When I get good ginger tea, I know it’s a great start to something.
One of my favourite employee perks are RMT benefits because I can get a massage AND try out a spa (albeit it is more pricey but if you have a decent Health Spending Account then you can use that to cover the extra costs. Most RMT coverage is around $100-$110 per session depending on your provider.) I decided to treat myself and booked a 60 minute RMT treatment at CHI, The Spa at Shangri-La Hotel Vancouver.
You are free to use all the facilities at CHI before or after your treatment, so one can arrive earlier or stay as late as you want. Spa guests can use the amenities that include a gym, outdoor pool, and a whirlpool. And if you forget your swimsuit, they also have disposable swimsuits! Upon arriving 5th floor of the spa, I was greeted, offered a cup of tea or fruit infused water, and asked to take a seat to fill out a form.
I booked my treatment for 5:15pm – 6:15pm. While I waited, I had some chocolate covered ginger and trail mix to snack on. The RMT came out at 5:14pm and the session ended at 6:18 pm. Between that time, I was given around ~7 minutes to get ready and settle in the bed. So – you probably don’t get the full 60 minute treatment, which I am anal about because the RMT treatments are $195 from Monday – Thursday. Every minute is dollars!! (And yes, I booked on a Thursday.)
You get your own room for the treatment, which is gorgeous. I only wish that the lighting wasn’t so dim as I tried to take photos with my dying iPhone but everything turned out pretty grainy. You can find better photos on TripAdvisor. In your own room, you get a shower, the massage bed, a small lounge area, washroom, and a closet. There is also a bathtub that I wish I got to use. It was so dark that I was worried I couldn’t find the washroom at first.
I had expressed that I had most tension in my back, neck, and shoulders. The massage therapist acknowledged that he would focus on those problem areas and if I was ok with a full body massage afterwards. The strength was pretty good and I felt a mix of relaxation and loose in my muscles. When I turned over on the bed, I was covered with an eye pillow and the bed was angled. Both my arms were kind of flung up and down which felt surprisingly useful and I never knew how sore my legs were (cause I barely exercise…..)
After my massage, I went for a shower. There is a bathrobe hanging outside the bathroom and an ample amount of fluffy towels. There are also silicon slippers in the closet. You can use the rainfall shower or just the shower head, and there are bottles of shampoo, conditioner, and body wash. For my room, there was no hair dryer so you may want to ask for one/ check before hand if you plan to wash your hair. The amenities provided in the room included a shower cap, comb, dental kit, shaving kit, and a hair tie. The least useful was the hair tie as it barely stretched a few cm and won’t hold any amount of ponytail.
After my shower, I left and my massage therapist greeted me outside. He poured me a cup of ginger tea and went back to clean the room. I had some chill time to relax in the lounge – note that this is the same shared lounge for people checking in and are about to check out. There isn’t an inside lounge for you to hang out after your treatment. I had about 5 more cups of ginger tea (IT’S THAT TASTY!!) and few more chocolate covered gingers, it was time to go home.
Overall – love the individual rooms to change and shower. The tea is amazing and everyone is warm and friendly. I wish I got the full 60 minutes of treatment though and that the lighting was better so I can see my way around. Would I come back though? Yes! (I plan to perhaps purchase WaySpa certificates and try a non registered massage therapy.) I’m definitely going to go on Monday- Thursday if I do RMT for the $195 rate, versus the $205 for a 60 minute massage.
Keep an eye out for my next massage/spa reviews – Scandinave Spa Whistler and Willowstream Spa at Fairmont Pacific Rim.
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