Vancouver is truly an active couple’s paradise, with its endless hiking, skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, ice skating, and biking options.
But I’ve also realized, both for myself and for my relationship, that the quiet, more tranquil moments are also important. As much as I adore snowboarding together, I also really enjoy relaxing and recharging at the end of the day. Personally, I think even a power session of shopping on Robson Street warrants some downtime.
For Christmas, since my boyfriend hates presents with clutter potential, I offered to treat him to a spa visit. Since I’m thinking of tagging along, I’ve been doing some research on the best spa treatments for couples around town. Honestly, just reading the descriptions makes me feel more blissful.
Smile Thai Wellness Spa Vancouver (235 Robson Street)
In the heart of downtown Vancouver, this wellness centre offers sumptuous Thai décor and a host of different treatments, including traditional Thai massage, registered massage therapy, acupuncture, facials, and foot reflexology. They are particularly known for their massages for couples: the traditional Thai massage ($90 per person for 60 minutes) involves both stretching and acupressure massage, while the Thai aromatherapy oil massage ($90 per person for 60 minutes) also incorporates healing natural essential oils. There are also more extended packages for couples, like the Smile Signature Jasmine ($210 per person for 2.5 hours) which involves a welcome drink, foot soak and scrub, a Thai massage and aroma oil massage, and Thai dessert/fruit platter and herbal tea.
Willow Stream Spa at Fairmont Pacific Rim (1038 Canada Place)
Prepare yourself for the ultimate in pampering at this downtown spa, with gorgeous waterfront views, as well as design accents (wood, slate, marble) that are inspired by the natural environment. Make sure to arrive early before your treatment to take advantage of the lounges, the yoga and fitness studio, as well as the stunning outdoor deck with private Jacuzzis and infrared sauna and meditation pods. Then, retire to one of the couple’s suites for one of Willow Stream’s signature treatments. Time Together ($529) is a 90-minute treatment that involves a dry brush and Thermal Mineral body exfoliation, a Japanese-style soak, an aromatherapy massage, and full-body wrap. The Magnesium & Jade Wrap ($559), meanwhile, leverages the therapeutic powers of magnesium (promotes energy and circulation, and detoxifies) in a treatment that includes a bath, massage, and wrap.
Miraj Hammam Spa (1495 West 6th Avenue)
One of my most memorable experiences during a trip to Morocco two years ago was a visit to a village hammam (basically, a steam bathhouse). Fortunately, a bit of Morocco has been transported to Vancouver at Miraj where you and your date will first receive a 45-minute Hammam and Gommage treatment in their gold marble facility. Your bodies will be cleansed in steam chambers before receiving a Gommage (exfoliation) that uses softening black Moroccan soap. You can then move onto your choice of massage (60 minutes $195) and facial (30 minute massage & aromatherapy facial $230). End your visit by reclining in the Sultana Lounge where you’ll be served traditional Middle Eastern tea and sweet cakes.
Sense, a Rosewood Spa at Rosewood Hotel Georgia (801 West Georgia Street)
Located in the elegant, heritage Rosewood Hotel Georgia, Sense is truly an urban oasis. The spa pays tribute to the west coast, with a signature scent of basil, lime, black spruce, Douglas fir, mint, and rosewood, as well as natural products (BC glacial clay and Pacific seaweed) from local company Beauty through Balance. Your time there will begin with a swim in their indoor saltwater lap pool, or the hotel’s impressive fitness centre. You and your date can indulge in any one of the spa’s massages. For example the Georgian Revival Massage ($130 per person for 50 minutes) features signature aromatherapy, warm oil, and traditional Swedish massage movements. You can also enjoy a pedicure together ($85 for 50 minutes), or a treatment from their Essential Skin Care menu. For the Rosewood Complete Facial ($285 for 110 minutes), expect eye, neck, and décoletté treatments, deep tissue facial massage, custom masks, and massages and treatment masks for your hands and feet.
Scandinave Spa Whistler (8010 Mons Road, Whistler)
This spa is an amazing après-ski idea, or great for a day trip to Whistler. On the edge of Lost Lake, you’ll find Nordic-inspired facilities amid west coast spruce and cedar forest. The Scandinave Baths Experience ($60 each for access) boasts energizing and relaxing benefits (hydrotherapy) through alternating hot and cold water in steam rooms, Thermal waterfalls, saunas, hot baths, steam baths, and cold plunges. After the hot and cold sequence, relax in the solarium or by the outdoor fireplace. You can also add on a couple’s massage, like the Swedish Duo Package ($304 for 60 minutes massage and access to the baths), which will relax the whole body and relieve any residual tension. Scandinave really is the ultimate way to luxuriate in nature.