“Health is the greatest gift,
contentment the greatest wealth,
faithfulness the best relationship.”
Have I ever told you that I LIVE for road trips? There’s something about preparing to go out on the open road and feel free that makes my heart skip a beat and fill it with excitement.
When I was invited to visit a region north of my city, I did not hesitate and immediately said yes! Oh did I even mention it was to go to Nordic Baths? 🙂
As you know very well by now, I am a fan of spa-ing and love the benefits of thermotherapy as well. As of recently, I have been having a great time exploring spas that are found within the city (how did I not know about them until now?).
However I have also been doing some research and found out that there are several spas in Quebec which is great news for health enthusiasts!
I planned my road trip and went out that sunny Monday morning. Driving against traffic in the middle of rush hour was a real pleasure! I sincerely admire and respect people who commute to and from work every single day. The patience they must have to sit in congested lanes for hours!
Following the directions provided by Google Maps was very easy. I headed north on highway 25 and from then on it was quite an enjoyable ride through the countryside.
The Lanaudière region is approximately 30 minutes away from Montreal. It is located between Fleuve Saint-Laurent (St-Lawrence River) and the mountainous area of the Laurentians. It offers plenty of activities all year round.
La Source Bains Nordiques is located in the municipality of Rawdon, Quebec. Built between a rock wall of Mont Pontbriand and a hillside, as well as surrounded by a forest, it is a SPAce to rest, relax, renew your mind, body and soul.
Reaching it is a breeze thanks to the clear signage along the way. Then you know you have arrived once you see this at the entrance.
There are plenty of parking spaces and I personally suggest arriving there as early as possible to take all the time needed and just escape even for a few hours.
After parking my vehicle, I headed towards the stairs which may intimidate you at first but I’m always up for an adventure.
I did count and there are 78 of them that will take your breath away, literally and figuratively!
As you go up, you can’t help but breathe in fresh air and concentrate on every step. I don’t know about you but I’ve developed a habit when doing so and I repeat a mantra in order to stay in motivated.
Once I reached the top, I stopped to look back down. It is a feat to get up there and yes my legs were shaking a bit but that was a good workout!
I opened the door and was taken aback at what I saw. Naturally, I had to sit down, take a sip of water and bring my breathing back to normal (remember the stairmaster at the gym? Well this was a real one).
A member of the friendly staff at the reception, Julie, asked for my information and explained how everything worked. They even took me outside on the patio to show me exactly where everything is located with was clear as spring water. They gave me a soft terry robe and two towels and the keys to my locker.
However before starting my journey (and experience), I had the privilege of meeting with Mr. Patrice Lalancette, the general manager of La Source Bains Nordiques.
He told me that this is a dream come true for him and his spouse, Mrs. Caroline Simard and recalls: “I am a hiking enthusiast and one day, I was going through this area and was drawn in. I set up my tent next to the rock wall and slept the night over. In a dream, I had the vision of a spa and Nordic baths built in harmony with nature, so I talked about it to Caroline and together we decided to go for it. I decided to leave my position and invest my time and resources into this project which took 6 years to complete. The final result is what you see here today.” It sure was well worth it!
The project was confided to an architecture group who planned it carefully and turned it into an eco-modern construction by using the elements already present on site such as rocks, wood and use geothermal power to generate heat and electricity on the property which is exclusive to La Source and in the province.
He then explained that there is a meditation trail which guests can follow to explore the location. During the summer, guests can even get a massage or attend a yoga session outdoors, right in the middle of nature!
I couldn’t wait to start, so I got ready for the relaxation journey.
To fully take advantage of the facilities of La Source Bains Nordiques, and have the best experience, it is suggested to follow a cycle by alternating between hot and cold.
I started by going into the steam bath infused with eucalyptus essential oil. It sure was hot inside but it was great for my lungs and airways!
One little detail that I truly loved is this wood glass compartment near the door. I do wear glasses and don’t always carry my eyeglass case, thus this was pretty cool. Ah and the box of tissues right above are handy as well!
After 10 minutes or so, I stepped outside and courageously plunged in the cold pool and then stood below the
It sure was refreshing and truly concentrated on the moment!
I allowed the power of water wash away any pain or stress for a couple of minutes before stepping out, patting myself dry, putting on the terry robe and head to warmer waters at one of the
Outdoor whirlpool tubs
Which were built directly next to the rock wall.
I naturally was drawn to the waterfall which was so comforting and much easier on the body than the cold one. Sitting and admiring the mountain, hill or even the sky is quite amazing.
After approximately 20 minutes of being immersed, it was time to rest, thus I headed to the Relaxation Room that is next to the whirlpools.
I put my feet up on a bean bag and adjusted the detachable headrest and simply dozed off. Relaxation at its pure state.
This simple yet comfortable room offers a panoramic view of the property and surroundings.
Honestly, I don’t know how long I slept but was woken up only when another guest came through the door and sat at the front row.
That was a sign for me to leave the room and go for round two!
This time I went to the Finnish Sauna where you will sure release built up toxins and release muscle tension (if there’s any left).
Feeling the heat, hear the charcoal crackle and focusing on your breathing while keeping your eyes closed is truly being present in the NOW, nothing else mattered.
I stood still (a miracle) for about 20 minutes, when I heard the door open a few times and that only meant one thing, that the small space was getting crowded and it was time for me to cool off.
Fortunately there is a cold shower right next door and iced water came falling down from the rain shower head.
It did a whole lot of good! A deep cleanse.
To be honest with you, I felt as if I was floating or felt so light after that, so I decided to connect to the earth and did that by walking a short distance on the
At this time of the year it is covered with crisp, yellow leaves and the air was quite chilly, thus I only covered a tiny fraction.
I sat on an Adirondack chair and enjoyed the silence before this view, then closed my eyes and breathed in pure mountain air and listened to the soothing sound of rushing water.
I actually lost track of time but I was getting hungry and it was close to lunch time, so I went back to get ready and headed upstairs to
which operates during opening hours. All ingredients used in the kitchen are fresh produce offered by local farmers which help promote the “food to the table” movement.
I was craving a nice salad and there were many options to choose from. The “Vitality Salad” was my selection and I sure was not ready or had an idea about what I was going to see and taste.
Please don’t drool or lick the screen before the following:
“A salad is not a meal. It is a style” said Fran Lebowitz and the only thing I can add is that is it art in a plate.
One of the specialties is this large amount of goodness composed of grated zucchini, beets, carrots, red cabbage, cucumbers, fried kale, micro greens, accompanied by citrusy dressing and for additional protein, grilled chicken along with crisps.
Did I just say I was wowed? No, that’s not it. It was pure eye candy (especially for my photographer eye) and I had to capture it because honestly, how often do you see a spectacular salad, seriously?
I had a mountain to conquer, thus I started from the top and worked my way down slowly and savoring each and every bite while admiring the views of from the floor-to-ceiling windows.
It is important to mention that you can come into the Bistro to refuel (a.k.a eat a healthy meal) and have a drink in your bathrobe, however I felt more comfortable being dressed as if I was at a chic restaurant because I sure felt like a VIP 🙂
The service is attentive and efficient. Daphné, the waitress, came to take my order within minutes and served the above salad a few moments later. She came to check to see if everything was good and asked if I needed anything else. That was appreciated.
The freshness, crispness and savory salad was not only hearty and healthy, it was filling! You must be truly hungry or starving before getting one.
I truly wish I had ordered a glass of red wine or why not bubbly, however I am a very responsible driver and had to come back home to Montreal.
An hour on the road was waiting ahead, so I was sad to leave that little piece of heaven. I gathered all my belongings, returned my key to the reception and left the spa but promised myself to go back and try a hot stone massage and facial next time.
In all honesty, it was the best spa I have been IN the province of Quebec so far and it is well worth traveling for!
Many thanks to everyone at La Source for welcoming me as their guest and making me feel at ease from the moment I got there. Your excellent service and attention makes you stand out and will be remembered.
I invite you to find out more about them by visiting them!
La Source Bains Nordiques
4200 Rue Forest Hill
Visit their site and follow them on their social media profiles:
Trip Advisor: http://www.tripadvisor.fr/Attraction_Review-g670343-d1792457-Reviews-La_Source_Bains_Nordiques-Rawdon_Quebec.html
Now I turn it over to you!
Have you ever been to Nordic Baths?
If not, would you like to?
Let us know!
Until next time,
Tashi Delek, all the best,