The Spa Spy blog

Elmwood Spa: Toronto’s Urban Oasis

Back on another trip to Canada for this Spa Spy... After falling in love with the Body Blitz spa on a previous trip, I couldn't wait to see what else was on offer. There seems to be a curious amount of spas in Toronto, and the downtown Elmwood is one of the oldest, having been in business for 20 years. The spa is large, spread across five floors, and has two restaurants, a juice bar, 34 treatment rooms and water facilities including a pool, steam room and Jacuzzi.

I loved the whizzy new-tech touch of filling out a consultation form on one of the bank of screens in the bright reception. Checked in, it was time for a spa tour. Helpfully, each floor has a spa concierge, so if you're wandering around, wrapped in robe and lost in a spa-haze, they'll soon send you in the right direction.

Whirlpool in women's changing room at Elmwood Spa

The changing room was spacious, complete with hairdryers and so on. I got changed into my fluffy robe and slippers and found my way to the waiting area for my treatment. My therapist collected me and whisked me off. I expected that she would have all the info that I had tapped into the system downstairs. Alas, she didn't. It wasn't a problem talking to her about a few of my allergies and sensitivities but it did make me wonder why I'd filled out that form.

That small grumble out of the way, it was on with my therapy: an absolutely outstanding facial which left my skin silky smooth and perfectly moisturised (which, after a long flight and endless hotel air-con, was very welcome). Elmwood have their own range of products, the Elmline range. I can't recommend the Sensitive Gel enough. It's cooling on flushed skin and helped calm my always too-red cheeks.

After my treatment, I checked out the juice bar, and sat cheerfully sipping on a freshly squeezed carrot, apple and ginger zinger.

Elmwood Spa: The terrace dining room

After spending too many spa lunches either attracting strange looks as I was the only person dining in a robe, or having the hassle of changing and then robe-ing up again, it was great that the crisp-white-cloth-and-gleaming-silver restaurant on the top floor was a robes-only space. Lovely touch.

Elmwood is a really top-notch spa, complete with dipping pool, Jacuzzi and steam room, experienced therapists and great facilities. However, one thing that's missing is a dedicated relaxation area. There are several spaces to sit, but nowhere to lie down for serious post- or pre-treatment zoning out. That aside, you could spend a fun day at the Elmwood; book a few treatments, stay for lunch, then have dinner in the Bangkok Garden Thai restaurant downstairs.

For a spa to have been in business for 20 years, they need to know what they are doing and the Elmwood certainly does. When I visited, the spa was buzzing with mums and daughters, couples, friends and solo spa-goers like myself. A good mixed group and a happy one, too.

Find out more: Elmwood Spa