Having a birthday in the winter and close to the holidays often meant no big celebrations growing up. Gatherings with friends often were combined with Christmas. That’s just the way it was. So, growing up I learned to be grateful for whatever comes my way. This time of year is busy for so many people so celebrations are always been quiet. But ask anyone close to me about my ideal way to celebrate? They’d tell you that I’d love to steal a few blissful hours away from the routine of everyday. When I saw that the Elmwood Spa right in the heart of the city had a special Birthday Spa Retreat package, it seemed like the perfect escape to celebrate.
The Elmwood Spa has a special place in my heart. It was my very first spa experience in my early 20s. It’s amazing, and really no surprise, that this remains the city’s most iconic landmark spa. Located on Elm Street in Toronto in a historic five-story building designed by the same architects for Old City Hall, St. Paul’s Anglican Church and Casa Loma. It’s gone through several updates over the years with the recent refresh offering a modern interior. The four-level spa experience is now complete with a fresh juice bar and two restaurants including Bangkok Garden, Toronto’s first authentic Thai cuisine. There are 34 treatment rooms to service both men and women as well as Water Therapies (indoor pool, whirlpool and steam rooms).
The Birthday Spa Retreat package is sweet way to celebrate! Literally. The highlight of the package is an indulgent Birthday Cake Sugar Body Scrub. The pretty pink scrub is made of pure cane sugar infused with cold-pressed coconut and sweet almond oils to help nourish and slough away dry skin from neck to toe — great this time of year or even before you jet away for your mid-winter beach break. Then once you’re perfectly polished, head into the shower located in within the treatment room to rinse all the sugar and your worries away. Then blissfully fall asleep (like I almost did) the remainder of the time while enjoying a relaxing therapeutic massage. You can pretty much guess that when all the pampering is done, your skin will feel super soft and yes, you will smell delicious. Don’t be surprised if people are smiling anytime they’re near you for the rest of the day.
But the Birthday Spa Retreat Package doesn’t stop there. You can opt to put back on your clothes or continue your bliss by wrapping yourself in the plush white cozy robe and slippers that are offered for your comfort and joy during your time at the Elmwood. Lockers are provided in the changeroom. You’ll be accompanied up to the Terrace Restaurant located on the fourth floor where a three-course lunch menu awaits. Linger as long as you like and bring a book if you want. Pick a seat near the windows to enjoy the natural light. Highly recommend the Miso Cod. Portions are generous. The Tres Leche Cake dessert is fitting for the special occasion. Vegan options are available on the menu.
One more thing! Bring your bathing suit and arrive early to enjoy the Water Therapies before your scrub. You won’t want to wash away the moisturizing properties from your treatment afterwards.
There are several Birthday Spa Retreat Packages available. Great for a friends gathering too! Check www.elmwoodspa.com for the menu.
*3 course birthday lunch at the Terrace Restaurant is FREE with any à la carte spa service(s) valued at $119 or more, any Monday to Friday on your Birthday month. Water Therapies (swimming pool, whirlpool, and steam rooms) are also included.