LE GERMAIN CHARLEVOIX
In just over an hour from Québec City, you can find yourself driving up and down picturesque hills with cascading mountains above the clouds and enjoying tiny towns with white steeples lining the St. Lawrence River. Stop at local cheese purveyors, micro-breweries, and stores that sell local soaps and honeys to take up a slice of do-it-yourself at-home spa pastoral Canada.
Book a stay, or come just for the spa at, Le Germain Charlevoix Hôtel & Spa. This eco-friendly, modernist hotel is a series of structures that sit on sprawling green pastures that connect to a small beach along the river that’s just a ten-minute walk into town. No matter what season it is, head to the Nordic Spa and the outdoor hot and cold pools.
While you’ll quickly dip in and out of the just-above-freezing cooling pool, spend time in the 100 degree heated pool where it’s just you, the green pastures, and some prying eyes from the goats and bulls that roam the land. Inside, relax in the Finnish sauna, and eucalyptus steam bath. My partner and I enjoyed the Together at Last treatment (70 min/$260) where we melted away to duel massages before returning to our lofted room for warm baths. www.legermainhotels.com
SECRET GARDEN SPA, PRINCE OF WALES HOTEL
NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE, ONTARIO, CANADA
The Prince of Wales Hotel in Niagara-on-the-Lake is famous for its afternoon tea. Visit their Secret Garden Spa, and you’ll see that the beverage makes you feel good on the outside as well as the inside. Step into the soothing spa, done in shades of chocolate and cream, and prepare for one of the signature treatments (with the exchange rate, they’re super-affordable).
A “beau-teas” facial or body wrap (80 min/$122) takes advantage of the beverage’s anti-oxidant properties, while a green tea pedicure (80 min/$76) using a foot mask and exfoliation, is just the thing after a long day of walking around the area’s wineries. For total tea pleasure, the “head to toe tea taster” (105 min/$171) combines all three treatments.
More in the mood for the traditional? Indulge in a therapeutic massage (25 min/$67, 80 min/$133) or hot stone massage (45 min/$114, 65 min/$148), perhaps having your significant other join you in a couples massage. With several full packages combining massage, facials, or body scrubs (50 min/$110, 265 min/$365), you can truly pamper yourself in this Secret Garden of delights.
As you enter the Victorian drawing room of this elegant hotel, fellow guests might not recognize the new, relaxed person joining them for afternoon tea, scones, and finger sandwiches. www.vintage-hotels.com/spas/princeofwales