After an extensive four-year renovation, the Park Hyatt is back and better than ever. Stillwater has hired a new director who has guided the spa to take a different approach. It’s a space for a new time and a new experience. With an approach that is more sustainable, acknowledging the recent strains of living through a pandemic. Stillwater does all this and still manages to retain a sense of luxury.

The focus is that we need a calm, peaceful setting to nourish our overall wellness. It’s not “and indulgence” but, rather, an act of self-care and maintenance.

stillwater kerry werner

Spa Director Kerry Werner wants people to really understand the benefits of unplugging and being open to receiving

I used to go to the previous incarnation of Stillwater and, although a lovely break for me from my, then, toddler, it was also much busier. There were people eating in the gathering room and, frankly, I found the long list of treatments a bit overwhelming. I JUST WANT A PEDICURE, PEOPLE.

Because I was so familiar with the old Stillwater, I was excited to accept an invitation to revisit the reimagined spa (which opened June 16) and try out one of the three body rituals on offer. I was joined by fellow Auburn Laner, Sonya, to try out a treatment and get a little tour of the place.

What I Chose to Experience:

Restore and rebalance with this customized
aromatherapy ritual. Mind and body connect
with individually chosen essential oils applied
to calm and groun

What to Expect:

You are shown to a locker where you undress and put on your robe and slippers (there is also a towel inside in case you want to try the steam room, sauna or just shower). From there you continue into the waiting area, equipped with tiny bites, teas and infused water and wait for your therapist to come and get you.
Once in the massage room, you have a chat with your therapist. They will let you smell each of the scented oils and help you decide which one appeals to you that day. I chose a De-Stress Pure Essential Oil Blend of Chamomile, petitgrain and frankincense for a calming, clarifying outcome.

Stillwater uses therapeutic grade oils from Aromatherapy Associates of London for all treatments

Calmness and clarity were what I needed that day but I have a feeling that on different days, in different moods, this would change. This was followed by a 60-minute massage designed to relax and refresh, using the oil you have chosen. It was absolutely blissful and I almost fell asleep.

I am used to therapeutic massage that is meant to work on a physical issue and they are not usually something I find relaxing so this was a real treat for me.

When it’s finished, you can do what you like. You can stay in the room for a few minutes to stretch out the bliss, you can go back into the lounge and have a cup of tea and a bite or two of tiny desserts and just chill or you can hop into either the steam room or the sauna, depending on whether your massage was designed to relax or to energize you.

Final thoughts

Sonya and I agreed that we never felt rushed or like we were being “processed”. Some larger spas can make you feel like there is a strict schedule to move you through. I love that I can just pick a facial or a pedicure and then we customize it when I get there.

We both loved the low-key decor, muted tones and. Designer Alessandro Munge of Studio Munge, drew inspiration from Canada’s distinct seasons and natural landscapes to create the space. I also appreciate the effort to partner with local companies whenever possible. For example, the juices are provided by Toronto company Juice Concepts.

Frankly, I can’t decide between 12 types of facials and it often stops me from even setting foot in the spa. It’s like handing me a 10-page menu at a restaurant. Just give me 1 page where everything sounds amazing and I can make a decision without having to take notes and eventually just give up. I want to relax, I don’t want to feel overwhelmed or overstimulated.

I’ll take the ultimate facial with an eyebrow wax, please. Done.

Stillwater offers massages, body treatments, facials, manicures and pedicures as well as optional add-ons. You can peruse the spa menu and book an appointment here.

“Geraldine Howard and Sue Beechey, Aromatherapy Associates Founders, truly believed that an enriching aromatherapy experience nurtures the body and boosts the spirits. We will continue to build on their legacy by sharing the true power of essential oils and their therapeutic benefits to the skin, body & mind.”

Aromatherapy Associates oils founders

Although we received complimentary treatment, we offer only our authentic opinion. Thank you, Stillwater Spa and Park Hyatt for hosting this special event.