The best spas for Mother's Day across Canada

Trying to find a sweet way to celebrate Mother's Day? (Or want to drop a gifting hint?) Try one of these top spas!

By Jody Robbins

Photo: Spa Eastman Photo: Spa Eastman

When you’re the chauffeur, counselor, cook, maid and master Lego builder (a.k.a. mom), you deserve a day of indulgence. Truthfully, moms deserve a lot more than that, but you can’t beat a retreat to the spa when it’s staring you in the face, can you? This Mother’s Day, find pampering and peace of mind at these sweet spots. (Or, hint hint, send this link to someone who might want to know what to get you for Mother’s Day that isn’t, you know, a scarf.) You know you deserve it!


Photo of a seating area at Miraj Hammam Spa Photo: Miraj Hammam Spa

Miraj Hammam Spa You don’t need to be the adventurous sort to visit a Turkish bath, especially the kind where each guest has her own private hammam (Middle Eastern–style steam room) for half an hour before receiving a scrub and massage. After coaxing all those kinks out of your body, stay awhile and sink into a deeper state of relaxation at this exotic hideaway. Recline on velvet beds and silk cushions in the Sultana Lounge while sampling complimentary sweet cakes and sipping Arabic mint tea until you’re ready to rejoin the world. Keep your eyes open for Mother’s Day specials in early May.

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Photo of the minimal tea lounge at Tao Day Spa Photo: @taodayspa via Instagram

Tao Day Spa East meets West at this Asian-inspired green spa, located in Richmond, BC. Find your Zen with an exotic pedicure that includes Thai reflexology, or try the Tao Head, Neck & Back Massage Oil Treatment to truly mellow out. Fusion treatments, which combine modern techniques with ancient know-how, are the specialty here. The spa is not only a delight to the senses but also quite affordable. Who could say no to a 60-minute Balinese massage for $90? Not many moms.

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Photo of a Dimly lit room with a fountain in the centre. There are rounded windows in the back ground and seating around the fountain Photo: Spa Utopia

Spa Utopia Three Vancouver locations lure ladies who are looking for an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. You’ll love each of the oh-so-elegant locations as much as the complimentary wine and nibbles they serve each afternoon. Along with a well-rounded approach to wellness and the usual spa suspects, you’ll find chiropractic care, tanning, teeth whitening and salon services. Whatever you choose, don’t plan to rush in and out; you’ll want to milk this experience for the better part of the day and perhaps even stay for the night if you’re visiting the Pan Pacific location.

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Photo of the facilities at Scandinave Spa in Whistler, B.C. Photo: Scandinave Spa Whistler

Out of Town Soak your cares away as you inhale the heady scent of spruce trees and drink in the craggy peaks of the Coast Mountains. You’ll be at one with the elements and feel like a wood sprite at the Scandinave Spa Whistler, a 1,858-square-metre outdoor oasis that boasts baths you have to see to believe. Or head to the island and plop yourself in Victoria’s tony enclave of Oak Bay. At Oak Bay Beach Hotel, you get access the stunning outdoor mineral pools and eucalyptus steam room with the purchase of a one hour spa service. Of course, you can add longer spa services as you wish or snap your fingers to receive drinks and appetizers poolside.


Photo of a room at Babor Beauty Spa Photo: Babor Beauty Spa

Babor Beauty Spa Don’t let this swish sanctuary scare you off. Besides being one of the city’s best skin treatment facilities, this luxe day spa is very welcoming and offers incredible value. Encourage your partner to purchase a gift card, which will let you choose your own revitalizing treatment and is truly a work of art. While you might want to indulge in a body scrub or massage at the spa, facials are what Babor is famous for. You’ll sweep away all signs of fatigue with a skin performance facial that includes an arm, hand, neck and shoulder massage. Mother’s Day guests can expect special touches, such as ampoules and serums, with their treatments.

Photo of a room at Skoah Spa Photo: Skoah Willow Park

Skoah Moms who want to whip their faces into shape can visit this skin gym, which has four locations across Calgary (and several in Vancouver, too!). While there are no full-body massages on the menu, guests can expect to receive a robust head massage or foot rub with certain treatments, such as the Tummy and Mummy for expectant mamas. Each customized facial also includes a deluxe travel-size treat.

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Photo of the pool facilities at Willow Stream Spa Photo: FRHI Hotels & Resorts

Out of Town The Canadian Rockies have long been a source of rejuvenation, but there’s more than one pool of health and wellness within an hour’s drive of Calgary. Willow Stream Spa at The Fairmont Banff Springs needs no introduction. The award-winning spa offers day passes to its Kur pools, and its Escape to Willow Stream package includes accommodation, a spa treatment and a gourmet breakfast. In Canmore, Alta., hit up Verde Day Spa, a green spa that utilizes their luxe Éminence Organic Skin Care line to restore you to your best self.


Photo of the pedicure booths at the Four Seasons Toronto Spa Photo: Four Seasons Toronto Spa

Four Seasons Toronto Spa If your vision of a spa is tea crumpets and overstuffed couches, you clearly haven’t been to the spa at the Four Seasons Toronto. At this sprawling (yet strangely cozy) über-modern oasis, luxury comes in a strict palette of monochromatic cool. Bring your swimsuit and take a dip in the sunlit indoor pool (with stunning city views) before your treatment. Pressed for time? You probably won’t experience a more indulgent hour in your life than the Head to Toe, where an aesthetician and a massage therapist will treat you to a customized facial and reflexology foot treatment at the same time. Reformed hippies can pay tribute to Yorkville’s boho past with the 3½-hour We Are Yorkville treatment, which includes a hemp seed scrub (naturally), an arnica, honey and aloe body wrap and a patchouli-scented hemp oil massage. Or if you're looking for something more energizing (what? are you tired or something?) try out their Asian Fusion massage, an invigorating mix of Asian techniques, including Thai pressure points and stretching and Balinese and Malaysian techniques like hand cupping and stroking and tapotement.

Photo of ladies relaxing in the pools at Body Blitz Spa Photo: Body Blitz Spa

Body Blitz This is the easiest, most restorative circuit training you’ll ever do! Take the plunge at one of two downtown locations (east or west) and experience a series of therapeutic waters that will relax and detoxify your body. Complete the circuit in the suggested order to leave your skin glowing, your muscles loose and your mind quiet: Start with the warm Dead Sea salt pool, followed by a eucalyptus steam and a quick one-minute dip in the cold plunge pool; then indulge in the infrared sauna, followed by a dip in the cold plunge pool and the hot Epsom salts pool, and finish with a cold plunge. Need more? There’s a full list of body treatments, including scrubs, muds and massages, too. The Sweet Ginger and Milk Body Glow is a heavenly hour that combines a thorough scrub, warm milk treatment and grape seed oil massage. Tip: When checking in, order a fresh juice or smoothie to sip as you lounge by the pools.

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Photo of the Cloud 9 Couples suite at Spa My Blend Photo: Spa My Blend

Spa My Blend by Clarins, The Ritz-Carlton, Toronto The plush Spa My Blend by Clarins upped the spa game several notches when it came to town. Arrive early so you can spend time lounging like an oil heiress in your fluffy robe in the gorgeous coed lounge, which comes complete with haute nibblies, soaring skylights and couples daybeds that wouldn’t look out of place next to a Miami pool. (If you’d rather your relaxation be a ladies-only affair, there are comfy and quiet lounges ensconced in each of the change rooms.) Take a dip in the green-tea-infused vitality pool or breathe deeply in the eucalyptus steam room before or after your treatment. The most popular package is The Stress Reliever (a combination body wrap, massage and facial), but expectant moms should try out the Beautiful Mother-to-Be (a massage and full-body exfoliation) and adventurous spa goers should choose one of the Massages From Around the World treatments inspired by Thai massage, reiki, craniosacral therapy and reflexology.

Photo of the spa facilities at Langdon Hall Photo: Langdon Hall

Out of Town Looking for a lux mini break? Langdon Hall has long been a favourite of well-heeled Toronto-area spa goers in need of a breather. Built in 1898 as a country home for a wealthy family, the plush-yet-cozy resort has maintained it's Downton-Abbey vibe, complete with sprawling gardens, sunrooms and the fact that you can book a suite over the stables (how cute is that?!). One of the few Relais & Chateaux properties in Canada, the main 5-diamond dining room is a white-tablecloths-Afternoon-Tea, eye-popping-wine-list type of affair, but you can also tuck into more casual eats at the clubby Wilks' bar. Book the half-day retreat (massage, facial, mani and pedi) at the newly renovated spa to make sure you're very relaxed before you collapse on to your pouf-y mattress. There's also a bright and airy exercise room, an outdoor swimming pool and tennis courts for anyone who wants to work off any of the chef's desert creations made with the Hall's very own chocolate.

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If you're in the mood for a sweet, all-inclusive country getaway, check out the pretty Ste. Anne's Spa. Redeeming your gift card (hint hint) over the summer? Lounge by the pool and enjoy your treatment in a garden gazebo. Feel like horsing around instead? Ste. Anne’s unique farm program provides a host of equine activities, from riding and grooming lessons to cleaning out the stalls and feeding the horses. Be sure to check out their hydrotherapy facility, complete with large outdoor hot tubs and cedar saunas.

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Woman sits in a room at Spa Eastman Photo: Spa Eastman

Spa Eastman What mom in this day and age isn’t dog-tired? While some spas are all about chilling out, this boutique facility focuses on increasing energy levels. Besides designated power nap stations, you’ll find a team of lifestyle coaches—including a naturopath, nutritionist and fitness trainer—at the ready to help busy moms improve their quality of life. Don’t fret if it’s pampering you crave; this spa offers that in spades, too.

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Photo of a woman in the pool at Bota Bota Spa Photo: Bota Bota

Bota Bota It’s hard not to completely unwind at this floating spa (that’s right, it’s on a boat!), anchored in the Old Port of Montreal. Reap the healing benefits of spa treatments while being lulled into a state of total relaxation by the St. Lawrence River. Dip into the Nordic baths for thermal therapy (with access from $39) or sweat out any tension in the eucalyptus steam room. For added health benefits, take a yoga or Pilates class during your visit or indulge in the healthy fare offered by the restaurant’s Michelin-starred chef.

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Photo of the pools at Scandinave Spa Vieux-Montreal Photo: Scandinave Spa Vieux-Montreal

Scandinave Spa Vieux-Montréal A respite for the frazzled, weathered and weary, this Nordic-inspired spa restores exhausted mamas to their former energetic selves. Begin by warming your body in the sauna or hot baths; then refresh with a cool plunge and chill out in the funky relaxation areas. The best part? You can indulge in a soak and massage for just about $100.

Photo of a woman lounging outdoors at La Source Bains Nordiques Photo: La Source Bains Nordiques

Out of Town All traces of city stressors will disappear when you visit one of these sublime spas, just outside of Montreal. Go to the wallet-friendly La Source Bains Nordiques where moms can lounge in hammocks in the forest after taking to the saunas and Nordic baths. If you’re looking to spend the night, bed down in a chalet at Spa Eastman. Guests can decide if they want to include treatments and healthy gourmet cuisine in their bath and bed packages.


Two ladies in spa robes stand in the water at Spa Chance Harbour Photo: Spa Chance Harbour

Spa Chance Harbour, New Brunswick No need for the pre-recorded sounds of rushing streams here.This is a true nature spa, where indoor and outdoor treatments make the most of this pretty spot near Saint John, NB. Let your mind wander off during a traditional wood-burning Finnish sauna before you join the Polar Bear Club with a refreshing dip in the bay. Make a day of it by accessing the hiking trails or arranging a group kayaking session.

Photo of the facilities at Spa 225 at Chez Shea Photo: Chez Shea

Spa 225, Prince Edward Island The pastoral setting couldn’t be more tranquil than at this spa, situated inside a quaint inn outside of Charlottetown. Can’t decide if you should repair with a robust facial or relax with a massage? Take advantage of the Mother’s Day special and experience a relaxation massage, a 2-hour mani-pedi and an oxygen botanical facial treatment. Even if you can’t spend the night, try to schedule your visit so you can nosh on the organic fare—your taste buds will thank you.

Interlude Spa, Nova Scotia With locations in Halifax and Dartmouth, NS, this urban oasis offers a variety of special services to pamper Mom, from hot stone massages to full-day packages to quick hair makeovers (which include a decadent scalp massage). After you’ve been thoroughly groomed, consider taking advantage of the boudoir photography services—it’s one of those gifts that keeps on giving.

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Atlantica Oak Island, Nova Scotia For decades, Oak Island has been the subject of many mysterious treasure-hunting stories. Get set to discover soothing ocean-inspired treatments at this refuge, located 45 minutes from Halifax. The Aqua Spa treatment list includes a variety of luxery experiences. Book the Seaside Getaway package for just under $200 and experience the best Oak Island has to offer.

The Spa at the Hotel Casino New Brunswick One of the largest and most luxurious spas in the Maritimes also scores top marks for not blowing your budget. Head to this serene spa for plenty of treatment options, including a custom-blend sugar scrub or manicure, starting at $30. Enjoy the pool and fitness centre or indulge in some vino between treatments at this licensed facility.

This article was originally published on Apr 27, 2015

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