Socializing is encouraged at the Kananaskis Nordic Spa, though areas for silent relaxation are planned for phase two of the retreat. (Photo: Debbie Olsen)
Besides the remarkable scenery, there are a few other things unique to the Alberta facility. For one, it’s more relaxed than a traditional spa. “We’re the Canadian take on the Nordic tradition,” explains spa director Julie Egan. “Phase one is our connections side. We welcome our guests to connect with themselves, their surroundings and their friends and family. It’s a social gathering area, so we don’t have a silence policy here.”
To keep it feeling more like a Canadian kitchen party than a stuffy spa, the onsite Two Trees Bistro is licensed, so guests can enjoy a glass of wine or craft beer with a meal during a relaxation cycle. Tartan robes, heated red hammocks and cowboy kettle fire pits also give the connections area a more casual feel.
I have to admit, I liked the tartan robes, but I kind of missed the silence. For peace and quiet, phase two should be completed by the end of summer and will feature an indoor relaxation lounge with a darkened nap lounge, a quiet pool and a saltwater floating pool. There will also be a top floor yoga studio with hot yoga and aerial yoga on offer.
Once phase two is complete, Alberta’s first Nordic Spa will be a 50,000 square-foot indoor-outdoor oasis for adults only. Its strategic location on the grounds of the Pomeroy Kananaskis Mountain Lodge, a luxury resort that is part of Marriott International’s Autograph Collection, means there is daily childcare, onsite accommodations and five more restaurant options to enjoy before or after a spa visit. The recently rebranded lodge is undergoing a massive $36-million renovation that should be complete by the end of summer.
Details: Admission is $70 per day with no in and out privileges or $50 for hotel guests. Tartan robes will soon be available to rent at an additional charge. The main building is wheelchair accessible, but the pools are not.
Debbie Olsen is an Alberta-based travel writer and the author of 125 Nature Hot Spots in Alberta: The Best Parks, Conservation Areas and Wild Places
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