“I don’t want to leave,” I said in the lobby as the spa concierge at greets me after my treatments. She replied that everyone feels the same way, and I really believed her.
Last week I was whisked away to Morocco and Paris as I indulged in the traditional experience of a Hammam and Gommage ($130). This exotic and truly luxurious experience can be found right in the heart of downtown Toronto at the Miraj Hammam Spa by Caudalie Paris in the Shangri-La Hotel.
The hammam is a huge steam room with floor-to-ceiling marble, dimly lit by candles scattered throughout. There are two chambers in the private hammam: the low intensity chamber that seems quite intense when you first enter, but it pales in comparison when you enter the high intensity chamber. Donning a cute sarong and a not-so-cute disposable undergarment they provided, I laid back on the Jerusalem gold marble in the high intensity chamber for 15-minutes. I didn’t think it was possible for my body to sweat so much. It was truly a full body detoxification. Ladies, don’t forget to remove all makeup before entering the hammam or else the steam room will do the job for you.
After finally getting used to the hot chamber, my gommage therapist ushers me into the low intensity chamber for the most amazing full body exfoliation of my life. Okay, so here’s the deal: the full body exfoliation is best enjoyed sans clothing, but if you’re shy like me, you can keep the disposables on. After quickly getting over the fact that my “girls” are out while getting a full body scrub down by another person, remember that the more you cover up, the less they can exfoliate. So I agreed that the exfoliation by eucalyptus-infused black Moroccan soap was truly spectacular. With each scrub of the mitt, my stresses and dead skin my lifted and melted away. As I got up from my marble bed to shower off the black soap, I am left with beautiful soft skin that I haven’t felt in forever. The Hammam and Gommage is the perfect way to kickstart your summer if you are planning to get a tan. I highly recommended it.
I also added a one-hour Personalized Massage ($170) with an RMT to complete the whole body experience. I highly recommend finishing your treatment with a massage while your muscles are warm and prepped for a deep massage. I was in heaven after having a massage that hurts so good — the true indication that a massage worked on my tense shoulders and back.
After my massage, I was led into the Alhambra Relaxation Lounge, where one can legitimately doze off for hours. My massage therapist hands me a plate of baklava, grapes and tea to complete the experience. Oh my god, it was so delicious that I debated asking for more.
My experience at Miraj Hammam Spa was truly one-of-a-kind. Three hours in the spa is just what I needed to getaway from the stress and noise of a buzzing city. The warm and friendly staff and one-of-a-kind services makes Miraj Hammam Spa a must-visit for anyone visiting Toronto or having a “staycation.”
Miraj Hammam Spa by Caudalie Paris
Shangri-La Hotel, Toronto
Fifth Floor, 188 University Avenue
Toronto, Canada M5H OA3
Photos courtesy of Miraj Hammam Spa by Caudalie Paris