Le Nordik – revisited

I’d like to think that in some small part I helped make Le Nordik in Chelsea, QB what it has and still is becoming. At least I remember the time when you could walk in, change and enjoy the entire day of spa-ing without hardly seeing anyone. It’s been 9 years since we left Ottawa and, boy, have things changed. Le Nordik is working hard to innovate and to retain it’s title as Canada’s largest spa.

About the time that I was moving away from Ottawa, Le Nordik was busily constructing their new phase, which includes 3 new saunas (maybe four), a flotation tank, a panorama pool and more fun relaxation space ‘en natur’. So last month when I visited, it was a pleasure to see the new arrivals.

Of these new features, I loved the wood burning – fireplace sauna. I believe it was called a meditation sauna. It was among the hotter of the new additions and I felt really retained the initial reason why I loved Le Nordik in the first place. Something about watching a fire burn while you, yourself are burning up, produces a new level of intensity – and perhaps demands a state of meditation to overcome.

The long-awaited flotation tank was an interesting experience for me. I had actually never been in one before, and likely will not repeat it. Walking down the red-lit staircase, prepares you for the womb-like experience you are about to encounter. After applying the petroleum jelly to my open wounds, I could already sense the salty humidity as I entered the darkened cistern.

I couldn’t help but chuckle out loud a bit seeing the almost life-less bodies randomly floating in the calf-deep pool, slowly turning in the still water. It was like a sense from a sci-fi movie, where humanoid bodies had been stripped of consciousness by a robot autocracy. But I proceeded.

In the end not quite for me, I just got a little bored. But others that I spoke to said that they could have stayed there all day. I guess I couldn’t quiet my mind like I imagine you might have to when you are just floating in tepid water.

The panoramic pool opened up the forest view toward the city of Ottawa and though I enjoyed it – it’s sure it’s much more beautiful in the summertime.

Finally, I was happy to see the the Aufguss ritual was alive and well. Though I did notice that it was not quite as hot as when they were first experimenting, so the middle sauna seat could have easily been the top.

Overall I’m happy with the changes, however I was quite unhappy with the 45 minute line-up that followed these changes. This wait at the start really impacts the ability to truly have the full relaxation experience. I am however especially excited to see their new grotto – I think they are calling it ‘Caverna’ and their ‘banya’. I’m wondering whether they will actually doing a venik. The new yoga studio will be loved by many.

Such an amazing place still, and growing. Can’t wait for the next time that I’m there.