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Rainspa at Le Place d'Armes - Spa Review

Giggles and Rain Showers in Montreal

by Irvina Lew

The lovely reception area of RainSpa at Le Place d'Armes Hotel & Suites in Montreal, Canada

The lovely reception area of Rainspa

Backyard barbecues are fun, but an occasional escape from hometown comforts to city chic is particularly welcome when the destination offers Parisian style and sophistication in a bilingual culture where practically everyone speaks both French and English.  We visited Vieux Montreal, the formerly walled historic center of the city, during a long weekend timed in conjunction with July's annual Just for Laughs Festival, which happens to be the world's largest English language comedy festival.

In Vieux Montreal, we found that decidedly French flair on cobblestone streets lined with bistros and cafés, bookshops and boutiques, churches and museums. The neighborhood is adjacent to the St. Lawrence River with its shade tree-lined walking paths, grassy greenery and water views.  It's also just minutes by metro, cab or on foot from the Quartier des Spectacles where throngs gather in theaters for the Just for Laughs Festival every summer. After late nights giggling, while Tom Arnold, Lewis Black, Brad Garrett, John Leguizamo and a host of other comedians joked, it was time for us to get on the table just to relax.

A treatment room at Rainspa at Le Place d'Armes Hotel & Suites in Montreal, Canada The Vichy Shower of  Rainspa at Le Place d'Armes Hotel & Suites in Montreal, Canada
A treatment room
The Vichy Shower

Rainspa is a 2,000-square-foot spa located on the third floor of one of three historic and renovated buildings that make up the Le Place d'Armes Hôtel & Suites on Rue St. Jacques in Vieux Montreal. There's a lovely reception area with a waterfall flowing over azure blue mosaic glass tiles. It's an intimate space where planked flooring, a brick wall and glass tiles add to the charm enhanced by wicker furniture and a fireplace.  Rainspa offers the city's first authentic Hammam Vaporium (steam room) and a wide range of treatments including the Vichy Rain Massage, which we got a chance to try.

The Vichy Shower Bar has seven different jets and it swings out above a special “wet” table which is designed so that water runs along its sides. While you lie on thick towels under the jets, Angelique, the masseuse—dressed in a bathing suit—gives a complete body massage using lots of body oil while the warm water (you can determine its temperature) flows from showerheads positioned over reflex pathways of the back. The exceptional water jets stimulate circulation and energize the body, while Angelique's therapeutic massage leaves one feeling wet and wonderful.

Rainspa offers a full range of body care treatments that combine advanced technology and ancient knowledge and use some highly sophisticated products. Among them, the French line Tradition Orient incorporates organic orange blossoms. There's also an authentic Dead Sea mud used for exfoliation. And, among the treatment options, there's a coffee and mint scrub and an extensive 90-minute Volcanic Stone Massage.

Montreal, we Francophiles found, offers history, laughs, fine food and a welcoming spa experience.

Le Place d'Armes Hôtel & Suites
55 Rue St. Jacques
Montreal, QC H2Y 3X2, Canada
514-842-1887; 514-282-2727

www.hotelplacedarmes.com



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