Story by Julia Pelish
Vacay.ca Visuals Editor and Spa Columnist
TORONTO, ONTARIO — What makes TIFF such a phenomenal draw is not only the calibre of movies it features each year, but the accessibility ticket holders enjoy. Several films, including the eagerly anticipated gala premieres, include Q&A sessions with actors and film makers. It’s an opportunity to communicate with Hollywood elite and however briefly to get an intimate glimpse of life in the movie biz.
The enthusiasm Toronto has for offering a taste of Hollywood extends to the city’s hotels and gathering places. Each September, downtown Toronto glams it up for the event and showcases plenty of star treatment for the public to indulge in. During TIFF, which runs from September 5-15, you can head to one of the city’s luxury hotels for your red-carpet pampering needs. The Quartz Crystal Spa in the Trump Hotel has recently added the Swiss Valmont product line and therapies to its services.
The Quartz Crystal Spa is located on the 31st floor of the Trump Hotel. As it’s name would imply, crystal touches can be found throughout the spa. The light from three striking chandeliers bathed me in a Hollywood glow upon entering, confirming that I was now definitely leaving the everyday world behind. After changing, I settled into the waiting room lounge decompressing even more while enjoying a pot of Tea Forte white ginger pear tea; a delicate infusion that smells as delightful as it tastes.
Star Treatment at Trump Toronto for TIFF
My spa therapist, Catherine Naisbett, and I discussed the various treatment options available based on my skin’s needs. Valmont classifies its skin-care programs into four essential rituals: Hydration, Energy, Radiance and Firmness, and Anti-Wrinkle. Each ritual has its own signature application protocol; movements that stimulate pressure points in your face for revitalization. The treatments can be experienced in three time levels: express, complete, or intensive. I had booked the express Vitality of the Stars facial (Hydration 30 minutes, $130) and decided to add on a collagen mask treatment for my eyes and neck area (an additional 20 minutes, complementary with a facial purchase during September). Since I was aiming for a total star transformation, I reasoned that the high-intensity additional pampering couldn’t hurt.
Using Valmont’s signature butterfly technique Naisbett nimbly cleansed and exfoliated all the stress out of my pores before applying the 100% pure medical-grade collagen facial mask. I have had this treatment before at other facilities and love the visible results it delivers. The sheets of the collagen are soaked in water, placed flat over the specific areas to be treated and left on for 30 minutes. The mask causes no discomfort, instead it feels refreshingly cool and invigorating at the same time. During the half hour it takes for the mask to do its plumping magic, I was treated to a massage that focused on the tense muscles in my neck, arm, and head. It’s amazing I didn’t nod out completely.
Naisbett is passionate about her work. She is a nurse who found her way into the field of wellness and spa care after becoming frustrated with the rushed way medical facilities treat patients. “I love doing facials, it is very peaceful and nurturing,” she says, adding that Valmont products “provide a real east-meets-west therapeutic value.”
Valmont skincare is only available at a limited number of spas in the world. TIFF-inspired Valmont treatments are based on patented cellular cosmetic research. Triple HP DNA, which comes from Canadian salmon milt, are combined with macro-elements and botanicals to create the luxurious formulas. You can also find this skin-care line at The Spa at the Hazelton Hotel in Toronto and at the spa in Langdon Hall, Cambridge, Ontario.
After my mask was removed I was offered a mirror so I could appreciate the transformation. Not bad! Embarrassed at how pleased I felt, the fact was I definitely looked much improved from the time arrived. Not sure if anyone on the street would mistake me for the glam star I was pretending to be but darn if I didn’t feel like one anyway.
More About Quartz Crystal Spa at Trump Hotel Toronto
Location: 325 Bay Street (31st floor), Toronto, ON (see map below)
Appointments: Telephone 1-416-637-5595 or book online
Website: Quartz Crystal Spa at Trump Hotel Toronto
Hours of Operation: Monday-Saturday, 8 am-9 pm, and Sunday, 8 am-9:30 pm (will accommodate for treatment requests outside of these hours during TIFF)
Spa Treatment Price Range: Skin therapies start at $75 and rise to $280. Spa Retreats range from $365 to $599. See the full list of services and prices list under the spa’s Reservations webpage.
More TIFF at the Trump: The Trump opened in February 2012 and this is the second year the Quartz Crystal Spa will indulge guests during TIFF with services for men and woman attending the festival. Personal training and fitness experts can be booked at the gym and one can work out with an eagle’s-eye view of downtown Toronto from the treadmills. Full or half-day spa retreats can be purchased allowing guests the opportunity to enjoy the 65-foot salt-water pool on the 32nd floor. The Nail Bar is fully licensed so feel free to sip Champagne while having a manicure or pedicure. The polishes used are Bio Seaweed Gel products that are formaldehyde, tolune, DPB, BHA, and solvent free. The Quartz Crystal Spa has top makeup and hair stylists ready to expertly apply the finishing polished touches.
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