We Test Out Shizen Spa’s Hydration Ritual—You Know, For Work

Look, someone has to test these kinds of things out. It’s like how in medieval times, the king needed a lowly food-taster to try tastes of his kingly meal to make sure he was not going to be poisoned. I am that for you. But for massages. I’m sorry.

An extreme perk of working at She Does the City is that sometimes we get told in advance when exciting new things are happening at fancy spas or boutique hotels, or, in this case, both. Then, like intrepid reporters, we have to go out there and, well, give it a go. Just to see how it is. To see if you’ll like it! The best part about trying massages instead of possibly poisoned food is that duh no duh, massages are lovely. But hooooooo boyyyyy was this one lovely. Maybe the loveliest time I’ve had on a stranger’s table.

Let me fill you in: I’d had a stressful week. Life was just really happening, last week. I was behind on some deadlines, taxes, a tetanus shot, yadda yadda yadda. And then I remembered: “your job on Friday is to go to Shizen Spa at the Cosmopolitan Hotel to try out a hair treatment.” Yes. Nice. That I could handle. I wandered down to King and Yonge anticipating the rich smell of Moroccan oil as it deep conditioned my hair. It will feel so soothing on my scalp, I thought. It will help my poor sore head, but too bad about this body, doomed forever to be sore and stressed.

JAY. KAY. (JK) A quick elevator ride to the fourth floor oasis that is Shizen Spa and I was soon informed that the “Hydration Ritual” I was to be testing (for you guys, naturally) was actually a 50-minute full body plus hair treatment, designed to refresh the recipient from head to toe. HALLELUJAH! I was handed a plush robe and put my stuff in a locker before drinking some fancy Ayurvedic tea by the jacuzzi while listening to soothing music and reading a casual fashion magazine. Eventually I was led into a private room with a cosy massage table decked out with towels, sheets and blankets. I tucked myself in and then was exfoliated, buffered, scrubbed, rubbed, and soaked for 50 soothing, satisfying minutes. There was argan oil, orange peel exfoliant, and a Body Buff comprised of safflower, vitamin E, avocado, grapeseed, almond oil, and more. It was bliss. The stress of taxes, deadlines, and tetanus shots all melted away—well, eventually. “You’ve got some crazy tension in your back right now,” my masseuse said. She gave me some extra shoulder rubs on the house.

After the treatment was over I couldn’t help lingering in Shizen Spa’s beautiful solarium with another cup of tea and a mag. It was so peaceful in there! I couldn’t even believe I was in downtown Toronto. I made a pact with myself to come back with my mom or sister for what looked like just the nicest pedicures on this earth, and emerged into the city re-energized, centred, and soft as all hell—seriously, my skin is so soft, still, three days later. I keep making my friends stroke my legs and am put out all the wrong vibes. But hey, I’m just trying to do my job.

Shizen Spa is offering their Hydration Ritual at a reduced price ($80- that’s $25 off!) for the entire month of May. Go on, girl—treat yo’self. 

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