Disconnect at these Toronto spas with no phone policies
With their low, tranquil lighting, menu of relaxing treatments, and music that's heavier than the average on the pan flutes, you might expect spas to crack down completely on atmosphere-ruining smartphone chatter. But even in spots that pride themselves on being mini-getaways from the outside world, many folks are still reluctant (to the point of being irritating) to leave their beloved mobile devices behind.
Toronto's spas generally frown on phones; most local spas I talked to will ask that you keep them turned off or leave them on vibrate, or ask that you not use them in certain areas, but will, technically, allow them.
Most spa-goers, also looking to disconnect from the outside world, are mercifully willing to heed this rule. But sometimes, the wiggle room in the rules leads to situations like the complaint a friend of mine relayed after a recent treatment: "Some lady was on her phone in the quiet waiting room, talking to every member of her family for 15 minutes. Totally ruined the chill vibe."
You head to the spa for a relaxing experience that takes you out of the grind of your day-to-day life -- not to listen to someone yammer on about their grocery list or Steve from the office. (We've already got the TTC for that.)
For a guaranteed one-sided-conversation-free experience, check out these Toronto spas.
Wellness Spa at 889 Yoga
889 Yoga, located in the Thompson Hotel, offers yoga classes and spa treatments. Staff say the spa is a completely mobile-free "zen zone" -- all calls must be taken outside. (They add the cell-free environment is a special draw for customers.) The dual nature of this yoga studio/spa has given way to some unique treatments like Thai yoga massage. (Note: Only 889 Yoga's Thompson location offers spa treatments.)
Body Blitz Spa
Body Blitz forbids cell phone use everywhere except the lobby -- but it's still a popular destination for girls' spa days out, so you may not get a silent spa experience. Bring a couple of friends and use that cell-free time to catch up while trying out the spa's circuit of water baths and steam rooms.
Old Mill Toronto Spa
The spa at Etobicoke's Old Mill Toronto hotel prohibits use of cell phones and other mobile devices. The Tudor-style hotel's spa environment is cozy, if a little less modern than some of its downtown counterparts; they offer a wide variety of treatments, including facials, massages, manicures, and some "alternative" treatments like reiki.
Iyashi Bedrock Spa
Iyashi Bedrock Spa is billed as the first spa in North America to offer ganbanyoku (traditional Japanese rock bathing), which involves lying down on a bed of heated black silica bedrock imported from Japan. You can also enjoy the experience in tandem with their yoga classes (which earned them high marks in our poll of yoga studios). To cement that soothing experience, the spa requires that phones and laptops be used only in the reception area.
Thanks to Focus: Life Gear by TRIDENT for sponsoring this post. Focus: Life Gear by TRIDENT is a fashion line that blocks your mobile connectivity, allowing you to embrace a lifestyle of focus.Photo via Body Blitz