By Amy Sanderson
I was delighted when Torontonicity asked me to check out a salty retreat in the middle of the Mink Mile.
On May 7, 2015, as I approached the Windsor Arms Hotel off Bloor Street, I was suddenly amazed that I had never seen it before. It truly is a little, tucked-away treasure looking like a miniature castle when you hang a left on Bloor Street!
Upon entering the bejeweled lobby, a courteous doorman promptly directed me to the 4th floor where the Salt Cave and spa was located.
I meandered a few turns and found the spa and was greeted by Tamara and Cher, who were attending the desk. Tamara asked Cher to bring me to the Salt Cave room, which was a strangely dark, man-made cave starkly placed in an otherwise manicured spa. I was seated in a comfortable lounge chair and given a blanket since I wore only capris and a short sleeve shirt (it was one of the few warmer evenings we’ve had). I am glad she gave me the blanket since the room was rather chilly and damp. I recommend wearing long sleeves and cozy pants, like track pants and socks in the Cave.
I was alone in the Cave, but there were three other loungers available. The room was serene and dark. A waterfall trickled to my left while I laid back, closed my eyes and tried to picture lovely healing thoughts while the mist of pink salt aerosol misted and evaporated over me during my 45 minute session ($50). The smell was vaguely familiar, comforting but clean. I took a quick sip of the delicious tea that Cher made for me and was delighted by the hint of salt I tasted on my lips. The experience was relaxing and soothing. The Salt Caves have been prescribed to alleviate eczema (something I suffer with seasonally), headaches, respiratory and cardio-vascular issues. I had a bit of a headache before entering, and felt calmer and more refreshed when the session was over. The salt used in the Cave is available for sale.
Tamara gave me a quick tour of the rest of the facility. There is a welcoming table and sitting room, a posh mani/pedi station area (classic manicure $40, classic pedicure $60) a bromine salt pool with a gas fireplace, an exercise room, various treatment rooms, a fantastic vista from the rooftop terrace, and the latest craze: a Cryotherapy chamber. I did not try this amenity, however, Tamara described it as a freezing cold tube one stands in which cools to -170C! Celebrities swear it alleviates muscle tension, sprains and any other inflammation. I personally don’t even like the winter so I doubt I will be checking this out!
Tamara let me know the fee is $35 for guests to use the facility (not including extras like the Salt Cave and Cryotherapy) and that require 48 hours’ notice for cancellations. Spa packages are also available. You can find more information on their website, which is in the process of being updated.
The staff are friendly and helpful. The Windsor Arms Hotel location is central and easy to get to. Check out the Salt Cave or book a relaxing Windsor Arms Spa day to relax at the pool or exercise room close to Bloor Street. You can even book a spa treatment online or call 416.971.9666.