Spa Week came at the right time for me: My back and shoulders have been sore for weeks. The back support that I bought at the Green Living Show has helped while I’m at my desk, but I needed a massage to work out some of the knots.
When I created my Spa Week list, it was based on factors such as value, location (our readers are all over the city) and services offered. Wanting a one-hour massage that was walking distance from home, I phoned Holt’s Salon & Spa on Monday afternoon. I learned that they’d had some cancellations that day and would likely have more all week, so a last minute appointment looked promising. On Tuesday, I scheduled a 55-minute massage for first thing Wednesday morning…
I made my way through the still-closed Holt Renfrew, checked in, and was shown the change room. Nothing fancy, just lockers with robes and foam flip-flops and curtained off private spaces.
On the vibe spectrum of tranquil to clinical, Holt’s Salon & Spa is in the middle, feeling more salon than spa. Soothing spa accents are absent: There are no cushiony slippers, no babbling water features, no soft music, and the scent of essential oil is missing. If you want a day spa experience that makes you feel like you’re lying on a beach, peruse View the Vibe’s Spa Guide.
What there is: An urn of lovely citrus infused water that sits by the waiting room next to a bowl of crisp green apples. Not much of a breakfast eater and yet hungry at 9:45am, that bowl of apples reassured me that my stomach would not provide the soundtrack for the next hour. A stack of magazines sits in the waiting room; some issues of Elle and the current issue of Toronto Life that says “Waiting room copy compliments of Toronto Life” in the address sticker area.
Michelle, my massage therapist, arrived before I finished my “breakfast” and led me to the treatment room. After sharing my ailments with her and getting comfortable under the blanket, the massage began to the sounds of bird chirping. Into relaxation I went and the knot in my head that felt like the size of a golf ball when I walked in seemed to have shrunk down to the size of a pea.
Holts Salon & Spa is always there when I need it, and I just might more often…