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“I Don't Believe In 5 Stars But...”

Bota Bota, spa-sur-l'eau
Ranked #1 of 84 Spas & Wellness in Montreal
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Step onboard into a universe awash with astounding contrasts. In an invented space, between two water worlds... float away.Anchored at the Old Port of Montreal, Bota Bota, spa-sur-l'eau offers passengers the healing benefits of a spa coupled with the natural lulling movements of the St Lawrence River. Surrounded by enchanting decor, with Old Montreal as a magical backdrop, this mysterious and innovative floating spa offers privileged proximity to the river while enjoying the relaxing and energizing merits of the water circuit.Bota Bota is comprised of five decks on which you will find the various spa installations: two saunas with incredible views of the river and the Old Port, a eucalyptus steam bath, outdoor whirlpool baths, cold showers and baths, relaxation areas, restaurant, terraces and garden.Over and above its breathtaking Montreal location, this unique spa offers prolonged well-being to its passengers through massage therapy, body treatments, facial treatments, manicures and pedicures, as well as yoga and meditation.You can also delight your taste buds at the restaurant operated by Auberge sur la Route, with Michelin-starred chef Eric Gonzalez at its helm. Affiliated with the reputed Auberge St-Gabriel, Auberge sur la Route allows passengers to complement their experience with a fresh and simple menu, both original and comforting, for a serene healing of body and mind.
Toronto, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“I Don't Believe In 5 Stars But...”
Reviewed March 15, 2013

Full Review of Bota Bota

Location: As we were approaching I was very confused and thought "Where the hell are we going?" But, this could have been because I was very unfamiliar with the area. It is directly on the lake and technically a boat but, don't look at it that way! Also, don't let the industrial outside fool you, the inside is very modern and sleek.

Front Desk Staff: Excellent! I mentioned this was my first time there and they were all but happy to tell me everything about the spa and even give me a tour. I was worried but, they spoke perfect English and didn't judge that I didn't know French which is sometimes hard to find in Montreal spas. They provided us with a towel and bathrobe but, no slippers. It's hard to find employees who actually care and it seems like all of theirs do, they want you to have a great time!

Spas: Wow, too many to list! Some include; outdoor decks with lounge chairs one has a hot jacuzzi, dry sauna which was pleasurably dry, very well steamed sauna, cold dip baths, multiple relaxation areas with bean bag type loungers which overlook the city, and whirlpools.

Main Changeroom / Bathroom: When I went there were quite a few people so it was a little tight and I feel it could be a little bigger but, because everything else was so excellent I didn't care much. The shower gel was lovely and the hair dryers worked very well. I wish they had shampoo and conditioner in the shower stalls.

Cleanliness: I am such a stickler for this, I always look everywhere to see how clean things are, this place is very clean. I only noticed near the end that they do in fact have people going around and cleaning but very inconspicuously so I never noticed them.

Area / Ambiance: We visited in the dead of winter and in the afternoon so we started with lots of daylight. During the afternoon, it was light but, not too bright. In the evening things changed to a quiet soft darkness which was lovely. I would easily say, that during both the day and evening, it was very relaxing. The experience here was just amazing.

Bistro: When I am served by an attractive, 18 year old looking boy child, I am a happy customer. But, more importantly he was genuinely nice to us and we appreciated that although we were of a certain age (more specifically in our 30's). The sweet potato muffin was excellent and came adorned with gold flakes and a caramel sauce. The sweet, salty, and savory nuts were to die for and had a perfect equal mix of nuts. The steak tartar was delicious and very fresh. Oh and the wine, the delicious wine, yum!

Technology: At this spa, when you arrive, you are given a stylish rubber bracelet. There is a microchip it it so you can easily access your locker without a key. It is also used to get additional services like the food. Just be careful, as when you are ordering wine you can just show them the bracelet and they serve you, so at the end it may be a surprise as to how much you actually spent lol.

Massage: Well I can keep this simple, her name is Jeannine V., and she gave me one of the best massages I can remember in a while. I frequent different spas about twice a month, consider this a massive compliment on my part, she was amazing. As I have had back surgery, I appreciated she asked questions prior to my massage to assess what I needed to be done / not to be done. What was the icing on the cake; after the massage, as I was leaving, she suggested a certain type of massage that may help me in the future with my back pain, even though she knew I was from out of town and wouldn't be returning again anytime soon.

Visited February 2013
3 Thank MeowMeowPurrPurr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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575 reviews from our community

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English first
Level 6 Contributor
125 reviews
25 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
“Good Over-all Experience Despite Disappointing Dinner”
Reviewed February 26, 2013

This was my second visit to Bota Bota, spa-sur-l’eau. I enjoyed it so much the first time, that I chose to take my mother here for her birthday where we spend the entire day.

My mom had a facial & massage and I had an exfoliation (honey & sugar scrub) treatment. We were both very satisfied with these services & I was pleased that the massage therapist for my mom, was particularly sensitive & attentive to all her special needs.

Lunch was totally delightful! We remained in our comfy robes while we ate on their pretty outdoor terrace overlooking the St Lawrence River. I had the “Salmon Tartare in the Spirit of a Guacamole with Tomatoes, Coriander, and Lemon” & my mom had the “Pesto Spread Tomatoes Mozzarella Basil Green Salad.” Both meals were superb & if you like sushi, I would highly recommend the salmon tartare which was fresh, tender & tasty.

For the remainder of the day, we relaxed on the upper deck where I sporadically used the water circuit (whirlpool, steam room, sauna & cold tub). The only thing that was a little bothersome, was a staff member who kept coming over to shush people who were in the whirlpool facing Cité du Havre. There was an indoor sign which advised clients to remain silent, but I didn’t recall seeing any visible signage outside, which is why people assumed they could talk. Of course once you get a bunch of people in a whirlpool or jacuzzi, they usually converse. A simple solution would have been to place a similar sign outdoors.

Nevertheless, we really enjoyed everything about our day - that is until dinner. This was a shame since it put a bit of a damper on an otherwise excellent day. We could have gone to one of the many exceptional restaurants in Old Montreal, but chose to dine at Bota Bota. It appeared that the waitress, who took our order was at the end of her shift (not our fault) & seemed almost agitated to serve us. In addition, she didn’t (or refused) to speak English, which only exacerbated the situation. In this regard, I used to work in the service industry and always spoke in the language of the client’s preference (be it French or English). It’s not only good business, but is respectful to that client. Nevertheless, I think that it was more the negative attitude of the waitress which put us off, especially since we chose to eat at Bota Bota versus anywhere else in the area. Having already spent a considerable amount there, we felt somewhat slighted to be treated in such a manner. To add insult to injury, the food for both of us, wasn’t remotely as good as what we had for lunch. My mom had the “Bagna Bread Tuna Roasted Peppers Olives Tomatoes Green Salad” & I had the “Lemon Chicken Breast Herbs Bulgur Carrots Honey and Mustard Sauce” which was extremely dry & tasteless.

I will conclude by saying that even though the end of our day was a little disappointing, the majority of the time we spent there was wonderful. This is something which we could not overlook and in the the end, I would still recommend Bota Bota for a relaxing get-away.

Visited July 2012
Thank CanadaPipa1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Genevieve E, Directeur général at Bota Bota, spa-sur-l'eau, responded to this review, April 6, 2013
Dear CanadaPipa,
Thank you for taking the time to review your visit at Bota Bota. I am happy you have enjoyed both your visits at Bota Bota.

New silence reminder signs are currently in production, but we know from experience that they are not sufficient. Unfortunately, we do have to constantly remind somme passengers to remain silent in silent areas.

As for the restaurant experience, I am really disappointed to hear your review. We usually have excellent reviews on the service and food at the restaurant, but your comments have been forwarded to our catorer. The menu and some of the staff members have been changed since your last visit, so we hope you will give our restaurant another try.

I hope you will be visiting us again soon, Spring and summer bring a completely different vibe at Bota Bota !

Best Regards,
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Montreal, Canada
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Absolutely amazing!”
Reviewed February 24, 2013

I loved the experience. Employees are sweet, make you feel great. The view is outstanding. The rates, especially on Tuesdays, are affordable. Great snack onboard. Love the ideau of creating a spa on a boat. Enjoyed every second of it!

1 Thank Lucie0204
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 6 Contributor
292 reviews
158 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 161 helpful votes
“What a good treat before coming home”
Reviewed February 19, 2013

We had a romantic getaway to montreal and we soent 3 hours at botabota spa since it is close toold montreal. It turned out so relaxing and fun!!
They have 2 hot tub outside(really good view of river and old montreal).2 cold tub. 2 sauna 1 steam room. Many space to relax!
Enough locker space as well.
Wish we were there on tue. Day as the current promotion is 2 people gor unlimited time for $60what a great deal :-)
We were there at 10am for 3 hours on a weekday for 30cdn :-) and didnt feel crowded at all. If we go back to montreal will go there agsin.

Visited February 2013
Thank sunshinelpc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Yonkers, New York
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
“Hot bath under the Moon and Farine Five Roses”
Reviewed February 18, 2013 via mobile

Wonderful view of the city and the stars in the outdoor baths. The sauna and steam room were top notch, and most importantly the cool bath was COLD! The swing chairs were great after. Only drawback was the somewhat cramped locker room.

Thank Chris H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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