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"] 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.