is the story of how a simple travel writer managed to get an invite to one of the most luxurious spas in Toronto.
Covering wellness tourism naturally has many perks, but it’s something I subscribe to even when at home. A well-executed massage or professional facial not only leaves you looking amazing, but also feeling renewed. After all, given the everyday stresses of modern living, it’s something we should all make time for.
The most luxurious facial in Toronto
If you’re not familiar with Shangri-La or its many locations around the world, then familiarise yourself with them now! The Hong-Kong-based leading luxury hotel group has more than 90 hotels and resorts around the world. I cannot vouch for all of them, but the ones I’ve been to are equally grand in measure and in design.
You cannot miss Shangri-La Toronto, mainly because of the awesome black metal dragon structure outside its main entrance. Expect the utmost friendliest staff and personal service once you enter its revolving doors.
Miraj Hammam Spa by Caudalie Paris is on the 5th floor of the hotel, and you instantly feel a rush of tranquillity once you see the Moroccan-inspired sign.
The design extends into the reception area, where the staff are ready to make your experience as enjoyable as possible. Upon filling in the standard health questionnaire, an attendant takes you to the changing rooms.
Here are all the amenities you can imagine, plus soft and fluffy cotton robes and slippers to change into. Once ready, my facialist, Julia, came to take me to my treatment room. Take note of the names of the rooms as you walk past for your treatment; each are named after Middle-Eastern cities and famous places. It adds a charming touch to the oriental feel of the spa.
The facial uses products from the Caudalie Vine[Activ] range. Again, if you’ve never heard of Caudalie, this is one French brand worth getting to know. You’ll start to see real improvement in your skin within a few weeks of regular use.
VineActiv is one of Caudalie’s premium ranges. As well as having anti-ageing properties, it also helps to protect the skin against the everyday elements. I’m a huge fan of the Vine[Activ] 3-in-1 Moisturizer, which has a tried and tested 8-hours anti-pollution protection. It’s light, yet very moisturising, and perfect if you live in a busy urban environment.
Other worthy products in the range include the Glow-activating anti-wrinkle serum. It visibly smoothens lines after continuous use, while simultaneously giving your skin a renewed and healthy glow.
“…there’s no pain without gain, and after unveiling me from my muslin cocoon, I just knew my skin would look 100 times better.”
FOLLOWING THE RIVERA
Rather than bore you with every minute detail about the treatment, I’ll focus instead on what I found most interesting.
After cleansing and extracting the skin, Julia gently massaged/cleaned my face using a tool that looked like 2 small circular discs. The sensation is strange at first, but pretty relaxing once you get used to it. Lucky for me, I really liked it, and Julia used it at several intervals throughout the facial.
After cleaning my skin and doing the extraction (not as painful as I’d expected), Julia began applying the face mask. Admittedly, I began to feel a bit claustrophobic when she applied the muslin over my whole face. Apart from the cucumbers on my eyes, and a small cut near the nose and mouth area to breathe, my entire face was covered.
Listening to my breathing helped me to relax, as did the mini hand and feet massage Julia gave me.
As the saying goes, there’s no pain without gain, and after unveiling me from my muslin cocoon, I just knew my skin would look 100 times better.
With a gentle pat on my arm, Julia let me know the facial was finished. Feeling rejuvenated, yet beautifully relaxed, I swung my body with great difficulty from the heated bed.
Every guest is taken to the relaxation room, where they can stay as long as they wish. Here, you really get the feeling you’re in a real Moroccan Hammam, especially when lounging on the generously-sized sofa/beds. The treats don’t end at the facial, as on arrival you’ll receive a glass of ginger tea and some sweet baklava.
It really was a struggle leaving the Miraj Hammam Spa. From the service to the facilities to the facial, I couldn’t find one fault. I floated out the doors, trying hard to resist touching, and dirtying, my skin, but I couldn’t stop looking. From the mirrors in the elevator, to my reflection in the glass windows of the hotel, I only saw a healthy me staring back. And if that isn’t a sign of a damn good facial, I don’t know what is.
Looking for a place to sleep in the city? Save yourself a long trip after your facial and stay at Shangri-La Toronto. The hotel has special offers from time to time, and perfectly matches the elegance of its spa.
“I floated out the doors, trying hard to resist touching, and dirtying, my skin, but I couldn’t stop looking”
FOLLOWING THE RIVERA
Shangri-la Hotel Toronto
Fifth Floor, 188 University Ave.
Toronto, Canada M5H 0A3
Tel: + 1 647 253 5770
Disclaimer: Even though I was invited by Miraj Hammam Spa, all views are my own and based on my own experience.
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