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Looking for an Ontario spa getaway? Check this one out. Here is my Ste Anne’s Country Inn & Spa review
While I’m having my Aveda Botannical Resurfacing Facial at Ste Anne’s Spa just outside Grafton, Ontario, various thoughts are flitting through my mind, like: For a petite young thing, this therapist has seriously strong fingers. This is a really hard facial massage. Is my skin going to rub off? Is this good for me?
At the same time I was pestering the therapist with questions. “Why is this facial popular? What are you putting on now? Is that the toner?” It’s hard for a spa writer to turn off and simply enjoy a facial. Especially when it’s a more, how shall I say, vigorous treatment than I’m used to.
And then I wanted to know what exactly was in the product, even though she’d already explained that the key ingredient is touramaline. “Isn’t that a semi-precious stone?” I asked.
“Why is it good for you?”
“It’s full of antioxidents.”
That shut me up for awhile. Then I said, “How can a semi-precious stone be full of antioxidents?” Is it crushed up? How do the antioxidents get into your skin?
“Well, it’s a mineral,” she said.
What is tourmaline?
In fact tourmaline is a crystal silicate mineral containing a variety of elements like aluminium, iron, magnesium, iron magnesium, sodium, lithium and/or potassium. It’s also a gemstone that comes in many colours, and according to Egyptian mythology, during its journey from the depths of the earth it passed through a rainbow, soaking in the colours. Just so you know.
“My skin is really sensitive,” I said, as she started to rub a gum-like substance over my skin. Forcefully. “I’ve been burned with hot stones and had my skin rubbed raw at a Hammam (a Turkish-style mud scrub). How do you know when to stop rubbing?”
The therapist took it all in with good grace. And then, I finally shut up for good and let the Zen Zone tranquility of the spa overtake my anxieties. The thing is, you can’t control every minute of a a spa treatment once you’re in a therapist’s hands. At some point you need to let go and trust that she (or he) knows what she’s doing.
Choose your spa wisely
Which is why it’s important to choose your spa with care. You can’t always choose your therapist, but you can pick a reputable spa. And when it comes to reputation, Ste Anne’s in Northumberland Country, just an hour and a half from Toronto, is perhaps Canada’s top spa. (Though I’d say the Wickinnanish Inn in Tofino, BC, comes close.)
About Ste Anne’s Country Inn & Spa
For one thing, Ste Anne’s is a total destination spa, which means that the purpose of your visit here is to spa. Everyone spas. Everyone walks around in their robes, even at meals. Though I did dress up for dinner … unlike the woman who was in her red pajamas at lunch.
Even if you weren’t spa-ing, Ste Anne’s would be a nice place to hang out. A sprawling stone building, it looks like a castle. Plus, the meals, which are included in the package, are surprisingly haute.
Fresh-faced after a facial
Once I was finished my facial I was happy to note that no skin came off – except for those pesky dead skin cells and good riddance to them – and my face felt super smooth. Way more smooth than I’m used to. “Feel my cheeks! Feel them again!” I kept saying to my boyfriend, who had sprung for the overnight spa getaway at Ste Anne’s as a birthday present.
Is that why I lost him soon after to the depths of the men’s changing room sauna? He could only hide for so long. Finally he resurfaced and we spent the rest of the stay going back and forth between the outdoor hot pool, the eucalyptus steam room, the cool plunge (I would have liked colder, as I’m weird like that and I do believe that hot cold hydrotherapy boosts energy and possibly even immunity) and finally, I waded into the small current pool where I pretended to exercise.
Classes at Ste Anne’s Spa
I also did a stretch class, because I thought I should do something active yet a stretch class sounded relatively easy. All group classes are included in your package, whether it’s a day trip or overnight.
And then it was back to the hot pool, a small rock pool with a cupid-holding-fish statue in one corner. To me this is bliss. There is nothing like sitting and soaking with steam rising off the water and the contrast of cool winter air on your face. And, since all the water at the resort is natural spring water surely it’s depositing good things into your skin. Well, along with chlorine I guess, but still.
Ste Anne’s Country Inn & Spa review conclusion
Ste Anne’s Spa isn’t cheap but it’s grand for a splurge. One thing to note is that tipping is not necessary, which shaves 10-20% percent off your treatments. And Ste Anne’s is BYOB, so you won’t run up that wine bill.
For the best deal, check out the specials and last minute deals on their website. Finally, be prepared to wish you’d booked for one more day, because it’s addictive. It really is.
Travel Guide for Ste Anne’s Spa
Ste Anne’s Country Inn & Spa is located at 1009 Massey Road, Grafton, ON
Situated on 400 acres of bucolic countryside, Ste Anne’s Spa is headquartered in an 1858 stone inn. There is also a new wing and garden cottages to stay in. It’s 8.3 km from Lake Ontario.
Day packages including lunch and afternoon tea are available as are overnight stays.
For spa info and bookings call Ste Anne’s at (905) 349-2493
Getting to Ste Anne’s Spa from Toronto: It’s a 90-minute drive east and you can also take the train. Train pickup is available.