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Looking for a special way to show your mom how much you love her this Mother's Day, or a relaxing haven for the ultimate ladies' weekend?

Look no further than The Ivy at Verity, a boutique hotel that just might be one of Toronto's best-kept secrets

THE HOTEL: THE IVY AT VERITY, 111d Queen St. E., Toronto, ON; 416 368 6006 ext. 300; theivyatverity.ca

Old-fashioned boutique hotels are a rarity these days — especially ones that make you feel like you're visiting a friend's country estate, not sleeping in the heart of a bustling metropolis. There are only four rooms at The Ivy, a European-style, family run establishment tucked away within Verity, which is a private and sophisticated women's club. Each room is uniquely designed (ours had classy flocked wallpaper and a fuchsia chaise we couldn't get enough of), but feature the same amenities: balconies overlooking a 19th century courtyard, a Hastens's bed with Italian linens, a deep tub stocked with a variety of salts, wireless Internet access, large screen television and 24-hour concierge service. (We used the concierge service twice: once to have an afternoon snack of cheese, fruit and bread brought to our room and once, in the evening, to order a Blu-Ray DVD copy of one of our favourite British dramedies.) In the morning, a continental breakfast was waiting on a beautiful French pasty table just outside our hotel room door. (Rates: From $329 per night, double occupancy; packages including spa treatments and meals at George start at $339)

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THE SPA

To further increase our relaxed sense of well-being, we headed down to the Sweetgrass Spa, which can be accessed from the hotel without going outside. (We descended our private staircase in our robes and slippers.) Similar to the hotel, and the rest of the club, the spa's detailed decor makes you feel like you're somewhere special—which you are.

Champagne, cocktails, herbals teas and fruit juices, as well as light meal options created by executive chef Lorenzo Loseto of George Restaurant (it's one of the best restaurants in Toronto and located at Verity as well, but more about that later), are available in the inviting lounge. I booked a 60 minute Lomi Lomi massage ($145)—this is a treatment based on a traditional Hawaiian practice that promotes holistic healing. The method stimulated circulation and optimal total body function and was one of the best massages I've ever experienced. My mom had a 75-minute Sweetgrass Treatment facial (with SkinCeuticals products). Following the treatment, her skin glowed and, perhaps most importantly, she felt both relaxed and invigorated. After our treatments, we swam in the spa's ozonated swimming pool (there's an underwater treadmill, whirlpool and steam shower) and also spent time in the infrared sauna, which is purported to detoxify the body, reduce pain in muscles and joints, and promote deeper sleep. Guests at The Ivy are welcome to use the spa's facilities during the duration of their stay, and we took full advantage, staying for several hours in the afternoon, and visiting the pool and sauna in the morning before checkout as well.

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THE RESTAURANT

George Restaurant is a Toronto treasure. For the past two years, it has earned a Zagat World's Top Restaurants rating, and it's easy to see why: Chef Loseto pairs fresh, high-quality ingredients in unexpected ways and never once misses the mark. We put ourselves in his hands and opted for the five-course tasting menu ($99 per person). Our menus weren't the same, meaning we shared and savored 10 different dishes. It was nearly impossible to pick a favourite, but we loved the black cod with brazil nut curry and lobster faro and the pork tenderloin with curry Brussels sprouts. And although we felt at the end of the meal that we had likely overindulged in many different ways, we were surprised to learn that the Chef uses no trans fats, partially hydrogenated oils or butter sauces, and very little cream or cream reductions. It was the freshness and uniqueness of the flavours that lent the food its richness, not the fat content.

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THE VERDICT

The Ivy at Verity has become one of our favourite places, one that we hope to return to yearly to celebrate our relationship and ourselves. Although we were only gone for 24 hours, we both agreed we felt as though we'd had a mini-vacation. We always enjoy spending time together, but spending it in such an idyllic, relaxing setting was an unforgettable bonus. (Note: Although The Ivy is located within a women-only club, men are welcome to enjoy an indulgent stay at The Verity. The only restriction is that men enjoy their spa treatments in-room.)