I’m all about worldly experiences, ancient rituals, and mystical journeys–but when I can’t travel half-way across the world, it’s great to know that I can be transported to one so close to home. Recently, I indulged in the famed traditional Middle Eastern treatment known as the “Hamman Gommage” at the luxurious Miraj Hammam Spa at Shangri-La Hotel in Toronto. Not your typical spa, the Miraj Hamman literally takes you into another place in time with historical and cultural influences from Paris, Marrakech, and Istanbul. The architecture is nothing short of stunning, the ambiance invoking a spiritual healing power in itself, and the intoxicating treatments like the signature Crushed Cabernet Scrub (using fresh grapes of course), Honey and Wine Body Wrap, and the Vinoperfect Facial Treatment, will leave you feeling like a Queen (or King!) from centuries past.
The ‘Hamman and Gommage’ was the treatment that I experienced (one of the authentic traditions of the Middle East), which is essentially the most deluxe steam and body exfoliation one could ask for. I was placed in a private chamber filled with high intensity steam and a low mist, where I relaxed on Jerusalem gold marble and allowed my body to completely detox and de-stress. I could feel my body getting lighter in minutes and my mind just seemed to submit to this incredibly relaxing process. There was also a beautiful aroma of Eucalyptus essential oil in the air, which helps the body open its pores and release toxins. I also loved the privacy of it all and the fact that I got the entire room shown below to myself. I was told that certain celebrities in town actually use this room for their morning yoga practice, which seems like a great idea!
After a full-on steam treatment, I was then prepared for the full-body exfoliation, otherwise known as the “gommage”. Using eucalyptus infused black Moroccan soap, I was renewed from head to toe with this relaxing experience. Not to mention how incredibly smooth my body felt afterward. It’s as if my skin was given this renewed sense of vitality–my pores were tighter, my skin bright and glowing, and the softest it’s ever been. After this superb detox, I was invited to relax in this magical lounge shown below, invoking the desire to meditate, relax my mind further, and escape from the confines of otherwise daily thoughts and tasks–while sipping on the most delicious tea and treats no less. It really is an ideal escape that is healing to both mind and body, without having to travel the distance.