It is often the case that a sequel cannot retain the soul and gravitas of its predecessor—although The Godfather II comes pretty close. One revisit of late that did not disappoint was a trip back to the Willow Stream Spa at Vancouver’s Fairmont Pacific Rim. With new items on the spa menu, as well as classic pre- and post-treatment delights, there was much to look forward to. As you ascend from the sparkling lobby up to the fifth floor, a rich wood and forest green marble reception area awaits, a sleek reflection of nearby Stanley park.
Where you choose to be greeted for your treatment is up to you: there are multiple indoor lounges (one co-ed), as well as a dreamy outdoor terrace with meditation pods. Once inside your treatment room, the 60-minute Stay Active Back Soother begins. Chosen from the “Results” menu (Willow Stream offers treatments in three categories: Relieve, everyday pick-me-ups; Restore, which focuses on recovery and balance; and Results, which are more therapeutic), the Back Soother completely relaxes back muscles thanks to its methodical stages. First, using Kerstin Florian products, the back is cleansed with a gentle scrub. A remineralizing moor mud mask is then applied and topped with an infrared heating pad, which penetrates muscle tissue, stimulating healing at a deeper level. While relaxed under the gentle weight of the heating pad, a foot massage is performed. The return from bliss is slow and softening—warm, damp towels are carefully applied and frequently replaced to maintain heat and remove the moor mud. The Back Soother finishes with a remedial pressure-point massage.
The feeling of warm surrender continues back in the lounge where a satisfying and healthy spa menu awaits. The Spicy Vegan Corn Chowder’s creamy coconut base mingles with caramelized onion, jalapeño, lime, and cilantro. The myriad salads (vegetable or fruit) and sushi are fresh and plentiful. Complete the experience with a triad of thermal remedies: a visit to the infrared sauna, a dip in the Jacuzzi, and a stop in the Hydrotherapy Experience Shower. Best make it a trilogy.