My boyfriend and I went to the Polar Bear Club yesterday, late afternoon into evening, and had a really fantastically wonderful experience.
I wanted to give him something different for Christmas, a unique experience, and something that felt vacation-like and relaxing, and this fit the bill (and then some).
We weren't sure what to expect. I had made the mistake of reading the reviews on here right before we headed off, and had mentally prepared myself for a crowded and possibly disappointing experience. In reality, it was far better than we could have dreamed or expected, and I can't at all understand how the other (negative) reviewers could be talking about the same place.
We did the sauna/hot tubs (not the messages). Basically, you arrive at this gloriously beautiful and serene location, set on a raging half-frozen river (different at warmer times of the year, obviously). You start off by getting your body temperature up, by lounging in either a steam room, or a sauna (that in itself was already uber relaxing). From there, you head outside, in your bathing suit, and go down to the river where you're meant to have a quick dunk (to re-lower your temperature). We managed to put our feet in, yelp, and take them out very quickly. It's meant to be great for circulation. For us, it was mostly fun, and a challenge. Something different, neither of us had ever tried before. From there, you head into the very welcoming toasty warm hot tub, outdoors, with lovely views of the surrounding snowy mountains. One of the hot tubs has a great little cave you can access by going underneath a waterfall of cascading hot water. It was great, to be outside, in frosty cold weather, sitting in a bathing suit in a hot tub, and feeling wonderful warm. We did this whole process 4 times (a minimum of 3 times was recommended). We spent about 4 hours there in total, relaxing, lounging, heating up, then cooling down, then quickly heating up again. It was pure bliss.
The experience was certainly fun. Going from hot then psyching yourself up to go into the icy cold pool, and walking around in flip-flops and bathing suits in frosty temperatures can't help but make you laugh or at least smile. It was also romantic (though it's the kind of experience which would be lovely to do a friend(s) or with family as well)
It was invigorating - we both felt great and hugely relaxed afterwards. And exhausting - we were both in a state of post-Polar-Bear-Club-sleepy bliss afterwards.
I highly recommend it as a something-different experience and a wonderful way to pamper yourself or someone else.
My quick comments on the negative reviews on here are that yes, the parking lot is a few minutes walk, on the road, but there was a shuttle van waiting for us to take us from our car to the spa (which would have literally taken us 2 minutes to walk). The reception was courteous and gave us detailed descriptions of the process, what to expect, plus some tips. The changing/locker room had hardly anyone else in it. And yup, we were told a few times to keep the chatting down, but very politely, and it was our fault for forgetting to be quiet in the quiet areas (whispering was fine, and everyone else was doing so as well). At first we thought it was funny that we had to be quiet (rather than get to share the experience vocally with each other). But the quiet adds to the feeling of relaxation, and not having to hear everyone else's conversation is a rare treat, which definitely adds to it all. As I said above, we did whisper, and the one time that I (and others) couldn't quite refrain from letting out loud squeel or shrieks (or in my case, a very loud "what the hell!!!") was the first time you immerse yourself into the frigid icy water.
It was great! And definitely worth going.
Enjoy!! We sure did.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Polar Bear's Club Spa Hotel: A part of our heritage in the Laurentian Mountains! In 1964, the Laurentian region welcomed the first Nordic Spa in Quebec-The Polar Bear's Club. For more than 50 years, the Polar Bear's Club Spa Hotel has become a true reference in the spa industry and has inspired many spas such as the Scandinave, Finlandais, Balnea, Bota Bota or O'furo by promoting the Nordic spa practice in Quebec. The Polar Bear's Club Spa Hotel is one of the most exquisite spots in the Laurentians. Located in a unique setting, close to the ski hills of Saint-Sauveur Station and the charming village of Sainte-Adèle, its high-end services, rustic architecture, and warm and charming ambiance are the key factors to its long standing success. Upon your arrival, you will instantly realize that you are in an exceptional location, where nature is especially lush and abundant. The Polar Bear's Club is located in an exclusive enchanting area, making it the most authentic Nordic spa in the Laurentians. Dramatic views of the Simon River spanning endlessly from north to south and the exhilarating sound of rushing water bursting from natural waterfalls will convince you that this is the best place to re-energize. The Polar Bear's Club was originally built with only a few small changing stations and one sauna. Today, modern installations are scattered throughout the premises, including two thermal pools, two dry saunas, two steam baths, five outdoor heated therapeutic whirlpool baths, two waterfalls, and secure access to the river, relaxation rooms, terraces and on-site lodging. Not to mention the warm welcome you'll receive at the reception area. An extraordinary team of more than 50 professionals, all experienced in massage therapy and beauty treatments are dedicated to care about the well-being of our clientele. Half way between Montréal and Tremblant, it is the ideal natural environment to experience the benefits of a Nordic spa. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Polar Bear`s Club Hotel Piedmont
- Polar Bear's Club Piedmont, Quebec