Home / Delta Lodge at Kananaskis / Soak up the mountain scenery in new outdoor spa – Updated

Soak up the mountain scenery in new outdoor spa – Updated

The Gathering Pool in the centre of the Kananaskis Nordic Spa. It’s the centrepiece of the hot-warm-cold hydrotherapy cycle of the outdoor spa.


Tartan robes are unpacked, heated hammocks have arrived and the fires in the cowboy kettles are burning bright.The newly opened spa in Kananaskis is turning the Scandinavian spa ritual on its head. There are no stark, minimalist rooms, no staff in crisp white uniforms. And most telling of all, no silence.“There’s no shushing here,” Jennifer Buckler, vice-president of spa and development said, laughing. “We want the hospitality side to be like a Canadian kitchen party. It is more relaxed than a traditional spa.”

Fires are stoked and kept burning in metal cauldrons, adding a Canadian twist to the nordic-inspired spa at Kananaskis.


Guests will be free to socialize around the firepits, in the pools or the various saunas. The upper-level lounge, with its warm, rustic tones, fireplace and plush furniture lends itself to a lazy afternoon of sipping spirits and grabbing a bite before heading back outside to the elements.On the top level of the lodge are several massage rooms for deep tissue, relaxation and hot stone massage.But most of the action will be centred outside around the hot-warm-cold cycle with the three pools of varying temperatures and the smattering of sauna buildings — barrel, Banya, and Finnish — and a eucalyptus and alchemist steam cabin linked by wooden walkways..“It’s all about embracing the elements, not escaping them,” said Buckler.

    Heated cedar huts will keep robes warm while guests are in the pools at the Kananaskis Nordic Spa.

    One of the barrel saunas at the Kananaskis Nordic Spa.

    The cozy lounge area of the Kananaskis Nordic Spa.

    Kananaskis Spa massage room

    Kananaskis Nordic Spa artist concept.

    The lobby bar in the soon to be named Pomeroy Kananaskis Lodge.

    A cozy seating area at the entrance to Forte restaurant in the Delta Lodge at Kananaskis. Wood-fired pizzas are a speciality here.

    Handcrafted specialty cocktails like this mountain twist on an Old-Fashioned can be had in Forte restaurant at Kananaskis Delta Lodge.

It’s pretty easy to get used to, soaking in the hottest pool, with steam rising into the crisp air, momentarily obscuring the snowy peaks towering in the background. Following the hydrotherapy cycle means moving from hot to warm to cold to increase circulation, help the body detoxify and rejuvenate. But there’s something to be said for just staying put in the steam sauna or Gathering Pool as the large warm pool in the middle of the ground is called.And it likely will draw most of the guests at the spa on this opening weekend. Some of the buildings are still under construction, such as the Quiet Zone where guests will soon be able to meditate, do some yoga or catch a few winks in the Napping Room. It’s expected to open by summer.The Salt Exfoliation Cabin, inspired by Turkish Hammams, is also a little behind schedule. But considering it’s only been about a year since managing partner Hank Van Weelden first pitched the idea, a lot has been accomplished. The spa will be open Friday through Sunday until June to allow construction to go full bore during the week. After that it will operate 9 a.m. to 9. m. seven days a week.And it’s not just the spa that’s a hard hat zone. The hotel itself is undergoing a massive $36-million renovation with its pool being gutted to make way for a new water park and play zone and improved hot tub. Once open, these areas will be a big factor in the hotel’s ongoing kids’ camp. The pool area is closed until June and the hot tub is closed until the end of March. Several of its assorted lodgings such as the John Palliser are being revamped and modernized. This follows a major facelift in the main lodge itself, which has a beautiful new esthetic and will soon sport a new name. The Pomeroy Kananaskis Lodge will also become a member of the Autograph Collection, a luxury chain operated by Marriott International.

IF YOU GOSPA: The Kananaskis Nordic Spa day rates for non-hotel guests will be $70, while those staying in the Delta Kananaskis Lodge will pay $45 Monday through Thursday, and $55 on weekends. Use of the spa is included for those booking massage treatments, which will range from $149 for a 60-minute relaxation massage to $479 for a 90-minute couples massage.DINING: Restaurants in the lodge include Forte which specializes in light and crispy wood-fired pizzas and handcrafted cocktails created by resident mixologists. Try the refreshing cucumber gimlets or the mountain take on a Manhattan, complete with a dash of maple syrup and a bourbon soaked cherry. The Cedar Room is a cosy yet elegant room with an open kitchen that serves up comfort food kicked up a notch. Here you can pair a brilliantly grilled steak with bacon wrapped carrots. Banks of windows allow diners to watch the snow fall softly outside.CHILD CARE: While the spa is an adult alpine oasis, the hotel isn’t forgetting about the little one. Kana Kids is a camp that runs both in summer and winter. For a daily fee, parents can drop off their children who will go out on guided hikes, do crafts and play games.

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