Most of my posts here on the blog are about food. I’ve written the odd post on fitness or fashion, and the occasional one that is a little more personal in nature, but today we are doing something totally different. Last month, I was invited to my favourite Edmonton Spa, Urban Retreat, for a full, complimentary Spa Day. How could I say no to that?
My history with Urban Retreat goes way back. I have been seeing Anita, the owner, since she was running the business out of her basement. I think the first time I went to Anita, I was in grade 7… so that’s over 15 years ago, my friends. Although the Urban Retreat Spa Day was complimentary, I am happy to support this business, because it’s where I bring my business to on a regular basis. The receptionists and aestheticians are always friendly and professional. The spa itself has a beautiful, relaxing atmosphere, and most importantly, it is always very clean.
I showed up for my Spa Day bright and early on a Saturday morning. My day was jam packed with all sorts of relaxing treatments, including a hot stone massage, steam, body scrub and make-up application.
I started my day with the hot stone massage. I’ve had many massages over the years, mostly to relieve the muscle tension from my desk based job, but I’ve never experienced a hot stone massage before. The thought behind using warm stones in massage is that the heat distributed with just one pass of the stone over the body is equal to the heat created by ten passes of the hand. Essentially that means your muscles should relax a little quicker. Forty-five different basalt stones were used during the massage, each with a different purpose based on their size and shape. Some were used to massage with and others were used for stationary placement.
It’s said the stones can provide a sense of being physically grounded and I’d actually say that’s true. I think in the same way that the weight of a heavy blanket can be comforting, the weight of the stones added to the experience. Not only did I enjoy the released tension in my muscles from the hands-on manual technique used in the massage, but experienced a sense of comfort and relaxation from the warmth and heat of the stones. I was so relaxed that it was incredibly difficult to get myself up off the massage table and into the steam room. (I know, it was a tough day ;).)
After a relaxing steam in the private steam room, I was ushered off to my next treatment; a body scrub. I’ve never had a body scrub before and to be honest, I was a little nervous. I mean, was it going to be weird having someone scrub my body? There were various steps taken to “preserve my modesty” and the girl carrying out the treatment was nothing but professional, so any nervousness I had disappeared quickly. The process involved being scrubbed down with various different scrubs and muds, all while jumping in and out of the shower to rinse off. There was definitely a lot of back and forth, changing, and getting in and out of the shower, but wow did my skin feel soft at the end of the treatment. I think they probably scrubbed off a good half-inch of dry skin from my entire body. Edmonton winters can be so hard on the skin, so it felt incredible to have all that dryness scrubbed away. Once the scrub was complete, a wonderful seaweed infused body butter was applied, rehydrating my skin, and leaving it feeling incredibly soft.
Next up was the O2 Facial, which is quick and non invasive. It’s meant to “exfoliate, illuminate and oxygenate.” I have incredibly sensitive skin and have always shied away from facials, for fear that I would end up looking red and blotchy. That was not the case at all with this facial. There was some mild exfoliation, which again is a great thing with our dry winters, but it was gentle enough that it didn’t leave my skin irritated. I can honestly say that when I looked in the mirror after my facial, I actually felt like I finally understood what it meant to have glowing skin.
My day was finished up with a makeup application. Urban Retreat focuses on accentuating natural beauty, rather than piling on the makeup. During the application, I was constantly consulted, ensuring I was happy and comfortable with the result. Jane Iredale products are used, which is an 100% mineral based line that is known for being non-comedogenic. I’ve used Jane Iredale products before and have always been very happy with how they work with my sensitive skin.
The Spa Day included a lovely, freshly made lunch and there were snacks, water and coffee available throughout the day to keep me well-fed and hydrated. In between treatments I was able to continue my relaxation in the lounge, comfortably seated on a comfy couch.
It was such a treat to be so pampered with all of these wonderful spa treatments. I came out of the spa feeling so incredibly relaxed and rejuvenated. While a spa day like this would not be something I could afford to do for myself on a regular basis at this point in my life, it was an absolutely wonderful indulgence. I think a spa package like this would make for a wonderful gift to any woman looking for some relaxation, or it would be great for some pre-event pampering.
So whether you are looking for somewhere to go for a quick manicure, an eye-lash tint (which I love) or a full spa day, I highly recommend Urban Retreat. I have received consistently excellent aesthetic services there for years.
Thank you again to everyone at Urban Retreat for such a wonderful, indulgent day.