Winter Bliss at Scandinave Spa
By Katherine Fawcett
My sweetie tilts his head in that way that tells me he thinks I’ve lost my mind.
“In our bathing suits… outside?” he asks. “In the middle of winter? It’s freezing!”
He has a point. We’ve been skiing Seventh Heaven on Blackcomb in fresh powder all morning. It’s been a great few hours, but we’re both chilled to the bone. It’s still puking snow, our legs feel like jelly, my hand warmers have lost their warmth, and my toes are numb.
“Yes!” I answer, my voice muffled through my neck warmer. “Exactly. We can ski down, drop off our gear, and head to Scandinave Spa. We deserve it.”
I finally convince him to head down the mountain and indulge in a decadent spa escape by assuring him he doesn’t have to take his toque off the whole time we’re there. And by booking a Swedish relaxation massage for two.
Scandinave, nestled in the beautiful forest near Lost Lake, is an incredible experience regardless of the weather. It’s open year-round from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and is especially charming in the snow.
We tromp along the short, frosty, enchanting forested trail from the parking lot to the spa entrance. Greeted by friendly attendants, we are checked in, quickly introduced to the facilities, and collect our towels and fluffy bathrobes. After changing into our bathing suits in the luxurious change rooms, we don our robes and head out into the steamy winter wonderland. Although the gardens and forest around the spa are snow-covered, the pathways between the pools, relaxation spots, and hot facilities are all heated. They are completely free of snow and ice and safe and easy to walk on, even with bare feet.
Everything is so quiet; the experience feels surreal. There’s no talking allowed here, and devices must be left in the lockers — we take our cues from the other visitors who are relaxing in blissful silence under the gently falling snow.
Scandinave draws on the ancient Nordic tradition of hydrotherapy, which stimulates vitality and wellness through cyclical immersions of heat, cold, and relaxation. Regular spa-goers have long understood the unique benefits of this hot-and-cold spa experience, followed by quiet rest and stillness. Nourishing for both the body and mind, hydrotherapy is a staple in the wellness kit of health-conscious individuals, both athletes and non-athletes, from all walks of life.
For heat, there’s the wood-burning sauna, Finnish sauna, Eucalyptus steam bath (my favourite), and several outdoor hot pools. The cool elements — the Nordic waterfall, Nordic shower, and cold plunge bath — feel incredibly stimulating. And it’s easy to get cozy and doze off in the relaxation spots — the solarium and fireplace lounge. My favourite relaxation station is the heated hammock. It’s a warm little cocoon to snuggle into, away from the winter around me.
After a few hours of spa bliss, I whisper to my partner that it’s almost time for our massage. A lock of hair poking out from under his toque has turned frosty white. “This,” he says softly, “was a great idea.”
I smile and accept the compliment. He’s right!
scandinave.com/whistler/en | 1-888-935-2423