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. As new spas (like Nordic Spa at the Delta Kananaskis) open across the country and others celebrate three decades of pampering, the industry continues to deliver 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.
Willow Stream Spa – Banff, Alta.
There is something truly special about this oasis in the beautiful Banff Springs Hotel. Floor to ceiling windows frame a view of Rundle Mountain Range as guests soak in the indoor salt-water mineral pool and waterfalls. There are a variety of treatment rooms, private and co-ed lounges, steam room, hot tub and a eucalyptus inhalation sauna. An outdoor hot tub is the perfect place for après-ski relaxation.
This spa continually tops the list of the best spas in Canada with numerous awards, most recently from the Forbes Travel Guide. A nearby fitness facility offers three classes per day and you can order from a variety of snacks, salads and entrees to be delivered to the co-ed lounge. You can easily spend the entire day here.
Signature Services: Majestic Blue Body Experience, Muscle Recovery Deep Tissue Massage, Mountain Mint pedicure, European mineral pool and waterfall whirlpools
Price: Spa Access — $79 non-hotel guests, $69 for hotel guests, complimentary with the purchase of a treatment.
Hotel/night: from $299/night (Alberta residents).
Spa 901 – Fernie, B.C.
Named for its street address in a historic refurbished school in Fernie, B.C., Spa 901 offers what it calls “old school pampering.” The spa has been attracting skiers, Calgary’s weekend warriors and outdoorsy types for six years. The 6,000 square foot facility was recently named one of the top 25 spas in Canada by the Spa Industry Association.
It has five treatment rooms, couple’s fireplace suite, an outdoor hot tub, infrared sauna and accommodates large groups and girls’ getaways. Experienced staff pride themselves on customizing their services to the client’s individual needs whether that be nursing an injury with therapeutic massage, re-hydrating dry skin with a body wrap or giving your hands and feet some TLC.
Signature Services: Head to toe indulgence includes personalized massage, scalp treatment and pedicure.
Price: 60-minute massage —$112; couple’s 90-minute massage — $160.
Riverside Spa – 110 Point McKay Crescent NW, Calgary
Just 10 minutes outside of downtown, along the banks of the Bow River, Riverside Spa is a full-service spa famous for its skilled and knowledgeable staff. A loyal team of registered massage therapists has been working with runners and athletes for 10 years. The vibe here is warm and friendly and first-time spa goers will immediately feel comfortable. Take advantage of the Swiss showers, eucalyptus steam room, fireside lounge and side-by-side pedicure stations. Floor to ceiling windows offer sweeping views of nearby woods and park area. This spa is easily accessible and parking is free. You can work out at the attached Riverside Club before relaxing at the spa.
Signature Services: sports massage, Ayurvedic treatments (pictured), collagen-boosting Riverside Signature Body Wrap.
Price: 60-minute therapeutic massage — $130.
Stillwater Spa – Hyatt Regency Hotel, Calgary
This is one of the few full-service spas in downtown Calgary and, with complimentary parking, it is a favourite with locals and hotel guests of the Hyatt Regency. The spa has a whirlpool, steam room and a variety of treatments with registered massage therapists. Dining service is available to spa guests as are couple’s experiences. The Stillwater Nourish Nooner offers an express (30 minute) massage for $98 and you’ll be back to work before your lunch break is over!
Signature Services: Enriched Body Treatment for dry skin (popular in winter), therapeutic massage with peppermint aromatherapy oil and the Nourish Nooner express massage, facial, pedicure and manicure
Price: 60-minute therapeutic massage $140.
Hotel/night: – $142.
Kananaskis Nordic Spa – Kananaskis, Alta.
Opening in mid-December, the Kananaskis Nordic Spa will be a welcome addition to K-country and a quick trip (75-minute drive) from Calgary. Located behind the Delta Kananaskis Lodge on a 1.5-acre plot of forested land, the outdoor all-season Nordic Spa will feature a series of hydrotherapy pools. In the Nordic tradition, it’s recommended you soak in hot, medium and then cold water to stimulate blood circulation and metabolism.
This spa is being marketed as a social way to relax; you can do it with friends and family or it can be self-directed. In addition to the pools, guests may choose to visit six sauna and steam cabins, a salt exfoliation room or receive a massage from experienced therapists. Relaxation areas include a Dream Lounge (where napping is encouraged), outdoor heated hammocks and fireside lounges. A 30-person yoga studio is for classes, events, workshops, and yoga retreats. An outdoor meditation labyrinth is scheduled for spring 2018.
Signature Services: pools, sauna, steam rooms, salt exfoliation, dream lounge, heated hammocks, yoga studio
Price: $50 for Delta guests, $70 for non-hotel guests (excluding treatments); Hotel/night — $289-359 (pet friendly)
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