Spa-ahhh

Escape the everyday and unwind in Whistler

by KIM VANLOCHEM

EACH DAY LIFE GETS a little busier, quiet moments become scarce and stress builds up. Thankfully, a vacation in Whistler is an escape from the everyday. But a trip to the resort isn't complete until you spa-ahhh.

With a variety of health and wellness facilities to choose from, it can be a bit tricky to know where to begin. To get you started Whistler Magazine has selected a handful of world-class treatments and experiences to help you unwind.

Imagine this: a place engulfed in a spruce and cedar forest, overlooking incredible mountain vistas and valleys. You discover a series of hot baths, refreshing waterfalls and an atmosphere that invites relaxation. This is the tranquility offered by Whistler's Scandinave Spa.

Based on the age-old tradition of Finnish saunas, Scandinave specializes in alternating hot and cold plunge pools with dry and steam saunas, to release toxins, free lactic acid from tired muscles and provide rest and renewal.

Scandinave's Serenity Package gives you everything you need to unwind. The package includes lunch, massage, the baths experience and a take-home gift for $179. Read a magazine, take a nap and stay all day.

The moment you step into Whistler's Eco Chic spa, stress seems like an unfamiliar concept. With a full-service approach and touches of luxury, Eco Chic Spa takes relaxation to a new level with the amazing West Coast Ocean signature treatment.

This treatment is uniquely local and Canadian. Pure pampering begins with a warm foot soak while you choose an infused-oil scent made from fresh, locally grown herbs. Next, Pacific Ocean salt and seaweed is used to cleanse and revitalize your entire body. A hand-dug glacial marine clay and seaweed cocoon envelopes your body, renewing, detoxifying and hydrating your skin.

Rinse away the clay and settle in for an amazingly relaxing, warm, lava-shell massage that literally melts away any hintof stress. Your chosen infused-oil scent revives you for the rest of your day. It's pure indulgence.

The Spa at Four Seasons is luxury and renewal at its finest. Nationally recognized as the No. 3 spa resort in Canada by Condé Nast's 2012 readers poll, the Four Seasons invites you into a personal quiet sanctuary.

Start with a workout in the gym, relax in the steam room, bring a bathing suit and enjoy the pool and hot tubs before or after your treatment — the comfort and luxury of the Four Seasons spa is the perfect prescription for a busy life.

The signature après-ski massage is one of the most popular winter treatments for good reason. Experience 80 minutes of head-to-toe massage bliss. The mixture of hot stones together with the therapist's hands demands relaxation. Meanwhile your feet are wrapped in a peppermint mask with a hot towel to relieve any residual tension.

From valet parking to a series of relaxation lounges, the Four Seasons' attention to detail is world class. All you need to bring is yourself and the Four Seasons provides the rest — bathrobes, slippers, toiletries — you name it.

Need a vacation from your vacation? Deep relaxation can also be found at a local yoga class. Get back in tune with your body, quiet your thoughts and learn how to breathe deeply with Whistler's Yama Yoga at the Alpenglow Lodge in Whistler Village.

While Yama Yoga offers a variety of classes featuring everything from Hatha to Vinyasa techniques, the restorative class is designed to help you take a break. Breathing and meditation are the focus during this calming and therapeutic class, as it includes a series of gentle movements and long held stretches.

Yoga is focused on relaxation. Practiced regularly, it can also strengthen the relaxation response in your daily life. Yama Yoga's restorative class is surprisingly relaxing and ideal for beginners, those with injuries and those wanting stress management.

No matter how you choose to unwind in Whistler, make sure you take the time to rest. Find a spa, treatment or package where you are encouraged to hang out and experience pure relaxation as long as time allows. After all, a trip to Whistler is never complete until you let yourself spa-ahhh.

Quiet your thoughts and breathe deeply in a yoga class at Yama Yoga.

Photo: Bonny Makarewicz,
www.picturewhistler.com