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Best Spas in Canada to Visit in Winter

Winters in Canada can be long, cold, and covered in snow, but as much as I love summertime, there is something magical about our winters. Especially when it involves watching snowflakes fall from an outdoor hot tub.

Here is a roundup of some of my favourites and the best spas in Canada to visit during winter (and summers).

British Columbia

Spa Scandinave Whistler

Scandinavian Bath fees: $75-100 (depending on the season)

Services: Massages are offered and can be booked online or onsite.

Located two hours north of Vancouver and just minutes away from Whistler Blackcomb, this mountain is consistently ranked No. 1 ski resort in North America. If you’re an avid winter adventurer, skiing here has to be at the very top of your list! The best way to relax after a day on the slopes is to spend the afternoon at the spa.

Whistler is the perfect spot to experience the full benefits of Scandinavian baths. It’s completely surrounded by a forest of spruce and cedar trees. It’s the perfect place to unwind and treat yourself to some peace and quiet. There’s no wifi at the Scandinave Spa Whistler, but they promise you a better connection.

Quebec

Nordik Spa-Nature Chelsea

Thermal bath fees: $83 which includes bathrobe, towel and locker rental in the entry price.

Services: Massages, bodycare and facials can be booked

This has been hands down my favourite spa! I visited for the first time 2 years ago in the middle of winter and it was magical. I went with my ex boyfriend and it was perfect for him because one of the outdoors baths allows you to order drinks and quietly chat. Most spas are completely silent, but we actually managed to meet a few other couples and break up our time in the quiet pools. They also have tepees around the property you can walk into and warm up by the fire.

Another must experience is KÄLLA: Saltwater Floatation Pool. Källa is a large saltwater flotation pool which contains 10 tons of Epsom salt. If you’ve ever experienced the Dead Sea, you’ll appreciate floating in Källa even more. This was my first time experiencing anything like it and I have to say it was really psychedelic. Music plays underwater while you float, it’s ultimate relaxation!

Bota Bota

Water Circuit fees: $60-75 (depending on the season)

Services: Massages are offered as well as body, facial and hand & feet treatments can be booked.

One of the most known spas in Montreal because of it’s unique location in the heart of the city in a historic river ferry turned upscale “floating spa”. Bota Bota means drop by drop in Japanese.

The beauty of Bota Bota is it’s convenient proximity to the city. You could spend your day at the spa and then head out to a romantic dinner in the Old Port. Over the years, the spa has expanded to beyond just the boat. It now includes Bota Bota garden, an extension of the spa offering more baths, saunas and relaxation rooms.

Although it’s unique property and close proximity to the best part of the city (in my opinion) it’s not my favourite spa. Personally part of the reason I love going to a spa is to get out of the city and immerse myself in nature. But considering the location Bota Bota does a great job at making you feel like you’re much farther away than you are. If you’re visiting the city and don’t have a car it’s a great option, plus you still get some great city views from the baths.

Strøm Vieux-Quebec

Thermal bath fees: $54 (during the regular season). A bathrobe, towel and locker are included in the entry price.

Services: Massages, body, facial and hand & foot treatments can be booked and water premium thermal packages are offered.

Strøm combines a Nordic spa with urban scenery for a relaxing experience. This balance is based on facilities in nature, yet just minutes from urban centers. Strøm has several locations, each one slightly unique adapting to it’s surroundings. I recently revisited when in Quebec city and although it was just minutes away from old Quebec with a main road right at the front, all that noise seems to disappear as you stare out on the St-Lawrence River.

This spa also offers a floatation bath called Laga. The flotation bath provides multiple benefits such as creating a state of meditation and deep relaxation and can alleviate muscle pain. It also helps to reduce stress and anxiety by relaxing your nervous system.

Recently I’ve been experiencing a lot of stress and anxiety, and floating in here couldn’t have come at a more perfect time! Hot tip: It’s actually better value to you to go with the thermal + floatation package $83 than to buy them separately.

Spa Scandinave Tremblant

Scandinavian Bath fees: $60-65 (during the regular season)

Services: Massages, body, facial and hand & foot treatments can be booked and water circuit packages are offered.

Scandinave Spa Mont-Tremblant is stretched along the Diable River and offers a traditional Scandinavian baths experience that promotes well-being, tranquility and a digital detox.

What’s unique about the Tremblant location is when doing the thermal baths you can either decide to take a dip in the cold pools or to run down and jump in the river. Take my word for it, it’s cold. I jumped in the river in the summer and it was still chilly but it’s definitely invigorating.

Personally it’s not my favourite spa to get a massage at. Maybe I just got unlucky the last 2 times but that’s my personal experience. I do however love their property. It’s only 15 minutes from Tremblant village and completely surrounded by nature. With sounds of birds chirping or fires crackling, it’s great in summer or winter.

Balnea Bromont

Thermal experience fees: $65 (during the regular season).

Services: Massages, body, facial and hand & foot treatments can be booked.

Nestled in the heart of the mountain looking out on a pristine lake and lush forest BALNEA combines a lean architectural style established under sustainable values. I visited in the middle of winter and it was magical, but I would love to revisit in the summer as I imagine it equally as special to fully enjoy the lake it sits on. Plus, it’s only 90 minutes away from Montreal!

We visited as 2 couples and it was so nice to spend the day balancing couple time and time together. My partner and I opted for the couples deep tissue massages to focus on releasing tension. Honestly, I always opt for a deep tissue; it’s my favourite and this one was incredible!

Mel and Mike went for something a little lighter where the masseuse used a heated bamboo stick to roll out their backs. It sounded incredible which left very curious about this stick. I’ll be sure to try it next time and update this post with my review.

We ended up all reconnecting afterwards for a late lunch. I don’t often eat at the spa but their restaurant LUMAMI was amazing and offered incredible vegan options. They also have a cafe if you’re looking for a light snack but if you’re going around lunch or dinner time I would recommend giving the menu a peak!

Förena Cité Thermale

Thermal experience fees: $65 (during the regular season). Includes bathrobe, towels and locker rental.

Services: Massages, body, facial and hand & foot treatments, manicures can be booked and water circuit packages are offered.

A new spa located on the South Shore just off the island of Montreal. This spa has a beautiful modern-industrial feel. I was invited to visit for the grand opening and was gifted this super comfy robe. #robelife is the best life, am I right?

We got to enjoy a light culinary experience at their restaurant which has several vegan options. It was delicious!

Since I had broken my ankle and still in a cast I wasn’t able to fully enjoy the thermal experience so I sat on the ledge and put my feet in. But I was able to enjoy a massage. The masseuse was so gentle with my leg and was able to keep it propped up with pillows as she worked through some of the tension I had. Overall a really relaxing experience!

Winnipeg

Thermëa by Nordik Spa-Nature

Thermal experience fees: $ (during the regular season). Includes bathrobe, towels and locker rental.

Services: Massages, body, facial and hand & foot treatments, manicures can be booked and water circuit packages are offered.

I visited this spa in the middle of February in -30 Winnipeg weather. It was so cold but honestly those are the best days to enjoy the hot baths. The cold pools on the other hand aren’t so fun; it’s pure torture in that weather. Make sure to wear a beanie to keep your head warm or else your hair literally freezes!

The most unique part of this thermal cycle you have to experience is an Aufguss ritual in the Finlandia sauna. Aufguss is German for infusion. This ritual renews the technique of vaporization by using water enriched with natural essential oils. It’s a 15 minute experience where the Sauna Master uses a rhythmic towel dance to directs the hot and scented steam toward everyone in the room.

Alberta

Banff Springs

Thermal water pass: $15 + $1 for locker rental

Services: Massages, body, facial and hand & foot treatments, manicures can be booked and water circuit packages are offered.

Here are some fun facts of the now world famous Banff Upper Hot Springs. 1883, three rail workers stumbled across hot water and steam flowing out of what is now known as Sulphur Mountain. In the 19th century people flocked to Banff to enjoy the soothing and reputedly healing properties of the mineral-rich springs.

Did you know: The natural temperature of the water that emerges at the Upper Hot Springs can change with the seasons? During the winter, the temperature can get as hot as 47°C (116°F) vs in the spring when the flow increases and the temperature cools off, to a minimum of 27°C (81°F).

Banff Upper Hot Springs is located near the top of Sulphur Mountain and are still a favourite today amongst visitors and locals. If you’re looking to get your heart pumping I would hike the 13km (return) to the summit of Sulphur Mountain and then spend the rest a few hours letting the hot springs relax your sore muscles. Unfortunately the hot springs were closed when I visited in October, but we still enjoyed the hike and view from the top.

Kananaskis Nordic Spa

Session access fees: $100 – A clean robe, towels and slippers are provided.

Services: Massages can be booked online and you can extend the zen by booking your stay in their hotel.

I wasn’t able to visit this spa during my time in Alberta, but I wish I had. I especially love the plaid robes adding a very Canadian touch to your Nordic experience in the Canadian Rockies. Plus there is something about a snowy alpine scenery. Its calming yet also stimulates your sense of smell. It’s what I would imagine the North Pole to feel like.

Kananaskis Nordic Spa describes your experience as the Canadian Rockies and hydrotherapy working harmoniously together combining water, fire, air, and earth. Your alpine sanctuary of rejuvenation awaits winter, spring, summer and fall. After all, we’re Canadian. We live for the outdoors regardless of the season.

I hope this post inspires you to experience a true Canadian winter! Wish spa sounds the best to you? And if you have a spa that you love that wasn’t listed please leave me a comment so I can add it to my list of places to check out!

xx Lisa

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