Chill out in South Georgian Bay


It had barely snowed all winter, so naturally the morning we set out for the South Georgian Bay area, there was a freezing rain warning first thing in the morning, followed by heavy, blustery snow. Schools were closed and roads soon followed. At least, I thought, the snowshoeing would be decent for the first time all season.

A long weekend away needs the balance of key ingredients such as outdoor activities, fabulous food, and a smattering,, no make that heavy hits of pampering or self- indulgence. With that in mind, our weekend started on a key note with a visit to Scandinave spa, just outside of Collingwood.  Just a mention  that you are going to or just returned from the area, the first question is usually “did you go to the spa”.  It has become synonymous with the lifestyle that Georgian Bay offers .A Nordic spa, the majority of features are naturally outside.  There is a suggested circuit to take, and take it we did.

A perfect day to be here , the wet snow and rain added to the moodiness. The transition from busy-ness to relaxation started almost symbolically walking across the wooden bridge from the parking lot to the spa building.  Nestled in surroundings of tall trees, scents of wood fire mixed with a hint of eucalyptus hinted of what was ahead,  I left my hurried week behind in the parking lot.

One of the staff explained the suggested route to us, so we changed into bathing suits, thick, fluffy white robes continuing the transformation .  We took to the outdoors in our robes and flip flops, slightly apprehensive about spending all afternoon outside as it was -8 degrees.  Our apprehension quickly disappeared once we started the circuit at the Eucalyptus steam room . Wet heat was suggested for the first stop as the eucalyptus has a calming effect, opens the pores of the skin and soothes the mind.   The steam enveloped me, and I couldn’t see if there was anyone else there, but it didn’t matter, as I felt as if I could breathe for the first time ever.   It has been referred to as the “Massarati of steam”. Silence please signs hung everywhere, which helped soothe the mind as well as the body.

We then moved onto more warmth in one of three hot pools (104 degrees), walking past an open fire surrounded by frosty looking Muskoka chairs.

Aaaahhh, easing into the pool was scrumptious and I could have stayed ages, but moving on within the recommended time frame, we scurried reluctantly to the cold plunge pool, nippy at 64 degrees.  A full submerge was recommended.  I don’t think so. As I stood up to my ankles for a full two seconds, I knew that was as far as I was going.

The other option was  a roll in the snow – the cold being the most important component, as the pores you have just opened close and your heart rate  quickens ,and  blood rushes which equals energy and endorphins, translating to heat.

After hastily throwing on my hanging robe , moved on to the Solarium.  Large windows,and rows of Muskoka chairs faced dense woods, and heavily trafficked birdfeeders.

Stacks of magazines, my mind wandered, and I tried to sleep but was fascinated watching white robed people pass the windows making my imagination run wild. Silence beckoned again, so we sat, pretended to read, and chilled  out for the  suggested 15 minutes.  We started the circuit again, this time changing to a different hot pool, and tried the third heat source which is a dry wood sauna, too toasty for me to stay at 180 degrees, visited another relaxing room and cold plunge to shake things up a bit.

After enjoying the luxurious showers in the change rooms, we changed into snow shoe appropriate gear, relaxed, energized and prepared for outdoor activities in a relaxed zone.   A day pass for the total spa experience is only $48.00, and if you want that Saturday feeling on a Wednesday, there are mid-week specials.

Named a “Top 50 Spa” by, Scandinave Spa is located minutes from Collingwood and  Blue Mountain Village

for more ideas on what to see and do in South Georgian Bay …and there are so many options every season, check out their website:

photographs:  Jeff Thomason


About The blog of travel & lifestyle journalist Melody Wren

Melody is a freelance writer because she believes that work and fun should not be mutually exclusive. She writes about travel, food, lifestyle and green living. Melody loves staying in a place long enough to get acquainted. Local customs, markets and traditional cultures are magnets for this writer. When not writing she’s either on the road, in the air, or savoring something tasty. Most of her travels feature outdoor adventures of some sort, although she typically avoids sleeping on the ground. She is an ordinary person that enjoys challenging and pushing herself, facing fears with an eye on experiential travel. She needs to do it, feel it and see it so she can write about it. Her hope is that her stories encourage readers to get out there and do the same.
This entry was posted in Recent Trips. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Chill out in South Georgian Bay

  1. Stephen Lee says:

    Great spot, great amenities, great photos, intriguing!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s