Vancouver, Canada is a year-round destination with world-class shopping and dining, great museums and a beautiful waterfront. The city serves as an ideal gateway to Western Canada's many attractions, from boating, hiking and biking in summer to skiing, snowmobiling and snow shoeing in winter months. I discovered it is also a perfect place to relax at the spa, particularly Willow Stream Spa at Fairmont Pacific Rim.
As most of my readers know, I am a huge spa fan and Willow Stream Spa at Fairmont Pacific Rim deserves its great accolades. It is definitely one of the best locations for a spa. This is just the spot to curl up on a snowy winter day, snuggled in a blanket or soaking in a hot tub, with city views and snow-covered mountains as your backdrop.
Magical Ambiance at Willow Stream Spa
Fairmont Pacific Rim is on the water's edge in downtown Vancouver. The spa is on the hotel's fifth floor, and I stepped off the elevator into a magical place I hadn't expected. The interior seems to define modern Canada, with a blend of wood, metal and natural stone. The massive windows offer breathtaking views. And of course there is that amazing spa fragrance that I would love to recreate at home.
The spa lounge is a tranquil space with a fire blazing and hot tea ready for sipping. But the gem is the outdoor terrace. This is the spot where winter dreams come true.
The outdoor terrace lets you relax around the fire pit, snuggle up in one of the oversized round loungers (meditation pods) or perch on the edge of the city in one of the jacuzzis. Because the terrace is co-ed, you can watch the winter wonderland with that someone special.
I sunk into the warm water and watched people bustle about in the city below. The snow-capped peaks in the distance beckoned with ample opportunities for winter escapes, but I was happy for the afternoon to sit back and let the stress melt away from me in that jacuzzi.
After leaving the hot tub, I snuggled up in my robe under a soft throw and warmed myself around the fire pit. What a magical time! And all of this was before my massage.
The Facilities at Willow Stream Spa
In addition to the jacuzzis out on the terrace, there is also an infrared sauna. This radiant heat warmed my body to the core. The co-ed sauna is great for relieving muscle and joint pain, increasing blood circulation, detoxifying the body, and warming you up on a cold winter day.
Back indoors, you can find a steam room (one for men and another for the ladies) as well as a hydrotherapy experience shower featuring 20 different shower heads. There are many places to sit, sip a cup of hot tea and read. Once you've booked your spa treatment, you are welcome to spend the entire day enjoying the facilities.
In addition to being in a great location, Willow Stream Spa at Fairmont Pacific Rim offers a full-service spa menu. You can select from a variety of facials, body treatments, wraps and massages. I had the deep tissue massage, which I found to be calming and relaxing. There was no sense of being rushed and the therapist honored my quiet time and let me get into that lovely spa zone.
For something different, try the Willow Stream Elements, a 90-minute treatment with a Moor mud wrap, aromatherapy, rain shower rinse and massage.
The treatment rooms are also beautiful, with full walls of glass. But, to fully enjoy the quiet and solitude during the treatment, the shades close and the room becomes completely dark. There are nine different treatment areas at the spa, including a couples' treatment room that has its own private Japanese Zen soaking tub.
The spa also has a salon that provides manicures, pedicures and specialty hand and foot treatments.
A stay at the Fairmont Pacific Rim puts you in the heart of downtown Vancouver, surrounded by great food options and some amazing shopping, but do be sure to reserve a day to relax at the Willow Stream Spa. Your mind and body will thank you.
Disclosure: Susan Lanier-Graham is an official Travelocity Gnational Gnomad offering tips and inspiration to fellow travel enthusiasts. This post was sponsored by Travelocity. For more information on the Travelocity Gnomads, visit www.travelocitygnomads.com.