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Manitoba spa nearly a perfect 10

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The Hamam baths at Ten Spa are a unique, almost transcendental experience. Take a hometown trip to soothe your soul.

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The Hamam baths at Ten Spa are a unique, almost transcendental experience. Take a hometown trip to soothe your soul. Photo Store

One of my favourite things to do when travelling is visiting spas. Come to think of it, one of my favourite things to do at home is going to spas. From the places I’ve been and the spas I’ve seen, I believe we’ve got one of the best right here in Winnipeg.

Ten Spa at the Fort Garry Hotel strives to deliver ‘a perfect 10’ to each customer. The owners spent years researching the world’s foremost spas to come up with unique treatments. The result is a wide range of classic techniques infused with a modern edge, designed to nurture the body, soothe the soul, and indulge the senses.

The experience begins with staff providing Italian spa sandals, Turkish bathrobe, and a locker. Both the men’s and women’s change rooms boast rain showers, and experiential stalls with cold fog and tropical mist. State-of-the-art steam rooms decorated in tiny metallic blue tiles are complete with aromatic vapours and light therapy, giving the illusion of twinkling stars glowing through hazy duskiness.

Before treatments, all guests wait in the lounge area furnished with comfy couches, plush pillows, and flowing drapery. Depending on time of day, complimentary snacks might be muffins, fruit and nuts, cucumber slices, cheese, pita, and other treats. For an additional charge you can order wine, champagne, or a spa lunch.

I know many who go to Ten Spa specifically for the Hamam bathing ritual. A tradition originating in Istanbul, the hamam is a sanctuary for physical and spiritual purification. It’s the ultimate sensory sensation, beginning in a private warming room with Moroccan mint tea and Turkish delights. Then it’s on to the inner sanctum of heated marble, ambient steam, and more twinkling lights. The surroundings are surreal, and the salt scrub and massage are almost transcendental. It’s the kind of experience you wish would go on all day.

Another treatment I wished would never end is Ten’s custom massage. What I liked best were all the special little touches — a heated massage table, microfibre sheet and blanket, hot towels, Japanese mint aromatic oil, and energizing rose water. At the end of it all, the motorized table raises you into a seating position, making it easier to stand and eventually (albeit reluctantly) walk away.  

I also enjoyed Ten’s signature deep detox facial, which is 80 minutes of cleansing, exfoliation, extraction, infusions, and other fun for the face. You’ll leave feeling like a million bucks, and a few layers of skin cells lighter.

I enjoyed Ten Spa so much that I’ll definitely go back. My only wish for next time is that patrons respect the signs requesting cell phones be left in lockers. Try as I might to block disruptions, relaxation in the lounge was hampered by other peoples’ conversations. Even the inner candlelit ‘quiet lounge’ was filled with constant chatter.

While it’s awesome to go spa-ing with friends, some of us would greatly appreciate if others saved their socializing for a more appropriate place. Which is pretty much anywhere but the spa.

RoseAnna Schick is an avid traveller who seeks inspiration wherever she goes. Email her at rascreative@yahoo.ca.

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