Canadian Wellness Spas Open to US


August 4, 2021

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Whether you prefer city sophistication or rustic bliss, here’s where to soak up some major TLC.

While DIY meditation and at-home manicures can do in a pinch, many travelers are craving the kind of transformational, full-body experiences only found at the best spas: seaweed mud wraps to reduce quarantine inflammation, Nordic hydrotherapy baths to cleanse and reinvigorate weary bodies, and massages relaxing enough to let your mind wander but deep enough to relieve pent-up tension.

Canadians don’t have an international reputation as a stressed-out bunch, but they still prioritize relaxation and definitely know how to unwind. Spas from coast to coast have taken their cues from their clients and, increasingly, the wilderness that knocks at the edges of most Canadian cities. Whether you relax during your city stay or seek refuge farther afield, many spas blend natural products and outdoor experiences with tried-and-true treatments. Here’s a glimpse of six great wellness retreats in British Columbia, Ontario, and Québec.

British Columbia

City :: Wedgewood Hotel & Spa

Managing director Elpie Marinakis Jackson welcomes numerous special requests at the 83-room Wedgewood Hotel & Spa, her family-run, boutique property in downtown Vancouver. Therapists offer holistic treatments such as magnesium crystal scrubs or slimming citrus body brushing, and will happily go the extra mile by playing clients’ playlists during Thai fusion massages or delivering a chilled glass of riesling from local winemaker Tantalus to a guest after a facial.

“Because we’re smaller, we have the ability to customize for our guests,” Jackson says. “That’s what brings people back – the attentiveness and quality of service.” The tranquil experience extends to the guest rooms, which are equipped with Frette towels, cushy bathrobes and slippers, and L’Occitane bathroom amenities.

Premier Wellness Travel guests receive breakfast daily, a $100 resort credit, and more.

Nature :: Clayoquot Wilderness Lodge

Situated in a UNESCO biosphere reserve amid old-growth temperate rain forest on Vancouver Island’s west coast, the all-inclusive 25-tent resort harnesses Mother Nature’s help when it comes to self-care.

“I watch our guests come in from around the world – excited, or not sure what they signed up for,” says general manager Sarah Cruse, who plans to fully reopen the property in June. “They’re drained from the outside world. Then they fill up with green energy.”

After arriving by floatplane, guests spend their days kayaking, horseback riding, or even heli-fishing, unplugged and immersed in nature (what Cruse calls “vitamin N”). They finish the day relaxing in the Healing Grounds Spa’s cedar hot tub or with the Canadian Wilderness Ritual, a full-body exfoliation and massage in an open-air treatment room with a view of the Bedwell River. Meals of wild-caught and foraged food, and peaceful nights in luxe, safari-like canvas tents complete the wellness transformation.

Premier Wellness Travel clients receive breakfast daily, a $150 Heli flight credit, and more.


City :: Miraj Hammam Spa

On the ninth floor of downtown Toronto’s 202-room Shangri-La Hotel, the luxurious Miraj Hammam Spa greets guests with a posh kit of travel-size amenities, plus a robe, sandals, plush towel, and bottled water. Immediately, you feel any strain begin to melt away. The spa’s souk-chic design aesthetic – arabesque cutout screens, intricate mosaics, dark wood accents, Persian rugs, and sumptuous pillows – also aids in the mental shift from city explorer to chilled-out Morocco traveler.

When you book a stay, you can look forward to the spa’s namesake treatment, which starts with a 15-minute eucalyptus steam session, followed by a full-body exfoliation atop a slab of Jerusalem gold marble. Therapists use Moroccan soap to cleanse the steamed skin, and a textured mitt to gently remove dead skin cells. Afterward, relax in the lounge with Moroccan mint tea and baklava.

Premier Wellness Travel clients receive breakfast daily, a $100 resort credit, and more.

Nature :: Scandinave Spa Blue Mountain

After the past year, most travelers are ready to jettison the stress and negative energy of the pandemic and start anew. That’s the idea behind the hydrotherapy circuit at Scandinave Spa Blue Mountain in the town of Collingwood, two hours northwest of Toronto. Set amid a forested landscape, the circuit of steaming-hot baths and cold plunge pools helps guests reset, with multiple spots to unwind on Adirondack chairs or by reclining on a chaise inside the cozy solarium.

Silence is serenity: Guests aren’t allowed to talk on phones or amongst themselves. “It’s an ‘honoring silence’ philosophy,” explains co-owner Mylisa Henderson. “To really escape, you can’t just put your body into a state of relaxation. It’s about the mind, too.”

Nestled on a 25-acre property that includes a birch forest and views of the Niagara Escarpment, Scandinave Blue Mountain is Ontario’s only Nordic spa. Be sure to make a reservation for the baths, which are now operating at 40 percent capacity (bath access is included if you book a massage). Once restrictions loosen further, guests will also be able to enjoy two saunas and a steam room.


City :: Moment Spa

It’s easy to see why the landmark 611-room Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac, rising up like a mini fiefdom behind the stone walls of Québec City, is purportedly one of the world’s most photographed hotels.

Inside, it’s all plush carpets, period furnishings, crown molding, and chandeliers, and that attention to detail extends to Moment Spa’s personalized facials, massages, body wraps, manicures, and pedicures. We recommend requesting the hibiscus and bamboo oils for the 80-minute relaxation massage, by far the spa’s most popular treatment.

Premier Wellness Travel clients receive breakfast daily, a $100 dining credit, and more.

Nature :: Balnea Spa and Thermal Reserve

Set on a 400-acre mountainside reserve near the hamlet of Bromont, an hour east of Montréal, Balnea Spa has become a top day spa destination since opening in 2005. This quiet oasis offers more than 25 massages in a stately stone farmhouse. In the surrounding forest, 13 miles of marked trails give travelers a chance to stretch their legs in a bucolic setting.

When health restrictions ease, day-trippers can enjoy Balnea’s other calling card – its Nordic-inspired thermal experience. Plan to alternate saunas and hot baths with a bracing dip in a frigid waterfall, plunge pool, or even the forest pond – then, in warm weather, rest poolside in the sun.

No matter where you travel in Canada, our recommendation is simple: Treat yourself. From spa resorts in old-growth forests to chic accommodations at a Shangri-La, these wellness getaways will soothe tension and help you reconnect with yourself. Plus, we’re a big fan of those healthy-ish smoothies and übercozy robes.

This article originally appeared on, under the title Canadian Spas Have the Wellness Fix We’re Craving, on April 1, 2021, and produced by Virtuoso with Destination Canada. Reproduced with permission.

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