We found the perfect wellness retreat in the heart of Vancouver

Sep 30 2019, 12:04 pm

With such dark and rainy weather in Vancouver, sometimes you need an antidote to cure yourself of the seasonal gloom and stresses in life. In fact, it can be just what the doctor ordered.

A little wellness vacation doesn’t have to empty your bank account, either. You don’t need to go anywhere or even take any days off work — you can find the break you need right here in the city. And sometimes that’s all you really need: a day out to treat yourself!

We discovered this first-hand when we visited Parq Vancouver. The entertainment destination offers much more than meets the eye, with outstanding restaurants, wellness services, and even a 30,000-square foot outdoor park nestled within its walls.

After a day at Parq, it’s clear that there are ways to reap the benefits of a vacation without actually going on one. So if taking a trip isn’t an option for you this fall, here’s how you can de-stress and relax a bit closer to home.

Savour farm-to-table cuisine at Honey Salt

There’s no better way to start your wellness experience than with true farm-to-table cuisine.

Honey Salt/Parq Vancouver

It’s been found that 90% of serotonin receptors are located in the gut (the chemical that contributes to happiness and wellbeing!), so it makes sense that what you’re putting in your body has a direct impact on how you feel. Honey Salt offers a casual fine-dining restaurant experience and places focus on farm-to-table cuisine, with an emphasis on locally- and regionally-sourced ingredients. It’s pretty much the perfect spot to treat yourself and still leave yourself feeling good.

They also have vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free options, so those who have dietary restrictions can also enjoy a wide array of menu items.

Honey Salt/Parq Vancouver

Start your meal with either a pressed green juice or citrus juice (both freshly squeezed daily for Honey Salt), and select from healthy appetizers including Heirloom Grain Tabouli with tomato, cucumber, peppers, kalamata olives, and chickpea purée, Roasted Carrots with harissa, mint, cilantro, sunflower seeds, and ginger-cashew cream, or English Pea Soup with cashew cream, pea shoots, and cracked pepper.

The only problem you’ll face here: just how to decide what to order!

Move onto one of Honey Salt’s classics such as the Avocado Toast, Poke Bowl with BC albacore, cilantro-miso dressing, avocado, cucumber, and brown rice, or the Organic King Salmon, with crisp prosciutto, snap pea, steamed potato, and green pea nage.

Recharge with a deep-hydration treatment

Whatever type of treatment you’re looking for, you can find it at the Spa by JW. The specialists are able to tailor your treatment to match whatever your needs are, so whether you’re seeking a calming spa experience or an invigorating massage, you’re set.

Spa by JW/Parq Vancouver

From September 1 till November 30, the Spa by JW is offering a special limited-time Rose Hydration Wrap, which infuses your skin with intense hydration.

“The fall months are usually when people start to neglect their skin as opposed to the summer months, and it starts to get a lot drier — so this treatment is perfect if you want to really treat yourself,” explains Nicole Chapman, Spa Therapist at Spa by JW.

The remedy uses a lymphatic dry brushing to stimulate and exfoliate your skin, followed by a mixture of hydrating body oil cream, and then body gel applied to your entire body. Finally, get ready for your entire body to be wrapped up in wrap plastic and sheets to help with the absorption. (Picture being swaddled like a newborn baby. It might feel strange at first, but guaranteed you’ll feel the benefits long after!)

The treatment also comes with a hydrating face mask and scalp massage. All products used are rose-scented, leaving you with a pleasant floral aroma on your skin.

After your spa treatment, you can take your time exploring the rest of the wellness facilities, which include eucalyptus-infused steam rooms, a fitness centre, private hair salons, and a manicure and pedicure bar.

Cap the night off at Lotus Whiskey/Tea Lounge

To end your day of wellness (are you feeling relaxed yet?), head over to Lotus Whiskey/Tea Lounge to sip on some of their internationally brewed loose-leaf teas. Located in the heart of Parq Vancouver just steps from the high-rolling casino floor, the lounge is the perfect spot to have some downtime and enjoy a selection of live entertainment on Friday and Saturday evenings — including the popular Dueling Pianos.

Be sure to try their special Hibiscus Tea, made by steeping parts of the hibiscus plant. The tea is packed with antioxidants and has been said to reduce blood pressure and even help with weight loss. So, it’s the perfect warm drink to finish off your day! (Bonus: It’s delightfully paired with honey and ginger syrup.)


After you’ve had your relaxing wellness day and you’re feeling all sorts of rejuvenated, you might even have enough energy to head over to the casino for a Learn to Play lesson. End the day on a fun note! Or go home and totally zen out. Your call.

For more information and to book your personalized wellness experience today, visit ParqVancouver.com.