MONT-TREMBLANT, QC - Caroline bent my leg and with the weight of her own body pressed up against it, pushed it back until she introduced my knee to my nose.
She repeated the procedure three times on each leg and then moved to the bottom of the massage table and pulled my legs far apart - to the point where I expected her to say: "make a wish."
Next, she began pulling my legs towards her - like Hulk Hogan does when he tries to separate a wrestling opponent's lower body from the upper.
My stretch massage at the Amerispa in the charming Fairmont Mont Tremblant Hotel was progressing as planned. The end result would be "better mobility," promised the delightful Caroline, "and less pain in your joints."
An hour later, Caroline stopped "phase one" of the treatment and ordered me to follow her to a brightly lit room overlooking the barren ski slopes of this Quebec vacation wonderland that has transformed itself nicely into a four-seasons resort.
I was greeted by a woman who was getting all syrupy over the spa's signature maple sugar body scrub; she was extolling the benefits of what she had just enjoyed.
That was the same treatment I experienced a year earlier on my first visit to Tremblant's Amerispa and I understood why she was so excited.
"I will be able to stir coffee with just my finger and forget about sugar for a month now," laughed the woman.
Caroline ordered me to sit in a reclining chair and then slipped a pair of plastic stockings over my feet and legs. On top of that, she placed two long blue boots - something the Michelin Man might wear in winter - that ran right up to my thighs. The boots had hoses coming out of them, which Caroline connected to a device at the back of the room. She turned a switch and suddenly the boots began inhaling and exhaling air. The sensation was similar to having my blood pressure taken.
"This is what we call pressotherapy," Caroline informed me. "The pressure generated by the inflation of the boots creates the sensation of lightness - it's a very relaxing experience."
I couldn't have agreed more.
"The boots will help your circulation as well," she said.
I felt so good after the pressotherapy treatment and had such renewed agility in my legs, it felt like I was walking on air.
The stretch massage and pressotherapy are just two of a long list of options spa lovers are presented when they arrive at the relaxing Amerispa facility.
You have to make reservations at the spa and hotel early these days because Tremblant is a beehive of activity. As mentioned earlier, the town has become a four-season resort, thanks to the addition of some excellent golf courses to complement an already brilliant winter ski program.
The Fred Couples-designed Le Maitre (the Master) is the latest addition to the Tremblant golf scene and I was anxious to put my Amerispa-induced relaxed swing to the test.
The course is one of the finest in Canada and Couples, always a fan favourite on the PGA Tour, has endeared himself to more people with a design that is a delight to play.
After the round we headed back to the Fairmont, where we relaxed in the pool and then enjoyed one of the resort's famous buffet dinners; the Friday night lobster buffet tops the list, by the way.
Fairmont Tremblant continues to impress with its ability to cater to two different groups of guests: the family traveller and those looking for a bit more luxury and attention.
Fairmont's intimate Gold Floor offerings, where guests check in away from the hustle and bustle of the main lobby and then enjoy private lounge privileges is truly the best among chains that make such offers.
The Gold Floor staff makes you feel like a somebody and cater to your every wish, like making an appointment with Amerispa.
- For information on all Amerispa locations, go to www.amerispa.ca
- For information on the Fairmont Tremblant or any of the other outstanding Canadian-owned properties operated by Fairmont, go to www.fairmont.com.