3 luxurious Canadian spas to relax and rejuvenate

by Phil Buckley

Canada is a country boasting unparalleled natural beauty. Possessing a variety of landscapes from mountains, to the prairies, lakes, rivers, national and provincial parks, it’s no wonder it plays host to some of the greatest natural, unique and luxurious spas that reconnect to nature and rejuvenate the soul.

Chelsea, Quebec

A twenty-minute drive from Canada’s capital city of Ottawa in the Outaouais region of Quebec, the Nordik Spa-Nature offers an escape from city-life. Claiming to be the largest spa in North America, it offers relaxation and heat-therapy techniques that originated in Scandinavian countries. Boasting multisensory experiences through a natural setting, the spa specializes in thermotherapy; a 2,000-year-old ritual which involves alternating between hot and cold temperatures followed by a rest period.

Also on offer is the Källa Treatment. Similar to the weightlessness experienced when floating in the Dead Sea, the Källa treatment seeks to imitate that sensation in a salt-water pool, generating a sleeplike atmosphere while relieving stress, helping with inflammation and increasing creativity.

Another not-to-be-missed experience is The Banyä Treatment. Taking its cues from a 1,000-year-old Russian tradition, the Banyä sauna places you for equal time in dry-heat and humid sauna steam. This 60-minute treatment is completed in steps. First, a broom made from birch branches is infused in hot water. Next, your body is exfoliated with salts and essential oils before the whipping ritual begins using the infused birch veniks.

The Banyä ends with a celebratory Aufguss ritual. Aufguss (the German word for infusion) encompasses the senses of sight, scent and feel using choreographed towel movements. The Aufguss circulates hot air created by melting snowballs infused with essential oils. A post-jump in the plunge pool offers a much needed cool down after this intense session.

Nordik also houses ten exterior baths, nine distinct saunas, an infinity pool, exfoliation room, outdoor massage facilities and hammocks for optimal relaxation. With a second location in Winnipeg, Nordik is set to open a third location in Whitby, Ontario in 2020.

Edmonton, Alberta

One of the youngest major cities in Canada also happens to be one of the sunniest. Edmonton enjoys 325 days of bright sunshine each year. Opening its doors in August, with a premier downtown location, the  JW Edmonton ICE District prides itself on its luxury offerings. The Ice District is a newer area of downtown Edmonton, developed to surround Roger’s Place Arena the home rink of the Edmonton Oilers hockey franchise.

After catching a game you can indulge in curated services of The Spa by JW. Enjoy some refreshments and a light snack in the cozy and peaceful lounge, while waiting your treatment in one of the serene treatment rooms. Try the Rose Gold, a gemstone-infused premier collagen treatment with iced rose quartz wands infused in rose oil. The Jet Lag Cure is ideal for the constant traveler, blending shiatsu and Thai techniques with mandarin orange and juniper essential oils.

Then, in a dream-like state, relax and continue to melt away stress by the pool, hot tub and steam room.

Sonora Island, British Columbia

Sonora Resort is a 50-minute helicopter ride from Vancouver, surrounded by pristine, majestic and unspoiled areas of British Columbia. Each room is crafted from cedar stone and offers picturesque ocean views. Get into a plush robe, grab a glass of wine from your all-inclusive mini-bar and use binoculars to be inspired by nature in its purest form – you might just see seals swim round and bald eagles soar by.

While at the Sonora Resort, enjoy some revitalization at Island Currents Spa where the signature treatment, the Therapeutic Channel Water Journey, includes alternating dips in the warm and cool mineral pools overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

The Pacific Elements Experience features a dry exfoliation of the body along with a coastal beach stone massage which are followed by a soak in the hydrotherapy tub. With 252 jets the tub targets aches and tension while increasing circulation and metabolism. The tub also features chromo light therapy said to alleviate stress caused by over-exposure to fluorescent lighting.

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