Heat up, cool down and relax at the spa…
It may be hard to say and even harder to spell but the region of Outaouais, Quebec (pronounced OOH-TO-WAY) has a lot going for it. An enchanting region well connected to nature through its abundance of parks, Outaouais boasts boutique shops, artisan offerings (cider mills to fair trade chocolate producers), top-notch spas and a full gamut of accommodations from cabin chic to highly luxurious.
If you prefer the road less traveled where time slows down just enough to allow you to enjoy the moments a bit more, Outaouais is a place to linger, explore and relax.
Natural views and warm ambiance for you and your lover
Looking for a quiet pause from your hectic lifestyle? The Wakefield Inn may be just what you need to slow down and enjoy a restful getaway.
Described by guests as a “little slice of heaven”, this historic, rustic and charming hotel began life way back in 1838 as a flourmill. The Wakefield Inn is located steps from beautiful Gatineau Park and situated on a stunning lot of land complete with thoughtful landscaping. The property blends into the natural forest environment surrounding it with a backyard that includes the La Pêche River and MacLaren Falls.
Guests can choose from one of three spots to spend the night: the main building, separate guest house complete with heated saltwater pool and hot tub or an ultra-modern luxury suite located in a third property on the site.
Get away with that special someone and enjoy it’s incredibly warm ambiance, exquisite culinary options, generously spaced rooms, and be sure to take advantage of its spa, which was voted 2013’s Most Romantic Spa in Canada. Recommended: Take your couples massage outdoors and find yourselves drifting away to the sounds of the river and waterfall. (Dependent on season)
A girlfriend’s dream getaway
If spa is the focus and relaxation a high priority for you and your girlfriends, then North America’s largest day spa and top ranking Canadian Nordic Spa (2013), Nordik Spa-Nature, is where you need to be. Nordik spa has its own unique lodging that’s ideal for you and your girlfriends.
The Lodge Nordik is a spacious property that combines modernity and cottage glam. It can accommodate 12 guests and has three floors and five bedrooms, a full kitchen, a balcony to take in the forest views and its own personal barrel sauna outside. When you pick your room, you’ll find a cozy oversized robe. Say hello to your new favorite accessory. It’s a common site to see spa-goers wandering through the woody area in their robes and sandals making their way to the spa or to Nordik’s restaurant for dinner. Yes, you can wear your robe to dinner. Talk about getting and staying cozy. But before you make it to dinner, you’ll spend your day at the spa.
From classic to exclusive treatments, Nordik Spa-Nature will leave you feeling pampered. As Nordik is a Scandinavian spa, there are three rules that apply to treatments– heat, cold and rest. If specific body treatments aren’t your thing, you can just spend your day moseying around trying out each of the saunas (they have seven) and Nordic baths.
It’s important to note that there are two clearly marked areas within the spa, one where complete silence is not only encouraged but also monitored. The ‘rest’ part is taken very seriously at Nordik. But don’t fear, you can chat on the other side of the spa that comes complete with a restaurant, bar and super cool hangouts that allow you to gab.
Two treatments that shouldn’t be missed during your visit to Nordik are Källa and the Aufguss ritual. The Källa treatment will leave you weightless, floating aimlessly in the only indoor salt water floating pool in Canada. It’s the ultimate relaxation therapy (people have been known to fall asleep).
The Aufguss ritual takes place in a Finlandia dry sauna and features a choreographed routine set to music run by an ‘Aufguss master’. Spa goers are treated to an intense 8-10 minutes of sweaty bliss and recharging and invigorating scent therapy. Nordik Nature-Spa offers a few different group packages for the perfect girlfriend getaway. Read more about this incredible treatment here.
Five stars and family friendly
If it’s luxury you’re in the market for, look no further than the 5-star Fairmont Le Château Montebello. Known as the world’s largest log castle, you’ll be impressed as soon as you step inside. A massive floor to ceiling fireplace greets you in the lobby; and once in your generously sized room featuring wood beams, cabin chic accents and cozy linens, you will realize you are in for a beyond comfortable stay.
And if your getaway includes little ones, you’re in luck as this luxurious hotel is very family friendly. The Fairmont Montebello is committed to everyone in your family having an excellent vacation and there are plenty of activities inside and outside of the hotel. Make some time for fun with a swim in Canada’s largest indoor hotel pool, hang out with adorable canine ambassador Monte or take in a morning walk or bike ride in the park.
If it’s wintertime, enjoy the snow exploring via dogsled or snowmobile. Take in a sleigh ride or make time for some cross-country skiing. The Montebello also offers various seasonal and holiday activities that your kids can take part in during your stay (Santa even visits at Christmas!).
Craving some alone time with you and your partner?
Slip away to a romantic dinner together while your kids enjoy a supervised movie. Or for the ultimate luxury stay, take advantage of the Fairmont’s babysitting services and indulge in some spa treatments (also listed in the top 50 spas of Canada). The focus of Montebello’s 4,000 square foot spa is on the fun and fabulous. They carry a skin care product line, which is made with real Canadian maple. Doesn’t that sound heavenly? The spa area is truly a spot to unwind; curl up in one of their infamous soft green blankets and take in views of the Ottawa River and its flowing waters or head upstairs and gather around the hotel’s remarkable fireplace. With maple on the menu why not indulge a body treatment like the maple sugar body scrub? Yum.
For more to do in the Outaouais region see: 5 Must Try Adventures in Quebec’s Outaouais Region, A Steamy Affair: Nordik’s Aufguss Infusion Ritual , or 48 Hours in Outaouais.
A version of this post appeared originally on GoGirlfriend.com.