Each day at the Ritz-Carlton Toronto is always eventful for Lana Storchak. Some days at Toronto's only five-diamond hotel are more memorable than others, though, as the hotel's spa operations manager found out earlier this month.
Storchak and the staff of seven aestheticians were among the spa employees called into a meeting where they received astounding news. The Ritz spa, called Spa My Blend by Clarins, had been named the World's Best Hotel Spa by Travel + Leisure magazine, a distinction that came as an absolute surprise. "When we found out we were amazed, it meant so much to everyone here," Storchak says. "We had no idea it was coming at all."
The Travel + Leisure ranking, announced on Tuesday, was based on screened reader surveys. Travel industry professionals were not allowed to participate in the vote. Spas were graded on ambience, treatments, service, facilities and value. Storchak believes it is the personal service at Spa My Blend by Clarins that set it apart. "The staff here all work together to make sure our guests feel comfortable the minute they walk through the door," she says. Storchak adds that people who have heard the news of the award are booking appointments.
Even though I had been to the Ritz spa previously, knowing it was now considered the No. 1 hotel spa in the world sweetened my excitement for my visit this week. Going to the Ritz, no matter where, has always had a glitzy ring to it and upon entering the hotel lobby in Toronto you immediately feel dazzled. I love the contemporary Canadian-inspired décor with the beautiful chandeliers, but even more than that I love the openness and hospitality that greet every visitor. Luxury hotels have become quite adept at exuding down-to-earth warmth and the Ritz does it better than any other because the staff truly are genuine.
The spa is on the fifth floor, where a pleasant fragrance and warm smile welcomes you. I am escorted on a tour to familiarize me with the amenities available in the 23,000-square-foot spa facility, Toronto's largest. There is a fitness centre (where one-on-one personal training is available), a yoga studio by Yogagurl, a salt-water lap pool, sauna, and the green tea-infused vitality pool. You can have a manicure and/or pedicure at the Champagne Nail Bar and then head over to the Jackie Gideon Beauty Bar, where the talented staff will polish you off with finishing touches. There are separate lounge areas for men and women, as well as the lofty co-ed Urban Sanctuary, illuminated with soft natural light flowing in through the glass ceiling. Infused water, fresh fruit and tea are available for guests to help themselves to as they settle in and await their treatment.
Read Vacay.ca to find out more about Julia Pelish's experience at the Ritz-Carlton Toronto spa and how much it costs.
Three More Hotel Spas in Toronto to Visit
Hazelton Hotel (118 Yorkville Ave.) -- The Hazelton uses Valmont products and its 100 per cent collagen mask features the same grade of collagen used to treat the skin of burn victims. Treatments are available in three time sessions -- 30, 70 or 90 minutes -- and start at $110. Click here to read more of Julia Pelish's Hazelton spa experience.
Trump Hotel(325 Bay St.) -- The Trump features the city's longest saltwater infinity pool at its Quartz Spa. The 65-foot pool offers tremendous views of the city as well as calming waters to help you relax. Click here to read more about the Trump Hotel in Vacay.ca.
Stillwater Spa at the Park Hyatt Hotel (4 Avenue Rd.) -- Stillwater's Global selection of spa therapies offers exotic experiences such as a Deep Blue Tahitian massage with compresses of red algae and Tahitian botanicals ($250, 90 minutes), or a Tibetan Aqua Massage that incorporates four hands and two therapists in Stillwater's dedicated aqua-therapy pool ($115, 45 minutes). Click here for a Vacay.ca video of the Stillwater Spa experience.
Story by Julia Pelish
Vacay.ca Visuals Editor