Donning a white robe for a day of spa bliss is no doubt the ultimate in self-care. But if you’re looking for something a little different from the traditional 60-minute massage, these unique Winnipeg experiences can elevate your Zen:
Pocca Poca Spa: In the mountains of ancient Japan, villagers would watch as the monkeys rested and relaxed on the volcanic stones surrounding the thermal pools. As they say, “monkey see, monkey do,” people quickly realized the physical and mental benefits of Ganban-yoku, or stone bathing. Pocca Poca Spa brings this natural thermal relaxation therapy all the way from Japan to Winnipeg - the only spa of its kind in the province.
From donning a kimono-style outfit to enjoying a cup of hibiscus tea post-stone bathing, Pocca Poca envelops guests in this ancient tradition. But, Pocca Poca is not just an experience, it’s a feeling of relaxation and release. “That was so pocca poca” is what might be sighed after a Ganban-yoku session. Unlike the intense heat of a traditional sauna, Ganban-yoku is an even, gentle warmth that produces a silky sweat — don’t wash this away after your session; it’s odourless and leaves your skin smooth and radiant.
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The spa’s heating room features three rare stone beds - Maifan, Tourmaline, and Jade - all which have their own unique properties and benefits. When heated these stones release Far-Infrared rays and negative ions which warms the innermost parts of the body helping to ease physical aliments such as joint pain, circulation issues, or digestive problems, as well as improving sleep and relieving stress and anxiety. Post-session feelings will vary — Ganban-yoku can be a very personal — but more often than not it’s purely a sense of “ahhhhh.”
The perfect way to achieve pocca poca is the spa’s 120 minute Japanese Detox package, which includes 60 minutes of Ganban-yoku and a 60-minute Japanese Shiatsu massage. If you have not had a Japanese Shiatsu massage, Book. One. Now. Combining all the best parts of massage, chiropractic elements, and physiotherapy, Pocca Poca’s practitioners have been praised as being even better than ones in Japan. The spa also features regular Swedish and deep-tissue massages for a variety of relaxation.
Spa Botanica: Set against the tree-lined streets of River Heights, the estheticians of this urban spa are mashing and muddling treatments just for you. Spa Botanica’s mandate is to give customers the most natural experience possible, creating everything from their turmeric and chickpea face masks to fair-trade sugar scrubs in house.
With recent renovations to both their massage, facial, and wrap rooms, clients are put in a soothing state by Indian tapestries, natural woods, LOTS of plants, and crystal grids before being treated to their signature Bodhi experience; a head massage (yes please), hair masque and scalp exfoliation, coupled with a hot stone face, neck, and arm massage, or the Om facial, which utilizes fresh, organic ingredients customized to individual skin needs. Feel invigorated with a coffee body glow scrub or be enraptured with a firming chocolate mud treatment.
In the pedicure/manicure area, the earth tone continues with living plant walls and lush, neutral leather seating guests can melt into while enjoying a beverage off the spa’s new custom drink menu. This spring sip the featured hand-crafted Lingonberry cocktail, spice things up with owner Harman Dhaliwal’s chai tea recipe, or select from a curated wine and beer list.
If you don’t want to drink alone, the spa offer a girls night out mani/pedi package that includes a pizza or charcuterie board from Mona Lisa Ristorante Italiano. Or, if you’re looking for a little lunchtime indulgence, mani/pedis are on special every Tuesday and Wednesday.
FLOAT.Calm: Let your body and mind drift away on the waters of FLOAT.Calm, Winnipeg’s largest floatation therapy centre.
While floating isn’t new — it trended in Winnipeg back in the 80s — it is needed now more than ever. Float therapy lets users unplug from life and truly turn off the busyness of the mind. A properly calibrated float environment is able to provide complete silence and darkness, while the matching of the water and air temperature makes you lose sensation of where the water starts and the air begins, giving a sense of levitation. This isn’t just regular water but rather a dense solution with over 850 pounds of pharmaceutical-grade Epsom Salt creating an environment more buoyant than the dead sea.
This intense state of relaxation not only provides benefits to the mind, but can also aid in pain management, stress and anxiety management and positive improvement on symptoms related to hypertension, atypical autism, and PTSD.
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90 Minutes floating in a Sensory Deprivation Chamber at @floatcalm was definitively the most relaxed I've ever been in my life. Total, weightless, comfort featuring a respite disconnect from society. I await future focused introspection. Recommended to everyone and anyone. #WalkedInOnAWhim #DerekBetItWasYoga #iThoughtItWasBathAccesories
One of the most unique things about floating is it’s different for everyone and it’s different every single time. Co-founders Brad Dauk and Leah Dawn explain that floats always seem to serve up what we need most, and that can surprise us sometimes. Whatever you get from your float experience is what you're meant to have, whether it’s a really deep sleep, reflection on some difficult childhood experiences, creative solutions to problems you may be working through, or a blissful brain and body reboot.
Claustrophobia fears can be put aside as guests are in control of their environment at all times, and have the option to keep the lid slightly open or the light on, however the float tanks are about the size of a small car and extremely spacious inside.
Want to take the plunge? Use the code “tourismwpg” on FLOAT.Calm’s online store to receive 10% off your first purchase of any regular priced float session or packages.
The Face Bar: California comes to Winnipeg at The Face Bar. The Ten Spa team has partnered with Beverly Hills medical aesthetician to the stars, Tricia Dikes, in order to provide her Supercharged Signature Peel, one of the most trusted and sought-after facial treatments in the U.S.
Unlike a regular facial that just cleans the outside layer of skin, this peel delves deep into the subcutaneous layers to target acne and acne scarring, fines lines and wrinkles, sun damage, patchy skin, and hyper-pigmentation while reducing pore size, evening skin-tone and increasing the skin’s elasticity and replacing dull fatigued skin with dewy glowing skin.
The process is also like no other. The peel prep begins with a deep exfoliation by crushed sea urchin shells, which is meant to open the skin right up, followed by a custom acid wash (not as scary as it sounds) and a cooling marble roller face massage. The face is then treated to an oxygen bath infused with minerals before the actual peel. You may not want to have any big party plans right after as The Face Bar calls the peel “the orange” due to the pretty distinctive hue your face takes on. It’s recommended that clients keep the peel on for about eight hours.
Twenty-four hours after the treatment the old skin will begin to slough off, and should take about 3-4 days to come off altogether. Don’t worry, during this time The Face Bar’s custom moisturizers and exfoliants will keep the skin underneath safe and soft. Eventually, once it’s all sloughed everything off, you’re left with nothing by glowy, fresh features.
If you’ve only got a short amount of time, you can still get the spa’s Glow on the Go rejuvenation treatment or a Power Purge facial for a super deep clean, all under 30 minutes.
Located at Yoga Public in downtown Winnipeg (280 Fort Street), the super-chic spa features cool woods, lush greenery, and design lines as clean as your skin post peel.