Two Canadian spas take it to the next level
Guests of Scandinave Spa Whistler recharge with hydrotherapy after a long day of hiking and skiing
Surrounded by a spruce and cedar forest and mountain vistas, Scandinave Spa Whistler allows guests to feel at one with nature. The spa’s baths are the main focus, inspired by the ancient Scandinavian tradition of hydrotherapy. “It’s all about using the baths to have those incredible health benefits and the incredible relaxation benefits surrounded by the gorgeous views and the beautiful mountains that we’re kind of engulfed in,” says Helena Cox, sales and marketing coordinator.
The spa focuses on hydrotherapy, which uses hot and cold alternating temperatures in order to induce relaxation and health benefits. Working to cleanse the body and skin and improve blood circulation and physical conditioning, hydrotherapy treatment occurs in three stages. The first stage entails heating – here with hot baths, a eucalyptus steam room, and a wood-burning Finnish sauna and/or thermal waterfalls to open pores and stimulate blood circulation. The second stage is all about cooling, which includes Nordic waterfalls, and cold baths or a shower, to close the pores and strengthen the immune system. The last stage in the treatment is the chance to completely relax the body. Guests may do so in the solarium, on a terrace, in a hammock and/or by the outside fireplace to help calm the cardiovascular system and blood circulation. Each hot and cold relaxation sequence takes 25 to 30 minutes and is repeated three to four times for maximum benefits. The whole experience takes two to three hours.
Inspired by the surrounding landscape, Scandinave Spa Whistler runs in an eco-friendly and sustainable way. “It’s really designed to work in harmony with the natural surroundings,” says Cox. From staff uniforms made from sustainable fibres to high-efficiency natural gas furnaces and boilers used to heat the water for the baths, sidewalks and locker room floors, Scandinave Spa Whistler works toward reducing the environmental footprint of the entire facility. Green roofs are covered in grass and low-sloped, generating heating and cooling while working as added insulation. The water-saving showerheads and dual flush toilets encourage water conservation.
Catering is sourced from Solfeggio Foods, an organic farm to table restaurant in Pemberton, B.C. It is all about using sustainable, fresh ingredients allowing raw and vegan options whilst serving local, organic, free range meats. “We designed Scandinave Spa Whistler as a unique landscape-derived activity,” says Brent Murdoch, owner of Murdoch + Company Architecture and Whistler Construction, which carried out the spa’s eco-conscious construction four years ago. “The entire design was guided by principles of sustainability to harmonize with its setting and to minimize, where possible, the spa’s impact on the environment.” The spa encourages “an attitude of silence,” to allow guests to disconnect with the outside world and reflect on inner thoughts. “Silence is a source of great strength and we believe it is essential to the experience of the Scandinavian baths. It gives you the chance to disconnect from the outside world, which is something we don’t really get the opportunity to do anymore,” says Cox. Open year-round, rain or shine, Scandinave Spa Whistler is always available. This allows resort guests to connect with nature on different levels and in different atmospheres.
“The thing about Whistler is that you can never predict what the weather’s going to be. What is amazing about the Scandinave is that whether it’s raining, whether it’s snowing, whether it’s sunny, you always know the spa is something awesome that you can do… whatever the weather in Whistler.”