The Spa Travellers Welcome You

The Spa Travellers invite their readers to take a break from a hectic world, sit down for a moment with a cup of tea, and let us inspire you as we discuss spa experiences from near and far, discover natural beauty products, and sample exotic teas. We welcome you to join our journey!

Guest Writer

Guest Writer
Dana McGlynn



South Beach - Miami Florida
Stepping outside Toronto this morning, the sun was bright but the air was cold.  I suddenly realized I'm not in Miami anymore!  Back in South Beach, there is always a gentle ocean breeze mixed with warm air.  The evenings greet you the same way.   The Miami ocean changes its colour from sea foam green to shades of turquoise, depending on the time of day you arrive at its shore.

Modern Lounge at Eden Roc - a mix of sculptures and candelabras 
This vacation I stayed at the Eden Rock Hotel at 4525 Collins Avenue, Miami.  Inside you will find the Elle Spa.  

This hotel is modern and chic and the staff made you feel as if you were at home.

The Elle Spa is now celebrating their two year anniversary.  Guests can enjoy two 50 minute spa services for $200.00.  (Not including Saturdays).  

It was time to update my look.  I treated myself to a manicure and polish change on my toes.  My manicurist and I chose OPI nail polish in colours of the sea.  We soon found a common interest and settled into a conversation like old friends as she painted my nails.

Then, I arrived again at the spa the next day.  Working out the obvious knots in my neck would be Maimi native massage therapist Ana.  I had to run up the stairs to greet her for my appointment as I was running late from a fabulous shopping spree at Macys in the Aventura  Mall.  I had the last appointment of the day.  Ana wanted me to have the full spa experience so I was grateful that she suggested and arranged for me to visit the spa’s aqua therapy lounge first thing in the morning the very next day as a free add on.  I eagerly arrived after a night of dancing  at Mango’s Bar on the strip on Miami's South Beach, where I was sipping on Mohitos and fruity cocktails to the Latin beat of the evening.  It was time to find peace and quite again.  The spa was relatively empty at that time of day.  I had the lounge to myself.
The Aqua Therapy Lounge Spa Products at Elle Spa
Inside the spa I found an array of body and hair products, a steam room, hot and cold plunge baths and sauna all at my disposal.   Now I am on vacation! I feel my body finally relax and I can enjoy the rest of my afternoon in the sun before I must say goodbye to the art deco and neon lights which are Miami...I will be back again some day I am sure.
Cold and Hot Jacuzzi Tubs - Elle Spa

Posted by Tracey Wednesday, June 5, 2013 0 comments
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The family recently escaped our hectic Toronto life for the fresh air in beautiful Collingwood, (north of Barrie) Ontario.

We rented a cottage at the Historic Snowbridge (pictured above) which backs on to a golf course.

Blue Mountain offers countless tailored packages which you can book on line or by telephone.  Their website is easy to use.  See link to the right: The Village at Blue.  Please check out all their family entertainment.

Hot Deals!Hot Deals!We took in a family Spa Package at The Blue Mountain Inn.  The Inn is part of the Village at Blue Mountain which has an on-site spa called Kalola.  Attached is a link to their packages Kalola Spa.  We had a relaxing spa massage with registered massage therapists and then escaped to the Inn's hot tubs after our massage.

Other spas in the area which offer packages through The Village at Blue Mountain are the Lilly Pad  See The Lilly Pad and Scandinavian Spa  The Scandinave Spa.  Adults only at The Scandinavian Spa.

All the spas also offer Girls Weekend getaways too!

It can take from 90 minutes to three hours to travel to Collingwood from Toronto depending on the traffic.  Maps are available through their website.

Posted by Tracey Saturday, September 8, 2012 0 comments

The Island of Santorini Greece  2011
Gift yourself with silence each day.  Often we are found rushing in the hustle and bustle of city life.  When we take a moment for silence, we will develop a greater sense of well being in all aspect of our lives.  Find a few minutes each day to unplug.  If you wish to experience life, rather than be swept away by it, then be sure to set aside some time, no matter how busy your day, to linger in the oasis of silence.  For there you will be able to recharge your batteries, tap into your inner wisdom and clear your thoughts for more reflective and clearer thinking which will offer you a deeper sense of awe and wonder.

Posted by Tracey Saturday, February 11, 2012 0 comments

The Eaton's Centre

Chrstmas Cranberry Tea


8 Cups Water
1 Cup Cranberries
1/2 Cup White Sugar
1 Orange; juiced
1 Lemon; juiced
4 Whole Cloves
1 Cinnamon stick


IN a large pot, combine water and cranberries.  Bring to a boil, ruduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes.  Add Sugar, orange juice, lemon juice, cloves and cinnamon stick.  Cover, and steep for 20 minutes.  Serve hot or chilled.

Posted by Tracey Monday, December 12, 2011 0 comments

Demaquillant Yeux Intense - Eye Make up Removal - Retail $32.00

We recently attended a gala event at Consestoga Mall at the Bay in Waterloo.  See tesimonial below.  Dual phase formula gently whisks away all eye make-up...especially good for waterproof mascara!  Provides effective eye make-up removal with refreshing feel of water!  Suitable for sensitive eyes and contact lense wearers.  Water cornflower extract and water rose extract soothe and calm vulnearble eye area.

Nudes are on left is our favourite.

Blister Lipstick Sample

Posted by Tracey Sunday, December 4, 2011 0 comments

Centered amongst stone buildings on 400 acres of land which stretch all the way to Lake Ontario, St. Ann's Spa in Grafton Ontario is Canada's largest spa.  Tranquility will seep into your body, mind and soul before you leave.  No outside noise or traffic are in ears reach.  The spa is located 1 hour and 15 minutes going east from Toronto.  The location takes you back to a time when life was more simple.

It was a spa day for the girls.  We signed up for the Day Spa Meal Package and treatment.  

Of course, you can also stay overnight in one of the 28 unique guestrooms.  

We arrived and received a wellness itinerary for the day.  Once you arrive, examine the itinerary times as you need to follow their schedule in order to attend events for the day.  We took in a yoga class right away.  We then spent some time in their 3 temperature hot/cold plunge tubs which are filled with spring water from the property.  We also took in the Eucalyptus Steam Room.  We followed with the Coconut Breeze Body Scrub Treatment.  Our package included a very delicious lunch and then also included High Tea in the late afternoon served after our treatment! Both meals took place in their well staffed fine dining room restaurant.

Items to bring:
- Bathing Suit
- Comfortable clothing and shoes for fitness/outdoor activities
- Sandals or slippers for inside the spa
- Refillable water bottle

St. Anne's signature spa treatment is a Moor Mud Bath & Aroma Hydro Massage but we opted for the Coconut Breeze Treatment which is a lime scented body scrub followed by a coconut oil massage.   Our package (including food, taking the waters and a yoga class) with tax was $231.65 each. 

Now that we have tried St. Anne's Haldimand Hills Spa, we are anxious to try their new sister property at Dorset Manor in Port Hope, Ontario, which features overnight accommodations only.  To See St. Anne's.        
To make your reservation, call 1-800-346-6772.
Driving Instructions to St. Anne's:
  1. Take the 401 (east from Toronto, west from Kingston, Montreal) to Exit #487, Lyle St. Grafton.
  2. Turn North on Lyle Street and drive for about 1.5 km to Academy Hill Road
    (Note: between May and October, you can choose to turn onto our private drive, located just before Academy Hill Rd. and marked with the Ste. Anne's sign. It will take you to the lower parking lot at Ste. Anne's Spa if you follow it for about 2.5 km.)
  3. Turn Left, follow this road until you can go no further
  4. Turn left and Ste. Anne's main building will be 500 metres away on your left.

Posted by Tracey Monday, November 21, 2011 0 comments

Forget about the grand river of the Bosphorus or the equally bustling Golden Horn river; both joining in the heart of Istanbul; the Blue Mosque of Sultanahmet and the Museum of the Sophia Mosque and keep at bay the aggressive male shopkeepers of downtown Istanbul as they chase you throughout the streets around the Spice and Grand Bazaars...just...


Reaching the well known Hamam Turkish bath of Cagaloglu in the heart of Old Istanbul this fall, left me experiencing that which is from ancient times.

Resting Room - or "soguukluk"

As I pass through the grand entrance which is visited by Hollywood stars and tourists alike, I am handed a key to start my journey as I find my way to my own locked wooden cubical where I get undressed.  There will be time to rest on my bed after my services are complete.  As I emerge, I am assigned wooden sandals to wear along with a robe.  I then make my way to the Steam Room,  I am asked to un-robe and I am given a cotton red and white checkered towel. At this point, there is evidence of what is yet to come.  As it was later explained to me by the Manager of the 300 year old hamam, Cihan Girgin, "You are expected to experience the feeling of your mother bathing you like a child".  I can admit that such thoughts did enter my head after I entered the "sogukluk" or steam room and was asked to lie on a huge table shaped like a wheel and made entirely of grey marble.  This is called the "gobek" also referred to as the "tummy stone".   As I relaxed on the stone in the most beautiful high ceiling and ornate spa room ever seen, my attendant, Sajen came to find me and she introduces herself. I am sharing the grandest room with about half a dozen other women, some of whom are also lying on the huge marble table at the same time.  As I lie on my towel, I am given a very vigorous exfoliating entire body scrub using a special lemon verbena soap.  I am wiped down all over with hot cloths and given a 10 minute body massage.  I am then asked to leave the table and follow my attendant over to the marble basins with flowing wells of water.  I sit down and this is when I get a surprise!  I am drenched over and over again with pails of tempered water!  Just when I think I have had enough, it is over and I am helped up by my attendant as she wraps my hair and body in cloth.  I am led out to the "soguukluk" or relaxing room where I can enjoy a drink from a selection of fruit juices and teas!  My experience has ended and there is no question, I am squeaky clean from head to toe!  To finish, I am "anointed" as if in a church with Rose Water which further softens the skin and leaves a nice Rose scent.  Of course, I could not leave the Hamam without buying rose water from Turkey for 20 lira.  However, I must say the rose water I bought at the hamam was not the sweetest smelling and you might want to try the spice bazaar for this product.

Rose Water from the Hamam

As you leave, be sure to include a tip for your attendant.

Turkey's currency is the lira but everywhere I went, they also readily looked for payment in euros.  My services were priced at 120 lira or 50 Euros.  There are many more less expensive hamams throughout Turkey but I wanted the ambiance of the historic surroundings that I read about in my travel guide.  Further, some hamams have larger rooms for male clients as this was the more usual client historically speaking.  Services are offered from my hamam for both men and woman from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. every day including Sundays.  If you are travelling in Istanbul on a Sunday, you may be wise to choose this day to experience a Hamam as some of the stores are closed on Sundays.  Drop ins are fine.

Yerebatan Caddesi 34 - 0212-522-2424.

Posted by Tracey Sunday, October 16, 2011 0 comments
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