Miraj Hammam Spa by Caudalie review: Hammam, Gommage, and Deep Tissue Massage | theNotice goes to Toronto!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Toronto spa review hammam Caudalie

The Miraj Hammam Spa by Caudalie is located on the fifth floor of the Shangri-La Hotel, but you’d never know it by the decor. This spa is a cozy, Middle Eastern-inspired haven from city life decorated with low lights, exquisite dark wood cutouts, and gently curving furniture that warms and welcomes you in from the busy city streets.

Note: I lost all of my photos of this gorgeous location, so unfortunately, you’re going to have to re-live my experience through photos provided by the spa! (And, okay, edited rather extensively by me because when do I not.)

Miraj Hammam Caudalie Alahambra Lounge review

The relaxation lounge within the Miraj Hammam Spa by Caudalie

The Hammam & Gommage (30 min/$130 CAD)

What makes the Miraj Hammam Spa unique is their private hammam (Turkish bath) rooms, which contain a high intensity steam chamber inside of a warm, low mist chamber.

The spa’s Hammam & Gommage treatment begins with 10 minutes in the steam room, which is a really intense experience — it’s literally so heavy and dense with steam in there that I had a bit of a claustrophobic panic going in (and I’m not even claustrophobic). It opens your pores right up, and I was left warm, tingling, fresh-faced, and dripping with condensation! Facials have nothing on this.

Miraj Hammam steam room spa review Caudalie

One of the two steam rooms, sans steam

I wasn’t crazy about the gommage, though I know a lot of other reviewers have loved it. For this part of the treatment, you lie (preferably naked) on Jerusalem gold marble in the low-intensity steam chamber, and a spa attendant scrubs you down using tingly, eucalyptus-infused black Moroccan soap on exfoliating gloves — no grit-paste involved.

My gommage treatment left me feeling wonderfully raw and smooth, but… also kind of like a horse. I mean, the woman who preformed my treatment was fantastic, and my back feels suuuuuper smooth, but I’m thinking that getting literally hosed down by a stranger might just be too clinical for me.

Miraj Hammam Spa by Caudalie services menu

The Deep Tissue Massage (30 min/$90 CAD)

My second treatment of the day was the spa’s 30 minute Deep Tissue Massage, which uses pressure techniques to target stressed muscles and increase circulation. It left me feeling limber but not sore, and my (registered) massage therapist used mostly pushing and pulling movements, not kneading ones.

The finishing touches for this massage were great, too: the table that you lie on is heated (perfect for the winter), you’re covered by a warm, heavy blanket where you’re not being massaged, and a Caudalie candle burns quietly on the side table. You can also choose from unscented, orange blossom, or clove-enriched grapeseed oil for your massage (I chose the clove, of course!), which is great for those with scent sensitivities.

Miraj Hammam by Caudalie spa review gommage massage

The Alahambra Lounge

The Alhambra Lounge

Finally, every visit to the Miraj Hammam Spa ends in their Alhambra Lounge, which is a gorgeous, dimly-lit room walled with what can only be described as relaxation cubicles. The room has a very soothing, intimate feel to it, and you’re served a perfectly-spiced shot of sweet chai tea along with (a hilarious) three grapes and a piece of baklava.

» Can we talk about that baklava for a moment, though? Because I swear, it was the most delicious piece of baklava that I have ever had in my life — it was small, light, and syrupy, and reminded me a lot of jalebi (aka the best thing ever).

Once you’re ready to leave the Alhambra Lounge (if you’re ever ready, that is), it’s back to the change rooms, where the showers are equipped with rain-style and handheld shower heads and the shelves come stocked with Caudalie products.

Caudalie spa review Toronto

The verdict?

I can’t believe I’m saying this about a spa, but: yes, I would absolutely go back. The hammam is a must-experience (you can add it onto any service for $25), and the atmosphere at the Miraj Hammam Spa is just so welcoming and relaxing – even for an awkward twenty-something.

For a luxurious treatment that really will leave you feeling fantastic, I recommend the Hammam & 60 Minute Personalized Massage ($195) as a serious indulgence, or the 30 minute Deep Tissue Massage with a 15 minute Hammam booked separately ($115) if you’re just feeling a little under the weather and want to come out glowing. 

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Get glowing (without the sparkly, shimmery stuff) | Caudalie Beauty Elixir review

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The product: Caudalie Beauty Elixir

I’ve long been a believer in the fact that “charged waters” and “facial mists” are, more or less, just marketing garble. I mean – the Evian spray is, literally, just water in an aerosol bottle; MAC Fix+ is reputedly not a lot more than water, cucumber extract, and glycerine (though I’ll admit that I do intend to try it eventually); and have you smelled some of the herbal sprays? Good lord!

I have to say, though: Caudalie might just have me questioning my own beliefs.

The Caudalie site says to apply their Beauty Elixer both “before your moisturizer and at any time of day,” as well as “between your foundation and powder to perfectly set makeup.” They say it’s simply an “anti-dullness complexion treatment,” made for all skin lacking radiance.

I don’t know if it’s really “treating” my complexion, and I don’t think  my skin’s gotten any more radient since I started using it, but it certainly gives the impression of radiance.

And I mean, that has to count for something, right?

My favourite part about Caudalie’s Beauty Elixir is that it contains a few drops of peppermint oil, so it’s significantly more refreshing than just splashing water on your face. I do have to be extremely careful to keep it away from my super-sensitive eyes, but I’d say it’s worth it!

I didn’t start using this until the tail end of summer, but it would have been perfect for hot summer days. I’m actually really enjoying it right now, too, though – it’s a nice “moisture burst” that helps combat the dry prairie air, whether or not I’ve already applied my moisturizer and makeup.

The ingredients:

Aqua, alcohol, citrus aurantium amara flower water, parfum, rosmarinus officinalis leaf oil, potassium alum, glycerin, mentha piperita oil, commiphora myrrha extract, styrax benzoin resin extract, melissa officinalis leaf oil, rosa damascena flower oil, vitis vinifera fruit extract, tocopherol, citral, citronellol, farnesol, geraniol, limonene, linalool.

The verdict?

Okay, so the Beauty Elixir isn’t all that necessary, and it’s far from life-changing. If you like the scent, though (some people find it a little too… organic-smelling, if you will) and you’re on the market for a new facial spray, give this one a go.

I’d recommend it for normal to dry skin types – it does give a great glow to my parched skin, but I’m not sure how well it would work with oilier complexions. But it’s paraben- and silicone-free, and surprisingly, it doesn’t irritate my sensitive skin at all, so I’ll be keeping it around!

P.S.

If you already have this and you’re not quite sure how to use it, here are a few tips: (more…)

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