Weekend trips are always tricky. To make the most of our measly two days off, most of us will get up Saturday at the crack of dawn, pack up the car and head down the road, driving for hours and cramming as much touristing as physically possible into a 24-hour period before turning around and heading home. Inevitably we crawl through the door Sunday night – half-eaten highway fast food bags in hand – and collapse into bed, content at our intrepidness, but arguably more tired than when we broke free from the office on Friday afternoon.
But what if you could go away for a weekend and do nothing for two whole days? Enter, Nordik Spa Nature (16 Chemin Nordik, Old Chelsea, Quebec).
Located an easily-digestible 20-minute drive from downtown Ottawa, in Chelsea, the Quebec spa bills itself as the “largest Scandinavian spa in North America.” With nine pools and hot tubs (including a recently-opened saltwater floating pool) seven saunas, and a full massage therapy and body treatment spa, there’s definitely enough to fill a weekend without having to expend more energy than it takes to walk from the couch to the fridge.
One of the great things about Nordik is their à la carte menu of services, which allows you to take advantage of as much or as little of the spa as fits your fancy or your budget. Fifty-four dollars gets you an all-day pass to the baths – which range in temperature from a frosty 10 to a glorious 39 degrees Celsius – lounge areas and saunas. That salt-water floating pool, called theKälla Experience, will hit you up for an extra $30.
The spa’s website recommends a relaxation technique involving all three areas, inviting guests to “Warm up in a sauna or steam bath for 10 to 15 minutes. Do a quick pass under the Nordic waterfall or take a dip in the cold or temperate pool for a few seconds. Rest fifteen minutes in one of our relaxation areas, outside or inside. Repeat this ritual three or four times, finally immersing yourself in one of our whirlpools for a moment of total relaxation.”
It sounds like a lot of work, but trust me, it’s not.
Packages, which combine massages with the baths and/or body treatments (facials, foot and exfoliation treatments), range in price from $120 to $244. Extra savings can be found by combining spa services with accommodation at several Chelsea and Ottawa-area hotels. Get a group of up to 12 people together and rent out the Nordik Lodge (starting at $625/night for the weekend) which boasts five bedrooms, a large balcony, and a wood-burning fireplace.