Taking the Waters at Scandinave Spa Blue Mountain
What makes an outdoor hydrotherapy spa in the Blue Mountains of Ontario so popular it demands a waitlist?
by Kristina Smith
For thousands of years, people have sought steam baths, hot spring soaks, mineral and sitz baths to maintain and revitalize health. Sebastian Kneipp, a 19th-century Bavarian priest and founder of the naturopathic medicine movement, believed that disease could be cured using water, as it improves elimination, decreases inflammation and stimulates circulation.
Combine this with immersions in the presence of breathtaking natural beauty, and this is a hydrotherapy experience worth packing your bags for.
An Age-Old Tradition with a Modern Twist
Scandinavian countries are known for their wellness-infused lifestyles, emphasizing wholesomeness, healthy eating, and closeness to nature.
Their use of baths and sauna as a mode of detoxification and relaxation is a practice that dates back thousands of years.
Wanting to understand this traditional experience, I ventured to Scandinave Spa Blue Mountain in the Blue Mountains of Collingwood, Ontario on a cold and blustery winter day.
The Spa is nestled amongst 25 acres of birch, Canadian maple, and pine trees, with expansive views of the surrounding escarpment, including skiers cruising down the nearby slopes.
“Shhhh” signs posted at the entrance remind guests to use their spa voices and turn off digital devices. The air smells of eucalyptus, and I glimpsed bathers in clouds of steam on my way in.
The Nordic bathing ritual goes like this: Relax in the sauna, eucalyptus steam room or hot baths, breathing deeply. Take a cold plunge or shower to close pores and flush toxins. Relax in a quiet indoor or outdoor area. Repeat the circuit as many times as you wish.
I spent about four hours at this spa in the Blue Mountains that day, enjoying the various baths, which are spread out across the landscaped grounds and feel very natural with their stonework and waterfalls.
Curved nooks and crannies offer places to spread out, so it didn’t at all feel like being in a hot tub with strangers.
Though the air was chilly, I was very comfortable relaxing by the outdoor fireplaces on Muskoka chairs in between soaks and felt incredibly at peace given the ambiance and quiet.
The steam room, in particular, feels as though you’ve dived deep into a jar of vapor rub—you can literally feel your pores and sinuses open up.
Completely refreshed and blissful after my visit to this spa in the Blue Mountains, I slept deeply and peacefully that night.
Scandinave Spa Blue Mountain – Know Before You Go
- Guests must be 18+ years old and show proof of vaccination.
- The reservation calendar is available for 4 weeks of time in advance. New Baths open daily at 10 am.
- Guests are required to wear a mask while indoors including during massage treatments.
- Bathing suits are mandatory. Sandals are recommended.
- Water stations are located throughout the spa. Please bring a refillable water bottle.
- Guests are reminded to honour silence and leave their devices in their locker.
- A cleansing shower before the Baths experience is required.
Looking for other fabulous hydrotherapy spots worth travelling to? Iceland is famous for its natural “hot pots” and Blue Lagoon, while Jordan’s Ma’In hot springs have biblical roots. Mexico boasts hundreds of mineral springs; and in Bath, England you can experience healing amongst Roman ruins. ~ Kristina Smith, Editor
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