Nordic Nuance in Ontario, Canada
By Sherri Telenko
Despite the cooler temperatures, I’m outside in a bathing suit submerged up to my neck in warm bubbly water. Staring ahead, I haven’t been this still, mentally or physically, in a long time. I have three hours here at The Scandinave Spa in Blue Mountain ski country in Ontario, Canada.
I’m going to milk it. Well, soak in it and allow myself to let the day (or week) go while following the recommended spa procedure. I like a system and goals, which is a big reason I really need to be here.
Reduced stress, improved well-being, relaxation, rejuvenation. These are the promises this recreated Nordic experience makes, taking advantages of the recuperation properties of hydrotherapy (or water). Cold water stimulates blood circulation and hot water removes body toxins, according to the spa.
Follow the instructions near each pool and note the a strict order: spend a few minutes in the hot pool bubbling like an unfortunate lobster, then dunk into the gasp-inducing freezing cold water of the next, and finally embrace down time in the sauna or eucalyptus steam room that will cleans pours and sinuses simultaneously.
Even if you’re skeptical about the physiological benefits, one visit here and you can’t help but experience the mental advantages—though most people eventually skip the cold and spend up to an hour basking in the warm pool while cascading waterfalls massage their shoulders. (An actual Swedish message is available in the spa house, and so is a light lunch at the bistro).
Located on 25 acres of a rustic wooded setting located a ten-minute drive from the nearby ski hills, driving ranges and popular Westin Trillium House hotel, this day resort is designed to recreate the natural hot springs of its namesake countries. When you pay for the day ($48, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and $38 on Wednesdays), you get a towel and key to a locker, quick instructions, then are shuffled to the change rooms downstairs.
The change rooms lead to the outdoor pool area, a mystical place of wooden decks, Muskoka chairs, steaming waters and Nordic waterfalls, as seen through the floor-to-ceiling windows when you first check in. Despite the Canadian winters, the spa is open all year, so you can sunbath in the summer, or polar bear dash from pool to steam room during snow-covered months.
Silence is important anytime of the year, and at least three hours is recommended to get the spa’s full benefit, which brings us to the best part: several hours in a row of no talking, no clocks and no kids. Absolutely no kids! 21 Plus Salute!
Ah, spa. And when I’m done? Dinner at Blue Mountain Village.
The Scandinave Spa is a member of The Apple Pie Trail, a self-guided tour along Georgian Bay in Ontario, Canada about 1.5-hour drive from Toronto. It focuses on apples, and more apples, though not always pie. Pick-your-own apple orchards are the fall feature. Also on the trail is Oliver & Bonacini Café Grill in the Westin Trillium House at Blue Mountain, artist Bonnie Dorgelo’s jewellery and painting studio, Side Launch Brewing Company, and Azzura boutique restaurant in Collingwood.
Odds of Encountering Children: Zero.
– Photos by Sherri Telenko
Featured products, services and/or travel arrangements may have been complimentary in part or in full; this affords the research opportunity but does not sway opinion.