I started my love affair with Ste. Anne’s Spa when I was pregnant with The K Man 11 years ago; one of my besties and I did the day-spa experience specifically designed for pregnancy. I’ve probably visited at least five times since — from romantic escapes with Big B to girlfriend getaways and even work retreats.
Each time I visit, I try a new service and attempt to squeeze in a wellness class. Some of my favourites (like the reclined pedicure that included a head and neck massage) are no longer offered, but there are still more amazing spa services and classes available than you could ever fit into a single stay.
Remember: even if you only did ONE spa service during the day, there are plenty of activities and amenities to keep you “busy” the rest of your stay. From your inclusive meal plan and the free massage chairs to the eucalyptus steam room and the grotto, there’s no shortage of things to do at Ste. Anne’s.
The best Ste. Anne’s spa services
These are the services I’ve tried so far that are still on the spa menu:
Contouring Mud Stone Wrap
The wraps are probably my favourite overall style of spa treatments at Ste. Anne’s, and maybe it’s because I like that “cocoon” feeling or the soothing shower you take immediately following the wraps — but given the choice, I’d have a wrap above anything else if I could only choose one hour-long treatment. With the mud stone wrap, a special mud is spread all over your body like a mask after you have a hot-stone massage. Then you’re wrapped up in thermal linens that remain warm. If this wasn’t already glorious enough, while you’re cocooned, you get a face, scalp and foot massage!
Milk & Sesame Stone Wrap
If you want a wrap that will also gently exfoliate every inch of your body, this is the ticket. Cue the hot-stone massage again but this time it’s followed up with a signature blend of buttermilk and sesame seeds that’s rubbed onto you from neck to toe before being wrapped in those relaxing thermal linens. A face, scalp and foot massage then ensues.
Nourishing Seaweed Body Wrap
This is my favourite wrap because it begins with full-body exfoliation. The dry brush technique removes dead skin cells and is designed to increase circulation. Your therapist then applies a body mask made up of Klamath blue-green algae, sea kelp extract and rosehip oil. And, yes, the warm, cocoon-like wrap is next, finishing with a face, scalp and foot massage.
Aroma Stone Massage
If you like really deep pressure when you get a massage, or your back and sides are ticklish, this one might not be for you. The sensation is much lighter overall and is meant for relaxation — much like a Swedish massage. Hot basalt stones and aromatic oils loosen and stretch your muscles and melt away tension.
Athlete’s Relief Sports Massage
Definitely my favourite kind of massage, the athlete’s massage can even be done in private outdoor huts out in the Ste. Anne’s gardens when the weather is nice. Intense, therapeutic pressure is applied to your target areas to provide relief for active people. Your masseuse will offer to use a 35 Herb or Japanese mint oil — or a combination of the two, which is what I recommend — which helps reduce lactic acid and release toxins.
Couple’s Swedish Massage
If you’re heading to Ste. Anne’s Spa with your partner, I feel like a couple’s massage is a romantic must. You’ll be in the same room, each with individual therapists. And if you really want to amp it up in the romance department, get a little sneaky and arrange with the front desk to return to your room after your massage to rose petals scattered around your room and all over your bed. And if you want to add even more in-room magic: add the chocolate-dipped strawberries.
Essential Oil Scalp Rejuvenation
Hands down my absolute, 100 per cent most favourite Ste. Anne’s spa service of all time EVER. It’s been named a few different things over the years but continues to be the best treatment you can have here, in my opinion. Especially if you have longer hair and like having it played with and tugged on a little. Your therapist will present you with three different essential oil options (I almost always go for the vanilla-infused oil), one of which will be used for your head massage. Then for the next 30 minutes, your head and face will get the kind of brain-melting massage you get in only about one in 10 washes at the hair salon.
Warning: if you have a blowout, say goodbye. There is no way you can enjoy an oiled-up head massage if you’re worried about ruining a fresh hairdo. My advice is to come with dirty, messy-bunned hair and get your blowout after your Ste. Anne’s visit.
Like I said, I was pregnant with The K Man during my first-ever visit to Ste. Anne’s and the pregnancy massage was everything I needed to unwind in a safe way.
I didn’t expect to love this as much as I did. I’d tried a foot treatment 18 years earlier in Thailand and found it pretty painful as the tech prodded my footbeds with what amounted to a wooden stick. The reflexology at Ste. Anne’s uses no such tool and was so intensely relaxing that I fell asleep. The therapist is trained to feel for spots in your feet that indicate an area in your body needs some attention; it’s ultimately a holistic practise that helps create balance and activates the body’s natural ability to heal itself. Following your treatment, the therapist will even give you a list of the areas of concern.
This is definitely for people who are more into alternative treatments. I seem to be missing an inner child and I’m probably not very in tune with the deeper parts of myself (cough, cough…black soul…) so this was a bit beyond reach for me. I have heard, however, that one needs a series of reiki treatments to appreciate its effects so I’ll reserve further judgement on this until I’ve tried it again.
Ste. Anne’s Signature Facial
Ste. Anne’s prides itself on providing natural, non-invasive treatments and this is most evident during a facial. There are no extractions or steam used during a Ste. Anne’s facial. Using its own Ste. Anne’s Skin Nourishment skin-care line, this is the only facial I’ve had anywhere that starts with a foot bath and sea salt scrub! You even get a relaxing foot and leg massage while your mask sets. So a facial at Ste. Anne’s is ultimately treating more than just your face.
The best Ste. Anne’s wellness classes
You’re going to want to arrive at least five minutes early for the wellness classes because they start promptly at the times indicated. Wear comfortable clothes and consider bringing socks.
This is exactly what the name suggests: a stretch class. You’ll spend time stretching the tension out of your neck, arms, lower back and legs. Even if you’re not used to stretching, this wellness class is suitable for beginners — just do what you can do!
Not to be confused with actual yoga, this is more of a meditative class set with individual intention. You’ll lie down for most of the class and be guided through a yogic sleep cycle, which is said to be as restorative as actual sleep — despite remaining fully conscious. I always leave this class feeling really refreshed.
I admit that I fell asleep for most of the meditation class I tried during my stay a couple of months ago, but this is not a bad thing! Guided meditation affects everyone differently and I listened to my body and just let go. As far as I know, the entire class was guided and this is a great introduction to a meditation practise, which I find challenging to do in total silence.
If you’re ready to book and need advice about where to stay on the Ste. Anne’s Spa grounds, just ask — I’ve stayed in the main inn and in the private cottages.
Want to try out some of my favourite Ste. Anne’s Spa services and wellness classes for yourself? Now’s your chance! Enter to win a one night, all-inclusive midweek overnight stay for two people in a deluxe room. This prize is valued at approximately $1,000 and includes:
- Deluxe accommodation for two
- Two breakfasts
- Two three-course lunches
- Two afternoon tea services
- Two four-course dinners
- $120 per person spa allowance
- Full use of the facilities