Travel Guide to Canada
FIND YOUR PERFECT SPA
Are you seeking a rural retreat? A haven by the sea? A getaway where you can enjoy tapas in your bathrobe? Perhaps an ancient Asian-inspired ritual or the rejuvenating benefits of taking the waters? From coast to coast, there’s a Canadian spa experience to soothe our body and soul.
COUNTRY CHARM STE. ANNE’S SPA, GRAFTON, ON
Tucked into the rolling hills of Northumberland County, Ste. Anne’s, at first glance, looks more like a Scottish castle than a spa. One enters the rambling 19th century fieldstone estate via a walled perennial garden. Guests choose from all sorts of treatments and activities including moorish mud baths, hiking, painting classes and yoga. Where else can you make a bathrobe your uniform during the entire stay—whether en route to one of your treatments, while sipping afternoon tea or enjoying a four-course dinner?
The gluten-free goodies from Ste. Anne’s Spa Bakery make sweet souvenirs, especially the tarts, now part of the Kawarthas Northumberland Butter Tart Tour (www.steannes.com).
SPA EASTMAN, EASTMAN, QC
Located in the Eastern Townships, about an hour from Montréal, seven pavilions house over 40 distinctive rooms around a pond with views of Mont Orford. The Health Immersion Package starts the session with a health coach to determine goals, naturopathic and kinesiology consultations, and a health routine package to take home. The regimen includes three gourmet “tonic” meals and numerous daily activities such as hikes, fitness classes, workshops and the use of various baths, pools and saunas. Spa Eastman was known as the first health and wellness resort in Canada when it opened in 1977; it was recently awarded “The Best Spa in Canada” by Spafinder’s 2015 Wellness Travel Awards in all categories combined. They also operate the urban Spa Eastman Montréal (www.spa-eastman.com).
MOUNTAIN RETREATS WILLOW STREAM SPA, FAIRMONT BANFF SPRINGS, AB
The Willow Stream Spa pays homage to the natural mineral springs that first beckoned travellers to this “Castle in the Rockies” more than a century ago, while drawing energy from the surrounding Rocky Mountain setting. The indoor mineral pool provides the ultimate in relaxation, complete with classical music piped in from below. Outside on the terrace, inhale the invigorating alpine air while steeping in the whirlpool. Many treatments incorporate local ingredients such as pine, rose oil and mountain lavender (www. fairmont.com/banff-springs/willow-stream).
FOUR SEASONS RESORT AND RESIDENCES WHISTLER, BC
The Four Seasons Spa offers high altitude therapies at the base of Blackcomb Mountain—a top ski destination with breathtaking scenery. The signature treatment starts with an exfoliating scrub using maple syrup and brown sugar. Next, while cocooned in a warm clay and algae body wrap, a therapist massages your hair and scalp with Moroccan oil. A full body massage using detoxifying butter completes the pampered journey. Treat the kids to a Glacier Spa fruit-scented manicure and pedicure (www.fourseasons.com/whistler/spa).
BY THE SEA
THE SPA AT THE ALGONQUIN, ST. ANDREWS, NB
The Algonquin Resort opened in the seaside resort town of St. Andrews in 1889. In 2014, after a $50 million renovation, the resort reopened as the first Canadian property in Marriott’s “Autograph Collection.” Combined with AVEDA products, organic honey from the resort’s own hives, figures prominently on the spa menu. Try the Lavender Honey Facial, Warm Honey Body Scrub or Warm Honey Manicure and Pedicure. Honey possesses natural antibacterial properties and antioxidants. It is extremely moisturizing and soothing to the skin (www.algonquinresort.com/spa).
THE DOL-ÁS SPA
FOX HARB’R RESORT, WALLACE, NS
The recently renovated Dol-ás Spa was named one of the “Top 25 Spas in Canada” in the 2016 Canadian Spa & Wellness Awards. Owned by the multi-millionaire co-founder of the Tim Hortons fast food restaurant chain, the Dol-ás Spa at Fox Harb’r Resort excels at pampering its clientele. Consider a massage using stones from the sea in the outdoor gazebo. The spa offers a full range of treatments, including a Men`s Executive Menu and the Fox Harb’r Signature Facial, developed exclusively for the resort by CELLCOSMET, an anti-aging skin care line from Switzerland (www.foxharbr.com/spa).
ORIENTAL INFLUENCES SPA OFURO, MORIN-HEIGHTS, QC
Ofuro’s Nordic-style spa offers replenishing rituals in several Asia-inspired buildings in the Laurentian Mountain retreat. Immerse yourself in a variety of hot and cold indoor and outdoor pools, steams and saunas. Or take a dip in the river. Try a shiatsu massage or consider a Zen pedicure. Prolong your healthy holiday with a stay in one of five guest rooms on the property (www. spaofuro.com).
TEN SPA AT THE FORT
GARRY HOTEL, WINNIPEG, MB
Pamper yourself like a sultan. Ten Spa in the Fort Garry Hotel offers a variety of cleansing and purification therapies modelled after the ancient bathing rituals of the Ottoman Empire. All hamams begin with Moroccan mint tea and a Turkish delight. After that, chose from several steamy journeys including a self-administered salt rub, preceding a head, scalp and foot massage, olive oil washes and the application of warm mud. Add on a facial, manicure, pedicure and lunch with a glass of bubbly (www.tenspa.ca).
TAKING THE WATERS TEMPLE GARDENS HOTEL & SPA, MOOSE JAW, SK
Take a soothing soak any time of the year in Canada’s largest indoor/outdoor therapeutic geothermal mineral pool on the rooftop of the Temple Gardens Hotel & Spa. Similar to the famous pools in Bath, England, the “liquid gold” waters, piped in from an ancient underground seabed, contain such compounds as Epsom salts and a variety of minerals to soothe weary muscles and relieve tension. At the Sun Tree Spa, aquatic yoga classes take advantage of the water’s buoyancy to improve flexibility and balance in an exceptional rooftop Prairie setting.
The spa also practices the ancient healing art of reflexology (www.templegardens. sk.ca).
SCANDINAVE SPAS, FOUR LOCATIONS ACROSS CANADA
Scandinave Spas are designed so guests may relax and rejuvenate by participating in a cycle of heat therapies, refreshing cool rinses and relaxation periods. The prescribed routine: spend about ten minutes warming your body in a sauna, eucalyptusscented steam bath, hot tub or thermal waterfall. Heating the body helps increase blood circulation, which, in turn, cleanses by promoting the elimination of toxins. Then it’s time to close the skin’s pores by cooling off beneath a bracing Nordic waterfall or a dip in a cold tub. The third part of Scandinave’s routine is chill-out time. Snooze in the solarium, swing in a hammock or cosy up with a good book and a cup of organic tea. The warming, chilling and relaxing steps may be repeated as often as you wish. Most people spend at least three hours. The optional final step to ultimate bliss is a relaxing massage that promotes circulation and recharges the body’s cells by releasing toxins.
Scandinave Spas are located in Whistler, BC, Blue Mountain, ON and in MontTremblant and Old Montréal, QC (www. scandinave.com).