Couples Day at Scandinave Spa

Collingwood, Ont.

One of the things that I truly love writing about is couples travel. It's something close to my heart as my husband AMH and I have been traveling together since the minute we met. It's been a while since our last trip and with all the stresses that come from daily life, including restoring a vintage car and navigating teenagers, we were desperately in need of a break from it all. We got exactly what we were looking for with a day trip to Collingwood, Ont., home of Scandinave Spa.

Scandinave Spa

Most of our trips, whether by air or road, usually start early. I have to admit that I am not a fan of the 4 am start so I was really excited that I would get to wake up at my usual time (7am) for our trip to Collingwood. Scandinave Spa is set in the Blue Mountains and is a 2 hour drive from Kitchener, Ont. (also 2 hrs. from Toronto and approx. 50 mins from Barrie, Ont.) although once you are there, you feel worlds away. The design of the facility is very Scandinavian yet somehow feels very Canadian! We Canadians love the outdoors and is there any smell more Canadian then burning wood outside? This is the only outdoor bath spa in all of Ontario and it has quite the following, just search the hashtag #ScandinaveBlue and you'll see many happy visitors! 

Walking up to the main entrance, along the way seeing signs instructing you to quiet and relax, and put away your cell phone, you get this incredible view of the Blue Mountain ski hill and all the nature surrounding the outdoor spa. You can view the entire complex from reception including the new 1500 sq. ft infra-red sauna building. 

During check in we were given a lay of the land and instructed on how to best utilize the spa; start with the eucalyptus steam room, soak in one of 3 hot baths for 15 minutes, dunk in one of 4 cold plunges and then relax in one of the solariums or sit by the outdoor fire pits. After resting, you start the cycle all over again and can replace the steam room with the Finnish sauna or the Infrared sauna. This way you coax the body into releasing toxins and relax the body and mind. The average visit is 2-3 but you are welcome to stay as long as you like. 

In each of the pools there is a 'Quiet Zone' with no talking and even in the other areas all bathers kept chatter to a minimum. It's hard to image a place without the noise of cell phones nowadays but this is it. Not a cell phone in sight. It.Was.Heaven. I didn't realize how much of a break I needed from my phone until our visit! 

Scandinave Spa

I'd like to provide a few bits of information that I think you need to know while planning your visit to Scandinave Spa:

  • Follow Scandinave Spa on Twitter. Here they post up to date information on wait times and information you need to know
  • Weekends are the most popular, while Tuesdays and Thursdays are less so (plan a mid-week escape!)
  • Scandinave is open 9 am- 9pm everyday except Christmas Day
  • You must be 19+ to access the baths
  • All day access is $55 per person, with a special rate on Wednesdays of $45
  • Bathing suits are required
  • Sandals and flip flops are recommended (we forgot ours and we were fine)
  • Bath towels are provided, robes are complimentary for massage guests or for rent for bath guests (we opted out of robes NBD)
  • Bring a refillable water bottle or purchase one in the shop
  • Go make up free for the day!
  • Pack sunglasses, water proof SPF and a bag to carry home wet bathing suits
  • There are Registered Massage Therapists on site. You can choose from 60/90 minute Swedish, Hot Stone or Sport massage. There are 13 treatment rooms, including 5 duo rooms. Massages start at $145 and include access to the baths
  • There is an onsite bistro providing lunches, snacks and drinks. 

Collingwood, Ont.

Now that you know the facts, how about a little review from me (RH) and my husband (AMH)

What was your first impression of the facility?

RH - Beautiful. No other word for it. The outdoor complex is well designed to keep you moving from hot bath, cold bath and relaxation area. The indoor facility is clean, shampoo & soap is provided in the showers and they have blow dryers in the locker area. 

AMH - Where has this been all my life! (RH- Seriously, he said this a lot throughout our visit)

Outdoor baths in Ontario

What was your favourite part of the Scandinave baths?

RH - The Forest Walk bath is my favourite of the hot baths. I like that the temperature is a little lower than the other hot baths and it is set right beside the forest and pond making it a very serene view. I also loved the Infrared Sauna and could have stayed there all day. I also really liked the no cell phone/talking policy. It forced me to relax and just enjoy the moment. I need things like this to quiet my mind, which is usually constantly working. 

AMH - The hotter the better. The sauna was perfect, you really get a good sweat going. I preferred the Forest Walk bath as it was tucked out of the way and felt more private. The Thermal Waterfall in the first bath felt nice too. Standing under the waterfall was like a nice massage.   

How were the cold plunges?

RH - Cold. But I went in up to my neck each time and promptly jumped out to a waiting towel.

AMH - Very cold. I can't believe she went in. First time I went in only to my waist. Second round I dunked right under. But it is really cold and I much prefer the hot baths. 

Ontario Travel ideas

Is this a good couples trip/activity?

RH - Absolutely. It was nice to leave everything behind and just sit quietly. Anyone with kids knows you don't get many moments to be together and just enjoy each others company. I also think it would make a great outing for friends and your 19+ family members. 

AMH - I thought it was the best day we've had in a long time. All we did was show up and relax. What more could you ask for? 

So, when's the next trip back?

RH - I really want to visit in the fall and winter. Just look at these photos! It looks beautiful with snow everywhere. I'm glad we visited on a sunny day in spring too. I'm so surprised that after one full cycle your body is so warm that you can sit outside no matter the temperature! Next time, I'd like to book a massage. 

AMH - I'm looking at a monthly visit from now on. I've never felt more relaxed and now I realize I really need this. The spa offers 3 month memberships and I'm considering that since I have a day off mid week every week. 

Couples activity in Ontario

Any parting thoughts?

RH - Next time I visit I am asking what they add to the water to make it so lovely. I suffer from dry skin and my skin felt amazing after getting out of the baths. I am eternally itchy and it just went away after two hours at Scandinave. Also, I felt really relaxed and I am not a relaxing sort of person. I actually felt my normally tense muscles relax for the first time! Another added benefit was getting such a great sleep that night. I just drifted off and that was that. 

AMH - This is exactly what I have been looking for to get some relaxation in. Your skin does feel great after leaving, which is nice. The drive is great too, we passed through some nice country scenery on our way there. It was easy to find the facility using Google Maps. I'm serious about going up once a month from now on.

Photography provided by Scandinave Spa. Many thanks to Scandinave Spa for hosting our visit