Förena Thermal City, a massive Nordic-inspired spa complex, opened doors Jan. 31 at the edge of the woods in Quebec’s Mont Saint-Bruno.
Measuring 600, 000 square feet, the spa is about 10 and a half times larger than a football field – hence the “city” element in the name.
It is intended to be something of a community or a blend of communities.
“Let yourself be carried away by the blow of the winds, towards unknown lands tinged with stories and rituals inspired by Icelandic, German, and Russian traditions,” reads the Förena Thermal City website.
“Come learn the art of letting go through massotherapy, thermotherapy, and aesthetic care.”
This is the first phase of the project, which plans to become one of the largest spa cities in Canada with time. That includes eventually expanding to open a hotel for guests.
First announced in 2016, the spa “city” was originally scheduled to open in summer 2019, but was delayed to January 2020.
But it seems Förena has been well worth the wait.
The new $12 million dollar retreat has a wide variety of spa activities, such as thermal pools, German Aufguss saunas and thermotherapy, many beauty treatments and massage.
Additionally, Förena houses its own restaurant with breakfasts, lunches, dinners, snacks, appetizers and date-night meals to share. It has hot and cold beverages, smoothies, beer, wine and cocktails.
Some highlights of the menu include a vegetarian German ravioli with lentils and onions, an Icelandic quinoa, cabbage and salmon roe dish, eggplant caviar, borscht, oysters and deconstructed black forest cake.
I realized this is something we lack; a place for both thermotherapy and a thematic relaxation.”-Patrick Rake, president of SKYSPA group
As well, the spa complex looks like it provides an immersive relaxation experience in a natural and modern setting with several hot and cold baths, rock structures, terraces and rest areas.
“At the beginning, the project was to create a Walt Disney-type spa like in Orlando… the sum of imagination and the magical,” said Patrick Rake, president of the SKYSPA group which manages Förena.
“I realized this is something we lack; a place for both thermotherapy and a thematic relaxation. “
There are 10 types of massage available at the spa: Swedish, Lomi-Lomi, Californian, therapeutic, pregnant, deep tissue and hot shell, to name a few.
When it comes to esthetic treatments the spa provides six different kinds of facials, as well as one specifically for men. Förena also provides manicures, pedicures, body wraps, scrubs and other beauty treatments.
Perhaps the best part of Förena is how affordable the experience is. A thermotherapy experience, which is access to the hot and cold baths, starts at $65. That price can lower to just $55 when an esthetic treatment is purchased at the same time.
The treatments start at $70 for simple manicures and pedicures, while massages start at $100.
“We wanted it to be subtle and relatively contemporary and to be able to wink at the way countries experience thermotherapy,” said Rake.
“The goal is to make people feel that there is authenticity and respect for culture and customs.”