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Reviews and Recommendations for the Best Wellness Spas and Spa Retreats

Ontario Spa Review - Elemental Embrace Wellness Spa Retreat

by Wade Rowland - Part 1
Elemental Embrace Wellness Spa Retreat review
Photo copyright by Christine Collie

Some experiences change your outlook forever. Once you've dined at a Michelin three-star restaurant, you'll never again look at food the same way.

I've had the good fortune to indulge myself at quite a number of them over the years, and while it doesn't exactly turn you off ordinary restaurant fare, it certainly makes you more discerning. Once you've seen what's possible in the culinary arts, eating at your average, pretentious North American 'fine dining' establishment and putting up with bush-league servers is like listening to Wayne Newton have a go at "Nessun Dorma."

These thoughts are prompted by a recent visit to a wellness spa that specializes in authentic Ayurvedic therapies, one of just a handful in North America. I know, I know - 'Ayurvedic' massage is featured at most spas nowadays, along with tutti-frutti aromatherpy and Hawaiian hot rocks.

As it happens, I've had such an "Ayurvedic" massage at a boutique spa in downtown Toronto: it amounted to a standard Swedish rubdown with scented oil and taped sitar music. No, I am speaking here of the real thing, the authentic therapeutic techniques developed over the five thousand years or so that Ayurvedic medicine has been practiced in India, and dispensed by trained Ayurvedic physicians from Bombay.


Elemental Embrace Wellness Spa Retreat review The true Ayurvedic experience became available for the first time to southern Ontario and upstate New York late in 2003 when Elemental Embrace Wellness Spa Retreat opened the doors to a twenty-thousand-square-foot wellness retreat set in thirty acres of wooded hills near the resort town of Brighton, Ontario, about an hour and a half east of Toronto via Highway 401 and right next door to the booming food and wine destination known as The County (Prince Edward County on your map of southern Ontario).

It is the project of an Indo-Canadian family of hoteliers and entrepreneurs. Mother Begum Teja has a long background in Ayurvedic massage and medicine; sons Jazir and Muqit have degrees in marketing and accounting, respectively.

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