Spa Le Scandinave Mont Tremblant

Mont Tremblant

Mont Tremblant

It was -25 degrees outside and I had just finished an amazing downhill ski day at Mont-Tremblant, my muscles were tense and my core still shivering from the windshield factor coming down the mountain. Instead of driving straight home to Ottawa, I decided to give myself a treat and stop at Spa Le Scandinave Mont-Tremblant.

20150211_171501I was pleasantly greeted and offered a 20% discount since I had a season pass at Mont-Tremblant. Since this was a spur of the moment activity I didn’t have bathing suits but they had a great selection of swimwear and had all the necessities such as bath robes and flip-flops available on site. I was starving and the free basket of locally grown apples at the corner of each entrance was a delightful snack for me, I later had a delicious chai tea and vegetarian wrap in the lobby overlooking the river near the fire place.

 

20150211_163630My first feeling hopping in the hot tub was that I felt cocooned and wrapped by the trees and snow banks surrounding the baths just like being in a warm blanket of warm goodness. The aroma of the burning wood caressing my nostrils helped to deepen my breathing and letting go of the day’s high tension activity. I was in a winter wonderland and appreciated the heated pathways as I was walking around barefoot with ease from one hot tub to the other. As the sun was slowing setting, I made my way down the Diable River where an accessible underwater dock was at our disposable for a cold dip. The view was breathtaking and just being in that present moment was a delight to all my senses.

20150211_175229I tried all of the different stations, saunas and hot tubs and found the place very clean, quiet and beautifully decorated in Nautica apparel. I also got the chance to nap outside in extra-large cozy blanket in front of a massive Scandinavian looking fireplace overlooking the river, the fresh air and waterfall sound cuddled me to sleep and it was pure bliss! The tubs are suitable for up to 8 to 10 people therefore it is best to come on a week day as it can get easily overcrowded on the weekends. There is also a snowshoe and cross-country path that comes through the spa and under the trees easily accessible for a pre spa workout or nature walk.

 

 

Feeling Energized at Spa Le Scandinave Mont Tremblant

Feeling Energized at Spa Le Scandinave Mont Tremblant

Walking back to my car in the covered snow trees pathway I felt relaxed yet re-energized for 2 hour drive back home. I highly recommend Spa Le Scandinave as it is a great muscle relaxation after a day of winter sport activity as it is for the mind body and soul.

 

To find out more about Spa Le Scandinave at Mont Tremblant and its sister spas at Whistler, Blue Mountain and Vieux Montréal, click here!

Not quite a hot spring, but it is For Sale!


Here is an interesting offer.  It’s a house that is for sale.  How does that relate to hot springs?  Well, it’s across the street from Spa Le Nordik in Chelsea, Québec.  It’s also close to some great skiing and mountain biking.  So if you’ve got a million dollars or so and you’re looking for a place to live or a very nice cottage, click here to check it out!

 

Snowshoe & Soak – A Perfect Evening!

Snowshoe & Soak Under the Stars at Le Nordik

Snowshoe & Soak Under the Stars at Le Nordik

We had a good snowfall this weekend, about 8″ of fresh dry powder, and Tuesday was a beautiful clear day so I decided to take advantage of Le Nordik Spa-Nature’s Snowshoeing and Spa under the Stars.

It turned into an absolutely perfect evening!  I arrived at the Gatineau Park around 6 pm to pick up my snowshoes (included with the package).  There were two guided groups of about 10 people each, one in French, one in English.  We set out for an easy hour long snowshoe hike in the darkness lit by our headlamps.  It was a crisp dark evening, about -5, no wind, and a perfectly clear moonless sky.

Snowshoeing in the Gatineau Park

Snowshoeing in the Gatineau Park

Diane, our guide, led us on some packed trails and into some deep untouched powder, showed us animal tracks and talked a lot about animal behaviours in the Park.  I met a new friend, Cécile, who works at Le Nordik (how cool is that job?).  We took group selfies with snowshoes, and ended our hike with pink cheeks and smiles all around.

After we dropped off our snowshoes we headed around the corner to the baths at Le Nordik.  We headed straight for the hottest pool and relaxed and chatted for at least 30 minutes.  Then we headed to the lounge area for drinks and a light supper.  I had a trio of sandwiches and a champagne flute filled with pink bubbly and strawberries that looked so appealing I just asked for “one of those” and forgot to ask the name!  It was a perfect complement, cool, crisp and sweet – just like the evening.

Arriving at Le Nordik Spa-Nature

Arriving at Le Nordik Spa-Nature

We soaked in the large pools, then basked in the largest sauna until it was almost closing time.  We capped off the evening in the Infinity pool that overlooks the cities, naming the stars and trying to count the Pleiades. We talked about how soaks contribute to mental health, a balanced life and wellness.  All too soon the staff were making rounds for the last call.  We had closed the bar and closed the baths – it was a truly excellent evening of “snowshoeing under the stars”.

A Magical Atmosphere

A Magical Atmosphere

Every Tuesday evening until March 10th is a snowshoe, soak and stars evening at Le Nordik, so it’s easy to book your own perfect Canadian winter adventure or add an evening in this magical atmosphere to your work week.  Just click here to head for the trails and the baths!

Valentine’s Gift Idea: A Hot Springs Soak

It’s the first Monday in February – which means Valentine’s Day is next week! What will you do? Whether your status is “in a couple” or “solo” or “it’s complicated”, there is a simple way to deal with the stress of Valentine’s Day: Go for a soak!

Le Nordik Spa-Nature, Chelsea, QC http://www.lenordik.com/en/a-la-carte-rates/

Le Nordik Spa-Nature, Chelsea, QC http://www.lenordik.com/en/a-la-carte-rates/

First, for those who are solo (I will talk about couples further down in this post). We all need to spend time with the people we love, and we need to love ourselves first. And that means there is nothing wrong with going to the baths solo. Spend some time relaxing, get a massage, pamper yourself and enjoy your time. Self-care is precious. And if you feel stressed about being solo at Valentine’s, a day at the springs will help you forget that stress before it even starts. As with couples, the trick is to go BEFORE Valentine’s Day!

Le Nordik Spa-Nature, Chelsea, QC http://www.lenordik.com/pictures/baths/

Le Nordik Spa-Nature, Chelsea, QC http://www.lenordik.com/pictures/baths/

My husband and I were married at Valentine’s, so we have a tradition of celebrating our anniversary by going to our local Scandinavian baths at Le Nordik and spending the day together there. The trick, of course, is that we go a few days BEFORE Valentine’s Day! The main benefit of that is that the spa is much quieter than it will be AFTER Valentine’s Day when everyone is redeeming their gift certificates. An added bonus is that when everyone else is running around trying to buy last minute chocolates at the pharmacy, we are done, relaxed and happy. There is nothing that says “couple” better than “we already had our Valentine’s Day together”.

Peter & Dawn.  Read the full story here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2916515/Man-tryst-girlfriend-natural-spring-trekking-desert-heart-attack-moments-later-airlifted-hospital-given-250-000-bill-gets-dumped.html

Peter & Dawn. Read the full story here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2916515/Man-tryst-girlfriend-natural-spring-trekking-desert-heart-attack-moments-later-airlifted-hospital-given-250-000-bill-gets-dumped.html

If you are in the right location there can be other great reasons for you and your lover to head to the hot springs! Just ask Peter Cousins, the British citizen who was hit with a $250,000 USD medical bill following a heart attack at a remote natural hot spring he and his girlfriend found on a Nevada ranch.  He has no regrets, he says, and his final comment? “It was worth it for the sex”.

Read his full story then head out to the nearest hot springs right now – just make sure you have medical insurance first! Have a wonderful Valentine’s retreat with yourself and the ones you love.

21st Century Baths, in a Medieval Setting


Nestled on the Geul river, Valkenburg is one of the prettiest medieval towns I have ever seen. The ruins of the city walls and gates are encountered throughout the town, and the 12th century Valkenburg Castle overlooks it all. The castle has been in ruins since 1672, but it manages to really bring to life what medieval wars must have been like. It remains foreboding, brooding, and still majestic in spite of all the efforts to destroy it.

By Kleon3 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Kleon3 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Another site we very much enjoyed was the municipal caves, called Gementegroot. This series of caves, 75 km long in all, have been carved out of the soft chalk since pre-Roman times. Because the chalk is easy to sculpt with just your fingers, people have been leaving carvings and graffiti here for thousands of years, and you may be invited to add your own to the 21st century section. One of the more interesting sections is where Allied airmen were hidden during the WWII Nazi occupation. Tours will take you to different sections of the caves depending on the events of that day. There might be an underground market or art show, or you may get to see the original underground Roman baths.

Thermae 2000 is a large complex of hot springs, saunas and baths, built in the early 1990s, located quite near to Valkenburg Castle. There is an attached hotel complex. There are excellent restaurants in the baths, serving good quality spa food. On the day I visited, we enjoyed grilled salmon steaks in our housecoats, nestled by a gas fireplace.
Thermae 2000 Valkenburg

There are numerous saunas and steam rooms with various essences, including the classic eucalyptus. There are at least two (one indoors and one outdoors) long meandering pools to swim in, and an excellent outdoor park. There is a clearly marked “no-bathing-suits” section. The facilities here are extensive, clean and modern. This is a 21st century take on spas in a medieval town built on Roman ruins! The whole experience is great, with lots to see and do, and I loved the blend of ultramodern and completely natural environments. In spite of a high volume of traffic, Thermae 2000 manages to feel very peaceful and provides an excellent getaway from it all.

For more details on admission prices, special packages and current offers, see their website at http://www.thermae.nl/openinghours/

Since my original visit, Thermae 2000 has expanded its facilities and branched into spa services including its own line of skin care products. I can’t wait to return and try all the new products, like the chocolate wrap in this promotional video! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rUenJZDFrMk

A review by Farah Ritter here: http://thethreeunder.com/2014/02/thermae-2000-european-spa/

A Top Ten List of Top Ten Lists

Especially with the New Year, it seems that everyone is putting out Top Ten lists! Rather than try to make another Top Ten list, I thought I would bring you a hundred ideas! So here we are, with my Top Ten list of Top Ten lists, offering you a hundred hot springs and spa vacations. Enjoy! (Yes, some of them have more than ten – bonus!)

1. Famous & Funky: http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/worlds-coolest-hot-springs
2. Undiscovered and Undeveloped: http://news.distractify.com/travel/the-waters-fine/
3. Luxury resorts: http://www.luxurytravelmagazine.com/worlds-best/hot-springs-resorts.php
4. Frommer’s always a little different: http://www.frommers.com/slideshows/817975-the-world-s-best-hot-springs#slide840737
5. On the upscale side: http://blog.spafinder.ca/readers-choice-awards-bes-spas-mineral-thermal-springs/
6. On the budget side: http://www.budgettravel.com/feature/12-hot-springs-worth-traveling-for,8261/
7. A good compendium: http://www.thrillist.com/travel/nation/healing-hot-springs-and-thermal-baths-where-to-take-a-soak-around-the-world
8. For general wellness: http://www.travelchannel.com/interests/wellness-and-renewal/photos/hot-springs-around-the-world
9. Pin it! http://www.pinterest.com/smithstorian/world-s-best-hot-springs/
10. Some that aren’t on any other list: http://www.mensjournal.com/expert-advice/the-best-hot-springs-in-america-20140210/most-scenic

Pamukkale, By Antoine Taveneaux (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

If you’re interested, the most recurring ones seem to be:
– Blue Lagoon, Iceland http://www.bluelagoon.com/
– Pammukale, Turkey http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pamukkale
– Banff, Canada http://www.hotsprings.ca/
– Ma’in, Jordan http://www.sixsenses.com/evason-resorts/ma-in/destination