You’re at Whistler. It’s a powder day. And you just did West Cirque. Does it get any better than this? Yup. Head a few blocks north of the village to the Scandinave Spa Whistler, and prepare to find peace. Hike up the gravel path through a Tofino-like forest. (Don’t worry if you’re not relaxed yet. It will come). Light blue signs seem zen-like against the bright green trees, and running water stimulates you to breathe deeply. (And make you need a ladies room, but the ambiance continues there too).
The first thing I notice in the warm lobby is a huge fireplace and window looking out onto the spa baths. A smoothie bar flanks one side with the check-in desk on the other, where you can grab towels, robes and locker keys – on chains with cute wooden beads. (Tip: you really don’t need a robe. Your towel and water are enough). Annique, the lovely General Manager, explains the concept of the baths:
Hydrotherapy rids toxins with different water temperatures to elicit specific reactions from the body to relieve stress, soothe the skin and muscles, calm the organs and improve circulation. You immerse yourself 3 times in heat, cold then fully relax in one of the gorgeous spaces provided. (I was bad at that part). The heated paths lead you from sauna to pool, to steam room, to pool with waterfall, etc. It’s kind of like a choose your own adventure while getting healthy and relaxing.
This type of healing is an ancient Finnish tradition that dates back thousands of years and is also known as “onsen, hamman, hot springs or Finnish sauna. In Scandinavian countries, the sauna is a place to be at ease with family and friends in search of physical and mental relaxation.”
As I look towards all of the buildings and pools outside, I notice the green roofs and silo eucalyptus steam bath. The spa was designed by architect Brent Murdoch, with the principle that “sustainability is essential to the nature spa experience. We provide re-useable bags and stainless steel water bottles in lieu of plastic, our staff uniforms are made from sustainable fibers, our ‘green’ roof ensures efficient heating, cooling and insulation, and we use only water-saving appliances and irrigation systems. These are only a few of the ways we demonstrate our commitment to the continued enjoyment of our beautiful natural surroundings.”
I visited the relaxation pavillion (once, anyway), the hammock haven, wood burning sauna, cold tub, and 2 firepits that warmed my toes. 13 treatment rooms in the massage pavillion provide for a bit of icing on the cake.. a massage after the baths? Could I even drive afterward? We shall see..
Though the baths are not recommended for pregnancy, we would highly suggest them for the months leading up to conception and after pregnancy… relaxation is vital to health and also to raising stress-free, well-adjusted kids while maintaining a healthy spirit yourself. You might see me there. (Please remind me to do the relaxation step in the process.. I tend to forget).