The Sante Spa Victoria Experience: Atop the Hill at Westin Bear Mountain

Check out my online review of Sante Spa in my Online Writing section for more info and photos!

Outdoor Terrace looking over the golf course and mountains

Walking through the spa with Spa Director Jen Spencer, gave me a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘the spa experience’. Taking in the gorgeous view of the snow capped mountains and the golf course surrounded by lush greenery and the arbutus trees from the Forest Lounge and the outdoor mineral pool was the best scenery I’d ever seen at a spa.

It was a sunny day and a little chilly but thankfully, the water in the mineral pool was warm

Outdoor mineral pool

enough for me to sit and enjoy the view. Warming up in front of the fireplace in the Forest Lounge with a cup of peppermint tea afterwards was like coming home to the luxury of a fireplace on a winter’s night. Of course, that was only the beginning of my time at Sante Spa.

Experiencing a Body Wrap

uSkincare Bamboo Polish

My massage therapist, Lindsey, greeted me in the lounge and to my surprise; my treatment was in the Birch Room, one of the treatment rooms usually reserved for couples. She had me lie on a heated bed and I definitely appreciated it (beats having cold feet, after all).

Lindsey started my Rejuvenating Arbutus Wrap , one of Sante Spa’s signature treatments, with a full body exfoliation using Bamboo Polish (How cool is that? They have body scrub made out of ground-up bamboo!) on my back, shoulders, arms, legs and stomach. I discovered that the Arbutus Wrap was named not because it used any of the arbutus trees (which are endangered) but because it was inspired by the arbutus tree shedding its bark every season, renewing its skin similar to the effects of the treatment.

After the Bamboo Polish, Lindsey covered my body with mud and cocooned me in the spa’s ritual wrap. I’d never felt so

Arbutus Tree

warm and relaxed in my life. The many layers of the wrap start off with a few towels and layers of what looked like plastic wrap, heavy blankets and even what looked like a heat-resistant fire blanket.

While I was cocooned, Lindsey gave me a relaxing scalp and facial massage using aromatherapy oils. I’d never had a scalp massage before which helped relieve a slight headache I’d been feeling earlier in the day. After the massage, I stepped into the shower to wash away the remnants of the Bamboo Polish and mud. For the last stage of the wrap, Lindsey worked all the tension out of my muscles using moisturizing Cocoa Butter Cream.

What Makes Sante Spa Different

The Forest Lounge

One of the interesting aspects of Sante Spa is its membership in the Green Spa Network.  Sante Spa makes a conscientious effort to ensure that all of the spa products they carry are sustainable brands and that they source sustainable and natural ingredients. They’ve adopted low flush toilets, energy-efficient lighting and appliances, eco-friendly detergents and comprehensive recycling, including donating their used and old towels to charities.   Even the bulk of their furniture is made from reclaimed wood from lumber mills.

A local artist from North Vancouver, Brent Comber, created one of my favorite pieces in the spa –

Brent Comber's coffee table in the Forest Lounge

the coffee table in the Forest Lounge. He created many other pieces at the spa, including the beautiful reception desk in the spa’s front entrance and the tables in the waiting area.

Sante Spa is only spa I’ve ever experienced that has a vertical garden or Living Wall, as it’s called. It’s a wall full of different types of plants that are self-sustaining. It has its own reservoir of water and fertilizer that waters and feeds the plants through pipes and the excess is then recycled back into the reservoir. It brings some of living nature indoors, improves air quality, is energy efficient and surprisingly, reduces noise.

Living Wall in the Forest Lounge

What sets Sante Spa apart for me is the whole experience – the combination of the breathtaking view, the spa’s tranquil surroundings, the exclusive treatments as well as the attentive staff, make for one of the best spa experiences I have ever had. I intend to go back and experience more of their treatments in the future.

Check out my online review of Sante Spa here for more info and photos!


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