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7 epic spas in Canada for a luxurious long-haul holiday

We know that travel is especially difficult right now. But alongside the latest COVID-19 travel advice and updates, we want to continue to inspire you with new travel content so that when the world opens its doors again, you'll be ready.

If you’ve been dreaming of a relaxing holiday during lockdown, these spas in Canada will have you reaching for your passport. After all, what’s better than slipping into a fluffy bathrobe and being pampered after a long-haul flight? These Canadian spas take the luxurious experience up a notch with signature treatments, opulent accommodation and truly breathtaking surroundings. Whether you prefer beach or mountains, massages or manicures, there’s something for everyone.

1. Grotto Spa at Tigh Na Mara, Vancouver Island

Tigh Na Mara seaside resort is home to one of the best spas in Canada. Don’t just take our word for it: Grotto frequently ranks highly on the Spas of America chart, and was the top-rated Canadian Spa of 2019. The standout feature is, of course, the grotto-themed mineral pool which is made from natural stone. Complete with a cooling waterfall and a whirlpool, it’s the perfect place to chill out before your treatment.

As for treatments you can choose from classic body wraps, body glows, manicures, pedicures and massages. All feature soothing beauty products made from natural ingredients, sourced from Canada’s West Coast. Unwind in the relaxation room, where sparkling water and fresh fruit are served, or head up to the tapas bar. Dine in your robe and slippers and enjoy views of the cedar and Douglas firs as you tuck into lunch.

If you want to stay overnight you can choose from rustic cottages, ocean view rooms and spacious bungalows. You’ll have direct access to 22 acres of sparkling sandy beach – and the warmest waters of Canada, should you fancy a dip.

2. Four Seasons Resort, Whistler

If you want to combine your spa break with a ski holiday, head to Whistler’s Four Season’s resort. Try the Signature treatment, which starts with a maple syrup and brown sugar scrub (how Canadian is that?). Another unique feature is the Mani-Pedi patio, where you can sit outside and enjoy the majestic mountain views before and after your treatment. They also have a menu designed just for little ones – perfect if you’re travelling as a family.

Pick and choose your treatments from an a-la-carte style menu, or go for one of the curated spa packages. These come with a cheese or fruit plate to nibble on at any point during your spa day. Another benefit is the heated outdoor pool. An exceptional place for a dip, it has three whirlpool baths if you want to relax and soothe your muscles after a day on the slopes.

You can book in for a treatment or afternoon of pampering, but if you really want to treat yourself it’s worth booking an overnight stay. Perks include warmed ski boots in the morning, as well as hot cocoa and cookies every afternoon. The rooms all have balconies, so you can enjoy a glass of wine with exceptional views, and in-room fireplaces for cosy evenings by the fire.

3. Amatista Spa at The Westin Bear Mountain, Victoria

The recently renovated Amatista Spa at Vancouver Island’s Bear Mountain resort is one of Canada’s most exciting new spa openings of 2020. It combines cutting-edge spa technology with natural wellness principles to create a truly one-of-a-kind relaxation experience.

The treatment menu includes facials, massages, pedicures and full body experiences – all adhering to social distancing whenever possible. For example, plexiglass screens are used during pedicures, and only every second chair is used. During your treatment, you can expect to be lavished with signature beauty products, developed especially for the spa. Personalised aromatherapy products add to the unique experience.

Unfortunately, the incredible outdoor mineral pool with sweeping mountain views is closed at the moment. But if you’re planning a post-pandemic trip, it’ll definitely put the ‘wow’ factor in your Canadian spacation.

The resort itself is about half an hour from downtown Victoria, so it’s ideal if you just want to get away from it all. Most rooms have views out towards the mountains and pine forests, but if you’re feeling flush upgrade to the penthouse. It comes complete with an in-suite whirlpool bath and fireplace.

4. The Willow Stream Spa at Fairmont Banff Springs, Banff

Known as ‘the castle in the mountains’, the world-famous Fairmont Banff Springs hotel has been delighting its guests for over 125 years. It takes its inspiration from European elegance – the building itself is based off a Scottish castle. The indoor swimming pool is surrounded by mosaics and columns, so you might feel like you’re in old-world Budapest rather than high up in the Rocky Mountains.

The Willow Stream spa is designed around the hot springs that brought the first travellers to the hotel over a century ago. As well as a genuine mineral pool, it also has other hydrotherapy features including a waterfall and a burbling outdoor hot tub. We can’t think of anywhere better to watch the sun set behind the Rockies.

Day guests are welcome, but if you have cash to splash you might as well spend a night (or two) at this iconic hotel. Surrounded by turquoise lakes, flower-studded meadows and high mountain peaks, it’s a hiker’s paradise.

5. Sun Tree Spa at Temple Gardens Hotel, Moose Jaw

Home to Canada’s largest therapeutic geothermal mineral water pool, Temple Gardens is the perfect stop-off point during a prairie road trip. The waters are all natural – discovered in 1910 when miners boring for gas hit a deep well, a quarter of a mile away from the hotel. Today the mineral water flows through an insulated pipeline to the spa’s pool. It has indoor and outdoor sections, so you can enjoy the healing properties whatever the weather.

After a soothing soak, choose from a wide range of treatments including facials, body scrubs, massages and nail care. Some, like the Sun Tree Wild Rosehip Prairie Wrap, are inspired by the local botanicals.

The hotel is right in the heart of downtown Moose Jaw – proud to be “Canada’s Most Notorious City”. When you’re not relaxing in the spa, take time to explore and learn about the colourful local history (and to find out the story behind that nickname). We recommend a tour of the underground tunnels, which were used by prohibition-era bootleggers to hide their booze.

6. The Polar Bear’s Club, Saint Sauveur Valley, Quebec

Launched in 1964, Polar Bear’s Club brings a true Nordic Spa experience to the heart of the Laurentians. It’s less than an hour from Montreal but you’ll feel like you’re a million miles away thanks to the peaceful atmosphere. It’s different from other spas in Canada in that it focuses on the Finnish bath cycle – shower, sit in the sauna, plunge into cold water and repeat.

There are other things on offer, too, such as Turkish steam rooms, outdoor hot tubs and Swedish massage. There’s also an excellent natural feature, The Simon River, which flows alongside the spa. This forms part of the wellness programmes as guests are invited to jump into the cool, clear natural pools for a paddle.

7. Ocean Spa at White Point Beach Resort, Nova Scotia

When it comes to seaside spas in Canada, it’s hard to beat Nova Scotia’s White Point Beach Resort. This charming hotel has been in business since 1928.

The on-site spa is open to day visitors as well as hotel guests. As well as beautifying treatments like facials and body wraps, there are also health-focused therapies available. These include immune-boosting MLD massage, sinus-relieving steams and reiki healing. If you fancy a soak, there’s an indoor and outdoor pool (both heated) as well as a hot tub and sauna.

If lounging around all day isn’t your thing, there are plenty of natural activities to enjoy at the resort. Take a surf lesson or enjoy the therapeutic feeling of sand between your toes during a beach yoga session. Head to the lake for a swim or kayaking trip, or wander off for a day on one of the many nature trails. Most nights there’s a beach bonfire, complete with toasted marshmallows.

Are you ready to visit some spas in Canada?

As you can see, there are spas in Canada for every type of traveller: from chic day spas in city centres to natural springs nestled in the mountains. Whatever your plans are during a trip to the Great White North, it’s always worth scheduling in a little spa time. It might not technically be a tried and tested jet lag cure, but it can’t hurt.

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