A couple weekends ago, my boyfriend came up to Ottawa from Toronto to celebrate our six year anniversary. We wanted to remember the occasion with something special, and visited Nordik Spa-Nature for a day of pampering and relaxation. I’m excited to share a Nordik Spa-Nature review if you’re thinking of visiting soon too. North America’s largest spa is located only 10 minutes from downtown Ottawa, in Chelsea, Quebec, nearby the gorgeous Gatineau Park.
Nordik Spa-Nature Review
Upon checkin, guests are given an electronic wristband to a coordinating locker. I loved this because it made it simple to leave everything and I didn’t have to worry about losing a card, key or combination. I changed into my bikini and fluffy robe and took a tour of the massive spa.
There were three main areas, the closest to the entrance, Borëa, featured the warmest hot tub (which was heavenly), a cold waterfall and Vaporo, which were aromatic steam Finnish saunas that diffused essential oils. I’m usually not a big fan of dry saunas, but the wet saunas with Eucalyptus or Orange essential oils were so heavenly and I could feel me skin getting softer, as my sinuses got relief too. After leaving the sauna, I dipped into the cold pool, while my boyfriend was braver and went under the freezing cold waterfall.
This is all part of the process of detoxifying the body. You start off hot (with a sauna), cool off in the cold water, and then spend about 15-20 minutes relaxing. I definitely spent more time than that in the hot tub though! We then moved on to relax in the chalet, which had magazines, tea and relaxing music. Certain areas allowed whispering (in the hot tub) but most were silent. I wanted to also spend some time relaxing in the heated hammocks but completely forgot… there were so many options, it was hard to experience everything.
The next area, Kaskad is completely silent, and featured relaxation areas, and a beautiful hot tub with a waterfall. I loved the beautiful water features and tipis, as well as the smell of firewood. My favourite part about the silent areas were the hot stone beds. I spent probably a half hour taking a little nap on those cozy warm stones (they also had pillows), and even did some stretches to relieve tension.
The furthest area from the entrance, Panorama, allows talking in some parts. The warm infinity pool in this section was heated to 95 degrees, and features gorgeous view of Gatineau Park and even Ottawa’s skyline in the distance. I can only imagine how pretty it would be in the fall as the leaves change colours. This area also featured another aromatic sauna with essential oils, it was a dry sauna but wasn’t too hot, so I found it pretty pleasant. To cool off, I jumped into this clear plunge tub, which apparently is the coldest in the entire spa! It was quite a shock after having warmed up in the sauna first. Afterwards, you can take a warm shower and then transition into the infinity pool to relax.
We visited the spa on a Saturday, so naturally it was pretty busy, but I never found it overcrowded. There were always places to sit in the sauna, and many of the hot tubs and pools were not overcrowded after. It’s nice that there are so many areas to explore, so that you can always move around too.
As I mentioned before, I’m not a huge fan of the incredibly hot dry saunas but there were plenty of options I enjoyed for the warm up process. My favourite sauna by far was the Vapora sauna with orange essential oils in the Borëa section. I loved that the spa offered so many options. For the relaxation areas, people that liked to sleep could enjoy hot stone beds, rooms with mattresses and heated hammocks, but if you were looking to relax with a good book and cup of tea, they had that too. I would also love to come back in warmer weather and just enjoy the beautiful scenery outside, beside a crackling fire.
The spa is also expanding and improving areas, and plans to open Banyä later this year, which will have a Russian sauna, an exfoliation room, and a place to practice yoga! I managed to do a couple child poses while on the hot stone bed, but I was thinking that a place to stretch and meditate would be amazing, so I’m looking forward to this new addition.
Källa treatment review
We also had a chance to try the Källa treatment in the Panorama section. This is an Epsom saltwater floating pool, heated to body temperature, and enables you to float and relax completely. The first time I tried it, I wasn’t able to fall asleep but I did close my eyes, meditate a bit and relieve tension in my neck. The second time we visited, we were in there for over an hour, and I completely passed out! I’ve always wanted to try a floating pool, but am very claustrophobic. The idea of being in an enclosed pod freaks me out, but the Källa pool is 1,200 square feet, and features high ceilings and mood lighting… so needless to say, I felt very comfortable and could easily enjoy the experience and relax.
After I explained the treatment to my friends, they asked whether you bumped into people, and to be honest, I only bumped into Daniel because we picked a corner to float in together. The spa also only allows a maximum number of people at one time, so it can’t get overcrowded either. The treatment has places to relax and shower before and after the treatment, and earplugs if you don’t want to get water in your ears.
This treatment was an add-on to the general spa access, but was such an incredible experience and so worth it! Most float spas charge $60 per hour, but this was a $40 add on and you have the option to come back a couple of times during your visit too.
After relaxing in the Källa treatment, we finished our visit to Nordik-Spa Nature with a meal at one of the spa’s restaurants, Restö. As I am gluten-free, I was incredibly relieved to see this restaurant catering to my dietary restrictions! After a day of relaxation, it’s nice to be taken care of and not have to worry about finding something to eat.
We both enjoyed the prix fixe menu which featured amazing options. Daniel loved their kalamari, while the vegetable terrine was delicious. Their menu online is different, but I was incredibly pleased with the variety and taste of the food. The wine pairings were very generous and enhanced the experience and flavours of the food as well. I finished off the amazing meal with lemongrass sorbet which was so unique, I loved it!
Nordik Spa-Nature was an amazing place to celebrate our anniversary. It was incredibly romantic and I really enjoyed spending time together (even if most of it was silent), and relaxing in the beautiful outdoor location. I’ve lived here in Ottawa for two years, and I’m upset I haven’t visited the spa sooner. The staff and patrons were very respectful, and I had an incredibly positive experience. I look forward to hopefully visit the spa soon, and if you’re heading to the Capital region this summer, a half day relaxing at Nordik Spa-Nature is a must!
An incredible thank you to Nordik Spa-Nature for sponsoring this visit, all opinions are my own.