Nestled at the base of the Fitzsimmons Mountain Range and found atop a high-rise hotel in one of Canada’s biggest cities, we’ve rounded up some of the best spas in British Columbia.
Show of hands who has over-extended themselves this week? Everyone? Thought so. When life gets hectic, our tendency is to frantically attempt to check off every item on our ever-growing to-do list, and “me time” becomes our last priority. But did you know taking care of yourself and focusing inward could ultimately be the key to being more productive?
When we’re under stress, the chaos spills into all areas of our life and work. When we’re relaxed, we benefit from significantly reduced levels of adrenaline and cortisol (the “stress” hormones) and can bask in the glow of increased endorphins and dopamine (the “feel good” hormones). The mood boost allows us to re-emerge calm and clear-headed, enabling us to go back into the world ready willing to tackle life's challenge and reconnect on a deeper level with others. This makes a good case for indulging in a spa treatment—or two. Treat yourself and enjoy mind and body bliss with the most serene and lush spas in British Columbia.
Four Seasons Resort Spa Whistler
A mere two-hours away from the hustle and bustle of Vancouver, Whistler is a breath of fresh, mountain air. Unwind after hitting the slopes or exploring the idyllic village at the Four Seasons Resort Spa that overlooks alpine meadows and summit glaciers. Recognized as the #1 Hotel Spa in Canada by Travel + Leisure's World's Best Awards, the spa offers 13 treatment rooms, 2 zen relaxation lounges, an eucalyptus steam room, an outdoor pool, 3 outdoor hot tubs, 2 steam rooms, a yoga studio and fitness facility and 1 Vichy (the famed French water) shower room. We don’t blame you for wanting to leave the kids at a ski school, but if you don’t mind your little one coming along, they even offer a Strawberry Sunday massage for a family-oriented spa day.
Signature treatment: In honour of the great north, their signature treatment begins with an exfoliating Canadian maple syrup and brown sugar scrub under their rain shower. Warm clay and algae is then applied as a body wrap, while your hair and scalp are treated to a Moroccan Oil massage. Finally, you’ll experience a deep moisturizing full-body massage using an organic detoxifying body butter.
Price: Signature Treatment, $315 (100 min), Superhero Scrub & Massage, $150 (50 min), fourseasons.com.
Hälsa Spa, Vancouver
What sets the Hälsa spa apart is their offering of flotation therapy that harnesses the healing properties of water. Pods are filled with Epsom salt and ten inches of water the same temperature as your skin, so you lose perspective of where your body ends and the water begins. Unconstrained by gravity, your muscles stretch out, your spine lengthens and your mind is able to drift into a meditative state offering tremendous physical and mental health benefits. The all-white, minimalist spa has a sky-lit relaxation lounge, two infrared saunas (West Coast cedar and one made of Hemlock for those sensitive to the aroma of cedar) and four float therapy rooms.
Signature Treatment: Their #Digital Detox package combines a massage with a focus on trigger points and tight spots in the neck, head, back and shoulders to alleviate symptoms from “text neck” and “computer hunch.” Followed by a 90-minute float, you’ll re-emerge serene, tranquil and ready to ease back into stillness.
Price: #Digital Detox, massage (30 min) & float (90 min), $119, halsa.ca.
The Grotto Spa at Tigh-Na-Mara Seaside Spa Resort in Parksville
The Grotto Spa at Tigh-Na-Mara Seaside Spa Resort in picturesque Parksville on Vancouver Island sits on 22 acres of arbutus and douglas fir forest with sweeping views of the Strait of Georgia. It currently holds the title of the number one spa in Canada by Spas of America. Whether you only go for a day trip or have a weekend getaway, unwinding at the Grotto Spa–rated #1 Spa in Canada by Spas of America–is a must. Their Grotto Mineral pool emulates a natural stone grotto and is infused with natural minerals and trace elements; the anti-inflammatory properties found in the water facilitate detoxification and stimulate the metabolism. To stay overnight, the all-season resort has rooms starting around $160.
Signature treatment: With 20 000 square feet of spa bliss, there’s plenty of room to explore and take advantage of. Their Signature Pacific Body Balance begins with a full-body Canadian glacial clay and sea salt exfoliating scrub, followed by a thermal layer wrap. While wrapped, your face will be treated to a hydrating facial masque and finishes with a nourishing relaxation body butter application. All of the products at the Grotto Spa are made locally and access to the Grotto Mineral pool is complimentary with any sixty-minute spa treatment. Don’t forget to make your way to the Relaxation Lounge and enjoy a plate of fresh fruit after your treatment.
Price: Signature Pacific Body Balance, $195 (90 min), grottospa.com.
CHI, The Spa at Shangri-La, Vancouver
If you’re looking for a reprieve from city life, CHI, The Spa at the Shangri-La is a sanctuary within the heart of Vancouver. The tranquil décor and rejuvenating atmosphere is influenced by Asian culture. The spa’s philosophy is rooted in traditional Chinese philosophy; "chi” is the universal life force that governs personal wellbeing and must flow freely within the body to maintain good health. Movement is essential to release energy blockages and their treatments reflect their belief in assisting the body’s natural renewal. The ultimate in luxury, each spa suite houses its own fireplace, private bath, shower, relaxation lounge, changing room and vanity area, offering a “spa within a spa” environment.
Signature treatment: Emphasizing British Columbia’s natural resources and holistic surroundings, the West Coast Wave massage uses natural marine botanicals and Seaflora’s certified organic skincare products that harness the anti-aging properties of seaweed. Choose between a relaxing light-medium pressure or opt for firmer pressure to work body aches. To add an extra touch of indulgence, try their Aromatic Steam Shower or Aromatic Infinity Bath pre- or post-treatment to truly let all your worries slip away.
Price: West Coast Wave Massage, starting at $170 (60 min), Aromatic Steam Shower, $35 (20 min), Aromatic Infinity Bath, $55 (20 min), shangri-la.com.
Sante Spa at the Westin Bear Mountain Golf Resort & Spa, Victoria
Located minutes from downtown Victoria, Sante Spa at the Westin Bear Mountain Golf Resort & Spa offers endless opportunities for relaxation, discovery, renewal and improved mental focus. Peer out into panoramic splendor of coniferous trees and mountain ranges as your lungs fill with fresh BC air. Before visiting the spa, linger a little longer at the Sauna & Steam Room, Therapeutic Mineral Pool, Terrace Patio and their Forest Lounge with a “living wall” of plants to add energy rich oxygen. The spa embraces natural botanical ingredients in their treatments like coastal sea kelp, northern clay and lavender so spa goers are able to re-charge with proximity to nature.
Signature treatment: Inspired by the ancient Arbutus groves that surround Sante Spa, the Rejuvenating Arbutus Wrap employs actual bark from the trees trunks in a full-body exfoliation to remove dead skin. After your body is spread with clay, then wrapped up, you’ll receive a scalp and face massage enhanced with their signature aromatherapy essential oils. To further fall into nirvana, the treatment ends with a 45-minute massage with Cocoa Butter Cream. There is no doubt you’ll walk out feeling a million dollars.
Price: Rejeuvenating Arbutus Wrap, $210 (105 min), santespavictoria.com.