Spa: More Than A Vacation—It Can Change Your Life

Oh, Canada! We love you for your breathtaking Rockies and coastal mountains, your 31,700 lakes, fresh-water glacials, majestic wildlife, and your culturally rich and diverse cities. And then there’s the way you rarely boast about being the second largest country in the world—with the longest coastline and much of the world’s fresh lake water—almost like you’re keeping this beautiful place a wonderful secret.

Thankfully, there are vacation destinations here that honor this rugged sense of beauty while harnessing nature’s power for physical and spiritual renewal. A spa vacation, in one of Canada’s 500 resort and hotel spas, allows you to take in your glorious surroundings while immersing yourself in wellness therapies that leave you feeling revitalized instead of exhausted from travel. Spas go way beyond pampering—they offer you treatments and activities that make you reflect, make you feel alive, and can offer new approaches to living your life beyond your vacation days, with healthy cooking classes, exercise and diet suggestions, and just a reminder that the best thing to do sometimes is to stop the hectic pace of our lives and breathe in the fresh air. A spa trip can truly change your life.

They also offer luxury. The modern Sparkling Hill and Wellness Center, spotlighted in SpaFinder’s 2012 Trend Report is a stylish retreat in British Columbia, with a Swarovski crystal-infused aesthetic (3.5 million-plus were integrated into the design) befitting of its name, and the 40,000-square-foot KurSpa. The property’s signature Cryotherapy Cold Sauna (-110° C) is the first to be introduced in North America, but its comprehensive treatment menu, Lake Okanagan views, and ample outdoor activities provide maximum whole-body relaxation and wellness.

And then there’s the Wickaninnish Inn, a SpaFinder® “Wellness Connoisseur Spa” on Vancouver Island’s rugged west coast. Wickaninnish offers a taste of rustic elegance. Currently the only resort set on Chesterman Beach, this Relais & Châteaux property is known for its stunning local environment (just minutes from the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve and Clayoquot Sound), its sensory spa experiences, and sophisticated west coast cuisine that tempts epicureans and spa-goers alike.

Anything that introduces the wondrous options of Canadian spa must include Spa Eastman, Canada’s first destination spa. Set in the shadows of Mount Orford and affording expansive countryside views, Spa Eastman’s location makes guests feel like they’ve stepped inside a landscape painting during their stay, and its Eastman-les-Bains balneotherapy area—with two hammams, indoor and outdoor pools, hot tubs and an ecological swimming pond—is just one of the many highlights of this environmentally conscious health and wellness retreat.

With all kinds of outdoor and cultural activities and award-winning cuisine, a spa vacation can be enjoyed by anyone looking to get away and unwind: couples, solo travelers, friends, families. These retreats offer solitude as well as a great backdrop