Located an hour’s drive from Montreal, Quebec, on 326 acres with an incredible view of Mont Orford, Spa Eastman Health & Wellness Retreat is one of Canada’s most established and respected wellness retreats. Celebrating its 45th anniversary, Spa Eastman includes seven pavilions for accommodation, miles of hiking trails, pristine gardens for relaxing, Nordic baths, a gym for daily fitness and yoga classes, customized seven or fourteen-night Health Immersion packages, and daily workshops. One of the points of distinction is the onsite Spa Eastman Restaurant offering the signature Tonic Cuisine, a unique gastronomy experience based on current scientific research that food can be one’s medicine. We can testify that the food is not only beautifully presented and delicious, but wholesome and nutritious.
In celebration of their 45th anniversary, Quebec’s wellness pioneer has partnered with Solution Era and entrepreneur Benoît Lavigueur – specialists in the field of ‘green’ buildings – to create healthy, self-sustaining and energy-efficient pavilions, a first for Canada’s tourism industry. Designed and constructed by a multidisciplinary team, these ‘oases’ represent a major step towards leaving a legacy for future generations, by creating a health-giving venue for rejuvenation that does not harm the environment. Spa Eastman’s Founder and President, Jocelyna Dubuc, says she has dreamt about creating environmentally-friendly accommodations since the 1970s. But even back in the 70s, the company was ahead of its time, with environmentally-friendly practises already included saving energy and water, researching ‘natural’ foods, growing organic gardens (without the use of herbicides and pesticides), creating compost and so on. At Spa Eastman, respect for the land and for nature has always been key, today travelers are demanding it. Over the years, the Spa Eastman team has continued to implement sustainable development and eco-friendly practises – a strategy that has won the company many prestigious awards and recognitions.
These new pavilions will be designed, constructed, and maintained in such a way as to rank them among the most innovative and eco-friendly buildings in Canada. The high quality of this new, green construction project builds on the lifestyle that Spa Eastman has been promoting for 45 years, namely, one that promotes healthy, life- giving practises for both people and the environment. Due to their bioclimatic designs and solar-panelled roofs, Les Oasis Eastman offer not just protection from the elements, but also provide self-sustaining thermal energy and power.
Three strategies that will also benefit future generations
Spa Eastman is very well aware that nature is (and will increasingly become according to Wellness Tourism Association consumer surveys) one of the principal features of the wellness tourism industry. The first strategy – already in place – is that the company already possesses all the assets that help surrounding nature to flourish – fresh air, a protected environment, a forested setting, all of which provide a habitat for a biodiversity of flora and fauna. To safeguard these precious natural resources, Spa Eastman is designing an action plan to ensure they are protected until well into the future.
The second strategy is to use their voice to influence how (and where) materials and supplies are sourced. One example is the signature Spa Eastman cuisine which incorporates organic products and local suppliers. Jocelyna Dubuc, founder and president of Spa Eastman says, “Although Spa Eastman has achieved many of its goals, I continue to pursue new dreams, one of the main ones being that Quebec will become THE destination for organic products! Admittedly, it’s an ambitious dream, but why not? Can you imagine the message that would send out to the entire world? I fantasize that the government will finally come around to supporting all of our organic food producers, to the point where the production and consumption of organic products would increase, thereby making them more affordable to the average consumer. The result? Our wonderful world would be so much healthier! And what about the long-term savings? Fewer sick people would mean less pressure on our costly healthcare system.”
The third strategy is for Spa Eastman to broaden its outreach to a greater number of community projects. The company is forging new partnerships with entities involved in wellness, health, and education, with the goal of creating a foundation to benefit society’s less fortunate members.
Editor Anne Dimon visited several years ago for a Mother/Daughter getaway. More on Spa Eastman