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Shou Sugi Ban House in the Hamptons is expanding the property’s wellness services to include bio-hacking.Fredrika Stjarne/Handout

Treatment centres

With the wellness travel market expected to grow over 10 per cent per year this decade, luxury hotels are ratcheting up spa menus to be more high-tech. They’re attempting to put the hospital in hospitality, if you will. The Four Seasons Resort Maui partners with a Los Angeles-based health-care centre to provide guests with services such as IV drips and stem-cell therapies. La Reserve in Geneva, Switzerland, offers treatments with LPG Endermologie and Emsculpt technology to treat cellulite and strengthen muscles. And this spring, Shou Sugi Ban House in the Hamptons is expanding the property’s wellness services to include bio-hacking. “[Wellness] is moving into an era of enhancement technology where we can feel good now, and feel even better after bio-hacking,” says co-founder and CEO Amy Cherry-Abitbol. Among the treatments are full-body light therapy via the ReGen Pod (think a suntanning bed but for near-infrared and infrared light), which reduces inflammation and lactic acid buildup in sore muscles. Vibroacoustic sound therapy uses the vibrations of low-range frequencies to stimulate cellular responses said to reduce anxiety, insomnia and pain.


Iceland-based Play Airlines will be flying out of Hamilton International Airport.JB-ACCARIEZ/Handout

Taking flight

For those dreaming of travel to Europe, tickets may be easier – and cheaper – to come by thanks to the arrival of Iceland-based Play Airlines (, which will be flying out of Hamilton International Airport, about an hour’s drive from Toronto. Similar to the now defunct Wow Air, Play’s routes involve a stop in Keflavik, Iceland’s international airport, which allows the carrier to connect passengers from the Golden Horseshoe to more than two dozen destinations in Europe, from Athens to Warsaw. To launch the airline’s arrival in Canada, fares start as low as $169 one-way until June 22. As with all low-cost carriers though, the details matter. Baggage and seat selection are on top of fare costs.


Universal Studios will open Super Nintendo World on Feb. 17.Hamilton Pytluk/Universal Studios

Game on

As another example of the nineties revival, Universal Studios will open Super Nintendo World on Feb. 17. The stars of this new section of the amusement park are Mario and company, of course, and the ride getting top billing is Mario Kart: Bowser’s Challenge. On it, visitors don virtual reality goggles and join Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach and more to navigate underwater and sky-high courses. For maximum kitsch, a visit to Toadstool Cafe is a must. Decorated as if you’re inside one of the Super Mario game’s spotted mushrooms, the menu includes toadstool-shaped garlic knots, pink Princess Peach cupcakes, and a gold tiramisu-flavoured mystery block (the cubes Mario punches for coins or added power) with white chocolate mousse inside. “There was really never an option of saying, ‘We’re just going to serve chicken fingers or pizza,’” Jon Corfino, vice-president of Universal Creative, told Eater LA.

Admission from US$109 through


Vessi Stormburst sneakers.Kezia Nathe/Handout

Walk it off

While they’re not the most stylish sneakers, I’ve never regretted my purchase of Vessi Weekend shoes. Particularly when it comes to travelling carry-on only, these shoes serve multiple purposes – walking, hotel gym workouts, and most importantly, a barrier to any sort of weather. The company recently launched an all-season high-top called Stormburst. It features the same fabric technology as its other shoes, offering 100-per-cent coverage from wet weather, but this model comes with added cushioning in the heel for more support and a lug sole that offers extra grip. The shoes come in black and white, with two additional limited-edition colours: Boreal Green (a beige green) and Dusk Purple (a soft lilac).

Vessi Stormburst sneakers, $195 through

Investment buy

The United Airlines sundae cart returns to business class on all long-haul international flights beginning this month.Miles Boone/Handout

Sweet upgrade

Some might see purchasing a business class seat as a splurge, but United Airlines ( is adding a specific kind of indulgence to the experience with the return of its ice cream sundae cart. The cart returns on all long-haul international flights beginning this month (the service had been paused in 2020 at the beginning of the pandemic) when it will once again be wheeled through business class. Passengers get to top a bowl of vanilla ice cream with a choice of toppings, including hot fudge, M&Ms and a cherry. When so much of air travel is still a slog, it’s small treats like this that go a long way.