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Author: Mhairri Woodhall

Born in Hong Kong and raised in Vancouver, Mhairri now lives in Calgary with her husband and young daughter. Specializing in family, luxury and culinary focused travel, Mhairri loves exploring her new province, nourishing her wanderlust and writing about her adventures.

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Deep breath in. Sandalwood, tangerine, bergamot, anise. Exhale. My eyes gently flutter to a close. Warm oil caresses my back. I’m drifting. Floating into a new state of consciousness. Complete relaxation has been achieved. The gentle voice of my masseuse slowly brings me back. Has an hour passed already?

My husband is on the table beside me. His face reflects how I feel. Blissful. We’re at the healing sanctuary, Wellness on Whyte in Edmonton for our annual New Year’s rejuvenation vacation. After a month of parties and overindulging we like to spend a few days recuperating in style. Early in the new year is the perfect time to travel. Hotels, spas and restaurants tend to be quieter and often have fabulous deals and packages. Plus, it helps me to avoid those post-holiday blues. This is the trip I look forward to every year.

Fairmont’s Guilt Free Indulgence

We booked The Fairmont Hotel MacDonald for its elegant rooms and newly renovated fitness centre and spa. Yesterday began with a run on the treadmill and laps in the saline pool, followed by breakfast. Of course we chose from the Fairmont Lifestyle Cuisine menu. Poached eggs over crab cakes with sautéed spinach and kale. Guilt free indulgence. In the afternoon we revitalized our bodies with a restorative mud wrap in the hotel spa. Tomorrow, we’ll try for physical, mental and spiritual balance with the hands-on energy healing art of Reiki.

Feeling Wellness on Whyte

Easing off the massage table we make our way to the infrared cedar sauna, which was custom made for Wellness on Whyte. The warmth penetrates and I feel every last ounce of tension evaporate from my body. Detoxification, improved circulation and stress relief are touted benefits of the infrared sauna. Between the heat, my massage, and the yoga class I took earlier this morning, my body and mind feel limber. Three hours of stretching, meditating and relaxing does wonders for the soul.

Local Comfort Food

Once we float down from our pampered cloud, we’ll have lunch downstairs at Under the High Wheel. The menu allows for you to be as healthy or indulgent as you please. I may start with a vegan roasted vegetable buckwheat crepe and finish with the sweet Belgian waffles topped with Chantilly cream, berries and chocolate sauce. After all, my New Year’s resolution is to find balance. So here’s to 365 days of yin and yang.

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