If you find yourself in Ottawa or Quebec, run, don’t walk, to Nordik Spa Nature. This is North America’s largest spa, and it’s oh so worth spending every minute here. The spa is only 15 minutes away from Ottawa, making it super convenient if you happen to be in town. This massive spa gets it’s roots from Scandinavian countries. They have 10 outdoor baths, 9 saunas, a floating salt water pool (my favourite!) a panoramic pool and multiple restaurants. Paradise? Yes.
When exploring the spa, it helps to know a little bit about how it’s laid out. The Kaskad area is great if you want some peace and quiet. This is a silent zone. If you still want to chat, but don’t want to be too loud, the Borëa allows you to speak quietly. It’s called the whisper section and it’s perfect for couples. Finally, if you’re here with a few friends and you really want to celebrate the Panorama area is the place to be. Talking is allowed and you can even drink in some of the pools.
You can spend the entire day visiting the pools and saunas. If you want to try something new, I would recommend one of the below experiences that I had.
The Källa Treatment
If you’re feeling particularly stressed out, the Källa Treatment is the most relaxing thing that you could possibly do at the spa.The Källa is a pool that’s been carved from rock filled with 10 tonnes of Epson salt and filled with 10,000 cubic meters of warm water. There’s only one other pool like it in the world. The space is silent, softly lit and incredibly relaxing. The pool only holds 20 people at a time, so it never gets crowded. Be prepared to close your eyes and just float away. This was my favourite treatment. The Källa experience is $45 and you can enter the pool as many times as you’d like during your visit.
The Banyan treatment
To start, all participants meet in the lounge for a traditional shot of vodka, followed by a coffee bean and ending with an orange slice. Welcome to Russia. Or, the spa form of it anyway. After the shot, we’re ushered into the Banyä sauna, which uses dry heat and humid steam.I arrived alone, but quickly bonded with my two single sauna mates as we struggled to understand what we had signed up for. (Don’t worry, it was awesome.)
The Banyä ritual has three stages. First the steam is infused with birch, and the attendants come around and lightly brushed us with the birch veniks that were dipped in water. The spa attendants (known as Aufguss masters) do a towel dance that’s very interesting to watch, and that’s the end of the first stage. After, you can to step outside for a breath of fresh air if you need it, and are served a drink with apple slices. When we return, it’s time for stage two. Between all stages, the sauna increases in temperature. If you get too hot, there are buckets of cold ice and towels to relieve yourself with.
Next, is exfoliation.We all got a dish of salt and essential oils to rub into our skin, and then rinse off with buckets of cold water.
Finally, it’s time for the whipping. (That’s right. Whipping. We’re all a little apprehensive as we each take turns lying down on our stomachs and are then whipped with birch veniks. This is supposed to be really good for your circulation. I must admit, a few of us giggled when we watched others being whipped with the birch veniks.
The very last step is the steamiest. The Aufguss master uses a large towel to agitate the air, fanning the room and increasing the heat. It get very, very hot and Russian music plays. You can leave if you choose to, but if you stay, you get to end your experience by taking a plunge in a cold pool.
This was an incredible experience, and unlike anything I’ve ever tried at a spa. It’s a definite must.
After my treatments, I relaxed in the infinity pool and chilled in the hot tubs while enjoying the sights and sounds of nature.
I want to tell you about two of my favouite sites at the spa. I visited the Tellura, a small cabin that had bunk bed style heated stone beds. It was amazing, and all I wanted to do was hang out here and read a book. I also loved the aromatic steam sauna that had a citrus scent. Ahhh, so relaxing.
So how much does it cost? Access to the spa is $68. Adding on the Källa Treatment will run you $45 for the day, and the unique Banyä Treatment is $65 for the hour.
I wish I had given myself more time to explore this spa. I can’t wait to plan a return visit. Planning on checking it out? Find out more at https://chelsea.lenordik.com. If you live in Toronto, they’ll soon be opening their Whitby location. This is expected to be even larger than their Ottawa location! Very exciting. https://whitby.lenordik.com