The Smart Tan–certified staff at Coco Cabana knows how to enhance the power of their UV beds with their collection of lotions and partner with aestheticians to enhance bodies during swimsuit season. The most powerful of their UV beds glows with ESP lamps, and their booths warm those standing inside with bulbs up to 160 watts. Two machines help visitors realize an aesthetic of fitness and relaxation pioneered by slack-resistance bands. A UV booth from Soltron gives those inside the chance to exercise gently while soaking up rays, and an automated massage bed kneads limbs with covered, warm-water jets. Nimble human hands, however, remain responsible for stripping away body hair with waxing services and transforming hands and feet into fashion accessories.
After a lifetime of providing relaxation to others in the hospitality industry, Lucas Stiefvater discovered his own peace of mind on a trip to India in 2004. He learned of the art of meditation in a quiet environment where he felt safe to transform. He wanted to create that environment for others in Canada, combining his newfound passion with his career in the resort business. He founded Ocean Resort to be such a place. Apart from the serenity offered by stunning views of Salish Sea and the Coast Mountains, the chief agent for transformation at the resort is the spa. Inside, aestheticians and massage therapists use organic and natural products to soothe the body while the mind convalesces.
After mastering quintessential European spa services in the Netherlands and Germany, Anne-Marie Puppe packed up her skills and brought them to one of Vancouver's hottest vacation spots to open Bowen Beauty Spa. Upon entering the spa, guests may garb their bodies in clean robes and slippers before surrendering their stress at the hands of a massage therapist or enjoying one of many beautifying services, ranging from Dermalogica European facials to chocolate-infused back scrubs and hair-removal via wax or laser. Once fully scrubbed and relaxed, guests can top off their look at the in-house salon, where Anne-Marie's stylists coat nails in bold polish, straighten tresses, and perform couples counseling on the split ends of both men and women.
In the summer of 2003, Nancy Mudford made her dream of owning a small business come true by transforming an old video store into her own full-service spa. Inspired by the sun-soaked hillsides of rural France, she renovated the space with the help of interior designer and a bunch of painstakingly selected Benjamin Moore paints. Now done over in an elegant Old-World colour palette, the beautiful spa houses a team of certified technicians whose specialized skincare talent has helped the spa win numerous awards. The aestheticians’ microdermabrasion treatments, when paired with facial peels, work to thoroughly exfoliate dead skin cells from faces and unearth new, brighter complexions. During spa pedicures, techs beautify clients’ toes and vestigial fins with Footlogix, OPI, and other brand-name products.
Born with mid-back scoliosis, missing discs in his lower back, and a reverse curve of the neck, Steve Butler endured his fair share of pain growing up. He understood firsthand—after seeing his father and sister undergo surgeries for similar ailments—that modern medicine was still not good enough. As he struggled with intense headaches, blackouts, and enough pain to keep him from walking for long periods of time, he began to explore alternatives, including Chinese medicine, acupuncture, and chiropractics—all to no avail. The answer, as it turned out, was all in his breath.
Today, Butler performs his specialized back-healing methods at his aptly named studio, The Backhealer. His method? In the simplest terms, Butler instructs his clients to lie down and breathe. By combining concise breathing techniques with pressure applied to specific tissues and muscles, Butler is able to help clients regain flexibility in their hips and back, and ultimately eliminate pain. He also combines the breathing and massage techniques with a series of exercises designed to reform the way the body moves and behaves, which in turn helps to reduce the chance of having reoccurring injuries or reoccurring nightmares about acrobats. As the founder of this movement, Butler also educates the masses through Backhealer training sessions, which equip his loyal followers with the tools to help others recover.
Sunseekers who visit Body Glo Tan will discover two ways to give their skin that fresh-from-the-beach look. Three different styles of UV beds and booths not only trick the skin into thinking it's succumbed to the ministrations of the sun, but they also keep the body comfortable with ventilation and cooling systems. Alternatively, the misters in the Australian Gold spray tanning system are guided by lasers for extra precision, coating skin with a bronze-coloured sheen in under three minutes. This drip-free solution creates tans that last up to 10 days, though it may feel like 30 days if your parents are in town visiting.
Once guests arrive, they step across sleek, dark-wood floors before checking in at a granite-topped desk. Staff members keep up-to-date by attending seminars and other forms of continuing education so they can match their clients up with the best tanning options available.