Whistler, two hours drive north of Vancouver, Canada draws visitors from all over the world. While Whistler is well known as a ski/snowboard resort, it has also become increasing well known as a year around resort. In fact, Whistler considers itself to be a North American premier destination for health and wellness. Whistler’s Official Tourism Website has a section devoted to health and wellness. There is also a wellness events website that promotes wellness events and services, such as spas.
Whistler is a perfect place to engage in sports and fitness activities year around. Whether you want to walk, bike or cross-country ski Whistler has many wonderful trails. Last year we visited Whistler October 29 – November 5, just before the start of ski season to check out spas. It was exciting to be in Whistler for Halloween weekend. There were not only lots of pumpkins around town but there was an exciting buzz, as Whistler geared up for the official start of the ski season. It was a great time to check out spas because there was no problem making reservations during the shoulder season. Whistler has around 20 spas. This article will focus on those we visited and/or researched.
Avello Spa and Health Club, Westin Resort and Spa, Whistler Way claims to be a refuge for the body and soul. The Avello Spa has 24 treatment rooms and lounges. They offer over 70 treatments provided by experienced body and skin care specialists. Their massage professionals include a Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Reflexology Therapists and a registered Acupuncturist. We visited the Avello Spa and Health Club during the shoulder season; so we took advantage of two of its promotions ( 50-minute deep tissue message and a 80-minute milk bath and facial package). We were very pleased with our treatments. At the time of our visit non-hotel guests who receive treatments at the spa also got to use the health club at no extra charge.
The Spa at Four Seasons , Blackcomb Way was voted the number four spa in Canada in 2010 by Condé Naste readers. The spa offers a wide variety of services. These services include spa escape promotions, massages and treatments such as signature, body, facial, Seasonally Inspired (e.g. Fall), Truly Canadian and hand and foot treatements. When we visited non-hotel guests who took advantage of special promotions also got to use the hot tub and pool area at no extra charge. The author booked a Fall-inspired treatment called Fall Off The Vine Massage. The massage was probably the best ever. The spa facility at the Four Seasons is first class. It is a must visit.
Scandinave Spa is a Day and Resort Spa, just minutes north of Whistler Village. It has a beautiful mountain location in the forest on the edge of Lost Lake. Scandinave offers two major types of treatment, Scandinavian bath and massage. The Scandinavian bath treatment (hydrotherapy) is a recommended three-step process. It begins with a hot bath or sauna. The bath is followed by cool water rinse in a shower, or waterfall or cool bath. In addition to hydrotherapy, the spa offers five types of massages (Swedish, Sports, Hot Stone, Thai Yoga and Deep Tissue). If you want total relaxation in nature then put Scandinave on your list. It is an eco-spa where you can easily spend a day taking advantage of its wonderful spa treatments.
Solarice Wellness Spa provides a holistic approach to wellness. It offers a complete range of services but is well known for massage and yoga. Since Solarice operates a message school we took advantage of booking messages with student therapists. My husband had two massages. He rated one excellent and the other fair. Yours truly had a massage, which was excellent. We were quite pleased overall. It is always good to support student massage therapists.
Three other spas on our list were:
- Taman Sari Spa, Hilton, which is the only Javanese spa in North America.
- Vida Wellness Spa, Fairmont Chateau.
- Vital Spirit Spa, which is found in three locations in Whistler (Pan Pacific Mountainside, Pan Pacific Village Center and Sundial Boutique Hotel).
Go to Whistler for year around activities and when you do check out its spas. There are many choices for accommodations and wonderful dining options in Whistler. There are always exciting events throughout the year. For example, each year November Whistler hosts a celebration of wine and food at Cornucopia. Any time of the year is a wonderful time to visit Whistler. During our visit we got to see great fall color change. Also, Whistler Village had its first snowfall. Soon everyone in Whistler will be excited about this coming ski season, with the official start scheduled for November 24, 2011.