Guest Author - Chris McBeath
From the moment I arrived at Elemental Embrace, nestled in the rolling hills of Ontario, Canada, there was a sense of calm and tranquility. I was struck by the personalized attention to detail, likely because every aspect of the retreat’s design and service embraces your five senses with aromatic oils, soothing sounds, healthy nutrition and more. Run by two accredited Ayurvedic doctors (a husband and wife team), who between them speak five languages, the spa is a family run operation with a staff that is one of the most dedicated I have found.
Benefits of Ayurveda
With the spa’s specialty in Ayurveda, every therapy becomes a customized affair. Based on a 5,000 year old holistic health care system that originated in India, the Ayurvedic system of health holds the tenets that there are three basic body types (doshas). These body ‘personalities’ are called Vata (wind), Pitta (fire) and Kapha (earth), and while each has a special relationship to particular organs, and energies within the body, they need to work in balance to create optimal health. And to help find that harmony, each dosha is nourished with particular foods, exercises, oils and treatments. Because body types affect physical, emotional and spiritual health, you benefit from a holistic program in its truest sense, and the rejuvenating results can be quite remarkable.
All services begin with a 90-minute Ayurvedic consultation to determine your ‘dosha’, and then come customized Ayurvedic treatments to help provide the healthy balance of the doshas. What makes this spa extraordinary is that in its commitment to health, it has blended some of the very best services in western spa pampering with a deep understanding of Eastern wellness. In addition to the thirty or so exotic Ayurvedic treatments, Elemental Embrace offers massaging with the feet (not of the feet), soothing Hawaiian massage, aromatherapy, colonic hydrotherapy, hot stone therapy, esthetics, body wraps and more. Facilities include a yoga and meditation room, heated indoor pool with a reflexology walk, a hot tub, steam rooms, a Finnish sauna, Vichy shower and dry floatation tank. There is also a small gym, a labyrinth, and an intimate movie theatre with a nine-foot movie screen!
As might be expected, accommodations are outstanding. There are 14 custom-designed rooms, each embracing the principles of color therapy, alongside fine linens, hand-embroidered curtains, a balcony or patio, and superb en suites that feature specially molded glass sinks and countertops, co-ordinated to the room’s overall color-scheme.
The food is equally eye-catching with a selection of mouth-watering spa cuisine that is virtually made-to-order. Here, there is no set menu. Rather, items such as lamb, beef, fish and seafood is prepared in such a way as to accommodate an individual’s Ayurvedic body type, likes, dislikes, allergies and dietary restrictions. For example, as a pitta person I was encouraged to eat less spicy or firey foods while my partner (a kapha) was the total opposite. Food for vata folks is somewhere in between as in mild Indian cuisine, Italian pastas, warm soups and stews.
The surrounding community of Brighton is also a delight to explore. Perhaps the best known attraction is Presqu’ile Provincial Park, Canada’s fourth largest public park. Located within a five-minute drive from Elemental Embrace, the park is open year round and boasts an extensive white sand beach, numerous nature trails, and extensive wildlife.
There are a number of golf courses nearby, and plenty of areas for fishing and boating excursions.
MY LAST WORD
This luxurious, refreshingly intimate destination spa is a one-of-a-kind experience. The emphasis in definitely on wellness, and the blend of Ayurveda and Western philosophies really adds substance to the mantra of ‘health for the mind, body and spirit’. It’s a hot spot for weight management and detox programs, and its central location is an easy reach from centers such as Toronto and New York.
Disclaimer: This review is written independent of gratis services.