The maple life The maple life

Category Spa

Happiness (and Endless Tapas) Found at Tigh-Na-Mara Resort

I slid down into the warm pool, lying on my back, my ears pop-pop-popping as they filled with water… And then music. I pushed back and floated across the pool, the bass reverberating in my chest and belly. I’d read about the mineral pool at the Tigh-Na-Mara resort before and assumed I’d love it purely for the sheer joy of bobbing happily in the water, but no one had told

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How To Stay Warm in Canada

I’m a firm believer in the maxim that there’s no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothes. Coming from England, I had no idea at all when I first came to Canada what truly cold weather felt like. I vividly remember it, I was staying at the Germain Maple Leaf Square in Toronto in late December. I’d taken a cab to the hotel from the airport, so hasn’t

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Spa Adventures in the Laurentian Mountains: Ofuro Spa

In wintertime Scandinavian-style spas make a virtue of the pay off between a little ‘pain’ and a lot of pleasure. Stepping carefully in flip flops dressed in a woolen ‘toque’ hat, and a towelling robe, across an icy path as a blizzard of snowflakes pelt you from every angle, it’s hard to not look longingly back at the warmly-lit indoors and wonder what on earth you are doing… and whether

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Spa-gasm at Spa & Hotel Le Finlandais

I think I may have just found my new favourite spa. And, wonder of wonders, it has a hotel attached too, so should your heart desire (and your wallet allow) you could never, ever leave. After twenty minutes in the spa and hotel Le Finlandais that’s pretty much all I was planning so consider yourself warned, this spa and hotel have impressive powers. Hyperbole aside, what makes this great? It is,

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Welcome to West Coast Paradise at the Wickaninnish Inn

The water is wreathed in mist where the pale milky grey sky, smudged at the edges with darker storm clouds, meets the gunmetal grey of the ocean through a soaking Pacific Northwest drizzle. But the ocean is still, with barely a white horse breaking the surface of the waves. Wisps of mist hang softly over the vivid green firs which cling tenaciously to the sloping sides of the mossy islands which

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Nordik Spa-Nature Aufguss Ritual: ‘Pagan, Wild and Incredibly Thrilling’

For a spa-fiend like myself, the joy of discovering a new ‘spa toy’ is a rare and wonderful thing; so you can imagine what a bundle of glee I was at Gatineau’s Nordik Spa-Nature when I found not just one but three things I’d never experienced before. Nordik Spa-Nature is the largest spa in North America, boasting 7 outdoor baths, 8 saunas and an infinity pool set across three separate

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Challenge #5: Float in Canada’s Dead Sea

Because if someone tells you that ‘Canada’s Dead Sea’ is a few hours drive away, well, you just get in a car, right? I’ve been a little obsessed with Manitou Springs ever since I first read about it, it’s a rarity; there are only three lakes in the world that have this particular chemical composition and the others are in Israel and the Czech Republic, but Manitou Lake is right

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Shangri-La Toronto

“What’s that?” I asked my cab driver, “It’s gorgeous.” ‘It’ was a silvery sculpture that reached into the sky and bought to mind flight and freedom right there on the pavement in downtown Toronto. “It’s the Shangri La” said my driver. “You’re kidding!” I said. “I’m staying there tomorrow.” I can’t help myself; I get giddy with delight over a fancy hotel. Holly Golightly may have gone weak at the

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24 Hours in Whistler

I’m falling a bit in love with Whistler; every time I go there something new and rather lovely happens and I start to ponder how I can sort out some kind of weekend cottage there; tucked away with a view of those beautiful mountains and within easy reach of all the great bars and restaurants. This time it was a trip up with two friends who’d come to stay from

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Toronto Spa Adventures: The Ritz-Carlton

I’m not at all surprised that the Ritz-Carlton spa in Toronto bagged the No 1 spot on Travel and Leisure’s 2013 World’s Best awards. I visited recently and lay on a lounger wrapped in a waffle cotton robe in the rare spa sunlight (why are they always usually hidden in a basement) on the 5th floor. The light streamed through the windows and caught the floating jellyfish-like lights hanging from

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