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Absolute Spa

Absolute Spa's original, three-level space at the retrofitted Century Hotel can accommodate big groups but still manages to maintain a cozy vibe. A light breakfast or lunch in the Spa Café is included with your treatment, along with chocolate-dipped strawberries and Champagne - most welcome after an oxygen facial, in which oilbased vitamins D, E, and A are rubbed into your skin, which is then finely misted with oxygen for deeper penetration. It's a favourite with celebs in town for filming.

Spa Utopia

At 12,000 square feet, Spa Utopia is massive, but use this to your advantage. In so much space, there's lots of opportunity to explore: lounge fireside in overstuffed furniture, sample treats in the spa café (serviced by the Pan Pacific's hotel kitchen), and browse the shelves of products. With 80 percent of the clientele based locally, know that this is not your typical hotel spa - Vancouverites come here for serious skin care like microdermabrasion, enzyme peels, and other anti-aging procedures.

Miraj Hammam Spa

Outside of Istanbul, we're convinced there's no Turkish bath more authentic than Miraj Hammam Spa. Leave your western modesty with your shoes as you slip on sandals in the lobby: once inside the steam, you're au naturel. Plus, you're ready for the traditional gommage scrub - with black Moroccan soap - afterward. In the Sultan's Lounge, you'll feel rather regal sitting on high cushions eating cake and sipping tea; only the few scattered gossip magazines betray your real purpose.

Vida Wellness Spa

Vida Wellness Spa's Ayurvedic focus means treatments are geared toward your dosha, or temperament. Based on this, massage therapists can detect anything from career issues hiding behind your right scapula to indecisiveness in your left hip. Vida's own skin-care line is also targeted to your personality type, so Vatas (read: type As) can get extra relaxation. Vida's large, calming lounge, stocked with herbal teas and healthy snacks, is one of the prettiest in the city.

Holt's Salon and Spa

Until recently, the fashion-forward crowd had no refuge from the ceaseless racks of high design at tony Holt Renfrew (poor things). That all changed with the new Holt's Salon and Spa. Don't expect couture attitude here; friendly staff seem happily incongruous against the all-white, achingly cool basement treatment rooms and lounge area. A main-floor salon speedily transforms your post-massage hair from oily to oohla-la.