Feature Photo: Christian Lalonde | Photolux Studios
Few places rock the cold weather quite like the Midwest, but Winnipeg, Manitoba might be a contender. Winnipeggers know nothing beats stepping out of a snowy winter wonderland and into a steaming hot spa—and they have a roster of luxury spas to prove it.
A strong U.S. dollar means a trip to Winnipeg (only one hour from the Canada-US border) makes for a perfect overnighter on tight budgets or schedules. Whether you’re craving a weekend away with the girls or a quick romantic getaway, plan your trip up north around one of these luxury spas.
1. Ten Spa
Photo: Ten Spa
At the top floor of the historic Fort Garry Hotel, Ten Spa boasts a number of out-of-the-ordinary spa experiences, including a herbal mud “body cocoon,” where you’re exfoliated head-to-toe before being slathered in a full-body mask and wrapped in warm cloth. Ten Spa’s specialty, the Hamam, is inspired by the hot-air bathing rituals of the Ottoman Empire, and will whisk you away to another era and continent via mud masks, salt rubs and steam.
If you don’t want to move too far in your post-spa state, check out the opulent Palm Lounge a few floors down for seasonal eats and live music, or walk across the street to Prairie 360, a sky-high revolving restaurant offering prairie fare and great views. The Fort Garry is a 15-minute walk or five-minute drive away from the Exchange District, North America’s largest and most well-preserved neighborhood of heritage buildings. The Exchange District is chock-full of boutiques, theatres and hip coffee shops, making it an ideal pre- or post-spa hangout.
Ten Spa at The Fort Garry Hotel
222 Broadway, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Photo: Christian Lalonde | Photolux Studios
If visiting a Scandinavian-style spa isn’t yet on your bucket list, it’s time to change that. Thermëa follows the age-old thermal cycle ritual, which has participants cycle through stations that heat, cool, then relax the body. It sounds simple, but Thermëa translates this into a full-blown relaxation event with three outdoor baths, an exfoliation room and eucalyptus and orange steam rooms. In addition to the traditional thermal cycle ritual, you can add spa packages onto your experience, like massage therapy or the popular “vivifying treatment,” which includes a full-body exfoliation, thermal mud treatment, massage and a mini facial.
Thermëa is a 20-minute drive from downtown, so make sure to hit up the heart of the city on your way back from your spa day. It’s easy to spend an afternoon getting lost in the stunning Winnipeg Art Gallery, which houses the world’s largest collection of contemporary Inuit art, or sipping on one (or a few) of Albert Street Cocktail Company’s handcrafted drinks. Sample the sushi at Blufish before exploring Winnipeg’s nightlife at the World Famous Palomino Club.
775 Crescent Drive, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Photo: Riverstone Spa
The Riverstone Spa lives in the heart of Winnipeg’s busiest spots for locals and visitors: The Forks. Make sure to check out the must-dos of the area before dipping in for your spa date, like grabbing lunch at the Forks Market and shopping the local vendors at the upstairs Market Loft. Highlights of the market include The Common, with 20 craft beer and 20 wines, and Tall Grass Prairie Bakery, one of the market’s original vendors that specializes in rustic baking (the cinnamon buns are legendary). If you have time, bundle up and stroll the Assiniboine Riverwalk to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, housed in a stunning building that offers bird’s-eye views of the city and provocative exhibits imagining a better future for humanity.
A spa experience that covers all the bases will be waiting for you at the Riverstone Spa. After being immersed in an aromatherapy wrap or full-service facial, grab a meal or a drink at the neighboring restaurant, SMITH—you’re even allowed to wear your spa robe to dinner.
75 Forks Market Road, Winnipeg, Manitoba