Canada’s most exclusive spa is a tiny jewel box of a room, but what a room it is. Tucked in the back of Chanel’s Beauty Boutique in the Holt Renfrew on Toronto’s Bloor Street, the soundproof treatment area is hidden behind a gold door, the bed and its silky linens come directly from Paris, and the space is modelled after the Chanel spa at The Ritz in Paris, which is itself inspired by Coco Chanel’s apartments.
This “spa”— it doesn’t even have a name, the experience is referred to as “Chanel Privé” — opened this summer, so now those of us who can’t afford an armful of 2.55 bags (it me!) can still sample a couple hours of that understated Chanel decadence by having a treatment here. The sesh includes things like customized music composed by a hypnotherapist to match each facial or massage, fluffy slippers you get to keep and products — like a marine collagen mask and a facial massage cream — that you literally cannot buy anywhere. Each treatment has its own signature room spray and a specialized massage protocol, too.
Because my main concern is hyperpigmentation, I opt for Le Soin Illuminateur or The Radiance Treatment — it sounds so much better in French, n’est ce pas? This 75-minute facial uses products from the Le Blanc skincare range, which contain brightening ume flower extract and a Vitamin-C derivative, presumably to make me light up like the Eiffel Tower at night while looking as moist as the Seine. There are no extractions or aggressive tools; this particular treatment is about indulgence, so about an hour of cleansing, moisturizing and facial kneading by the spa’s sole technician, star facialist Miriam Maiolo.
French women consider the neck and décolleté part of the face (Miriam gives those some love, too) and Chanel doesn’t ignore the biggest aging giveaway either — the hands. So I’m not offended when Maiolo offers me an add-on treatment for my witchy dry paws. She rubs them with Chanel’s Le Lift La Crème Main, made of organic alfalfa to speed up skin-cell turnover, licorice extract for brightening, and mimosa, jojoba and sunflower waxes for moisturizing. Then she wraps my hands in heated mitts. “It’s beautiful,” she whispers, “your hands are going to be like silk today.”
When you leave the spa room, skin looking like an extremely chic flashlight, the exclusivity factor remains high. The Beauty Boutique is full of limited-edition sunglasses and a wall of Les Exclusifs de Chanel scents that you can mix to create your very own extremely signature fragrance — all a perfectly-laid post-treatment shopping trap set for the most devout Chanel nerds.