Toronto Int'l Film Festival 2012

Need a personal jumpstart during TIFF? Toronto’s first-rate spas are adept at handling and massaging industryites’ woes and catering to their needs, whether it’s lessening the effects of jet lag and the malaise endemic to long plane flights; the desire to look refreshed and resplendent on the red carpet; or the necessity to putting forward a fine public face at TIFF’s nonstop loop of biz-related activities.

All spas recommend booking in advance. Most extend hours during the festival and can accommodate requests for in-room massage as well as in-room hair and make-up services.

On the fifth floor of the year-old Ritz-Carlton Toronto (181 Wellington St. West, 416-585-2500), the spa’s relaxation lounge overlooks Roy Thompson Hall’s red carpet — convenient for those about to hit the step-and-repeat. Although the spa is normally open until 7 or 9 p.m. depending on the day, hours are more flexible during TIFF, says spa operations manager Maria Haggo.

The spa’s Champagne nail salon attracts festgoers, as does the hair and make-up beauty bar staffed by Toronto’s Jackie Gideon and team. Steam room, sauna and a warm, green-tea soaking pool are also available to spa and hotel guests. The onsite yoga studio was a hit during TIFF 2011. Haggo recommends the aromatherapy massage with hot stones to overcome jet lag and advance de-stressing. Early on in the fest, the spa will offer mini-treatments on the hotel’s stylish outdoor patio, Deq.

The Stillwater Spa at the Park Hyatt, Yorkville (4 Avenue Road, 416-926-2389), has 17 treatment rooms plus sauna, steam and a large gym. Spa director Krista Foulis suggests the slimming “Red Carpet Rescue Wrap,” a full-body treatment that combines a salt scrub, skin toning mask, scalp and foot massage, finishing off with a hydrating Agave nectar oil polish. Other treatments on the extensive spa menu range from a manicure with an anti-aging element to the high-tech hand massage aimed at dedicated texters and smartphone over-users.

The brand-new Miraj Hammam Spa by Caudalie Paris (188 University Ave., 647-253-5770) should be familiar to industryites from its Vancouver location. The Toronto version, within the newly constructed Shangri-La Hotel, staggers its treatment times ensuring privacy. Central to its indulgent offerings: cleansing Turkish-style bath rituals and exfoliating scrubs.

The city’s largest spa, the 30,000-sq. ft. Four Seasons Toronto Spa in Yorkville, opens along with the new hotel Oct. 5. For that, festgoers will just have to wait until next year.

Toronto Int’l Film Festival 2012
Indie opportunities await at Toronto | Themes weave throughout diverse lineup | Toronto’s raffish hub gets posh hotels, grub | Focus stays downtown as docs get new home | Four spas offer pause to festgoers | Pic promoters blaze many trails to happy endings | Toronto giving docus Gala treatment | TIFF ratchets up femme focus in docs

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