The panoramic view of Montreal from the 16th floor lounge of Spa Eastman is exciting and dramatic. The campus of McGill University frames an area all the way up Mount Royal, the picturesque park that gives Montreal a European look. Below, on rue Sherbrooke, are the fine arts museum, shops, and art galleries.
Creating this oasis in the city was an inspired dream of Spa Eastman founder Jocelyna Dubuc. After opening her country retreat in the Eastern Townships, about an hour from downtown, its city cousin has grown and expanded into a full-service spa.
Regular clients like hotelier Christiane Germain say that Montreal enjoys the best of both worlds. “I like going to Jocelyna’s when I feel extremely tired and need to contemplate before replenishing myself.” And having Hotel Le Germaine just around the corner makes a refreshing combination.
Checking in for a weekend visit, I confirmed an appointment at Spa Eastman. Hotel Germaine offers upscale design with downhome comfort. Like a walk-in glass shower that separates bathroom and bedroom. Complimentary coffee by Nespresso. And complimentary breakfast in the hotel restaurant, complete with croissants.
Parisian skincare by Babor is featured at Spa Eastnan. Relaxing into the hands of esthetician Karla Fuentes, I enjoyed a complete facial treatment. Babor’s organic line covers all the essentials.
Refreshed, I spent the rest of the day touring with a professional guide, Celine Bernier, courtesy of Tourisme Montreal. From the farmer’s market to the port area, Montreal has a relaxed air. Development along the Lachine Canal is bringing young couples back to where the city began.
Old Montreal may be a bit touristy but the rooftop terrace at Auberge du Vieux Port provides a great view and spot to enjoy some fine wine. Down on the waterfront, floating on a barge, is the spa called Bota-Bota. With a full circuit of water therapies, this would make a fine retreat from the city. Unfortunately, my timing did not permit a visit.
Also in Old Montreal, Scandinave Spa is built into a one-time warehouse for the port. The indoor pool, waterfall, and saunas are the perfect place to relax Sunday morning. The extra charge for massage made my weekend complete.
Contact: Hotel Le Germain, 2050 Mansfield Street; 514/849-2050; www.hotelgermain.com
Spa Eastman Montreal, 666 rue Sherbrooke Ouest; 514/845-8455; www.spa-eastman.com/montreal