I am a strong believer of travel balance. What I mean is, for every great adventure you brave, a moment of relaxation is earned. At home (and let’s be honest, during this pandemic), that might translate into a night of popcorn inhaling and Netflix binging.
But on a trip? PURE BLISS.
My chosen method of relaxation; spas around the world.
This post takes us comically close to my hometown, to the breathtaking hills of Gatineau. A mere 15 minute drive from downtown Ottawa, the hills are the place to be, especially for the dazzling orange and reds of autumn and the crystallizing white dazzling off the snowy tree tops.
And amidst this natural beauty sits the Nordik Spa in Chelsea, an oasis of relaxation.
The name “Nordik” is a subtle nod to the Scandinavian way and is well integrated into the experience.
With 10 outdoor baths, 9 saunas, 4 restaurants and an array of specialized pools and resting rooms (did someone say infinity pool??), you can easily spend the entire day lazing about. Picture it: gentle snow flakes falling, calming hot water steaming and beautiful trees as far as the eye can see.
I did say pure bliss.
PERSONAL NOTE: This magical haven is much better enjoyed without a phone, so from now on, the photos posted below are borrowed from the Nordik website.
At minimum, guests must purchase the thermal experience (at $83CAD), which allows access to the baths, saunas, restaurants (at extra cost) as well as necessary amenities like bathrobes, towels and lockers.
PERSONAL NOTE: The daily entry price is the same regardless of arrival time, so it is best to reserve an early slot to ensure maximum usage. If you do not want to stay ALL DAY, an early afternoon slot is ideal to better enjoy the night time ambiance the spa exudes so beautifully.
The thermal experience, also known as thermotherapy, is a treatment based on a 2000-year-old Nordic country tradition. Guests are encouraged to follow the 3-cycle ritual of hot, cold and rest though the spa’s many saunas, baths and various resting spots. It is completely customizable to you, though the cold pools are INTENSE in the frosty Canadian winter.
I have spent entire days lounging on outdoor swing chairs, melting into warm heating beds and cozying up the true Canadian way, in an Adirondack chair by the fire.
At the sound of a gong, guests can make their way to the Finlandia sauna to experience a one of a kind Aufguss Ritual. A choreographed performance, the “aufgussier” uses their towel to circulate hot air created by essential oil infused snow balls, accentuating the dry sauna’s many benefits.
The special treatment doesn’t stop there. At an extra cost, guests can pamper themselves silly through massages, facials, scrubs; you name it. Those that catch my eye time and time again are the Himalayan Salt Treatment, the Urban Detox Face Care and the Yoga-Thai Massage, though I have yet to try them myself.
For the more adventurous spa goers, try something different and give yourself completely to either of two unique rituals. Immerse yourself in the Källa Treatment, a saltwater flotation pool or the Banyä Treatment, a ritual of dry heat and steam complete with birch venik infusions and custom made salt exfoliations. Sounds just crazy enough to work!
PERSONAL NOTE: Though, I have not tried it myself, I have heard that the Källa Treatment can be a bit of a let-down. The floating experience is nice but is often crowded beyond enjoyment. If it is something you MUST try, I recommend booking the opening time slot and heading straight there.
And so, I’ll wrap up by saying this. If you want Canadian views, Scandinavian rituals, delicious food and the most zen environment, the Nordik is for you. I mean, does anyone NOT want that?