An oasis in the snow

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“It poked its head around the tree and stared at me with its beautiful big round eyes.”

It was a dreamy, somewhat surreal feeling. As I sat in a rock pool, with a blanket of steam lightly hovering above the surface of the water, I felt someone’s stare fixed on me. There was complete silence aside from the gurgling of the hot mineral spring water in the pool. I looked around but didn’t see anyone, yet I couldn’t shake off the feeling that I was being watched. Ahead of me stood a forest of towering trees, their branches draped by thick snow. I was about to shift my gaze when I spotted it. There… behind one of the trees sat a deer. It poked its head around the tree and stared at me with its beautiful big round eyes. I smiled. It only lasted several seconds before the deer moved on but I felt so connected with this gorgeous creature and the tranquil snowy wonderland I found myself in. The effect Spa Scandinave Mont Tremblant was having on me was unmistakable. I closed my eyes and drifted away again.

A screech from the frozen river not too far away broke the silence and snapped me out of my dreamy state. I didn’t move a muscle. Instead, I chuckled – I knew exactly what had caused it.

Spa Scandinave Mont Tremblant

The Spa Scandinave is a beautiful spa nestled in the forests along the banks of the Diable River a few miles away from Mont Tremblant, Quebéc’s premier ski destination. Located less than a two-hour drive from Montréal, I soon discovered that it’s the perfect spot to unwind after a day on the slopes and rejuvenate.

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Mont Tremblant

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The entrance to Spa Scandinave Mont Tremblant.

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The reception and lounge.

Built on the slopes of the river, the spa consists of a series of wooden houses connected by stairs and bridges, creating a serene village-like setting. There are outdoor hot and cold pools, waterfalls, as well as indoor Finnish and steam baths. The main focus is relaxation in a tranquil environment – silence is strictly enforced – aided by hydrotherapy.

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Spa Scandinave Mont Tremblant – the outdoor pools and resting areas.

I started my visit with a terrific massage – nothing better than a thorough Swedish massage to get rid of all those knots in my back! After a cup of herbal tea in one of the resting areas, I embarked on my first hot-cold cycle: ten minutes in the Finnish sauna and a quick dip in one of the cold outdoor pools. After ten minutes in the sauna, I stepped outside into the freezing cold (it was -20 degrees Celsius outside) and proceeded gingerly into the cold pool. The cold water stung but the rush I felt was amazing! Ten seconds later, I was back in the warm confines of the resting area.

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One of the hot pools at Spa Scandinave with a view of the forests.

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The freezing pool in the river.

On my next cycle, I decided to stay a bit longer in the sauna. When I exited the sauna, I put on a robe and mustered up the courage to make the short trek down to the river. The river was completely frozen and covered with a thick blanket of snow except for one spot where the ice had been cleared. A series of steps led me down to the river where I discarded my robe. Below me, the small pool in the river beckoned. I put one foot into the freezing water and I immediately felt a wave of electric-like pulses rush through my body. I took a deep breath and gradually submerged myself entirely in the pool. I gasped and counted to five before hauling myself out of the pool. The sensation of the freezing water made me shudder and I quickly made my way back to the resting area. After several minutes, I felt it: a distinct warm glow enveloped me and I quite literally felt lighter. I’d not experienced such deep relaxation in a long while.

I repeated the cycle several times. As I sat in the hot outdoor pool, I counted the little snowflakes that landed on my arms and chuckled each time I heard a screech. That only meant one thing: another guest taking a dip in the river!

The Spa Scandinave Mont Tremblant is open year-round but the winter experience is absolutely magical. I left the spa feeling amazing. That night, just before I fell asleep, the image of that beautiful deer cropped up in my mind. It wasn’t a dream… but it sure felt like it.

Note: this post is the result of the #LoveWinter blogger trip, a collaboration between iambassador, Quebec Tourism, Tourism Montreal and the Canadian Tourism Commission. As always, all views expressed above are mine, and mine only.

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2 Responses to “An oasis in the snow”

  1. Sofie 11/04/2014 11:44 pm
    #

    We recently went to Québec but didn’t go to a spa. We did have a hot tub at Châteaux Mont Sainte-Anne and I have to admit the water was warm enough to be out there in the freezing cold.
    So funny , my hair even froze because it was wet!

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  1. Winter fun in Quebec - the #LoveWinter video | Velvet Escape - 23/09/2014

    […] the time of our lives snowshoeing and snowboarding on Mont Tremblant; soaking in the hot pools of Spa Scandinave; dancing and singing at the IglooFest; tubing and ice-skating at the Mont-Royal Park in Montréal; […]

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