With the ever-changing restrictions and limitations of travel, self-care on the road can be a challenge. Thankfully, as Maryam Siddiqi learns, hotels across the country are coming to the rescue with innovative restorative experiences
Wanderfit After Dark Vancouver
Motion is lotion, so the saying goes, which makes a Wanderfit session all the more appealing after a long flight. Available to guests of the Loden Hotel, the experience is focused on physical activity outdoors. For winter, the hotel has introduced Wanderfit After Dark, a private night hike up Grouse Mountain. A guide personalizes the hike to each participant's fitness level and provides the necessary specialized equipment. With only a head lamp lighting the way on an empty trail and no city sounds to distract from the goal of making it to the top, the uphill climb becomes almost meditative – there is nothing to think about other than putting one foot in front of the other. At the top, you've got a clear head and a healthy sweat – and have seen more of the city than you would have from the gym treadmill. Wanderfit packages begin at $619 per night (www.theloden.com).
IV vitamin therapy Whistler, B.C.
If being on the shores of Nita Lake in Whistler isn't enough to calm you, the spa at Nita Lake Lodge endeavours to promote wellness inside and out with IV vitamin therapy. After a consult with a naturopath, who will assess guests' needs as they pertain to weight loss, skin health, fatigue, chronic pain, anxiety and hormonal imbalances, a custom boost of vitamins, mineral and antioxidants will be mixed and administered via IV. The regenerative treatment takes place in the property's spa lounge, where guests can cozy up on a lounger under a warm blanket taking in views of Whistler mountain as the drip does its thing – a decidedly non-clinical take on an IV session. $85 for 30-minute consult (required), IV treatments from $125 (www.nitalakelodge.com).
My Blend facial treatment Toronto
Earlier this year, the Ritz-Carlton in Toronto launched a technologically advanced treatment at the property's Spa My Blend by Clarins. After a hot stone massage for shoulders and neck, and the application of a customized blend of serums, toners and lotions to the face, three tech-forward applications are employed: My ColourBlend, an LED light therapy that purifies and regenerates the skin via a mask that sits on the face; My WaveBlend, a vibrating wand that, as it's moved around the skin, promotes lymphatic drainage and fights puffiness; and My Cryotech, a cryotherapy wand that tones and tightens skin for an immediate boost. The latter feels like an ice cube (without the dripping water), and is the most relaxing part of the treatment. It also works like magic: Skin is tighter and lines are visibly reduced. You don't need to be a guest to visit the spa – if life on the road has got you down, this is a definite pick me up. $230 for 60-minute treatment, $290 for 90-minute treatment (www.spamyblendtoronto.com).
Relaxation and meditation Quebec City
When the Headspace app just isn't cutting it, the hour-long Relaxation and Meditation guided treatment at the beautifully restored historical Le Monastère des Augustines should calm your mind and spirit. "Devoted to a return to self," these one-on-one sessions, which are held in the property's heritage rooms, take participants through breathing exercises and relaxation techniques meant to reduce stress and anxiety, help with sleep and improve concentration. Le Monastère des Augustines also has a Movement Breath and Posture session that, along with breathing and relaxation exercises, includes static and dynamic stretching to relieve muscle tension. You don't need to be a guest of the hotel to book a treatment at its facilities. $85 for 60-minute session (www.monastere.ca).
Forest bathing East Kemptville, N.S.
An exercise that benefits mind, body and soul, Trout Point Lodge introduced a forest bathing experience for guests who need to shake off the effects of city living. The luxury property, a member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World, sits in the interior of southwest Nova Scotia, and thanks to its adjacency to the province's Tobeatic Wilderness Area, is surrounded by hectares of spruce, maple and birch trees. Forest bathing, a contemplative (fully clothed) walk in the woods, is inspired by the Japanese practice of shinrin-yoku, sensory immersion in nature built on the belief that phytoncides – antimicrobial compounds emitted by trees – stimulate cells that strengthen the immune system. Meandering is the point of forest bathing, and the one-to-four-hour guided walks at Trout Point lead guests through the surrounding woods for natural aromatherapy that promotes relaxation. $35 per hour up to two people (www.troutpoint.com).