Escape to Nordik Spa-Nature
What better place to recharge your batteries than in nature or at a spa? Nordik Spa-Nature in Chelsea is a peaceful oasis in the heart of the forest. Offering a unique spa experience, several tempting restaurants, and a range of massages and treatments, Nordik is a must for a visit with family and friends, as a couple or on your own. Read on to find out more!
Relaxation in many forms
Recognized as the largest spa in North America, Nordik Spa-Nature deserves the title. The quality of its facilities, its proximity to Ottawa and Gatineau and its location in the heart of nature combine to make this place a top destination.
On a sunny Wednesday, accompanied by my mother and sister, I set out to discover the spa’s facilities. The site is usually quieter during the week, so we can enjoy it fully. From the moment we set foot on the site, we feel a sense of calm coming over us, inviting us to leave all our worries behind. Even the garden, the soft music and the stairs leading up to the reception area impart a feeling of serenity that lasts throughout the day.
We’ve left our belongings in the locker room and put on our bathing suits: bring on the Nordik Spa-Nature experience. As we step outside, we enter a place surrounded by nature, where the baths share space with relaxation areas. The site is laid out in three zones, each with a different conversational volume: Boréa (whisper), Kaskad (silence) and Panorama (social). With 10 outdoor baths, 9 saunas, an infinity pool and indoor and outdoor relaxation areas, there’s a lot to explore.
The thermal experience and its benefits
To get the maximum benefit from the spa experience, it’s recommended that guests complete the following thermal cycle at least three times during their visit: hot, cold and relaxation. So we start with a session in one of the saunas, then dash under the ice-cold waterfall before stretching out in a hammock (one each!) with a book. We can feel the benefits almost immediately. The heat draws toxins out of the body, and the contact with the cold provokes a rush of adrenaline; this triggers the release of endorphins, which are effective for resting.
In addition to the whirlpool baths, the orange- and eucalyptus-scented saunas, the exfoliation room and the relaxation pavilions, there are two experiences that are unique in the region: the Källa treatment and the Aufguss ritual. The first is a large underground saltwater flotation pool that gives you an indescribable feeling of weightlessness and calm. We float quietly and effortlessly for about 30 minutes at a time, enjoying the subdued lighting and the relaxing underwater music. This experience not only makes you sleepy, but also reduces stress and tension.
As for the Aufguss, this German-inspired practice is offered a few times a day in the Finlandia or the Banyä sauna. Led by one of the spa’s Rituals Artisans, the three-part choreographed ritual delivers the benefits of three different essential oils as infused snowballs are placed on hot stones, releasing their aroma. The Artisan then uses a towel to fan the air throughout the sauna to the rhythm of the music, raising the temperature. Each essential oil produces its own experience, introducing you to the benefits of sweat culture.
To deepen your relaxation even further, various massages are available: Relaxation, Mom-to-Be, Intensive, Lymphatic Drainage, etc. I strongly recommend the Massage in Nature, a relaxation or intensive massage offered in a pavilion in the heart of the forest, where you can hear the birds and the waterfall nearby. Body treatments are also available to pamper you and purify your skin and restore its radiance.
An outstanding culinary offer
A few hours spent in the baths have whetted our appetite. Luckily, Nordik Spa-Nature has plenty of choices to satisfy our cravings! Open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., the Mëzz | Café serves a selection of pastries and hot and cold drinks to be enjoyed on the outdoor terrace or on a comfortable couch by the window. Around 10 a.m., the Biërgarden and the Shack await us for a cocktail or a bite to eat by the infinity pool, with its superb view of the Outaouais region. Two thumbs up for the Raspberry Crush, the perfect cocktail for a sunny day.
At lunchtime, we’re invited to discover the Panorama Lounge, popular for its relaxed atmosphere and its fireplace. It serves a light menu featuring fresh local products, sharing plates and original cocktails. In the evening, Restö is a great place to enjoy a tasty meal inspired by local and seasonal ingredients. The wine selection is surprisingly good, and the food is outstanding every time. The menu changes seasonally, so there’s something new to try every time you visit.
Our spa day is drawing to a close, and all we want to do is stay longer! The benefits of thermotherapy have given us a deep sense of well-being, and we’ve had a wonderful time as a family. I’m eager to come back soon to experience this relaxation again.
What are you waiting for to treat yourself to a day at Nordik Spa-Nature?
While you’re in the area, explore the beautiful village of Chelsea. With its shops, accommodations and proximity to Gatineau Park, it’s a must-see.