If you’re anything like me, you’d welcome a massage anytime; All. The. Time.
Is a pandemic the right time to open a new store front for your business? According to sisters Tila and Linda Huynh, the answer is a resounding, yes!
Feet tired from a night out on the town? Shoulders tense from a long day of work? Get your fix of reflexology or Thai massage in this unique combination of beauty bar and spa. With two destinations now — Olympic Village and Yaletown — you can get your aesthetic and wellness needs met in one trip to Enhance Arts Aesthetics and Spa.
The A-frame sign is outside on the sidewalk. The door says, “We’re open”. Yet it seems so dark inside that I’m a little unsure. For me, that’s the perfect welcome to a spa because it speaks to the peace and quiet to be found inside.
As you step though the door at Enhance Arts in Yaletown take a moment to revel in the dim lights, the tinkle of the water feature and the spa music complete with bird song. Not only have you come to the right place, but you’re in for something special.
Down the long hallway are sliding doors that hide three treatment rooms for services divided into Face, Eyes, and Body.Their reflexology lounge is an inviting row of grey womb chairs with ottomans and curtain dividers. It’s the perfect place for private mediation while awaiting your service and sipping complimentary herbal tea; I almost fell asleep.
Pull back the curtain to gab with your neighbour. Or better yet, bring a bunch of friends — it’s ideal for small groups, like your bachelorette party or birthday treat. While you’re having your feet massaged, you can also do cosmetic teeth whitening. If you opt for a bed rather than a chair, add an upgrade: a head massage along with the teeth whitening procedure.
Tila Huynh had been a regular client of other spas. She was inspired to open her own because she saw a gap in the market: at one spa’s location, she found authentic reflexology, but none of the other services she desired; at Enhance, all reflexology includes a salt foot soak and (ohmygad, yes please!) shoulder massage.
The big high end spas, generally found in hotels, were expensive and also didn’t offer services like teeth whitening and facial dermaplaning. The medical aesthetic locations were generally sterile and bright – feeling more like a medical office than somewhere to relax. Tila wanted to find medical services in a spa setting. So she did it herself and set it all at the right price to become the self care destination for Vancouver.
Tila and Linda grew up in a large family. Their parents always had family businesses like restaurants and other entrepreneurial ventures. Tila loves building brands and marketing; she handles the day to day operations. Linda performs services such as eyelash extensions, even going to Korea to learn the coveted BB Glow technique of semi-permanent foundation — which she now teaches, too. Both owners can be found at either location on any given day.
During the pandemic they were renting a small room where Linda was performing services. As the city — and the world — began to shut down, a space in Olympic Village became available. A pregnant Tila received the keys to the Olympic Village location a week before giving birth.
Enhance Arts in Olympic Village opened in January 2021 and by 2022 was voted Best City Spa in Vancouver through the International Spa & Beauty Awards. In April 2022, they opened the Yaletown location. Tila fell in love with the Yaletown space immediately, having a special connection because she grew up and now lives in downtown. Its proximity to the Opus Hotel was auspicious; they partner with the boutique hotel to offer in suite services.
I tried the 50 minute massage with Aura. As mentioned before, the neck and shoulder massage that happened while my feet were in a salt soak was deep and intense. I do so wish I could have taken home a pocket Aura and her elbows, alas, not to be. Back in the womb chair, hot aromatherapy bag around my neck, my feet and legs got their due.
Enhance Arts has collaborated with Delush, a local hemp-infused lifestyle company, to develop an exclusive blend of essential oils infused with CBD. These can be added to any massage service as an enhanced upgrade — or purchased in a bottle to take home!
The benefits of their CBD infused oils include reduced inflammation and anxiety, and better sleep. I was offered a choice between two unique blends of hand-picked scents (exactly the same formula, but without the CBD). I went for the lemongrass to be energized, not the lavender and ylang ylang for relaxation.
Tila says the clientele is divided fairly equally between men and women, especially for massages. They often see couples or larger groups. Afternoons, especially after work, are busy times and they are usually booked up on the weekends.
Whether you have a full body, Thai or reflexology massage, your body will thank you. Let your medical aesthetic treatments feel like spa services.
Special Note: The Thai massage is only available at the Olympic Village.