Treat yourself to a healing spa getaway
Just as the clocks move back and the 4:30 p.m. sunsets become a reality, I prepare for what lies ahead. Like many people, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) tends to hit me hard. That’s why, over the years, I’ve designed a myriad of coping mechanisms — with the help of my naturopath — to ease through those endless gray days.
For me, that means boosting my vitamin D starting in September, prioritizing personal care, and best of all, giving myself a decadent spa day. My favorite place this year: HydroSpa Muskoka Wellness By Water at JW Marriott The Rosseau Muskoka Resort & Spa
Le Rosseau has been my favorite summer getaway for years. Located in the small town of Minette, in the heart of Ontario cottage country, the luxury resort is perched atop a granite cliff, offering the most breathtaking views of Lake Rosseau. (Fun fact: Goldie Hawn, Cindy Crawford, and Tom Hanks all have homes in the area.) During high season, the resort is full of guests who bathe for all kinds of games (swimming, jet skiing, canoeing, kayaking … ). But out of season, it becomes an oasis of calm, making it the perfect spot for a reset, especially since the hotel took a break last winter to refresh all of its rooms.
I put my bags in one of the chic rustic lakeside suites. There is a balcony to take in the views of the sparkling water, a gas fireplace to relax in when the nighttime chill sets in, and a plush king-size bed (the down mattress topper makes it look like a cloud) in which to sink for a sweet sleep.
My spa appointment is scheduled for the next morning, so I’m enjoying a quiet afternoon in my room (hello, 4 p.m., bath time in the large tub). As per my easy and windy route, dinner is early at the resort’s Muskoka Chophouse. I love an American style steakhouse menu and the way you can order everything a la carte, it all depends on the sides. I enjoy a beef tenderloin in butter with a mashed potato with truffle chives, grilled asparagus and wild mushrooms. Special accessories for the bartender from Chophouse for the personalized ginger beer and citrus mocktail, the perfect glass of tea.
After breakfast in the room, it’s time to check-in at HydroSpa Muskoka. This new 13,000 square foot all-season facility is heavily inspired by European wellness destinations with a biophilic design in perfect harmony with the resort’s natural environment. HydroSpa offers self-serve outdoor and indoor experiences, as well as an extensive menu of traditional spa services such as facials and massages.
I start outdoors with the spa relaxation circuit: a swim in the spa’s adult-only heated Voss Rosseau pool, followed by a sweat in the eucalyptus-infused barrel sauna. I cool off in a frozen plunge pool (so invigorating!) Before indulging in a languid soak in the aromatherapy hot tub.
Taking my wellness journey inside the Touchless Revitalization Circuit, I made my way to the Himalayan Salt Room for a 30 minute session, comfortably seated in a comfy egg chair (we have the feeling of being at the beach, breathing the salty air). Next, I sit in one of the spa’s state-of-the-art massage chairs, which offers six massage therapy techniques in a 15-minute full-body session. Every part of the body is targeted, from your neck to your ankles. I decide to stay for another round and get up as if I had had a 60 minute treatment with an RMT.
The wonderful thing about HydroSpa is that you can move at your own pace, spend as much time as you want on the circuits, and then come back for more of the things you enjoy the most. You also get a 50-minute service of your choice with the purchase of a day spa pass ($ 299 per person or $ 349 for a couple). I opt for a radiant facial treatment for a well-deserved winter radiance thanks to products rich in vitamins C and E.
Another special feature of HydroSpa: the Crystal Head Vodka Ice Bar (also included in the day pass!). Developed in partnership with Dan Aykroyd (who also has a home in Muskoka because of course!) And his brand of vodka, the bar invites diners to sip a flight under the illusion of the Northern Lights in an icy setting at -15 ° C. . Pretty magical.
Coming home from my 24 hour getaway to Muskoka, I feel recharged mentally and physically, and ready to face whatever winter throws at me … which, at first glance, could be. many. Go ahead, 2022.
Alison McGill accommodation was provided by Marriott JW Rosseau. Marriott JW Rosseau has not reviewed or endorsed this story.