For my birthday, my friend treated me to a Nordic Spa getaway for the day located just outside of Canada’s Capital Ottawa, in Old Chelsea, Gatineau region of Quebec.

Needless to say I could not wait to welcome the weekend and head to the Nordik Spa-Nature, the largest spa in North America for some rest and relaxation!

On our drive over, my friend was telling me all about the different saunas and baths available. How some are infused with different aromas, and how they are set at different temperatures.

Others have water jets which I was excited to hear! Who doesn’t love sitting in front of the jets and having the water beat into their tired muscles?!

There’s also this infinity pool that we had to go for a dip in as it provides a fantastic view of the Ottawa valley. And how the spa grounds have various indoor and outdoor lounging areas where you can relax and grab a bite in.

 

SaunaShe then squeals and tells me there is this sauna ritual that I must check out. It is a ‘ritual’, a man in a towel would dance and wave a towel around the sauna room?!  Ladies! Imaging that. Dare, I say…Oh la la!

Upon arrival, I learned the spa consists of 10 outdoor baths, 9 unique saunas that can be accessed with our general admissions. At the facility, they also had a floating salt-water pool (KÄLLA – Floating bath) that contains a high concentration of epsom salt and a variety of massages and treatments available that could be accessed at an additional cost.

Since it was my first time, I didn’t opt for the salt-water pool addition.  To explore and soak in the different baths and saunas that are already available would be plenty to occupy my day. And let us not forget, I need to make time for the hot ritual experience my friend got me all intrigued about – known as the Aufguss ritual.

4 Must Try Experiences

1.“Aufguss” Infusion Ritual

This was a weird experience for me. It certainly wasn’t a Magic Mike performance (not that it would have been) but in my own little fantasy world I thought maybe I would be seduced and my heart would be fluttering with excitement.

Instead, my heart was palpitating for the wrong reasons. It got too hot for me. And by hot, I mean intensity of the heat in the sauna. During the performance, I felt like I was going to pass out but I couldn’t easily sneak out without disturbing others.

With that said, if you have a curious mind, I would still recommend checking it out because it is unlike anything I’ve ever seen.

Tip- Sit near the door at the lowest level of the sauna so you can leave at any time if the heat becomes too overwhelming if you can’t handle the heat.

Additional information about the ritual:

Origin: Germany                                                                                                           Lounge area

Duration: 15 minutes                                                                                              Every two hours, you’ll hear a gong announcing the start of a new ‘Aufguss’ infusion ritual. Guests would gather in the sauna room and sit on one of the three wooden bench levels.                                                         

The performance:                                                                                                   The sauna meister will start the performance by stacking huge snowballs infused with essential oils on the overheated rocks. This creates a cloud of steam that increases humidity. As you sweat for 10-15 minutes, the sauna master would wave and fan a towel throughout the air to increase air movement and distribute the hot perfumed humid air around the room

Benefits                                                                                                                                                                                               Designed to Increase Sweating;                                                                                                                                                          Stimulates your limbic system, creating health benefits for the body, including: Balance hormone levels, decrease anxiety, stress levels, and combat fatigue.

2. Take a Dip in the infinity pool

An infinity pool makes everything seem more luxurious. Here you get to enjoy the panoramic view of the Ottawa valley in a heated pool, surrounded by trees and wildflowers. What more can you ask for? It’s simply bliss!

3. Lay on a hot stone bed                                                                                                                                                                            

Spend 20-30 minutes at the “Tellura” cabin at Nordik. It contains half a dozen stone beds made of quartz. The heated slabs radiate warmth at 100°F. In Japan, this heat therapy tradition is called “Ganban’yoku” and provides the same thermal benefits as saunas.

I love lying on the hot stone bed. It feels so heavenly as your body is warmed up gently and you feel the tension releases in your muscles.

4. Integrate Exfoliation into the Day                                                                                                                                                                         

Who doesn’t love a good scrub? After opening up your pores in the saunas, head over to the exfoliation rooms at the Espace Banyä to get rid of the dead cells so your skin can revitalize and radiate with glow.

You can choose from lavender or mint exfoliating salt, and massage it into your skin in a gentle circular motion.  Lavender creates a calming experience to heal and relive joint pains.  Mint invigorates and relaxes your muscles and relieves aches.

When you come out, rinse it off in the shower and you’ll feel brand spanking new and your skin will feel soft as silk.

selfie

Other Good Tidbits to Know

  • Go during the weekday to avoid the crowd. It gets really busy during the weekend. We went on a Friday and it was at times hard to find places to lounge and relax;
  • Go when the temperature is cooler. Imagine big snowflakes falling down creating a winter wonderland feel, making the experience more cozy and magical as you enjoy a therapeutic soak in an outdoor pool;
  • With your general admission, you get a towel and a locker where you can program your own code;
  • Bring your own bathrobe, sandals, sunglasses, sunscreen, reusable water bottle, lip balm, warm hat in the winter;
  • You will receive an electronic wristband upon check-in. Pre-load it if you plan to grab a bite and get a drink;
  • Massage is a hit & miss according to my friend & having talked to others;
  • If you choose to enter the floating saltwater pool, make sure to cover any small cuts with vaseline and, avoid rubbing your eyes while you’re in the pool, as the salt water can sting.

Highlights

  • Salt scrub, aromatic saunas, hot stone beds and different unique lounge facilities.

Lowlights

  • Service was slow in the restaurants and blasé customer service throughout the ground;
  • Check in took 30 minutes and can get crowded

Overall Lounge pods

Nordik Spa Nature has a beautiful space with nice facilities. However, SPLURGE with caution. It can get really busy and for those who are looking for a truly serene and relaxing time you may want to go somewhere less commercial, less crowded and with better service. Would I visit again? Yes, but I would not be rushing back.

For Price, Location and More Details visit Nordic Spa Nature website

  • Cleaniness
  • Comfort
  • Facilities
  • Staff
  • Value for Money