Respites for the mind, body and soul in Quebec
Lysa Allman-Badwin | 5/1/2014, 1:33 p.m.
In the first part of our spa-themed sojourn in the Lanaudiere region of the province of Quebec, we were rubbed and scrubbed at two fabulous spas, Kinipi Spa & Bains Nordiques and Auberge le Baluchon. Our next spa stop was Spa Natur’Eau, an oasis that far exceeds your wildest expectations.
What was once a barely accessible, mountainous, dense forest has been transformed into an amazing spiritual haven designed for complete relaxation and rejuvenation of the mind, body and soul. Featuring dramatic cliffs, vivid flora and jaw-dropping panoramic views, Spa Natur’Eau encompasses a three-story log chalet, with the second and upper floors highlighted by an intimate living room, spa boutique, treatment rooms and specialty baths. The lower level has the cafe, dining room and men’s and women’s locker rooms and showers.
Spa Natur’Eau’s piéce de resistance is the outdoor terrace, featuring three whirlpools, a Nordic bath (cold plunge), waterfalls, massive boulders, sitting areas with comfy chairs and recliners, a stone-surrounded stove fireplace and a yurt—a circular, domed tent thought to have been originally used by the nomadic peoples of central Asia, but also said to be of Russian and Turkic origins.
The Pavilion building offers a sizeable relaxation area, Finnish sauna, large, glass-enclosed shower with dual rain heads, a Hammam (similar to a Turkish bath) and an aromatherapy room.
The overall decor is a nod to the Native American tribes that once roamed the Canadian landscape, lending a very powerful yet soothing and welcoming vibe. A consciousness of gratitude, expansiveness and tranquility is accentuated by the magnificent mountain vistas and valley below speckled with dazzling colors every season of the year. It’s clear that Spa Natur’Eau was a true labor of love, demonstrated in the meticulous details found in every facet of the grounds, buildings, interior and exterior design elements, landscaping and personal touches. The staff genuinely regards every guest with utmost care and personalized attention.
Take me, I'm yours!
Services here include warm herbal wraps; body scrubs; paraffin wax hand and foot care; chair, Thai, pregnancy and couples massages; facials; manicures/pedicures and more, in addition to full use of the property amenities.
I enjoyed a marvelous foot reflexology therapy alfresco near the edge of the cliffs from Marina Mermaid (yes, that’s her real name!), a joyful, intuitive healer who has spent years in the healing arts and clearly loves her craft. The experience was more than just a treatment for my feet, rather something deeper to realign my body, spirit and connection to the earth. The Spa Natur’Eau experience is truly one-of-a-kind.
Authentic outdoor Quebec
Just when I thought I had already died and gone to heaven, we drove about an hour further (two hours from Montreal and three hours from Quebec City and Ottawa) to Auberge du Lac Taureau (auberge means “inn” in French), a four-star log cabin-style resort nestled in a woodsy setting in the gorgeous Saint-Michel-des-Saints countryside.
A true outdoor playground set on the shores of majestic Lake Taureau for individuals, families and romantic and group getaways, the resort offers a wealth of activities year-round, including fishing, hiking, wildlife observation, ATV trails, tennis, archery, mountain biking, golf and swimming. Guests may use kayaks, paddleboats and sailboats, plus there is snowmobiling, ice fishing, dog sledding, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, hockey, ice-skating and broomball. The resort has 100 spacious and inviting rooms and 50 suites and condos designed to suit a variety of tastes and lifestyles, each offering distinctive views of the 37-square-mile lake, surrounding woods and ponds.