Jun 2013 17

Spas and Wellness in Vancouver

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We all have loads of stress in our lives and often feel over-taxed and pulled in a zillion different directions while trying to stay focused and sane. Some claim that stress is a healthy part of our daily lives. Yes, that might be true, but high levels of the stress hormone called cortisol in our bloodstream can lead to negative health consequences, and it can even increase the risk of heart and brain disease. Too much stress is dangerous. Therefore the more we can learn to manage our stress and workload, the happier and more comfortable we get.

Some decide to seek professional help or coaching seminars, while others look elsewhere to get a handle on their stress. Spas, beauty salons, and wellness centres offer a great variety of treatments for women and men of all ages and professions.

West Coast Waterfall Hydrotherapy Room at Absolute Spa West Coast Waterfall Hydrotherapy Room at Absolute Spa

The philosopher John Locke believed that “a sound mind in a sound body” was a short but complete description of happiness. Over the centuries, spa visitors have sought this balance through baths, saunas, hot-stone massages, facials, and other treatments.

Where can you check in for a day of pampering in Vancouver? Look at our guide to the best local spas, salons, and clinics.


Doing yoga can help you unwind after a stressful day and focus on what's really important in your life. According to yoga guru Tara Stiles, the practice offers anti-aging benefits too.

It revs up circulation and is believed to rejuvenate cells. A lot of people find that after doing yoga for a few months, their skin is glowing, and any acne clears up. It’s not just the sweating, it’s the breathing and the stimulation of the nervous system,

Stiles says.

Yoga is not just for hippies anymore. Nowadays the person practicing yoga next to you can be anyone — a receptionist from the front desk or the CEO of an international company. Yoga practice can help you improve your breathing techniques, concentration, and patience.


Yyoga is a unique centre. They have a number of locations across Vancouver that vary in size but never in quality of service. The facilities are always clean and the staff are very helpful and friendly. You can use complimentary organic and bio-degradable shampoo, shower gel, and ever deodorant after your session.

Yyoga Vancouver by lululemon athletica Yyoga Vancouver by lululemon athletica

If you're unsure about yoga, you can purchase a two-week pass to all classes for $35. During this time, you're treated as a regular member, and you can enter every class you like from 6:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Usually, there are two to three sessions running at the same time, and they vary in style and level. As a member, you can use a sauna after your class to calm your muscles down and relax a bit. The facility also offers a relaxation lounge with complimentary tea, while other beverages and snacks are available for purchase. If you decide to buy a yearly membership after your two-week pass ends, you'll be eligible for 15 per cent discount.

At Yyoga, we believe that more people would do yoga if the facilities, customer service and sense of community were better realized. You can come here to practice yoga, have a massage or just for tea. It’s important that the mantra of Pure Freedom be realized in our studios. It’s about respecting yoga’s many lineages versus being constrained by them,

explains Cathy, Yyoga manager

Even though Yyoga Flow Wellness centre focuses mainly on yoga classes, you can purchase other services on top of your membership. Yyoga offers a wide range of wellness treatments from practitioners in every area, including RMTs, acupuncturists, chiropractors, and dieticians. If you have an extended healthcare plan, most services can be covered.

Treat Yourself to a Massage

Nutrition specialist Oz Garcia, PhD, says that body work and massage are critical because they reduce your levels of cortisol and adrenaline. Recent studies showed that high levels of adrenaline in your bloodstream are directly linked to weight gain. Massage can help to increase the feel-good hormones serotonin and dopamine. Regular massages also result in greater relaxation, speed up blood circulation, and make you feel less bloated.

VIP Suite at Spa Utopia by Pan Pacific VIP Suite at Spa Utopia by Pan Pacific

Serene Massage Clinic

Choosing the right massage therapist can be a very difficult job. However, there are a few places that guarantee you'll be treated only by a registered massage therapist, and one of them is Serene Massage Clinic . You can't find a bad review anywhere. At first, many suppose all the bad reviews are deleted, but after visiting the place, you'll understand why nothing bad can be said or written about Serene Massage Clinic. This place is a true gem in Vancouver.

Michele Lyle, the founder of the clinic, has magic hands. She listens to both your words and your body and can relieve the pain you've had to learn to live with. Michele seems to have a sixth sense for locating the muscles that cause you pain, and she knows how to release the tension. Her impressive knowledge, studies, and work experience make you trust her completely. She treats every client with special care — and this attention is very rare nowadays.

Beauty and Spa

When it comes to massage, don’t forget about your face. Like body work, facial massages can create positive feelings and a rejuvenated appearance. “It helps you relax and stimulates lymphatic flow,” says celebrity aesthetician Christine Chin.

Body work and massage will do wonders to your body and spirit, but there is more to feeling good and pampered than that. We want a glowing face, sparkling eyes, and shiny hair that will be envied. Our two last tips include places that offer the whole package.

Absolute Spa

The days where men felt awkward entering a spa are over. Absolute Spa is a male-friendly place. There's nothing pink or fluffy in sight, and the décor is very sophisticated and elegant. As you enter, staff greet you with a cup of tea or cucumber juice and show you to a lounge where your therapist will pick you up shortly.

Relaxation Lounge at Absolute Spa Relaxation Lounge at Absolute Spa

Depending on your preferences, you can pick a certain treatment or a whole package. Spa packages are designed with extra care, and they meet the expectations of both men and women. One of the most favoured spa packages is Absolute Man. The treatment lasts for four hours, and you will receive an Absolute Signature Massage, Gentleman’s facial, and professional foot and hand care. Besides getting a heavenly treatment, there are big screens in the pedicure area where you can watch TV or play PlayStation games. If you can't imagine spending four hours at a spa but you don’t want to skip any procedure, Natalie, the spa manager at Absolute Spa Fairmont Hotel, recommends a Professional Sports Hand/Foot Care package.

The package is specifically designed to help skin that has been damaged from sports. This process usually takes 45–60 minutes. Guest looking for more than a facial love Lomi Lomi Coconut Massage. It was designed to completely nurture and pacify the body. Guests can choose from a 45-minute, 60-minute, or 90-minute session,

Natalie explains.

Absolute Spa was founded 12 years ago by Wendy Lisogar-Cocchia and husband, Sergio Cocchia. Since then, it has grown into the award-winning Absolute Spa Group, the most luxurious spa chain in Canada, with more than ten locations to date. The spa has been awarded 67 awards for spa excellence. Lisogar-Cocchia’s amazing spa has attracted many celebrity clients, including Elle MacPherson, Gwyneth Paltrow, Michael Bublé, and Zac Effron.

Spa Utopia

Spa Utopia is definitely one of the best spas you'll ever visit. They have several locations in Vancouver, so there should be one close to your neighbourhood. Each of their locations looks divine. We recommend you come sooner than your treatment is scheduled to enjoy the facilities, such as the rooftop pool, steam room, and sauna. Definitely pick up one of their cold eucalyptus face towels — especially great if you have a cold. Upon arrival, you will receive a soft and fluffy bath robe and gel slippers that you can keep if you like. If you don’t feel like swimming or steaming, you can relax at the reception lounge with tons of magazines and a cup of their signature tea. They serve rooibos sweetened with a dash of apple juice and mint. There are complimentary healthy snacks and lemon and cucumber water everywhere you look as well.

Utopia Spa Vancouver by Pan Pacific Utopia Spa Vancouver by Pan Pacific

You can book a single treatment or the whole package. Spa Utopia employs RMTs who listen to both your body and words. They ask a couple of questions during the massage to ensure you're getting the treatment you want. They don't talk any further unless you initiate conversation, says manager Beverly.

We are the largest spa in the country and we offer a wide variety of treatments. The therapist will take your personal needs into consideration and customize the treatment for you. We also offer private VIP suites that are very popular among couples — we’ve witnessed many engagements there,

enthuses Beverly.

Spa Utopia is famous for its facials and beauty treatments. It is the right place to go even when you have further skin problems. It offers a range of medical facials that target skin conditions that are important to you. Therapists will also create an easy homecare plan for you with products specifically selected for your skin.

At Spa Utopia we use solely our products. They are great for skin, for people who suffer from eczema or psoriasis. All products are local and can be purchased from our shop,”

Beverly adds.

What works for you when you need to de-stress? Do you have any other favourite spas in Vancouver? Let us know in the comments below.

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