Stay in an ice hotel, attend a winter festival and wander through an ice castle.
Let me first admit, I am not much of a spa-goer. Nothing against them, of course, they just never make my priority list. But last summer, while enjoying the carnival-like atmosphere during Grande Cache’s annual Death Race, with muddied and triumphant ultra-marathoners hobbling past, I figured there were at least a few people in town whose muscles deserved some TLC. For the sake our readers—hikers, bikers, future Death Racers, whoever you may be—I simply had to investigate the spa scene of this mountain town. (I know, I know—life is tough.)
A Day at the Grande Spa
So, off I went to Grande Spa & Boutique. As the name suggests, it is not only a spa, but also a bright little shop that sells a bit of everything, from clothing to scented candles and cute knickknacks. There’s also a hair salon for locals looking for luxe treatment. Oh, plus a garden centre, for those who prefer the therapeutic effect of floral eye-candy and well-oxygenated air. And I haven’t even got to the spa yet.
The mastermind behind this four-pronged operation is the effervescent Cobie Coray, who not only got the ball rolling but keeps it moving, continually expanding her merchandise. Come back periodically and you’re sure to find something new every time. The airy friendliness is a constant and something about this place seems to induce chronic smiles in its customers.
A Hidden Gem
The spa isn’t immediately apparent, actually, because it’s tucked away downstairs: a warmly lit, quiet space that seems a world apart from Grande Cache. Elegant, tasteful, and devoid of gimmicks, you’ll find everything you need in a spa here, right down to pleasant scents and soothing music. Even just lounging in the atrium is peaceful.
Soothing Spa Treatments
The proof of the pudding is in the treatments, unfortunately, I didn’t have 90 minutes to try the popular hot stone massage, but it sounds divine—a full body exfoliation plus an hour-long massage—so please, go try it on my behalf. I can at least vouch for their regular massage (sans hot stones, sadly). Although I hadn’t run a Death Race, this is definitely the perfect medicine for anyone who has been romping through nature’s playground.
Massages aren’t the only thing available. There’s a full spectrum of spa treatments, from manis and pedis, facials, waxing, tanning, steam showers and aromatherapy baths, with packages and permutations available. (You know you want to try treatments with names like Chocolate Seduction and The Cleopatra Milk bath.) Guys, don’t worry if you’re not keen on being the Queen of the Nile—there’s a whole suite of treatments designed just for you, like a Sports Pedicure that focuses on deep pressure massage instead of polish colour.
After being thoroughly pampered, I emerged into Grande Cache’s summer sun, the mountains as inviting as ever. This time, though, maybe I’m just a tiny bit more of a spa-goer.
Photos courtesy of Grande Spa & Boutique