Exhale and Unwind - Relaxing Whistler Spa treatments
Whistler is known for its adventurous spirit, its “live life to the fullest” attitude and play-hard mentality. However, that kind of all-out energy needs to be tempered and balanced if you’re going to maintain it. Whistler’s spas know this and have a great range of treatments designed to help you unwind both physically and mentally. Here are a few of the many treatment options that will keep you playing in the mountains longer.
At the Whistler Day Spa, the Soul Therapy Facial treatment lives up to its name as it goes deeper than your epidermis. It has the best of both worlds — a personalized facial that uses products specifically chosen by therapists to treat your skin concerns, while also including a back and foot massage — and is ideal for active mountain goers. This combination makes this one of the most relaxing treatment options while doing double-duty for your skin and body. After a discussion with the therapist about your skin, be it dry and red or oily and acne-prone, you lay down on a soft, blanketed table and let the professionals take over. As you slip away into dreamland, your skin is cleaned with two different cleansers to ensure it’s primed to receive the full benefits of the upcoming products. In my case, hot towels were used at each stage, and every time one was laid over my skin I felt myself unwinding further and further. A lot of people’s skin in Whistler is dry given the buffeting effects of winter weather. A gentle rice-flour exfoliant is used to lift away dead skin cells, and then a layered mask is applied that focuses on hydration and other skin issues you might have.
As your face drinks that in, the therapist moves on to your feet. After days crammed inside ski boots, there’s nothing better than someone giving them the TLC they deserve. Then it’s on to the back, where the therapist works at releasing those aches and pains we all build up hunched over ski poles or computers. The product line predominantly used for this treatment is the Dermalogica range. Spa Owner Stacey Gaff is a beautician and her passion for skincare is evident in the painstaking way she researches and chooses products that fit with the main concerns of people living in and visiting the mountains. Finishing the treatment with a tinted moisturizer, your skin is left feeling soft, hydrated and sporting a lovely glow, feeling nurtured and renewed. The Whistler Day Spa is located inside the Pan Pacific Whistler Village Centre and your treatment also includes access to their outdoor pool, hot tub and day sauna areas.
The Sea to Sky Massage at the Spa at the Four Seasons Resort & Residences is an 80-minute luxury massage treatment that is locally inspired, taking you on a journey from the ocean to the mountains. It is an incredibly warming experience, which is one of the things that makes it such a relaxing therapy. Snuggled under fleecy, heated blankets, hot stones are placed on your back, each acting like a heated hand. Collected from local riverbeds, four basalt stones are used to gently massage your back as you begin to drift away. A Pacific seaweed exfoliation treatment is then applied. The kelp is sustainably hand-harvested and is used to reduce inflammation, combat dry skin, and release retained fluid. Hot towels are used to clean the skin before you’re treated to a full body massage. Chamomile and lavender essential oils are used for their relaxing properties, as well as their many other benefits for the skin. Your therapist uses long, slow strokes to ease tension — this rhythmic pace keeps things relaxing even as he or she works on any areas that might be causing you discomfort.
A heating pad is moved to different body areas as the body massage relaxes you from head to toe. It’s finished off with a rich body butter packed with vitamin E, a fantastic antioxidant used to soften the skin. People tend to fall asleep during this treatment, which is the ultimate compliment to the therapist. If you’re headed to dinner afterwards you might want to consider the scalp massage add-on. With argan oil and Japanese peppermint oil, it is relaxing, but the latter helps to revive you from that post-massage mellow state — although I personally think it’s a wonderful state to be in for as long as possible. The Four Seasons also has a beautiful outdoor pool area and eucalyptus steam rooms for guests to use before their treatment starts, so go early to get a head start on your relaxation time.
The Spa at Nita Lake Lodge’s signature therapy is the ilā Kundalini body treatment. Kundalini is a term used in yoga to describe the latent energy coiled at the base of the spine. One of the main purposes of this therapy is to release and realign that energy, leaving you feeling both relaxed and rejuvenated. Soft, East Indian music fills the treatment room at a tempo designed to help you slow down and be present. The therapist invites you to smell the essential oils which contain a calming blend of argan, cardamom, patchouli and rose. You slip under a heated duvet, feeling cocooned and safe as a 60-minute back treatment begins. Using Himalayan sea salt poultices infused with lavender and calendula oils, the therapist works from the bottom of the sacrum to your crown, focusing on letting the energy flow through your seven chakras. This therapy is good for people who might be feeling depleted, as it focuses more on calming the nervous system and stimulating the lymphatic system, rather than dealing with muscle tension. The therapist will use a “soft touch” approach; this lighter application of the hands helps detoxify and enables the skin to replenish itself.
We live in a world that is go, go, go — where our flight-or-fight impulses are often stimulated. This treatment is designed to help you disconnect from that; and the more you relax, the more beneficial the treatment becomes. After the focused back work, the therapist will ask you to turn over for a soothing face massage that really rounds out this incredibly relaxing treatment. People often leave this treatment feeling a shift in emotions, given some time to think and collect their thoughts. Be sure to leave time before the treatment to take advantage of the hot tubs on the upper balcony with stunning views of Whistler Mountain, as well as at the end to relax in their sumptuous lounge area serving organic teas.
Away from the hustle and bustle of Whistler Village, the push of chairlift lines and the busy après scene is the Scandinave Spa. Surrounded by spruce and cedar forest, this unique spa is a relaxation haven. Even as you walk the forested pathway from the parking area you start to feel the real world melt away. Digital devices are left in the lockers and there’s a silence rule to adhere to, which helps you completely disconnect. The concept of this spa is based on the benefits of hydrotherapy, where you cycle your body through hot, cold and relaxation to relieve tension, invigorate the skin and calm the mind. There are hot baths, eucalyptus steam rooms, and wood-burning Finnish saunas to open the pores and release toxins, and then cold plunge pools and Nordic waterfalls to strengthen the immune system and increase circulation.
The Serenity Package is a way to make this relaxation experience last for the better part of a day — the ideal mid-ski holiday break. Wrapped in a white, fluffy robe, you can experience the baths before and/or after a 60-minute Swedish, restorative, or deep-tissue massage — depending on what your body is telling you it needs. Enjoy an all-organic, dairy- and gluten-free lunch overlooking the steamy forests and mountains, and then take that relaxation further by retiring to one of the solariums or lounging by the outdoor fire pits. The package also includes your robe rental, sandals, a reusable water bottle, lip balm, and bathing suit bag to take home.