Hey Everyone, we kick off this week with a guest post from our friend Andrea in Boston, she travelled to Montreal and tried out the Strom Nordic Spa there – massages and Scandinavian baths!
This post was first published on Unpackthere.com , a travel blog we have together 🙂
I wanted to try something different in Montreal that I couldn’t experience in Boston. A Scandinavian Bath – let’s see what that’s all about. Just a 20 minute drive to what appears to be a community of it’s own – Île-des-soeurs, Montreal. I was getting really hopeful as we took the exit. We see the nice town houses, decorated rotaries, a fancy golf club, and rich people walking their swanky looking pups. You know your wallet won’t be loving the prices of this place. Every aspect of the spa rang a “ka-ching!”.
Of course you cannot compare this to the onsens in Japan – it’s a completely different experience of it’s own. There were 6 different pools for you to experience, varying in different temperatures (US$46 -weekend price). I highly recommend the Signature Strom massage (US$129 for 90 mins) with Kristin in the outdoor gazebos (great in the Summer). The atmosphere was perfect with the summer breeze as your background music and nature as your foreground. Only downfall of being outside is of course you can’t minus the lovely insects that come with it. It didn’t bother me too much since I was so relaxed I passed out soon after. Each massage stroke melted my stress and tension away. The spa is opened all year long. I don’t know if I’d enjoy it as much during the bitter cold Canadian winters.
It’s a perfect activity to enjoy with your other half, your friends, or even just by yourself for some “me” time. Although you’re required to stay silent in certain relaxation areas (to not disturb other customers), there’s designated areas were you can mingle and bond. Bring a book with you, some music, and just sit back in relax.
So what exactly is a Scandinavian Bath you ask? It’s basically for cleansing the body (of toxins), stimulating blood circulation and the release of endorphins. All of your senses are awakened and muscles are soothed.
How to fully benefit from a Scandinavian Bath:
- Body Warming:
The first stage includes heating the body up which dilates the blood vessels on the surface of the skin, reduces blood pressure, and increases blood flow to the skin and muscles. The increase in body temperature helps cleanse the skin and release the body’s negative energy, including chemicals absorbed from the air, water or food, as well as residual toxins from certain metabolic processes.
- Facilities to use:
Eucalyptus steam bath
- Refreshing Rinse Stations
The second stage includes closing the pores of the skin with a brief, but, highly beneficial cool rinse. This usually puts your body in shock for a few seconds but it’s great for blood circulation. Stay calm and don’t scream when you dip yourself in the cold water! 5-15 seconds will do the job.
- Facilities to use:
- Relaxation Areas
The final stage is designed to allow the cardiovascular system to regulate itself. After spending time in hot and cold environments, it is recommended to rest the body to help stabilize blood flow and heart rate. This is a time for body & mind rest and relaxation. You’ll feel so refreshed after this. Bring a book and just enjoy the environment. Most places will require customers to be completely silent. The hammock is my favorite relaxation spot. I bet I’d really enjoy being near the outdoor fireplace in the winter time.
Photo credits: Strom Nordic Spa