There comes a time when we all just need to get away, clear our thoughts, and enjoy a bit of serenity. And when a beach vacation isn't an option (hello university, work commitment and poor student status), your next best bet to decompress and get away from fast-paced living is of course treating yourself to a day at the spa a short drive away. Now, I was what you may call a "spa initiate," as I've never had the luxury to treat myself to one before (let's face it - spas can be quite $$$), but I was lucky enough to receive a gift certificate at the inauguration of Boutique Spa Eastman Montreal (more on that event here), which helped bring the price down quite a bit. Of course I had to invite my sister to come along, and to my great pleasure, there wasn't a hint of hesitation on her part. We called to book a massage treatment at the Eastman location the day before, and were told we had access to the site from 9 to 6, so we decided to make a R&R day out of it!
Spa Eastman is about an hour and a half drive from Montreal, located in the town of Eastman in the Eastern Townships. Upon arrival, we were invited to join in their morning activity - Nordic Walking on the trails outdoors. Think of it as cross country skiing, with the poles but without the skis. We had a kinesiologist show us how to use the equipment and demonstrate the proper walking technique and after a small warm up, our group hit the trails. Let me tell you that I did not look graceful whatsoever, and it took me a good little while before getting the hang of it. Thankfully our trainer was super helpful and pointed out if we were doing something wrong. We hiked in intervals for an hour, speeding up and then slowing back down to a regular pace, going up and down hills in the wilderness surrounding the resort. We were told that one hour of Nordic Walking is the equivalent of two hours of regular walking in terms of energy expenditure - it was quite intense, yet the feeling of exhilaration once we got back made it all worth it. We had a quick cool down, and then in we went and had a tour of the spa!
We both had an hour-long Swedish massage booked at noon, and I came out of it feeling like a new person. The therapist started with my back, then moved on to my neck, followed by my feet, legs, hands, arms, and shoulders. I discovered I had muscles I did not even know existed! It was quite bizarre feeling them move and waiting for them to snap back into place after a few seconds of massaging. My therapist was super professional and did not make me feel uncomfortable whatsoever. She let me know that I might be a little sore for the next 24-48 hours, but thankfully the next morning I woke up without any pain.
Following the massage, we headed to the restaurant for a buffet-style lunch. Spa Eastman pride themselves on offering a tonic diet cuisine, using almost exclusively plant-based foods that are local and organic. They had many vegan options which I was really happy to see as I had ample choice. I started with a vegetable soup with a slice of bread, and followed with a loaded plate of red skinned baked potatoes, kale and quinoa salad, eggplant, and some raw vegetables. For dessert, I went for the peach coulis with granola sprinkled on top. Everything was exquisite and so full of flavour - heavenly!
We then made our way downstairs to Eastman-Les-Bains and put our swimsuits on for some thermotherapy, having access to the indoor pool, gym, polar bath, Hammam steam bath, Finnish sauna, infrared sauna, Kneipp circuit & bath, igloo shower (with a refreshing anti-inflammatory peppermint mist), two outdoor hot tubs and a natural pond. As recommended by staff, we followed what is known as a thermotherapy cycle - starting with hot then cold exposure while remembering to shower in between, and then hydrating ourselves with lemon water which was provided, resting for a few minutes, and then repeating the cycle once more. This activity can have a toll on your body with the drastic change in temperature, so we made sure to closely follow the guidelines to avoid feeling faint or dehydrated, and repeated the entire cycle for a second round. My body seriously never felt so soft and plump, it was incredible!
|Finnish sauna - hot|
|Kneipp circuit - cold|
We then made our way outside, and were blown away by what was awaiting us - not to mention being in a bikini and flip flops in freezing weather is something everyone should experience at least once in their lifetime!
The steam coming out of the hot tubs was a sight within itself. A fire was also burning nearby to provide us with some extra warmth.
My first spa experience was nothing short of amazing, and I think it will be hard to beat if I ever go to another. If you are looking for a little getaway to recharge, Spa Eastman certainly does not disappoint. I know for sure I will be going back!
895, chemin des Diligences
1 800 665-5272
Have you been to a spa before?