Yes. It’s beautiful. We expected that. Yabu Pushelberg meets Four Seasons? How could it be anything but beautiful? But the Spa at Four Seasons Toronto, in the downtown Yorkville neighbourhood, is also warm, welcoming and comfortable with a upscale, residential feel. “It’s very much a community spa,” says spa director Todd Hewitt, “and open to outside guests.”
Dominating the hotel’s 9th floor, the 30,000-square-foot spa, with its 17 treatment rooms (including five couples’ suites), a showpiece pool area, a hair salon and nail bar, is one of the largest luxury spas in Toronto. According to Hewitt, it’s also the largest urban Four Season Spa in the world. In the comfy ladies’ lounge (pictured above) guests help themselves to flavoured water and snacks from the pastry chef, fresh fruit plus an assortment of teas. No coffee is served here.
A veteran spa director with the Four Seasons chain for the last eight years, Hewitt explains that the philosophy was and is “to create an experience of the senses.” The soft, faux fur blankets covering treatment tables (pictured above in The Emerald Suite) and the zero-gravity lounges in the pre-treatment area speak to that. So do the silk covered walls and the water fountains positioned so one is never really out of ear shot.
We also wanted the spa to have a homey feel,” he says, “that’s why the pillows on treatment room tables, lights dimmed, music on, no clutter, clean and neat are what we aimed for.”
Hewitt also stresses the importance of staff. “We interviewed 200 massage therapists and hired 11.”
THE SPA MENU
“We are a society that is looking for natural ways, but we also want results fast.” To suit all sensibilities and expectations, the spa carries five skin care lines – from the completely organic to the results driven Omorovicza line from Hungary. I was invited to try one of the Omorovicza facials – the Eluminating Facial with a copper peel said to sooth, reduce redness and hydrate.
Like most professionally administered facials it was a lovely and relaxing treatment, and I did notice an instant difference in my skin. The esthetician tells me it’s one of the go-to facials for those wanting a quick lift and glow for a special event. The menu of services includes the full range of massages, facials, body but don’t expect to walk out with a menu in hand. In an effort to save a tree, the spa went green and decided to forgo paper for iPad with a digital version of the spa menu available to guests.
The heated pool and lounge (pictured above) with a whirlpool and indoor/outdoor deck doubles as the couples’ relaxation area and is one of the spa’s showpieces.
A private staircase from the spa takes guests down one floor to the state-of-the-art, gym. Here, a row of treadmills, bikes and ellipticals lined up along a wall of windows allows guests to looking down over the city’s tony Yorkville area. A fully-equipped yoga studio offers everyday yoga classes (open to guests as well as the local community), with private sessions are also available.
In addition to the spa and the gym, The Four Seasons Toronto (with 259 guest rooms and 210 residential units) the 55-story building also houses two restaurants including Café Boulud by chef Daniel Boulud.