Breakaway Experiences Make Great Holiday Gifts

Reception area at Novo Spa in Yorkville
Reception area at Novo Spa in Yorkville

By Lori Bosworth

I had never heard of Breakaway Experiences before being approached to review one of the experiences for my blog. With the holidays just about to go into full throttle, I thought it would be great to try the Lady’s Spa Day at Novo Spa in Yorkville, one of the experiences offered by Breakaway Experiences. The Lady’s Spa Day includes a 60-minute massage, a 75-minute facial, lunch, a spa pedicure and a spa manicure. (We’re giving away a $100 gift certificate to Breakaway Experiences…see giveaway details below.)

If you’re wondering what kind of packages Breakaway Experiences offers, here are just a few examples:

  • Boeing 737 Flight Simulation
  • Corktown, Canary and Distillery District Food Tour
  • Dog Sledding & Winter Cookout
  • Italian Cooking Class
  • Elora Gorge Zipline Extreme
  • Distillery District Segway Tour
  • Drifting and Spinning Experience
  • Beer Walking Tour
  • Ice Fishing and Canadian Shore Lunch
  • Waterloo Hot Air Balloon Ride
Reception area at Novo Spa in Yorkville
Reception area at Novo Spa in Yorkville

I arrived at Novo Spa in Yorkville at 10:15 on a Tuesday morning. After completing a form and indicating my lunch preferences, I was led into the women’s locker room where I was provided with a locker, locker key and a robe. Once I changed, I was ready for my massage.

Gina, my massage therapist, greeted me in the women’s lounge and led me into the massage room, which was darkly lit with candles and soothing music. Gina started the massage on my back at my request since it was in knots. She placed heat pads on my lower back to relax my muscles. Gina asked whether the pressure she was applying was comfortable. She then massaged my legs and arms and then I turned on to my back and she massaged my head, neck and shoulders. Gina uses a combination of massage techniques including Swedish massage, Cranialsacral therapy and heat therapy. I really enjoyed my 60-minute-massage with Gina and felt super relaxed. I was provided with a glass of infused water and then led to the women’s lounge to relax for a few minutes. Very soon after, I was greeted by Shannon,  who led me to the treatment room for my facial.

First, Shannon examined my skin, noticing that I had rosacea. After a quick look, she determined that I had combination skin: oily in the T zone and dehydrated on the rest of my face. Shannon felt that the Eminence Organic Facial for Sensitive Skin would be the best facial for my skin. Shannon applied an Eminence Citrus Exfoliating Wash and then used Eminence Rosehip & Maize Exfoliating Masque to remove the dead skin cells while a steady stream of steam blew on to my face to open my pores. She then performed extraction of the blackheads on my nose, chin and forehead. In order to hydrate my skin, Shannon applied Eminence Apricot Calendula Nourishing Cream.

Women's Lounge at Novo Spa in Yorkville
Women’s Lounge at Novo Spa in Yorkville

After my facial, I was taken to the Women’s Lounge to relax. Cristina quickly greeted me and led me to the lunch room where my chicken salad was waiting. No cell phones are allowed in the lunch room (well, I sneaked mine in to get a photo). In fact, the ambiance at Novo Spa is one of quiet respect. Rooms and halls have low lighting, candles and relaxing instrumental music to whisk you into a relaxing blissful state.

Chicken Salad at Novo Spa
Chicken Salad at Novo Spa

After lunch, I went to my next treatment room for a spa pedicure and spa manicure.

Manicure and Pedicure Room at Novo Spa Yorkville
Manicure and Pedicure Room at Novo Spa Yorkville

Cristina gave me a very thorough pedicure, which included repairing an ingrown toenail. She also used a pumice brush to smooth the skin on my heels and bottom of my feet instead of a foot scraper, which was great since the scraper tends to leave my feet feeling rough after a week or so. Cristina then applied an exfoliating chocolate and peppermint cream to my calves and feet to remove dead skin and left it on for a few minutes. My legs and feet felt so smooth after this cream was removed.

Cristina gave me a spa manicure and spa pedicure with OPI nail polish Turn On the Northern Lights
Cristina gave me a spa manicure and spa pedicure with OPI nail polish Turn On the Northern Lights

Novo Spa has a good selection of O.P.I. and CND nail polishes. I opted for O.P.I. Turn On the Northern Lights on my toenails. It’s a shade that straddles the fence between navy blue and purple and it has specks of glitter.

Cristina then gave me a spa manicure. She asked me what shape I wanted my nails and I requested “a rounded square shape.” I also requested that she not file my nails along the sides since they have broken when manicurists have done this. Cristina was very willing to comply with my requests. On my hands, I chose O.P.I. Pamplona. Cristina applied three coats of nail polish and a top coat. It looks pretty good, doesn’t it?

Spa Manicure with OPI nail polish in Pamplona
Spa Manicure with OPI nail polish in Pamplona

I was very pleased with my Breakaway Experiences’ Lady’s Spa Day at Novo Spa. All of my aestheticians were professional, competent and friendly. I think the Lady’s Spa Day experience would make a great holiday gift.

Enter Our Giveaway To Win a $100 Gift Certificate to Breakaway Experiences


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  1. I’d love to try the Corktown, Canary & Distillery Historic District Toronto Food Tour! In fact, whether I win or not, I’m totally doing it 🙂

  2. Wow, I don’t know when else I’d be able to ride in a hot air balloon, so my pick would have to be the Waterloo Hot Air Balloon Ride

  3. I am torn, so many fabulous choices! I know my husband would love the beer walking tour so I’d likely treat him to that. Thank you.

  4. Most likely the Zip line for sure always wanted to Zipline. Thank you . Looks like you had a wonderful experience

  5. There are so many great ones to choose from but most likely I would choose a spa day for myself but the segway tour of the distillery district would also be fun with the family.

  6. I would choose a Hot Air Balloon Ride, or the Grizzly Bear Tour or the Via Ferrata Mountain Top experience. I love adventure and adrenaline, so any of those would be awesome!

  7. For me I would choose to experience the Craft Beer Tour in Calgary! So fun to try all the ales in my city!

  8. I love the holidays because I get to spend time with my family and friends. The gifts are great as well!

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