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Kinipi Spa & Bains Nordiques

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If I’m lucky, when at home, I can find time to schedule a massage about once every two months. After sitting at the computer most of the day, working out and running around with the regular life stuff, I really need it – physically and mentally.

So I was thrilled to be invited to participate in a spa-themed travel writing trip to enjoy four spas in as many days. And to sweeten the pot, they were all located in Canada in the province of Quebec, encompassing 20 tourist regions. 

Our first spa stop was Kinipi Spa & Bains Nordiques   in the charming town of Trois-Rivières (which means “Three Rivers”), located only a 90 minute drive from both Quebec City and Montreal, to the east and west, respectively.

Derived from the Native American Algonquin tribe language, Kinipi (pronounced Kee-KNEEE-Pee) means “Your Water,” and Bains Nordiques (pronounced Noor-deeks) which means “Nordic Bath.”

The “rules” here were very simple: Unplug, unwind, enjoy the silence and rejuvenate. And once you see the environment you’ll know exactly why.

Bod - Kinipi (6)

Opening in 2011, it was founded by a former industrialist who appreciated the Zen ambiance he had experienced in Bali. From that, he recognized the benefits that a meditative ambiance centered around water and restorative body treatments could have on those around him. The result is an amazing, 19,000 square foot, primarily alfresco spa haven that soothes the body, mind and spirit.

The three log cabin-style buildings on the property are fashioned in a U-shape, offering a sense of unity with each other and the surrounding woodsy ambiance. Inside guests will find expansive men’s and women’s locker rooms, a dry Nordic sauna, a eucalyptus steam room, relaxation alcoves and an upscale restaurant.

Outside you will find several upper and lower level leisure areas complete with comfortable Adirondack chairs, chaises lounges and footrests. One is located on a semi-circular outdoor patio with a fire pit; another under a pergola backing up to the awe-inspiring Canadian woods.

After checking in, donning your hooded, full-length terry cloth robe and grabbing the provided oversized bath towel and water bottle, the suggested “itinerary” is to spend about 10 minutes in one of the 104 degree hot spas, followed by the eucalyptus steam room to open your pores and release the toxins in the body, then (as long as you can stand it!) one of the 39 degree cold plunges to close the pores.

Each of the spas offer plenty of places to rest – on underwater ledges, behind waterfalls, next to massive boulders, and beside the beautiful landscaping elements. In the winter the patio and pool ramps here are heated, allowing you to move comfortably between each element.

In between, guests are invited to enjoy a wide array of spa or aesthetic treatments including therapeutic massages, reflexology, facial hydration, their signature back mud treatment and more, for men and women; sip hot tea;, curl up for a nap in the comfy blankets dotted around property; or enjoy a fantastic spa meal in the restaurant – all while wearing your bathrobe and flip flips.

Many guests (about 70% women during the week, approximately 50/50 on the weekends) come for only a few hours, others for the entire day, and still others for an entire evening (they are open ‘til 10 pm weekdays and 11pm on the weekends). Either way, Kinipi is a remarkable place in which to reconnect with yourself and with nature. 

Written by Lysa Allman-Baldwin


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