A journey outside the comfort zone at a psychedelic-assisted therapy retreat.
Locally harvested seaweed forms the basis of spa’s rejuvenating treatments
Black Rock Oceanfront Resort sits just off the coast of the Pacific Ocean atop the rocky shoreline of Ucluelet, British Columbia. Its perched position gives guests an opportunity to take in the stunning views and appreciate the origins of the natural marine ingredients that are a favourite at the onsite Drift Spa.
“We love working with raw, organic seaweeds, which is the basis of our spa here,” says Judy Bewick, spa director. Drift Spa specializes in thalassotherapy— the use of seawater and marine products for health or beauty benefits. “Seaweed has over 65 nutritional properties including amino acids, essential fats, vitamins, and minerals. It’s fabulous to be able to see them floating in the water and to explain their actions for the body.”
The spa’s focus is on wellness treatments that heal, reduce stress and offer support for the overall wellness of the body, Bewick says.
With the ocean as inspiration, Drift Spa created a lineup of services that utilizes natural ingredients from the earth and sea. The spa’s facials include kelp from the Pacific Ocean as well as natural sea oils and rainforest botanicals while body scrubs incorporate sea salt, seaweed, and glacial mud sourced from Vancouver Island. Additional skin treatments include massage, manicures, pedicures, wraps, soaks, hot stone treatments, and hydrotherapy.
Since massage is the most popular treatment, Drift Spa offers massage-based packages that help to promote other services as well. These seasonal packages allow guests to combine a hot stone component with a regular massage or even add a mini facial. Many of the spa clientele is resort-based rather than local and Bewick says the seasonal specials bring these guests back to the spa year after year.
Drift Spa uses products that are local, sustainable, and eco-friendly like Seaflora Wild Organic Seaweed Skincare. Seaflora is one of the world’s leading seaweed companies and among the first to achieve USDA organic certifications for seaweed. Its products contain anywhere from 70 to 94 per cent certified organic ingredients.
“[Seaflora] is on Vancouver Island and they hand-harvest the seaweeds. We love being able to offer a good, professional Vancouver Island product,” explains Bewick.
Designed with consideration for the land and sea, Black Rock’s architecture enhances and contrasts the landscape through the use of bold materials like rock, glass, steel, and wood. Ocean view treatment rooms as well as an outdoor hot tub and plunge pool mean that spa guests benefit from the scenic beauty during their spa treatments.
Outside, guests at Black Rock Resort have the opportunity to walk along the pristine beaches or head out on the Wild Pacific Trail where viewing platforms allow undisturbed panoramas of the shoreline.
Both the resort and spa’s successes are deeply rooted in the regional landscape and Bewick believes that the spa’s surroundings could also influence its next area of growth.
“We’re situated on quite a few kilometres of Wild Pacific Trail. I’d love to incorporate some personal training and guided walks to help people take care of their bodies and love the environment.” Bewick looks forward to expanding Drift Spa’s services to include wellness retreats as well as yoga. “My vision is to be able to offer healthy starts—a gentle guide for people to be able to make some better choices for themselves.”
Size: 3,300 square feet
Number of Treatment Rooms: 5
Number of Staff: 9
Retail: Seaflora, Colour Energy, Spa Ritual, Sea Wench, Earthlab Cosmetics, Bellaphoria, Suncoat
by Lindsay Grummett and Theresa Rogers