Named for the Japanese word for ?cure,? Iyashi Bedrock Spa takes an innovative approach to healing by beckoning visitors into its all-natural Japanese ganbanyoku rock bathing suites. Since its inception, Iyashi has been featured in numerous media outlets including E! Spa Trend Alert, which mentions Iyashi is "the latest Spa secret that has athletes and celebrities rolling around on a bed of rocks." Athlete visitors include Katie Tsuyuki, a snowboard competitor in the 2014 Olympics. New Beauty Magazine also named it one of the top five unique spas in the world for its more than 20 beds of imported black silica rock that boast detoxifying and relaxing effects. Hot water runs beneath these slabs, heating them to approximately 44 degrees Celsius in a room held at 60 per cent humidity to create an atmosphere reminiscent of a rainforest. The treatment room feels like a cross between a low heat sauna and a mild steam room in which clients place a towel down and lie for 20 minutes at a time, basking in the sounds of soothing music before stepping out into the cool-down room. This process is repeated for an hour as the stones suffuse bodies with far-infrared rays and negative ions that can help to loosen tight muscles, burn calories, improve circulation, and boost the immune system. The 16-student yoga classes helped the studio earn "top 10 in Toronto" honors from blogTO and LexiYoga.
As a massage therapist, waxing technician, and aesthetician, Daniel Francoeur knows a lot about skincare. But it wasn't until his male clientele grew substantially at his previous spa that he took notice of the demographic’s lack of aesthetic products, let alone services geared toward it. It was with this epiphany that Daniel went on to establish the first Bodé Spa for Men in Ottawa, followed by a med spa–focused location in Toronto in 2012. Since then both spaces have gained praise from a host of media outlets, including Toro Magazine, Spa Life Magazine Escapes, and CTV Morning Live Ottawa, where Daniel explain why male-centric services are necessary. "We produce about 30 to 40 per cent more oil than women do, so we have a lot more issues when it comes to things like [acne],” he said. “We have to be careful even with waxing and manscaping, how our bodies react afterwards."
The only thing gritty and rough at Bodé's Ottawa location are the unfinished concrete walls that wrap around the spacious spa. This coarse, earthy element, complemented by a robust fireplace and metal accents, gives the space a refined yet manly feel as highly trained technicians pamper gentlemen inside private treatment rooms. The hydro room—described by clients as a "rainforest grotto"—fosters relaxation as a registered massage therapist or massage practitioner eases tension and knots from bodies with a custom massage. Masculine tranquility is also found in a tailored foot and hand fixes, full-body hair removal using waxing and sugaring, and specialized skincare treatments, which offer exfoliation via chemical peels.
Romana Valji and Salima Nazir have been friends for a decade now, and Sanam's Boutique & Salon —named after Nazir's daughter—represents the blossoming of their bond since they emigrated from Pakistan in 2007. The dream began in their homes, where they designed elegant, richly embroidered shirtdresses and gowns. After a family friend announced she was having a baby and needed someone to help manage her fledgling salon, Nazir and Valji fused both businesses into the beauty haven that it is today.
In the bright front room—where lights resembling movie-set lamps spotlight mod black leather chairs—stylists use Goldwell products to create lush, long layers and glamorous blowouts. A semicircular cutout in the far wall reveals a shelf of OPI polish in the nailcare nook, where a cushy pedicure throne presides over a white table with UV lamps for curing Shellac manicures. One room in back reveals racks of Nazir and Valji's flowing, jewel-toned robes, which they encrust with floral-patterned kora and dabka according to their own taste or alter the shape, material, and color to suit their clients' wishes for elegant gowns or bespoke burlap sacks. The other chamber hides a comfortable table for massages and a diamond-microdermabrasion machine used by the staff's aesthetician in tandem with products from the Parisian skincare line Yon-Ka.
After a long day filled with strenuous manual labour, construction worker Anthony Louis finally crawled into bed for a night of rest. While snoozing, he dreamed of visiting a massage therapist and receiving a massage, something he'd never experienced before. Taking the dream as a sign, Anthony decided to hang up his hardhat—he enrolled in massage school and in 2010, he fulfilled his new dream of becoming a registered massage therapist.
Today, Anthony and his team use their trained hands to pamper clients with an array of massage modalities as they relax in The Island Spa, his Caribbean-inspired massage studio. Putting his construction experience and inspiration from his childhood in Saint Lucia to use, Anthony spent two full months renovating the paradise-themed spa before officially opening its doors in early 2012. The three-room spa features island-inspired accents including relaxing dim lighting, botanical fixtures, and wood accents made with peg-legged pirates' shin splints.
Holding certifications as a medical aesthetician, cosmetologist, and laser specialist, Bozana Skojo expertly leads her team in smoothing physiques with a range of treatments. To wield the LightSheer Diode laser system during laser hair-removal sessions, they undergo extensive training and rigorous sparring sessions against a punching bag filled with hair at The International Dermal Institute. The staff also focuses beams on unsightly veins or cellulite, leaving legs ready to flaunt at the beach or lederhosen-modelling competitions. On the spa end of services, Dermalogica potions help replenish lacklustre mugs during facial treatments, and Colorescience cosmetics enhance natural beauty amid makeup applications, lessons, and bridal appointments.
At Laser Spot, you only need to count the available treatment areas for laser hair removal?there's more than 20!?to know the team has embraced the versatility of lasers. With their laser beams, they target hair follicles all over the body, from legs and underarms to ears and chins. The techs put their lasers to work for other treatments too, from administering laser vein therapy to pretending to be an extra-fancy fax machine. When they aren't beautifying physiques with the latest technology, they're performing classic spa services such as facials, manicures, and waxing sessions that remove hair the old-fashioned way.