Posted by: Feet Banks
Whistler isn’t all adrenaline-fueled mayhem and sick-gnar extreme action, we’ve actually got a plethora of options in the “taking it easy” department as well. So to help fill the hours before the ski hills open The Insider will be highlighting some of Whistler’s top spas over the next week or so.
But first, full disclosure: I’m a dude. I have calloused hands, I know how to sharpen a chainsaw, change the oil in a tractor, and retrieve the wife’s earing from that U-shaped trap under the bathroom sink. I’m not really a spa guy, or at least, I haven’t been one up to this point.
Having said that, I also juggle a couple jobs and have a 3-year-old kid who knows no fear— if ever there was a point in my life I could use some decompression time and pampering…this is it.
So sit back and take a load off as we hit up Whistler’s top spas to figure out what’s what. Because you’re never too old or beaten down or calloused to learn something new right? Right. (Also Christmas is coming and Spa gift certificates always go over well with the lady in your life. Or your mom, or sister, or anyone. Who couldn’t use a bit of relaxation?).
Scandinave Spa Whistler
Mons Road, Whistler 604-935-2424
The Spot: Scandinave is a short drive north of the Village but it’s worth the trip. Tucked amongst three acres of forested hillside, Whistler’s largest spa is based on the concept of hydrotherapy – a warming and cooling of the body to recalibrate and rejuvenate.
Recommended Treatment: “The 60 minute Swedish massage combined with the outdoor experience is the ultimate in relaxation,” says Scandinave’s Elissa Mulligan. “We’ve got over 20,000 square feet here with great scenic vistas and a view of Whistler Mountain. The perfect activity to do rain, shine or snow for some well-deserved relaxation.It's a unique outdoor experience.”
Amenities: 14 massage rooms (4 doubles), 2 hot pools, thermal and Nordic waterfalls, Eucalyptus steam bath, Finnish Sauna, cold showers, relaxation solariums, hammocks, outdoor fireplace, and Bistro.
Deals and Specials: Early risers can enjoy a 9am Swedish massage and use of the pools for $126 all winter long. For November 2011 Scandinave is offering a monthly facility pass (Monday to Friday) for $135 and single-visit locals Tuesday deals for $35.
Overall Dude-liness: 6/10. The cold water feels manly but cannonballs into the cold pools are not encouraged and Scandinave asks all guests refrain from speaking out loud, at all, which i had a hard time with. But I survived and still really wish I could rent out this whole place for my birthday party and hire a couple DJs. It's a magical spot.
Avello Spa & Health Club
Westin Whistler Resort, Whistler Village. 604-935-3444
The Spot: Warm and well lit, with a waterfall in the lobby, the Avello feels open and friendly. If there is such a thing as a “social spa” in Whistler, this is it.
“Right now I’m really excited about Google Inside,” says spa owner Suzanne Johnston about Google’s new one-click virtual tour feature. “Sign me up! I love it because I am claustrophobic and with this people can see what they get before they arrive.”
Recommended Treatment: “The Thai Stem Massage and Pedicure are always great,” Suzanne says. “Or right now I am excited about ‘The Sweet Retreat’ package. It includes a spa session, the health club, pool, and lunch in the Aubergine Grille. Just a whole day of time for you.”
Amenities: 6 Massage rooms (2 doubles), Milk baths, 4-chair Pedi lounge, adjacent health club, indoor/outdoor pool, eucalyptus steam saunas, indoor and outdoor hot tubs.
Deals and Specials: For November Avello is offering a 50 for 50 deal, any 50-minute treatment for $50 (with a few date restrictions) and Suzanne has an iPad set up in the front lobby for anyone who wants to get social about their spa experience. Post a written or video review and receive 10% off any regular priced treatment. “Relaxing and wellness doesn’t need to be separate from being social,” Suzanne explains. “I want people to know what we have to offer.” Call for details or check their Instagram page or website.
Dude-liness: 7/10 Unleash a foot massage party with your buddies in the pedicure room (I tried the Thai Stem and it rules). The views of the pool area can also be entertaining at times and the staff here understand that chilling out and having fun should go hand in hand. If all else fails there’s a good bar downstairs, The Firerock.
The Spa at the Four Seasons Resort
Four Seasons, Upper Village, 604-935-3400
The Spot: This is the spot. The Spa is a massive, everything-you-need spa with over 40 different treatments and the motto of, “What you want, we make it happen.”This includes free razors, swimwear, bath products, slippers and more. There are TV screens mounted on the stationary bikes, the dual-relaxation rooms are customized for either pre- or post-treatment and the pool deck is heated, which makes that ethereal steam when it snows. “It’s all about the whole facility,” says Director of Spa Filipa Batalha. “Everything has been considered, including free parking.”
Recommended Treatment: “The most popular for winter is the Après-Ski massage,” Filipa says. “That’s a no-brainer, the name tells it all. But we are also known for being very family oriented, one of the only spas with a kids’ menu and Me!Bath products.” That’s right, kids go bananas for the Strawberry Sunday massage and scrub with custom products full of colour and sweet candy smells. “It’s popular. Last week we had eight 14-year-olds in here for a birthday.”
Amenities: 14 treatment rooms (2 doubles), 2 different relaxation rooms, outdoor pool, 3 outdoor hot tubs, 2 steam rooms, a yoga studio and fitness facility, 1 multi-headed Vichy shower.
Deals and Specials: Filipa and her team have some great "Off the Vine" specials running November 8-15 to coincide with Whistler Cornucopia. Act fast to get deals on stuff like a Grape Seed Massage, Mimosa Body Polish and Vino Pedicure. As well, The Spa is offering a shoulder season membership deal. Become a member for just $185/month (offer valid until Dec. 15).
Dude-liness: 8/10. The Spa actually has dude-specific “Mountain Men” facial treatments and KenMen products, which is apparently organic, Canadian-made and very manly. The 15-second swimsuit dryer in the change room is also cool (dudes love gadgets). Put it this way – if I was a rock star who just got off a ten-month tour with Motley Crue and Ozzy Osbourne in his chew-the-heads-off-bats era, this is where I would come to wash my sins away and rejoin the civilized world.
This is just the tip of the spa iceberg. Check out The Dude's Guide to Whistler Spas Part Two.