THE CITY of Ottawa is emerging as a leading destination for spa and wellness tourism, thanks to an ever-growing wealth of product, high-end facilities and great value packages

4Källa - Bassin flottant d'eau salée - 3For starters, Canada’s capital is home to the largest spa in North America. The Scandinavian-inspired Nordik Nature Spa, located near the entrance to beautiful Gatineau Park, is just a 15-minute drive north of downtown Ottawa. It is one of only two places in the world where you can receive a relaxing Källa treatment, floating in its saltwater pool.

13WJ2T1571 - CopieLast summer saw Nordik launch its Massana Nature outdoor massage rooms (summertime only). Other standout facilities include seven outdoor pools; cascades; infinity pool; and eight saunas, backed by an excellent restaurant and cosy group accommodation in rustic lodges amid forested surroundings. Don’t miss the signature Aufguss ritual, an aromatherapy experience in a sauna, which uses water enriched with essential oils.

Nordik_Lifestyle_2.05.14_194At Holtz Spa, a day spa in downtown Ottawa, programmes range from Algo Slim and a 30-Day Detox to the signature Shankara Signature Ayurvedic Body Samahdi featuring various tailored treatments, including a nourishing herbal wrap and a Tibetan Foot Balancing treatment. There is even an award-winning restaurant on site called Santé.

Men are also spoilt for choice. Aside from the male-only Bodé Spa, which offers everything from massage treatments to male grooming, many of the local spas offer comprehensive male treatment menus.

Nordik_Lifestyle_2.05.14_319Thanks to Ottawa Tourism’s Sip, Savour & Spa promotion* wellness fans can also make some big savings when booking treatments in the city’s spas combined with accommodation and activities ranging from romantic dinners to gourmet walking tours in the buzzing ByWard Market district.

3NordikSpa_ete_5.30.13_0704jourB_flatWarm2According to Jantine Van Kregten, Director of Communications at Ottawa Tourism: “The variety of options on offer in the capital region nowadays is staggering. Aside from visitors having the rare opportunity to experience Källa treatments at Nordik, and the top-notch facilities at hotel spas like Au Naturel, another thing that sets Ottawa’s offering apart is fusion of traditional approaches with local touches. One great example is the body lotions that Holtz Spa uses in some of its treatments – they’ve been infused with maple syrup from Fulton’s, a local farm. Let me tell you, those lotions smell incredible!”

Many of the finest offerings can be found in the city’s top hotels such as Hotel Indigo and the Brookstreet hotel, whose Au Naturel spa offers treatments for men, women, couples and brides.

Nordik_Lifestyle_2.05.14_248 1The Health Club at the iconic Fairmont Château Laurier hotel offers everything from personal training and health assessments to massage therapy, not to mention a unique indoor art-deco swimming pool, while the Westin Ottawa’s facilities include an indoor heated saltwater swimming pool and therapeutic whirlpool. Guests at the Ottawa Marriott are also well looked after with its recently refurbished Vivianna Day Spa, located in the Kent Club on the 4th floor, catering to individuals, groups or parties.

AUFGUSSCan’t be bothered to leave your hotel room? Mobile spa services such as Spa Smart Ottawa will come to your hotel room or other location or event. They even feature spa menus for children and a special spa party menu that includes mini-treatments for groups of five or more guests. Meanwhile, ARC the.hotel, the first hotel in North America to feature THANN all-natural spa amenities in its guest rooms, offers in-room treatments such as jetlag-combatting massages and pedicures using therapists from Bodé Spa.

Van Kregten adds: “It’s not all about the spas and their treatments, of course. Activities such as hiking in Gatineau Park or paddling the Rideau Canal, or (in winter) snowshoeing in the Greenbelt that surrounds Ottawa and cross-country skiing in Gatineau Park, can also be very ‘zen’ and relaxing.”

*For more on Ottawa Tourism’s Sip, Savour & Spa promotion see:

  • All images © Nordik Nature Spa

Useful links:

Nordik Nature Spa:

Holtz Spa:

Bodé Spa:

Au Naturel:

Fairmont Château Laurier:

Westin Ottawa:

Ottawa Marriott’s Vivianna Day Spa:

Spa Smart Ottawa:

ARC the.hotel: