Over the past ten years, Torontonians have had the economic luxury of indulging at some of the city’s finest restaurants twice a year for a fraction of the price. The reason? Summerlicious and Winterlicious — culinary affairs where three-course meals by top chefs can be enjoyed for anywhere from $15-45, all around town. Special events like these are not only good for the wallet, but also allow city dwellers the chance to explore different foods and places they might not normally try. If only other industries outside of food would follow suit, right?

Lo and behold Canada’s very first Spa Week by Way Spa, launched this week in Toronto and running through until Sunday, April 21st. Though only just stepping onto the scene in Canada, this North American phenomenon has been around since 2004. Similar to Winter and Summerlicious, the week-long event takes place in both spring and fall, offering affordable access to premier spas around the GTA, inviting guests to experience both beautifying and therapeutic spa treatments at a lovely marked down price tag.

Luxury spa packages that regularly range anywhere from $75-125 will be available to experience for $50 at participating spas throughout the week including the storied Oxygen Facial that Madonna swears by. The treatment, which hydrates the skin to make it appear smoother and plumper, is being offered at Shizen Spas at the Pantages Hotel and Cosmopolitan Hotel, as well as being offered at the city’s Moksa Day Spa. Although enduring an Oxygen Facial may not be the most comfortable or relaxing (you are, after all, getting blasted with a stream of pressurized oxygen) the results are undeniable. Madonna’s glow is proof enough!

I had the chance to experience the post-treatment radiance myself after a recent visit to the Shizen Spa at the Pantages Hotel. My skin was left plump and luminous, which is why it’s highly recommended before special events. And for those worried about fine lines, a targeted Oxygen Facial is said to have the effects of a quick-fix botox, minus the needles.

Wanting to extend my glow across the rest of my body, I followed my facial with a purifying Dead Sea Salt Body Scrub.

When it comes to pampering and beauty, having your body scrubbed down from neck-to-toe, and then moisturized during a full body massage, is possibly the ultimate beauty indulgence. If your schedule allows, try booking in the mid-afternoon to take advantage of the hotel’s $5 happy hour from 4-6pm on week days — a cocktail is an ideal end to the ultimate day of relaxation.

We know that spa deals can often come with hesitation, with customers worried that the experience may not be as enjoyable had they paid full price, but take our word, this is no Groupon, and Spa Week cuts no corners when it comes to service. Treatments offered are exactly as you would receive before or after the week, even when it comes to their duration. Sounds almost too good to be true, doesn’t it? Live the dream: partake in a spa hop that has you visiting multiple spas, and enjoying multiple treatments —Spa Week comes ’round but twice a year (finally), and it’s time to celebrate.

 Published April 16, 2013