This Valentine's Day, trade the pressure of finding the perfect gift for that of a more therapeutic sort – with a couple's massage. For the newly initiated, the ritual of tandem therapy can bring up some questions of etiquette. Of course, the golden rule for any professional massage is that it should be geared toward your personal comfort and relaxation. Whether your preference is to remain in your undergarments or go au naturel, it's up to you. If you prefer a therapist who identifies as male or female, or would rather not have certain body parts tended to (feet are a common no-no), those requests may be made ahead of time.
But, it's often what takes place after the treatment that raises the most questions. George Friedmann, the owner of the Windsor Arms Hotel in Toronto – which offers couples massages at its spa – says that the urge to connect with your partner post treatment is totally natural, but not appropriate. "In a high-end hotel, nothing needs to happen after," he says. "Hug and kiss for a few minutes. That's normal. But if you go beyond that, you know that there's someone on the other side of the door waiting."
The simplest solution is also the best: Book an overnight stay at your spa's hotel, thereby extending the Valentine's Day fantasy with room service, champagne and time together uninterrupted by stepping out in the February cold. "Put your robe back on, walk down the hall into your private room and do whatever you want to do," Friedmann says. In short, get a room.
What to try
Couples Retreat, $440 at the Windsor Arms Hotel, Toronto.
This city escape for two includes a 55-minute massage, manicures, pedicures and sparkling wine, as well as a session in the spa's salt cave, said to help improve respiratory issues.
Time Together Relieve, from $749 for 120 minutes at the Willow Stream Spa, Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel, Vancouver.
Make a day of it with a full body exfoliation using eucalyptus-infused Turkish salt, followed by a Japanese-style soak, before an aromatherapy massage and full-body wrap.
Duo Massage, from $260 for 60 minutes at the Spa William Gray, Hotel William Gray, Montreal.
Guests at this modern spa, housed in a historic building in romantic Old Montreal, have access to a thermal water circuit, Himalayan salt room, Finnish sauna and more.
Visit tgam.ca/newsletters to sign up for the Globe Style e-newsletter, your weekly digital guide to the players and trends influencing fashion, design and entertaining, plus shopping tips and inspiration for living well. And follow Globe Style on Instagram @globestyle.
Researchers at the universities of Sussex and Bristol have created TastyFloats, a prototype device that uses acoustic levitation to suspend tiny items of food and drink in mid-air.