BEST SPAS CANADA
This editorial list of Canada's Best Spas reflects some of the best of what's available on the Canadian spa scene. The list is compiled by Travel to Wellness editor and spa journalist Anne Dimon.
BEST SPAS CANADA by category:
best spas canada - vancouver
Best Spas Vancouver
One of Canada's favourite and most popular cities, sophisticated Vancouver is delightfully sandwiched between oceanfront and mountain vistas. As far as Canadian cities go, it, along with Toronto, offers the greatest number of luxury spas. Read about these best spas in Vancouver
best spas canada - Toronto
Best Spas in Toronto
After many years of having a derth in the luxury spa niche, Toronto now boast several luxury spas all in downtown core. Read about these best spas in Toronto
best spas canada - green day spa
Best “Green” Day Spa
Infinima, Ste Foy, Quebec
At Infinima, located in Ste. Foy (about a 15 minute drive from Old Quebec City), the owners have introduced leading-edge “green” practices and protocols. For instance, LED lighting throughout reduces the energy impact and a “smart” heating system controls the heating and cooling of rooms automatically. The system is so “smart,” we’re told, that it “steals” heat from an area that is too warm and delivers it to an area that is too cold.
To reduce waste they give reusable plastic bottles to clients to fill from a purified water system. We also loved the décor which includes a three-level, re-circulating water feature in a natural stone-wrapped circular staircase flooded with therapeutic coloured LED lights.
best spas canada - exotic outdoor
Most Exotic Outdoor Experience
Spa Ofuro Morin-Heights, Quebec
Pagoda-style architecture, Japanese art, furnishings and sculptures are everywhere at Spa Ofuro, Canada’s most uniquely-decorated and exotic “nature” spa.
To the sounds of a mountain stream cascading over boulders, guests breathe in the fresh air and soak up nature's benefits from one of several pools, lounge chairs set out on various decks, or while snuggling in a swaying hammock. Unlike many such spas that offer only massages, Ofuro’s a full menu of spa services including exotic-sounding signature treatments such as Summo, Tao, Yin and Yang.
best spas canada - country charm
Best Country Charm
Spa at the Inn on the Twenty Jordan Village Niagara, Ontario
The lovely, historic Inn on the Twenty is nestled on the tiny, perfect main street of the teeny town of Jordan, and just a few steps from the lobby, housed in its own historically-designated building, is the spa.
The “country cottage feel” is created with the help of furnishings and fixtures including beautifully-preserved golden pine floors, an old pine door converted into a mirror in one of the two private change rooms, an iron fireplace in the lounge, country-style cupboards filled with retail products in the reception area, and quilts used on the treatment beds.
best spas canada - country escapes
Best Country Escapes
Ste Anne's Spa Cobourg, Ontario
Spa Eastman, Eastern Townships, Quebec
On a really good traffic day it’s a 90-minute from downtown Toronto to one of Canada’s oldest and best known spas – Ste Anne’s. The 15-room inn, a spa and six spa cottages are surrounded by 500 acres of scenic, rolling countryside (known as the drumlins of Northumberland) and beautifully maintained gardens. (Dorset Manor is another Ste Anne's Spa.)
The country setting allows guests to walk thru wide open fields and groomed nature trails. Outdoor hydro-therapy options include a large swimming pool, plus a year-round field-stone lap-pool and hot tub. A country décor, country-inspired meals and a full menu of treatments and therapies enhance the country-escape experience.
Tucked into the heart of Quebec’s rural Eastern Townships about a 90-minute drive from the city of Montreal, Spa Eastman is another of Canada’s most established and well- known spas.
This village-like collection of buildings - houses guestrooms, a spa, recreational facilities (gym, pool and hammam) and a dining room serving mainly healthy dishes – is surrounded by fields, forests and organic gardens. There are 15 km (just over 9 miles) of groomed trails for guided walks or cross-country skiing and, weather permitting, a natural spring water pond for swimming.
best spas canada - hiking
Best Hiking Program
Coastal Trek, Vancouver Island, B.C.
The intimate, family-run Coastal Trek retreat, located in Vancouver Island’s Comax Valley is all about health and hiking. From a selection of about 100 nearby hiking options, a different hike is scheduled each day based on the interests and fitness levels of guests. Structured programs which include yoga sessions and healthy cooking classes are all part of the deal.
While Coastal Trek is more about fitness and healthy eating than “spa-ing,” there are spa treatment rooms on site and guests can select from a limited menu of services.
Mountain Trek, Vancouver Island, B.C.
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best spas canada - quebec city
Best Within the Wall of Old Quebec City
Ispiration Spa at Manoir-Victoria, Old Quebec City
As of this time, the only full-service spa within the ancient stone walls of Old Quebec City, is Inspirations Spa. Located in Hotel Manoir Victoria (which coincidentally is built on the former site of an 19th century Turkish bath), the spa offers eight treatment rooms, including a mani-pedi area and a couple's room. There’s a full menu of services including signature treatments using products made with local, organic maple sugar.
The spa also has a relaxation lounge and tiny dining area for those on day packages, plus guest have access to the hotel’s sauna, a gym and lovely indoor pool area.
best spas canada - couples' suites
Best Couples' Suites
Spa at Fairmont Chateau Montebello Montebello, Quebec
Ideal for romance or girl time, the spacious doubles treatment room at the Spa at the Fairmont Chateau Montebello is classically decorated with a gas fireplace, Japanese soaker tub, multi-jet rain shower and side-by-side beds perfect for chit chatting (or hand-holding) through treatments ranging from the yummy maple sugar scrub to a full-body massage. If you’re feeling peckish, there’s room for private fireside dining with Bento Box selections, champagne and wine available.
Spa Utopia, Vancouver, B.C.
Spa Utopia's large and beautifully-decorated suite is one of the signature features of Vancouver's largest downtown spa.
best spas canada - romance
Best for Romance
Wakefield Mill Inn & Spa, Wakefield, Quebec
Romance, of course, depends more on who you’re with than the setting, but the intimate (just 27 rooms) and historic Wakefield Mill, is mighty conducive to romance.
Sitting like a little gem next to a 28-foot waterfall in Gatineau Park, the Wakefield Mill offers guests fine dining, an outdoor spa lounge with a great view of the falls (so close you can feel the spray), and beautifully decorated guestrooms – some with fireplaces and exposed beams, brick and stone from its days as a mill. About 75 percent of leisure guests visit for birthdays, anniversaries, engagements and honeymoons or simply a romantic getaway.
best spas canada - water circuit
Best for Indoor Water Circuit
Kingfisher Oceanside Spa Courtenay, Vancouver Island, B.C.
Designed to emulate the island’s natural seaside elements, the Kingfisher spa’s Pacific Mist Hydropath, cave-like feel reminds of Adler Thermae Spa Resort in Tuscany.
The Hydropath has eight stations including a Swiss shower stall carved into natural sandstone rock, a mineral massage pool, a powerful waterfall massage, a steam cave, a chilly glacial waterfall and a compact “river walk” a two-part station that exposes guests to first warm then cold water according to the Dr. Kneipp’s therapeutic philosophy. Dim lighting adds to the mood and it really does have that misty, cave-like quality throughout.
best spas canada - ayurveda
Best for Ayurveda
Ashram Spa at Nita Lake Lodge, Whistler, B.C.
Think exhilarating mountain air and high adventure. One of Whistler's newest spas, Ashram Spa by Therapy Ayurveda in Nita Lake Lodge melds the best of Indian and mountain cultures. Read more about Ashram Spa
best spas canada - mountain view
Best for Mountain View
The Willow Stream Spa at Fairmont Banff Springs Banff, Alberta
From the spa's outdoor deck, you can relax and soak in a sunken whirlpool bath and breathe in an inspirational view of the Rocky Mountains.
best spas canada - ocean front
Best Ocean Front
Wickaninnish Inn & Ancient Cedars Spa Tofino, B.C
Pacific waves lap the shoreline just steps away from the spa at one of Canada's favourite oceanside resorts.
best spas canada - hammam
Ten Spa Fort Garry Hotel, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Ten Spa is a chic, modern interpretation of the Turkish-Roman hot-air bathing ritual, which was done regularly in ancient times to detoxify the body, strengthen the immune system and encourage wellbeing. Here, the mosaic-tiled, indigo-hued bath is kept at a toasty 45 degrees with a light mist of steam hanging in the air. Heated stone platforms are reserved for individual treatments, such as the traditional olive-oil soap scrub. The hammam is co-ed and can also be booked for private groups. Read our full review of Ten Spa
best spas canada - outdoors
Best Outdoor Experience
Le Scandinave Mont Tremblant, Quebec
Considered the grand dame of Quebec’s Nordic-style spas, Le Scandinav Mont-Treblant not only the oldest, but the largest. Perched on the banks of the Diable River (good for devilishly cold dips), the spa offers rooms for massages, a collection of pools, saunas, steam rooms and hot tubs spread around a multi-terraced lot, plus various relaxation areas both indoors and out. I especially liked the Zero Gravity Room where lounge chairs fold down flat for easy napping in a serene environment. A small onsite bistro serves soups, salads and sandwiches.
Le Scandinave Spa Blue Mountain, Ontario
It doesn’t get much better than when you’re taking in fresh air and great views while up to your neck in therapeutic waters. At Le Scandinave Spa, Blue Mountian, the outdoor water circuit is a collection of Scandinavian baths and water features that take you from hot to cold to hot (and repeat), which can be as stimulating as climbing Blue Mountain itself. While you’re there, also try: the saunas, steam rooms and relaxation solariums to enhance the experience. Extend the value of the visit with a leisurely bistro-style lunch enjoyed fireside in the lounge.
best spas canada - weight loss
Best Weight Loss Program
Hills Health Ranch B.C. Interior
A variety of weight-loss and fitness programs – from six to 30 nights and longer – make the possibility of weight loss success almost guaranteed. At Hills Health Ranch, an extensive staff of medical and wellness professionals (including MDs, nutritionists, a kinesiologist, certified behavioral counsellors and personal trainers) allows for total program customization. In addition to a full-service spa, horseback riding, mountain biking, canoeing and nature tours are just a few of the activities on this 20,000 acres ranch.
best spas canada - most exotic
Sunmore Ginseng Spa Kamloops, B.C.
In addition to it being the only ginseng-based spa in Canada – perhaps on the continent – Sunmore Ginseng Spa also holds the distinction of having the most spacious treatment rooms.
There are just five treatment rooms here and each is beautifully decorated with Asian furnishings and artifacts. Ginseng, grown locally, is used in a selection of spa treatments. The spa's Tea House includes exotic teas as well as a dishes made with ginseng.
best spas canada - urban wellness
Best Wellness Spa in a Canadian City
Health Winds - The Health & Wellness Spa Toronto, Ontario
Health Winds Spa gets the nod because of its 15-year foothold in the spa business and the services offered beyond the treatments include health assessments, and wellness and nutritional counseling. Of course, the spa also offers facials, wraps and mani-pedi but that’s a bonus. Eighty per cent of clients who book Health Winds do so initially in response to a health condition or stress.
best spas canada - local flavour
Best for Local Flavour
Relais Sante Le Baluchon, Auberge Le Baluchon Saint-Paulin, Quebec
Traditional French Canadian country. That’s the flavour you get from the moment you drive up to the collection of manoir-inspired buildings of Auberge Le Baluchon. The inn’s full-service spa has a signature cherry treatment (using local cherries) and spa guests slip their feet into slippers made with buckweat grown in a nearby village. Adding to the sense of place, the inn makes their own maple syrup, and the eco-café serves local products. Fine French Canadian cuisine is served in the dining room.
best spas canada - extra touches
Extra Little Touches
Fox Harb’r Golf Resort & Spa Wallace, Nova Scotia
The most luxurious spa on Canada's East Coast, the Spa at Fox Harb'r offers clients so many little extras that it's impossible to list them all. Here’s what impressed us most: The professional comfortzone products available in the locker rooms, personal CD players in each of the eight treatment rooms so clients can choose their own type of music, special red lighting in each treatment room for warmth and enhance the look of skin, electric fireplaces in several treatment rooms, fibre-optic starlit ceiling in the manicure room, ice-cream scoops to dish out mani-pedi exfoliation products, self-help and inspirational books (like those written by Wayne Dyer) to flip through in the lounge and during a pedicure, complimentary professional makeup application after each customized facial and free shipping for any retail products purchased.
best spas canada - mud
Best Mud Treatment
Ste Anne's Grafton, Ontario
The Moor Mud Bath at Ste Anne's is the real thing - thick, rich, earthy mud from Casselman, Ontario. You feel as if you're wrapped and suspended in a mud coccoon. It's the perfect signature treatment for this beautiful country setting.
best spas canada - cafe
Best Spa Cafe
Treetops Tapas & Grill at Grotto Spa, Tigh Na Mara Resort Parksville, British Columbia
Serving a selection of tapas - the Spanish word meaning "little dishes" - Tree Tops is exclusive to Grotto Spa guests and really does overlook the tree tops as well as a collection of log-framed spa bungaloos. The food is fabulous - healthy, delicious and beautifully presented. Lunch here is a wonderful treat before or after any treatments or a bit of hydrotherapy in the indoor water circuit.
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