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Spa Serenity

There are few greater pleasures in life than a day of pampering at a spa. While most busy urbanites find little time to indulge in the luxuries they deserve, warmer weather provides a welcome invitation to take a treatment in the spa’s traditional source of inspiration-nature. Few places in the world can combine the native charms of whispering pine trees, cool clear lakes, and open sky with world-class spa facilities like Muskoka.

Among the many impressive spas in the region, four have now been officially recognized by Spas Ontario, an association of premier spas throughout the province. This is no small feat–to earn membership status, spas must posess a broad menu of services (all delivered by certified massage therapists and estheticians) and facilities (including at least five private rooms). Each of the 37 member spas must provide three different types of body treatments, four hydrotherapy treatments, three skin care services as well as fitness facilities and healthy nutrition options. With those criteria being met, even the most sophisticated spa baby is guaranteed to be impressed and treated with the utmost care, returning home with the unmistakable glow of a nurtured body and soul.

For more than a century, the Deerhurst Resort has been spoiling its guests with no signs of slowing down–following a recent $30-million renovation, Ontario’s largest all-season resort was voted Best Resort in Canada by North American Inns, Bed & Breakfast and Resorts magazine. Located on 800 incredible tree-lined acres just north of Huntsville, the resort and its Aveda full-concept spa promises “perfect harmony between mind, body and soul” and a unique natural escape “where stress evaporates.” From this serene lakeside spot, take advantage of a number of special treatments, including the ancient Dead Sea mud wrap and aromatherapy steam as well as several packages from the Muskoka Refresher to the Couple’s De-Stressor.

The Wanakita Wellness Spa, located at the Delawana Inn Resort, is named for both a native princess and a tiny island on Georgian Bay, a spot that, according to Huron legend, is the preferred location for “private bathing, reflection and spiritual awareness.” Found in Honey Harbour on Georgian Bay, the spa perfectly incorporates these original inspirations, creating an oasis for the modern urban princess with an impressive list of indulgences including the pregnancy massage, avocado nourishing wrap and aromatherapy hand treatment.

The spa also offers several facials, from intensive eye treatment to teenage and beauty flash, each performed with all-natural products custom-made while you watch. If your prince is feeling left out, there’s a good selection for him as well, including the gentleman’s anti-stress facial and sports pedicure. Other facilities include a Swedish sauna, whirlpool bath, and yoga and exercise classes.Found on the shores of virtually untouched Manitouwabing Lake, The Inn at Manitou (McKellar Centre Road, McKellar, 705-389-2171) promises intimacy and elegance in a sublime and natural setting. With only 35 rooms and a handpicked and largely European staff, both the resort and spa offer an atmosphere that allows guests to get away from it all while still having it all. After consultation with the spa director, you can develop a personalized schedule of head-to-toe spa treatments from the luxury facial and Indian head massage (featuring an invigorating scalp rub) to the hip and thigh treatment (a firming and detoxifying wrap applied to those “problem areas”). A number of packages are also available including the Spa Indulgence, which features a salt scrub body polish with Vichy shower, Swedish massage, prescription facial and luxury manicure.

For a true escape from the everyday, where the only sound is the whisper of tall pines swaying overhead and the gurgling of a waterfall below, step inside the Trillium Resort & Spa, situated on 86 acres of unspoiled woodlands, just outside Port Sydney. Housed in a 5,000-square- foot post and beam building, the tranquil spa offers three floors of services, including a secluded screened-in porch for massages. Try the relaxing stones massage, sea salt glow or herbal wrap, followed by a steam in the wood-fired Finnish sauna. One treat guaranteed to get you glowing is the signature Hydradermie facial. Using skincare products from the internationally renowned Rene Guinot line, talented estheticians use a mild electrical current to enhance the penetration of moisturizing gels specially chosen to suit your skin needs. From your comfortable sunlit room, where large windows provide both an open yet private forest view, this treatment is sure to satisfy all cravings for total renewal.

One of four Amba Spas located in the Muskokas, Trillium is the only one to earn a membership with Spas Ontario. However, the smaller sisters within the Amba family are equally charming and offer many of the same services as their esteemed relation. These pleasant boutique versions can be found at the Delta Grandview Resort (939 Hwy. 60, Huntsville, 705-789-4417 ext. 5811), Delta Rocky Crest Resort (Hamer Bay Rd., RR 1, Mactier, 705-375-2240 ext. 318), and the Delta Sherwood Inn (Lake Joseph, Port Carling, 705-765-3131 ext. 414).—Susan Murray

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