Le Scandinave

By Mary Bemis / September 14, 2011

On a whirlwind visit to Mont-Tremblant this past summer, I had the good fortune to stop in at Le Scandinave Spa. I’d wanted to visit since I’d first heard about the Scandinavian-style baths built in the heart of nature. That was back in 1999 (okay, so it took me a good 10 years to get there!). While my visit to this picturesque part of Canada was indeed too short, it gave me a good taste of the place and the people behind it. In creating this little piece of paradise, the owners put an emphasis on the authenticity of the décor and natural environment. Their deep respect for nature and its energizing effect is evident in the simple layout and unassuming wooden structures. What you have is a terrific outdoor communal circuit of baths and water experiences that draw young and old, man, woman, and child and that wonderfully democratize the spa experience—bringing it back to its roots. (But note, bathing suits are a must!) First, you warm the body in a dry-heat Finnish sauna, Norwegian steam bath, or in an immense hot tub and thermal waterfall for 10 minutes or so. Then, to close the pores and cool the body, you may either jump in the Diable River (my choice, and it was well worth it—I loved following the wooden staircase down to the banks of the river before plunging in), step under an outdoor shower, or opt for a quick dip in the outdoor Nordic bath or Nordic waterfall. This is followed by a third stage, requiring you to spend about 15 minutes in a relaxing space. There are many to choose from here: an outdoor terrace, Norwegian solarium, Finnish solarium, Swedish solarium, a small terrace with a fireplace, in a hammock, or on the river’s terrace. I tried quite a few of these, but the terrace with the fireplace (it was raining, after all) was my favorite spot. You can follow these three steps as many times as you wish, as the entry fee is good for the whole day, but typically, one spends about 2 1/2 hours at the spa. Although it was raining during my brief visit, I enjoyed every last minute. For those who want to top off this experience with a spa treatment, there are different massages to choose from, as well as yoga. A small bistro serves up sandwiches, nutrition bars, fresh juices, and waters. www.scandinave.com

Mary Bemis
Mary Bemis

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