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Review: Running is Shangri-La

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Review: Running is Shangri-La

This month, one of Toronto’s most luxe hotel’s, the Shangri-La, is launching a lavish wellness retreat, “ Running is Shangri-La.” After the success the five star hotel experienced with its Lululemon customized in-room yoga videos—launched last September—the hotel decided to broaden its wellness offerings. Good news, it isn’t just for the hardcore runner; it accommodates all levels. This package is a great idea for a mini staycation, vacation or perhaps something to fit into your routine while traveling for business in Toronto. When the hotel’s public relation specialist asked me if I’d like to experience the offering first hand, I—of course—jumped at the chance. Being an avid runner, a self-titled spa hound and an enthusiast of solid service—and great food—this package was my jam. [caption id="attachment_16143" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Screen Shot 2015-05-17 at 8.59.55 AM Started my morning off in my fresh Lululemon gear and Black Toe Running Adidas kicks running the Shanrgi-La Toronto's #5km route curated by Ben Kaplan.[/caption]   Four running routes were designed, tested and approved by Ben Kaplan, editor of iRun magazine and author of Feet, Don't Fail Me Now. These curated routes (that are accessible via QR code which then links to your smart phone using the mapmyrun app) show some of the best neighbourhoods and sight seeing Toronto has to offer. Travelers have a choice between these four scenic runs:
  • 3km: Squeeze in a quick run to the historic St. Lawrence Market, this route will provide you with stunning views of the CN tower, so have your smart phone handy. If you have time, stop in for a peameal bacon sandwich mid run—disclaimer, this pit stop is most certainly not part of this wellness package.
  • 4km: Jog northward up University road, the wide sidewalks are accommodating for runners while the historic buildings of University of Toronto and the Ontario legislation give you some architectural eye candy.
  • 5km: Cited by Vogue as one of the world’s coolest neighbourhoods, why wouldn’t you want to run along trendy Queen Street West. It takes you past the chic shops, restaurant and bars, and the halfway mark is charming Trinity Bellwoods Park. *I chose this route—and loved it! I ran it early in the morning, which I would suggest; otherwise the stripe can get really congested with people.
  • 20km: If you have time to devote—and serious stamina—why not plan to concur a (almost) half marathon. This run takes you along the waterfront path alongside Lake Ontario.
  Posts run you’re encouraged to pull out your yoga mat (every room is equipped with one) and cool down with an in-room yoga session led by Lululemon ambassador and owner of Toronto’s Misfit Studio, Amber Joliat. If yoga isn’t your jam, head to the state of the art Health Club or pop in for a quick dip in the pool. Not being a yogi and more of a “gym rat” I chose this option, truly some of the nicest facilities I’ve ever used in a hotel. [caption id="attachment_16144" align="aligncenter" width="598"] Screen Shot 2015-05-17 at 8.47.13 AM Hammam and Gommage room at the Miraj Hammam Spa by Caudalie Paris. Photo credit: Shangri-la Toronto[/caption] The running is Shangri-La package also includes a Hammam and Gommage treatment for two at the hotel’s beautiful Miraj Hammam Spa by Caudalie. What’s a Hammam and Gommage you ask? Well, it’s the perfect treatment to indulge in to help you let go of the tension and decompress. Start with a detoxifying steam room session (this is the Hammam) followed by a full-body exfoliation (this is the gommage part) using a eucalyptus-infused black Moroccan soap. Your skin will never feel softer, and this is coming from someone riddled with eczema patches. So now that you’ve fed your mind, body and soul it’s time to feed your tummy. The resident restaurant, Bosk, offers wellness options on their menu as does the in-room dining, under the “Healthy Lifestyle” section. The focus is on locally sourced produce, free-range chicken and beef and sustainable seafood. For breakfast, I ordered the steal cut oatmeal  off the Healthy Lifestyle menu, and it was delish! The “Running is Shangri-La” package for two is available now and starts at $560 per night, it includes access to the running routes, health club, pool, Hammam and Gommage and a wellness breakfast. I think this is a wonderful experience to give as a gift, perhaps for father's day or an anniversary—or maybe just for a #treatyourself indulgence.
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Review: Running is Shangri-La

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