So, truth be told, not only had I not been to a day spa in 20 plus months, until relatively recently I hadn’t really been anywhere. The daily Covid case count and barrage of scary images on screens all round were having their way with me (and my vivid imaJENNation) turning necessary outings to hotspots like the grocery store into my best impersonation of an alien invader, replete with two masks (including a professional KN95), huge shades and medical grade gloves.
Accordingly, as I’ve ventured back into life in the last several weeks, the recent day spent with a dear friend at beloved Montreal spa BOTA BOTA has underscored to me both how significant and transformative self-care is in our daily lives and just how outstanding the floating spa is, unique in the world.
For your infotainment, some highlights from the day of play and exhales that won’t soon be forgotten:
THE SETTING: First off, though Mother Nature wasn’t as cooperative as I would have liked and the rain pounded down, there was no denying the majesty of the setting anchored on a boat overlooking one of the most beautiful panoramas in our fair city. Be it seated cocooned in the healing heat of the sauna, swaying dreamily on crocheted swings, luxuriating in the outdoor mega spas, and fine dining in the stunning eatery (more on that momentarily), the vistas before us added immeasurably to the serenity, the experience, the magic.
THE HANDS: Boasting an enviable list of services (including a new detoxifying wrap that sounds positively heavenly), it was admittedly challenging to narrow down my selection to a 60-minute-deep tissue massage. That said, the choice was perfection. Placed in the soothing and restorative hands of a therapist who is as knowledgeable about the body as he is talented and pleasant, I soon found myself succumbing to the deep kneading and muscle manipulation, eventually so relaxed I forgot where I was, rather devastated when it all came to an end, and the heated bed beneath me had to be freed up for the next very lucky client.
THE EATS: In the spirit of full transparency, I have to say I wasn’t expecting the dining experience in the independently owned La Traversée to be the gastronomic feast it was. For some reason, I had this mental pic of super spa food, more basic and veggie based than next level epicurean. Not that the former can’t be delicious but this was the kind of sit down experience you want to make a separate pilgrimage for, too. And, according to owner Thomas Engasser (who is a complete sweetheart!) you can, as the eatery operates independently and is available for events as well. Fan faves for my girlfriend and I included the decadent pasta bathed in tomato sauce, house specialty beets, goat cheese topped tarte and melt-in-your-mouth brownie with just right salty caramel sauce (a danger to the hips but endlessly pleasurable for the stomach and soul … )
THE DETAILS: As the adage goes, the devil’s in the details but in my humble, so is the success. And the dream team at Bota Bota have details down. From the warm greeting of the staff upon arrival to the wonderful package of goodies neatly tucked away in the easy to open locker (technology is also well integrated into the experience), you feel as if no stone has been left unturned in the quest to immerse visitors in the ultimate spa escape.
For more on the spa, and/or to reserve, head to BOTABOTA.COM and yes, please feel free to tell them which local gal inspired you. 😉