The Holy Grail of mind and body retreats
Alkaline meals, Soul Camp and horseback rides among activities to promote wellness
Spread out across 40.5 hectares of pristine land that’s teeming with minerals, crystals and the spring-fed alkaline waters of Chalice Lake in Bancroft, Ont., wellness sanctuary Grail Springs stands as one of only two hotels in Canada recognized by Healing Hotels of the World.
With a variety of spiritual retreats, detoxifying spa therapies and inspirational workshops on offer, guests are promised a transformative life experience with stays that range between two and 21 days. Soul Camp Like a camp for adults that focuses on the mind and body, the newly launched Soul Camp program at Grail Springs aims to help guests relax and detox according to individual needs and pace. Morning yoga on the lake, meditations at the crystal crop, horseback riding and chakra therapies make up a typical daily itinerary. Getaways can be booked solo, as a couple or in a group. Spiritual spa Guests looking for a mani-pedi have come to the wrong place. Here, they indulge in the latest holistic therapies to decompress — from equine, chakra and colour therapies to crystal healing beds, colon hydrotherapy and steam wraps. An assortment of more familiar spa services, such as massages, facials, body scrubs and polishes, are also available. After a treatment, guests can take to the waters and enjoy the hotel’s outdoor mineral soaking tub and cold plunge or dry Finnish sauna. Outdoor eco-tabins Grail Springs founder Madeleine Marentette designed the hotel’s 13 rooms with special attention to every detail, including natural linens, handcrafted organic amenities and even specialty detox tea. If the turret- ed rooms in the hotel’s Bavarian castle-inspired property aren’t outdoorsy enough for you, there are also two eco-tabins (a cross between a tent and a cabin) available to book from May to September. Eco-tabins are well appointed with cosy duvets, vintage Hudson’s Bay wool blankets and handmade furnishings. Clean eating Executive chef Jared Collins, who had served at Château Lake Louise in Alberta’s Banff National Park, prepares healthy yet decadent alkaline, vegetarian and gluten-free gourmet meals daily. All dishes are made with whole, plant-based, locally sourced and seasonal ingredients to help reduce acidity, inflammation and pain while promoting healing, energy and weight loss. An average weekly menu might include flax oatmeal cereal, coconut yam soup and asparagus bisque with baked lentil loaf. Geomantic project Geomancy is the ancient applied science of balancing subtle energy fields between architecture and landscape. Alan Reed, geomancer for Grail Springs, has spent several years regulating the chi and geomagnetism of the hotel’s interiors and surrounding forest through the placement of transducers, special minerals and selected stones. The property sits on rich deposits of quartz and other magnetically potent rocks found in Bancroft, the mineral capital of Canada. As part of the project, guests can also explore installations, including a volcanic healing bed and crystal mound meditation area. Harmony with horses Grail Springs offers guests guided horseback rides with its special family of Rocky Mountain horses from Kentucky. Visitors can also participate in a meditation circle with the horses, led by facilitators, as part of a global movement of equine-assisted therapy to bring horses and humans together in peace, harmony and healing. The hotel’s equine experience runs every Tuesday and Saturday from May to September. Horseback rides are offered year-round on Mondays, Saturdays and Sundays. Soothing waters Guests at Grail Springs can help balance their Ph through baths and water therapies, designed to purify and cleanse the body. Magnetically charged by the ancient bedrocks below, the water is naturally filtered and kept free of chemicals and chlorine additives. Guests may benefit directly from the alkaline properties of Chalice Lake in their spa services, showers, cooking and drinking water. Canoes, paddles and stand up paddle boards are also available to guests. Denise Dias ( email@example.com) is a Toronto writer.
The Soul Camp at Grail Springs is designed to help guests relax and detoxify with morning yoga on the lake.
The getaway includes alkaline properties of Chalice Lake near Bancroft.
After a holistic spa treatment, guests can enjoy a Finnish sauna.
It also has a volcanic healing bed and crystal mound meditation area.