As a Christmas present for my sister, I took her to her first spa experience using a Groupon I had purchased awhile back for the Fairmont Empress Hotel in Victoria. We had appointments for a manicure or pedicure from the Empress’ Willow Stream Spa. The Willow Stream Spa is reknown for its luxury pampering and was voted #1 by Vancouver as top spa in Victoria.
When we arrived at the spa, we checked in for our appointments and was greeted by very friendly Spa Experience Coordinators. They asked my sister and I to fill out medical forms and took us on a tour of the facilities. However, they did not mention that the eucalyptus steam room was not working. It was unfortunate, as I wanted to introduce my sister to one of my favourite of the amenities at this spa. However, we used the time instead to soak in the famous Mineral Pool, a Hungarian mineral bath that’s suppose to help circulation and joints within the body due to its high mineral content. The water wasn’t as hot as a jacuzzi, but it was a relaxing experience to sit in the tranquil pool. We then enjoyed a nice hot 5 minutes in the sauna before we went for our pedicure/manicure appointments.
|Willow Stream Spa foyer and lounge area|
Introduced to our estheticians, we were lead to separate rooms next to one another. My sister chose the manicure, whereas I chose the pedicure. My esthetician, Su, was attentive to my needs, ensuring I was comfortable within my surroundings, had tea and water, and asked if there was any specific areas to look after during the pedicure. We chatted about the spa, herself, and my upcoming trip to Mexico. She also suggested tips on care for my nails and feet. The 45 minute Lavender Pedicure consisted of soaking the feet and enjoying a lavender foot scrub, followed by lotion leg/foot massage, and finally covering the feet with a warm towel to massage out the feet. Su filed down dry callus areas and shaped and polished my feet. This provided me with the perfect pedicure for my Mexican adventure coming up. After my treatment, she walked me back to the lounge area where I enjoyed a nice cup of tea and had a nail fan to put my feet under to dry the polish. Other amenities in the waiting lounge included magazines to read, yogurt and cold bottled water in a mini fridge, as well as apples, oranges and hot tea.
My sister’s manicure took longer, as it also included a paraffin wax treatment. She was impressed with the service and the pampering of how nice her hands looked and felt afterwards.
We then enjoyed the showers at the spa, which included exfoliating body cleansing soap, shampoo and conditioner, disposable loafer/shower cap/razor. On the beauty bar which has a large long mirror and sitting area for those wanting to blow dry their hair, there were blow dryers, q-tips, cotton balls, body lotion, hairspray and hair gel, feminine products, and more.
A few things I really liked from this spa was the mineral pool, the amenities in the shower and beauty bar, and especially the key code locking wooden cabinets for clothing, shoes, etc. As my sister said, “these aren’t lockers, but are like mini closets!” My only gripe was I did not get a chance to enjoy a nice steam in their eucalyptus steam room.
Overall this spa experience was pampering experience for my sister and myself. I look forward to coming again and hopefully next time that the steam room will be working properly. I will also ensure I have enough time to enjoy the Fairmont Empress’ pool and jacuzzi as well next time.