by Cindy Yu
Photo: Keith V Fischer

Photo: Keith V Fischer

The 90-min spa GUIDE

Welcome to a new series on my blog called The 90-Minute Spa.

In today's world the toughest thing we deal with every day is juggling. Juggling everything that we do - be it work, play, family, eating, cleaning, learning, sleeping... you name it; trying to find time to get everything done is near impossible. And spending time to pamper yourself? Unheard of.

But times are also changing and the focus of wellness is dominating headlines. Not being able to decompress is leading to stress on our bodies and this impacts our relationships, not to mention our physical and emotional health.

90-Min Spa Rating System

Following a thorough review using an exhaustive set of criteria, I apply one of the rating definitions below:

3 AHHHs (3H spa) GOOD - Three H Spas offer well-appointed facilities with a full complement of staff to ensure that guests’ needs are met. The spa facilities include clean and appealing treatment rooms, changing areas and a welcoming reception desk. 

4 AHHHHs (4H spa) GREAT - Four H spas provide a wonderful experience in an inviting and serene environment. A sense of personalized service is evident from the moment you check in and receive your robe and slippers. The guest’s comfort is always of utmost concern to the well-trained staff.

5 AHHHHHs (5H spa) AMAZING - Five H spas provide an exceptional experience with no detail overlooked. These properties wow their guests with extraordinary design and facilities, and uncompromising service. Expert staff to cater to your every whim and pamper you with the most advanced treatments and skin care lines available. These spas often offer exclusive treatments and may emphasize local elements. 

But how do we start? I turned to the easiest thing I could think of - the spa. Sure, I could go for a run or a hike, play a game of tennis or take part in a boxing class; but those are all exhilarating activities. I'm talking about something that soothes the mind, soul and body. For me, that's the spa.

So the next step is figuring out which spa to go to - and what treatment to have. And, I know what you're thinking - I don't have all day to sit around in a spa.

Hence, 90 minutes. 

Sixty minutes isn't quite long enough to truly relax, but 90 minutes is a sufficient amount of time to start forgetting about your worries, and if it's a great spa, your body feels like butter. 

So I'm going to spend the next year on a self-imposed assignment of testing out all the spas I can  visit. Since I live in Vancouver, my goal is to try a spa treatment that's 90-minutes or shorter at every spa in the city.  I will rate each facility and its corresponding treatment and provide a full report. And wherever my travels take me, I will do my best to also check out at least one spa in that location as well. Spas are some of the perfect activities to do while on vacation, so I hope that this will help in some way!