We stepped off the elevator to the tranquil sound of a full wall waterfall and I was immediately at ease. After an eventful twelve hour drive from Edmonton to Vancouver, we couldn't have been more thrilled for this retreat.
CHI, The Spa is an oasis on the fifth floor of the Shangri-La hotel in bustling downtown Vancouver. It's incredible that a place so calm is nestled in the chaos of the West End; once you enter the spa, the traffic and other city sounds dissipate.
After a cordial welcoming, we were escorted into a luxurious private couples suite complete with a washroom/changing room, fireplace, sitting room, bath, steam shower, and massage beds. Spacious and comfortable are words that quickly come to mind. It dwarfs my first apartment by a long shot.
We changed into fluffy white bathrobes while enjoying a refreshing glass of infused water. That was followed by a signature exfoliating foot bath accompanied with a tea service. Throughout the whole treatment we were pampered and at ease all while being informed about the benefits of each step.
An aromatic eucalyptus steam shower, the halfway point of our couples treatment, has ruined me on any other shower I will ever have. First of all, I love essential oils and the option to diffuse them into my shower is knowledge I probably could have lived without as I want nothing more than for this to be an everyday occurrence. It smells heavenly and feels incredible. The next place I live in, the shower will need at least a dual head one of which must absolutely be a rainshower.
The grand finale of course was the signature CHI Aroma Vitality massage which combines elements from Swedish and Shiatsu massage as well as lymphatic drainage techniques. The massage bed was one of the comfiest I've ever been on with the perfect balance of soft yet firm. The sheets and quilts were all made of luxurious materials; I felt like I was ensconced in a bed of cashmere and egyptian cotton. The therapist's skill and attention to detail were immaculate. We walked out of there into rush hour traffic feeling as chill as can be. This will definitely be making my 'must-do' list for Vancouver.
Photographs - Michael Borchert // Sandy Karpetz
Labels: Beauty, british columbia, Shangri-La, Spa, travel guide, Vancouver