Spice up Your Spa Regimen with These Insider Tips
Travelzoo wants to give your relaxation routine a face-lift. Whether it’s an added step in skin care or an overall wellness makeover, we’re encouraging members to spice up more than their latte this autumn. To do so we’ve enlisted Toronto’s St. Regis spa director, Amanda O’Shea, to help us find our Zen and keep it through the dreary winter months.
We asked her about the lasting effects of a spa visit, what the season change means for our body, inside and out, and what we can do at the spa or at home to enhance our wellness routine.
In a recent Travelzoo member survey, we found that 71% of our members are focusing more on their health and wellness in 2019. Can you share some insights on how a spa visit can have positive effects on a person’s health and wellness?
I think the pressure in today’s world to constantly be 'on' — whether that’s constantly checking work emails/school runs/social media or just trying to fit it all in — is becoming too much, and burnout is a real issue. People are becoming more aware of the importance of health and taking time out to recharge your batteries in the same way you would your cell phone. For some that’s taking a walk in nature, meditating or simply having a coffee by yourself in the quiet hours of the morning. For others the tranquility of a spa is the best way to relax, as you are encouraged to leave your phone in your locker, speak in hushed tones and take time out just for you. Whether that’s an hour or a full day, it allows you to recharge your batteries and disconnect from everything going on in your world. That one hour can make such a big difference, not just physically but also mentally.
To see these positive impacts on your health and wellness, how often should you visit the spa?
I don’t think there’s a hard and fast rule to this one as everyone’s needs are individual. Listen to your body, when you need time out for yourself, we’re there for you. More and more we are seeing guests come to our Spa alone versus in a group, which I think is telling. They don’t want to feel like they 'have to' make conversation, they can change into a plush robe, enjoy a chocolate mint tea, swim in the saltwater pool and recharge their batteries. Taking time out for yourself is not selfish, it’s a necessity in today’s climate.
How does the changing of the season affect our wellness?
As we move from summer into autumn, we see shorter daylight hours and it gets chillier and more wet, which can affect our mood. We might not be as motivated to exercise regularly and start to crave warmer, more hearty foods. It’s important to keep moving, wrap up and look for the leaves changing, even a short stroll will have benefits. Pinterest is a great source for healthy soups to keep autumn colds at bay.
What types of treatments would you recommend this time of year?
At this time of year our guests start to gravitate toward warming treatments. Hot stone massage sees an increase in bookings, as do our body treatments, which are a great way to exfoliate dead summer skin and rehydrate as fall rolls in. As seasons change, so does our skin, [so] guests are adding more hydrating moisturizers and serums to their routine. Our current promotion includes a Swedish massage with a hot stone enhancement, for those who are interested to try hot stones but don’t want to book a full treatment, and includes a vitamin C facial that is perfect for the change in season.
How can Travelzoo members maintain their “Zen” after their spa experience is over?
This is so important. Some easy tips we like to recommend include an Epsom salt and lavender bath at the end of a busy week, getting your body moving and trying a yoga or Pilates class where the focus is on breathing, which helps relax your mind and body. If you feel stress bubbling up we like 3 / 4 breathing: breath in through your nose for a count of 3 and out of your mouth for a count of 4. You can do this anywhere — on the subway, driving, at your desk or out walking. Repeat it a few times until you feel more relaxed. This [breathing exercise] is also great before bed to calm your mind.
We know that Travelzoo members love to “find their Zen” at the St. Regis Spa. What could they add to upgrade their experience?
Our saltwater lap pool, whirlpool and dry sauna are a great way to spend some more time at our Spa before your treatment or relax in your plush robe and choose from a selection of tea blends while waiting for your treatment to begin. We are also fully licensed, so why not enjoy a glass of bubbly or St. Regis signature bloody mary afterwards in our lounge. A great add-on to any massage is one of our Organic Canadian-made body treatments, which includes a full-body exfoliation and wrap of your choice, customized to suit your skin's needs, and finished with a scalp massage. Our most popular wrap in autumn is our Organic Acai Berry, which is extremely nourishing.
As we start to think about the new year, we at St. Regis are very excited to announce our upcoming 2020 Spa renovation, this will bring our facility up to St. Regis luxury standards and we cannot wait to tell you more as we solidify our timeline and bring a new era of luxury to Toronto’s highest Spa, which is located on the 31st floor.