Live in the Lower Mainland and short on time? No need to spend a night in Whistler to enjoy a restful retreat to the Scandinave Spa. We headed up to the renowned mountain resort mid-week on a day trip to our favourite relax-and-recharge destination in B.C.—and were back at home in Vancouver for dinner. —Noa Nichol
11 a.m. We hopped in our car and hit the road before noon, cruising the always stunning and, at this time of day, surprisingly quiet Sea-to-Sky Route (a.k.a. Highway 99) with our GPS honed in on Whistler. The drive took, in total, only about two hours (plenty of time to admire the views), and we reached the Scandinave Spa at 1 p.m. sharp.
1 p.m. Peckish, we opted for a light meal at the Scandinave’s in-house bistro before heading out to the baths. Open daily, the café’s offerings include sandwiches, wraps and salads, desserts and espresso-based and cold drinks. There are many gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan options … something for everyone.
1:30 p.m. Donning robes provided by the spa, we embarked on our first hydrotherapy circuit in the spa’s spectacular outdoor setting. Making pit stops at the steam rooms, hot and cold pools and plunges, saunas and solariums, we followed the traditional ritual, which includes three steps—hot, cold, relax—in order to energize and rest the body, improve blood circulation, activate the lymphatic system and help detoxification. This ancient practice also actively promotes the release of endorphins, which are known as the well-being hormones. (No wonder we had permanent smiles on our faces.)
2:30 p.m. Having pre-booked a Swedish Relaxation treatment, we met our practitioner in the Massage Pavilion and succumbed to a 60-minute full-body relaxation massage that promotes good health by improving blood flow to the skin and relieving tension caused by stress. This technique uses long, gentle strokes with minimal pressure—it was perfection.
3:30 p.m. A quick rinse in the shower (to wash off the massage oil) and we had one hour left to do two additional circuits of the spa. The suggestion is to spend 10-15 minutes in a hot installation (steam, sauna or bath) to increase your body temperature; this dilates blood vessels, reducing blood pressure and increasing flow to the skin and muscles. Then, up to 20 seconds under a Nordic waterfall or shower or in a cold plunge bath (be brave; it’s worth it!) to cause the pores of your skin to close and flush toxins, release endorphins and increase heart rate. Finally, relax for 10-15 minutes in a solarium, hammock or by an outdoor fireplace to allow your cardiovascular system to regulate. This is a time for the body and mind to rest and relax.
5 p.m. Feeling absolutely fabulous, we showered, changed, refilled our water bottles and got back on the road. The drive back to the city took a touch longer than the journey up, but, as mentioned, we were back home in time for supper. Do we wish we had more time (read: days) to spend at the Scandinave Spa? Sure. But when all we can spare is an afternoon, it’s nice to know that rest, relaxation and a much-needed recharge is only a day trip away.
Win! A Scandinave Spa Summer Prize Pack!
Congrats Johanna N. of Burnaby, BC, who will receive a Scandinave Spa Summer Prize Pack, including two baths passes and two massages (to be used in summer 2022)! Please note: if you are the winner, you will receive a DM (direct message) in Instagram directly from @vitadaily.ca. Please be wary of fake accounts, which often use similar handles with an extra or missing letter, number or symbol. We will never ask for a payment or for your credit card number, and we will never ask you to click through a link. If you are unsure whether you have been contacted, via Instagram, by us or a fake account, email us before responding.