It’s a fact – cold winds, sub-zero temperatures and decreased sunlight can take their toll on even the toughest of us. To help melt away winter blues, a spa getaway might be in your future.
The Canadian spa industry has something for everyone. Discover unique experiences that combine nature, cultural influences, convenience and the ultimate in relaxation. It is catering to athletes and couples with day-long and weekend retreats.
There’s research to prove a little pampering goes a long way. From relieving muscle and joint pain, to increasing blood flow and speeding tissue repair, a massage is one of many spa treatments that can benefit both mind and body. So, whether it’s sore muscles, dry skin or just a break from the business of life, you are sure to find something on our list of winter spa getaways that will help you relax, recharge and boost your levels of healthy and happy.
Here are five B.C. spas sure to melt away just about anything that ails you.
Ancient Cedars Spa – Wickaninnish Inn, Tofino, B.C.
Imagine watching a Pacific storm from the comfort of your room as you sip morning coffee by the fireplace. If this sounds like bliss, then Wickaninnish Inn should be at the top of your list. Nestled on the rocky shore of Chesterman Beach in Tofino, this Pacific Coast resort sits on breathtaking oceanfront. The Ancient Cedars Spa signature services embody the natural elements of Vancouver Island. Don’t get squeamish when kelp is placed on your spine to calm the nervous system and re-mineralize the body. Ancient Cedars uses the Seaflora line of organic seaweed products made in Tofino.
Signature Services: West Coast Sacred Sea body treatment, Hishuk Ish Tsawalk Awakening treatment includes sage smudging, seaweed exfoliation and hot stone massage accompanied by aboriginal drumming.
Price: $340/night. Closed in January for maintenance.
Scandinave Spa Whistler – Whistler, B.C.
If you are seeking quiet for the mind and body, Scandinave is a unique brand of spas with destinations in Whistler, Blue Mountain, Ont., Mont Tremblant, Que. and an urban spa in Old Montreal. There is a no talking policy on site — the theory is that even a whisper can disturb the “flow” of someone’s spa experience as they move through the thermal cycle, immersing first in hot, medium, then cold pools.
Many famous athletes and former Olympians frequent the Scandinave Spa, located five minutes from Whistler Village, Among them is Simon D’Artois, a member of the Canadian freestyle ski team, who spends time in the steam room focusing on his breathing and visualization. A bistro is on site and the spa is open to small groups and couples’ experiences. Even though this spa is totally Instagram-worthy, you’ll have to leave your phone in the locker room – there’s also a “no tech” policy in place.
Signature Services: Serenity Package includes Swedish massage, bath experience, robe rental, light lunch and bathing suit bag.
Price: $70 for baths, $170 for Swedish massage.
Sense, a Rosewood Spa – Hotel Georgia, Vancouver
Sense is a luxury spa located in the heart of downtown Vancouver in the newly revamped Hotel Georgia. This spa offers individual treatments as well as half-day and full-day packages. Some even incorporate a walk around the city, touring the seawall and Stanley Park followed by a relaxing afternoon of pure indulgence. Take the stress off your feet with a signature Canadian maple pedicure. This spa features indoor and outdoor lounges, a fitness centre and stretching area and a 52-foot indoor salt water lap pool. The Rose Buds Junior program means it’s an ideal place for a mom and daughter getaway. There’s a menu of spa services for the guys too.
Signature Services: High-pressure Vichy rainfall shower, Georgian Revival massage, glacial honey and shea butter body scrub and Canadian maple pedicure.
Price: Hotel — $319/night.
Willow Stream – Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel, Vancouver
With stunning panoramic views of downtown Vancouver and the harbour, you’ll be tempted to spend much of your day on the outdoor deck relaxing by the fire in cozy outdoor cabanas. Enjoy private Jacuzzis, an infrared sauna and meditation pools even during the winter drizzle that Vancouver is famous for. There are spacious treatment rooms in calming tones of blue and grey that reflect Vancouver’s sea and sky. After hiking the Grouse Grind or spending a busy day downtown, this is the perfect place to relax. The Van Active body treatment focuses on muscles and joints, with a Turkish salt scrub, steam room and massage with juniper, fennel and lavender oil.
Signature Services: Van Active Body treatment.
Grotto Spa at Tigh-Na-Mara – Parksville, B.C.
With a view of the Georgia Strait and mountains all around, there might not be a more picturesque place than the Tigh-Na-Mara Resort in Parksville, B.C. Located on the eastern side of Vancouver Island, it’s about a three-hour drive from Vancouver.
Recently voted #1 by Spas of America website, consumers rank this spot high for customer experience and natural surroundings. The property includes 22 acres of forest and three kilometres of sandy beach. With Mount Washington ski resort a short drive away, it’s the perfect place for a winter getaway.
The real gem of this resort is the 2,500 square-foot mineral pool, known as The Grotto, which feels like you are soaking in the natural waters of an underground cave. Spa guests can feast on endless tapas in their bathrobes and flip flops, then make their way back to the Grotto for another soak.
Signature Services: facials, body wraps, massages, The Grotto mineral pool and Treetop Tapas and Grill.
Price: Hotel/night — $169/night (spa extra).
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