Taking a break from the daily grind and focusing on your self-care is a big part of staying healthy. Nourishing your body, mind and soul is not a luxury, but a necessity. Having an escape from your busy schedule, work and responsibilities is the best way to set you back on track towards living the life you meant to live.
That’s why a Yoga Retreat at Ste. Anne’s Spa is the perfect marriage of a yoga retreat and a spa experience all in one amazing package. It’s a rejuvenating and invigorating two-night, three-day yoga and spa retreat with a beautiful blend of being pampered as well as practicing yoga and mindfulness.
I intended this visit to be one that would work on my body and mind. I allowed myself to be open, and discover some deep personal truths from this inner journey. I came to some realizations and important insights during my guided meditations – almost feeling as if I had a breakthrough in my mental, physical, emotional and spiritual self.
Something magical happens when a group of like-minded individuals gather together in a beautiful location to share the practice of yoga. The yoga practices with our instructor Francesca dug deep; she guided the group of us (about 10 women) through a series of yoga classes that included Restorative Yoga, Yoga Nidra, Yin Yoga.
In all of the yoga practices, Francesca encouraged us to let go of guilt, shame, fear or any negative emotion you are holding on to from the past. Going through the meditative ‘journey’ allowed us to bring any positive messages to the surface, messages that we may have buried or swept under the rug for whatever reason.
The sessions with Francesca forced us to look closely at ourselves, and see what could be holding us back; looking at messages we write to ourselves; and looking deep within to truly listen to our inner mind’s messages.
In between our yoga practice, I enjoyed three treatments that I hadn’t experienced before; I knew I wanted to tune into my chakras, and learn more about Reiki. Aside from the popular spa treatments that Ste. Anne’s offers, I love that they also cover other mindful/wellness body treatments such as these.
Reiki: Japanese for “Universal Life Energy,” Reiki helps create balance, harmony and well-being through a non-invasive, light hand touch that transfers a flow of energy to the body. Reiki promotes overall well being, increases energy flow, balance and harmony.
Hot Stone Massage: The entire relaxation massage is performed using the hot basalt stones and essential oils. The soothing heat, the smooth contact and gentle weight of the stones, and the aroma from the essential oils helps loosen muscles, gently massaging away tension and stress.
Chakra Awareness: This treatment helps increase awareness of all 7 energy centers so that they can receive, absorb and distribute particular life energies.Through a blend of different techniques, including relaxation massage, heat therapy and the stimulation of specific energy points, this service will make you aware of what is required to help balance these energy centers. to decrease stress and muscular tension in your back, arms, neck, scalp and feet.
When you approach Ste. Anne’s from the gravel road, you will see signs leading up to the spa that remind you that you will soon relax and unwind. There is also a sign at the entrance requesting guests to turn their phones off – it’s definitely an unplug zone!
When you enter Ste. Anne’s, you’ll immediately feel a sense of calm and relaxation; the smell of eucalyptus will take over. Even though it’s a luxurious resort, it’s very welcoming and comfortable.
There are rooms in the main inn, as well as several cottages a walk or quick drive away. I stayed in the Birdsong cottage in the Dove room, which had a king-sized bed and a fireplace, and two wing chairs in the sitting area. The bathroom was spacious and offered a rain shower and jets.
The amenities are incredible: a beautiful grotto with a current, outdoor hot tub, and the icy plunge pool; my favourite, the Eucalyptus steam room; and sauna, steam room and whirlpool (with light therapies) in the change rooms.
The ladies locker room is very well stocked with towels, hair and body washes, and even cotton balls, Q-tips and plastic baggies for wet bathing suites. You’ll find housekeeping in always keeping the room refreshed and cleaned.
The food – oh the food at Ste. Anne’s! The cuisine is delectable. Remember it’s an all-inclusive so you can select anything from the menu… and the menu is perfect for those who have food allergies or sensitivities. Almost everything is gluten-free – you’ll love the fresh bread they bake daily, as well as the gluten-free desserts. There are also dairy free, vegan and vegetarian options too.
Be prepared to eat… a lot. You’ll be fully satisfied with a full breakfast, and three-course lunch and dinner – oh and three courses too! Breakfast for me was the Ste. Anne’s starter which was eggs and bacon (or peameal/sausage) and gluten-free bread as well as fruit. Expect to be wowed by the menu, and the daily specials. For lunch, I either had a Caesar salad with grilled chicken with pear sandwich on gluten-free bread.
A huge treat is the afternoon tea (so many delicious flavours to choose from) along with a gorgeous display of savoury samplers. The best part is you can enjoy high tea in your spa robe and slippers!
What to bring
All you need to bring to Ste. Anne’s is some yoga clothes, undergarments and a swimsuit or two! Pack light because all you’ll be wearing is your bathrobe, provided by the front desk upon arrival. Leave your makeup and jewelry at home! Slippers can be provided, but you may wish to bring your own.
The fitness centre is in a separate building, about 1 km away. The highlight is the underwater treadmill. Sadly I didn’t get a chance to try it because I was in the spa and yoga for the better part of my visit! If you do use the fitness centre, you may wish to bring running shoes. There is a 3.2 km hiking trail, and shorter ones as well so you may want to bring hiking boots as well.
Ste. Anne’s offers fresh fruit juices and specialty teas which are refreshing during the day. Bring your own wine and corkscrew if you choose to have wine with lunch and/or dinner.
There really isn’t another destination spa in Ontario that matches Ste. Anne’s atmosphere, accommodations and all-inclusive meals. If you want to get the most of your visit to Ste. Anne’s, you must go with an open mind and heart, and be prepared to feel completely relaxed.
Enter to Win
One lucky reader will win a Day Spa for Two at Ste. Anne’s!
Day spa for Two includes:
- 3-Course lunch
- Afternoon tea
- Use of Ste. Anne’s signature robe
- $120 spa & wellness allowance per person
- Complete use of the facilities
- 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Value $360-580 depending on time of year! To enter, fill in the Rafflecopter below.
Good luck and Namaste!