Gift Idea: Here’s How to Win the Best-Friend-of-The-Year Award

Treat them to one of the city's best spa packages (and maybe even indulge in one yourself while you're at it).

February 5, 2018

By Stacey McLachlan / Photo: Corey Stovin

I know this time of year, most people are on the hunt for Valentine’s gifts, but for someone like me, whose besties all happen to have birthdays this time of year (I’m not into astrology, but clearly I’ve got a thing for Aquarians), I’m wracking my brain for non-romantic presents to bestow, too.

The good news is, I’ve discovered an option that can work for any and all of my February gift-giving needs. For beloved buds and paramours alike, a spa day never fails—especially at my fave treat-yo’self spot, Chi at Shangri-La.

I’ll be honest: I’ll probably never get a chance to actually stay in a Shangri-La hotel room, but a spa afternoon (Spafternoon? We’ll workshop it) is a glimpse into the good life for a fraction of the price. And, ohhhh, what a good life it is. Last weekend, I treated my dearest friend to the Chi Aroma Vitality signature treatment and since I happened to be there anyways, I tossed on a robe myself and claimed a treatment room of my own.

A footbath and tea service by the crackling fire kicked off a morning that seemed to bend time—after a private eucalyptus steam and a make-you-melt essential oil massage I was convinced we had been in our treatment rooms for hours or possibly even days. But no: when the birthday girl and I were reunited, so relaxed we were having trouble walking, it turned out we were still right on schedule for a quick glass of champagne in the lounge (still in our robes, of course, because we’re classy ladies) before heading off to lunch.

My only regret is that we didn’t pack swimsuits to take full advantage of the terrace pools (which looked enticing even on a blustery Sunday), but with plenty of other loved ones who need pampering this month—whether for birthdays, holidays or because I’m procrastinating on a deadline and I’m looking for an excuse to leave the house—I’m sure I’ll be back in no time. I’m a generous, totally selfless friend to the end.

Chi Aroma Vitality treatment, from $195, Shangri-La Vancouver, shangri-la.com

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