It’s a brand-new, shiny year! Out with the old, in with the new!
Like many people, you may be on a new, clean regime that includes eating well, exercise, and managing your stress. A great way to hit your “reset” button is by doing a detox or a cleanse. You may choose to do a juice cleanse, for example, but last week, I got to visit the Scandinave Spa in Whistler, and came away feeling completely re-energized.
Located just outside of Whister, on your way to Pemberton, the spa is nestled in the trees. A short walk from the parking lot through the woods transports you from the real world of stress and traffic to a magical place of relaxation and serenity, ringed by snow-capped mountains and ancient cedars dripping moss.
This is not your average spa. It is, first of all, completely outdoors, and in a cold mountain environment. It has four hot features: a eucalyptus steam bath, a wood-fired dry spruce sauna, and two massive hot tubs, one with a waterfall feature. There are also three cold features, which includes one with a Nordic Waterfall. There are also numerous places around the spa to simply sit and relax: solariums, outdoor lounges with life firepits, and in the summer, hammocks.
While there, the idea is to do a circuit: you first warm your body in one of the heated environments for about 15-20 minutes. Then you plunge, very quickly, into a cold pool, just for a few seconds. Finally, you sit and relax for another 20 minutes or so, before repeating the process all over again.
This process, know as hydrotherapy, cleanses the body and skin, and improves blood circulation.
Quite honestly, I was a little skeptical. I am the kind of girl that loves heat. I love the summer, and my vacation destination of choice will always be a warm beach. I wasn’t sure that the cold part of the hydrotherapy would work for me. The first one was certainly the hardest, but it was so invigorating and life-affirming, that, by the time I’d done it a few times, I was staying longer and longer in the cold pools, and enjoying the sensation more and more.
The spa is also silent. While you are outside, in the spa, there is no talking. This created an added benefit for me. During the three or so hours that I was there, I said not a word, and no one spoke to me. I had no iPhone to distract me. I got to do, literally, nothing. I realized how rare silence is in our world. And the opportunity to be alone with my thoughts in silence was incredible.
The combination of silence, hydrotherapy and the beauty of the surroundings creates a magical environment. I left feeling amazing: super relaxed and completely re-energized.
Here’s what you need to know if you are thinking of going:
- Book off around 3-4 hours to really take advantage of the experience.
- Bring with you your bathing suit, a pair of flip-flops, and a water bottle or a thermos for tea. You might also want to bring a book or a magazine for the times when you are relaxing.
- The spa supplies you with two large towels, but bathrobes are an extra $12 rental (unless you are getting a massage, then they are included).
- The spa also supplies locks and lockers for your things, as well as soap, shampoo and conditioner.
- If you just want to enjoy the spa, you can just show up there. If you want a massage as well, however, you should book it in advance.
Scandinave Spa Whistler
8010 Mons Road, Whistler, British Columbia
Spa access: $58
Open: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Disclaimer: the author enjoyed the spa as a guest.