Design hotels may be all the rage for globetrotting aesthetes, but design spas are just as worthy a destination for those who want to relax in a soothing space. From the soaring ceilings to the stonework to the steam baths, the design, landscaping and architecture of a space also plays a key role in a truly memorable wellness experience. Show your design-savvy giftee to save a spot in their calendar (and on the ‘gram) for a spa date at one of these gorgeous places.
Scandinave Blue Mountain
152 Grey County Rd 21, The Blue Mountains, Ont.
Outside, two levels hold three tubs—hot, warm and cold—made of huge blocks of solid stone. Enjoy the soothing sound of waterfalls as you soak, or opt for a Muskoka chair by the crackling outdoor fire. Small huts hold indoor saunas and reading rooms made of warm wood and large windows for when you start to feel waterlogged. The main building houses a dining space with tall wooden beam ceilings and plenty of sunshine—perfect for a post-massage ginger tea.
Rock Water Secret Cove Resort
5356 Ole's Cove Rd., Halfmoon Bay, Sunshine Coast, BC
Sitting atop a rocky shore alongside the ocean, this spa draws on the natural world around it. The interior of this rustic lodge features clean lines, crisp linens, and warm wood. Stay in an ocean-side cabin for the same rustic feel, or opt for a tenthouse perched atop stilts balanced on the rocky shore.
319 Chemin du Lac Gale, Bromont-sur-le-lac, Que.
Stunning is the best word to describe this spa. The landscape is beautiful and the baths blend seamlessly into the natural world around them. Pavillion des Arbres is a contemporary award-winning entrance to the spa experience, while the stone A-frame Havre is a light, warm space where treatments take place. During summer months enjoy the lakeside dock and beach area, or try the sun-drenched Pavillion de L’Ouest all year long.
Ancient Cedars Spa
500 Osprey Ln., Tofino, BC
Located in the renowned Wickaninnish Inn, the spa facilities and amenities are the picture of peace. The whole property is inspired by the wild world that surrounds it, from the rustic log frames and cedar shake shingles and the stone steam cave, to the mosaic stone tiles in the showers
602 King Street West, Toronto, Ont.
Known for its hypnotic, mosaic-tiled steam room, the Hammam Spa is a soothing haven just steps off Toronto’s bustling King West strip. The exposed brick-and-beam interior looks more like a hard loft than it does a spa, but it all lends itself to the space’s 8000 square feet of relaxed, urban cool.
Vieux-Port de Montreal, Que.
Contemporary design and excellent service awaits you aboard this historic ferry-turned-spa. Floating on the Saint Lawrence river, you can enjoy services, sauna, pool and water circuit in the gardens. The ferry has been expertly and beautifully converted into a tranquil, quiet area for prime relaxation.
339 Rue de Genève, Que.
A gorgeous series of pools, tubs and clean-lined cabins sit against the backdrop of green in forested rural Quebec (the cold plunge pool is actually in a real river). The cafe is housed in an old A-frame chapel, and treatments take place in warm, wood cabins.
Le Nordik Chelsea
16 chemin Nordik, Chelsea, Que.
This architecture works with the flow of nature—or in some cases, flows around it by incorporating hillside stone outcrops into the walls. The landscaping is beautiful: one highlight being the gently cascading stone waterfall. There are four different wooden-beamed and light-filled restaurants, whether you’re looking for personal time at the cafe or a meal shared among friends in the Panorama Lounge.
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