I was so excited when Mark and I were invited to spend a much needed Saturday at Nordik Spa. I had no idea what to expect before I arrived there and I can easily say that Nordik is like nothing any spa I have ever seen before.
The entire spa is surrounded by nature. I was so glad that I had chosen the Fall time for my first experience, since the leaves were gorgeous shades of orange, yellow and red and added to the overall beauty of Nordik.
This beautiful oasis is located in Chelsea, Quebec, only ten minutes from downtown Ottawa and is the largest spa in all of North America. Nordik boasts eight saunas, 7 baths, tons of spots to relax, an indoor and outdoor restaurant and my favourite: the panoramic infinity pool.
Nordik is a Scandinavian inspired spa and is comprised around completing Thermal Cycles in order to obtain the maximum level of relaxation. You begin with fifteen minutes of heat therapy – for example sitting in a wet or dry sauna. This is followed up by cold therapy. Depending on the time of year you can either take a dip in the cold water plunge or simply stand out in the cold air if its Fall or Winter. The purpose of the cold therapy is to close your pores and shock your body to release adrenaline. To finish, you rest for half an hour. There are numerous relaxation spots, like fire pits, hammock-like chairs, hot stone beds and the infinity pool. It is recommended you complete this cycle a minimum of three times to release all the toxins from your body and completely relax.
In addition to the Thermal Cycles, you can also relax by getting an indoor or outdoor massage, body treatment or try the Kalla treatment. I was lucky enough to be able to try the Kalla treatment, which is the second floating saltwater pool in the world!
The Kalla pool is built underground and is supposed to mimic the effects of the Dead Sea. The pool is comprised of 12% Epsom salts, which serves to keep you afloat and detox your body. You grab an inflatable pillow, lay on your back, close your eyes and float around the dimly lit pool. The Kalla pool was such a unique experience and a must try if you are visiting Nordik for the day.
Another unique aspect of Nordik is the Aufguss (meaning infusion) sauna ritual. Aufguss is a Finnish ritual whereby bursts of hot air are generated by pouring water onto hot stones. Essential oils, contained in balls of shaved ice, are placed on top of the hot stones and enhance the health properties of the experience. The Aufguss master uses a large towel to agitate the air, fanning everyone in the sauna. Taking deep breathes while the master is doing this allows you to enjoy the essential oils and their healing benefits.
Whar I found liberating about Nordik is that I didn’t see anyone with cell phones or watches. Everyone is wearing robes and flip flops and is genuinely relaxing. It was so wonderful to be able to unplug, not worry about the time or the lastest status update or tweet. There was so much beauty to soak in being in nature that I didn’t want to waste a second of it on my phone.
Before we left Nordik, we enjoyed a late lunch at their restaurant. We enjoyed a meat and cheese platter, along with a few mini sandwiches. The food was absolutely delicious and the portions were the perfect size. We left feeling satisfied, but not too full.
We spent four hours at Nordik and I left so in love with the spa that we are planning a Winter trip. To experience the steam rising up out of the pools, with a snow covered landscape would be just as beautiful. Whether you live nearby or are a planning a trip to the area, make sure to add Nordik Spa to your list of places to experience. You truly won’t be disappointed and will end up like me, planning your next trip back.
Editor’s Note: A special thank you to Marianne Trotier for arranging for Mark and I to spend the day at Nordik and also to Nathalie Lalonde for the tour of Nordik and the sweet chocolate treat she left for me in my locker!