The best reason for a getaway is the opportunity to recharge. Although Montréal is renowned as Canada’s “sin city” — guilty as charged! — we are also a wonderful place for a healthy dose of rejuvenation. While other destinations race along at breakneck speeds, Montréal has set its own patented pace. It’s part of the city’s joie de vivre, the enjoyment of living.
With this in mind, here are some wellness options to help travellers enjoy the healthier and restorative sides of Montréal. Treat yo self!
The Hotel InterContinental is currently offering a Digital Detox package. Upon arrival, guests are invited to hand over their telephones, tablets, computers and other electronic devices in a safe located at the reception. The package includes a myriad of restful and invigorating opportunities: access to the water circuit at Bota Bota Spa (see below), a three-course meal at the hotel restaurant (Provençal Osco), in room breakfast and more.
Located in the heart of charming Old Montréal, sumptuous Le Saint Sulpice Hotel offers an “Absolute Wellness” package. Guests get a luxurious Superior suite, continental breakfast, a voucher for the Spa Scandinave (which includes two entries and two Swedish massages) and a late checkout. The hotel also offers epicurean packages, if you’d rather food be the focus!
For athletes looking to maintain their training routines, the Westin Montréal is one of the sportiest options in the city. In addition to premium gym equipment, they offer New Balance clothing and shoes to use during your stay (for a breezy $5.25) so you can pack light and stay fit. Plus, the indoor glass bottom pool hovering above the grand entranceway will make you want to swim laps all afternoon.
For more options, see our full list Montréal hotel wellness options — including where you can stay with your dog!
Montréal has no shortage of sumptuous Scandinavian spa options, sanctuaries with multiple installations and onsite dining options. To release your inner sailor, head to Bota Bota — a refurbished riverboat featuring five decks of spa installations (dry saunas, eucalyptus steam room, outdoor whirlpools, cold baths and relaxation areas). Another great option is the Spa Scandinave water circuit, where for $54 you can affordably steam away the stress for an entire day. For an escape to nature (while still within the city), Strom Spa features a selection of outdoor whirlpools, thermal and Nordic baths, Finnish saunas and indoor fireplaces. All three of the spas offer massage therapy and other body treatments. Because don’t you deserve it?
For a sweat-inducing experience, Moksha Yoga on Boulevard St. Laurent (aka The Main) offers a smorgasbord of drop-in classes. For a class with movement and music, opt for a powerflow session with live percussion. (Bonus: Therapeutic onsite massage by soccer star David Testo.) Further north, in Montréal’s Mile End neighborhood, Wanderlust Yoga invites yogis of all levels to classes with creative vinyasa sequences. For a restorative treat, take a “yogawall” class at Naada Studio, or dive deeper into your practice with one of their weekend workshops. If you prefer doing your morning sun salutations in the privacy of your room, the Sofitel, located in Montréal’s historic Golden Square Mile, offers a soothing atmosphere complete with a yoga mat in each unit.
ChuChai serves a variety of dishes, all prepared with high quality, healthy ingredients and no animal by-products. Using vegetable proteins, the chefs create the shapes and textures of beef, chicken, shrimp, duck, and fish for a menu filled with delicious Thai specialties.
In a warm and decidedly urban décor, Invitation V proposes a diverse and delicious vegan cuisine, where flavour is never compromised. Inspired by their many travels, their attention to healthy eating and animal rights, the chefs have concocted a menu that showcases both iconic and seasonal items.
For vegetarian comfort food, Lola Rosa offers a variety of specialties, including signature dishes like Lola’s Nachos and the Hemp Burger.
Wellness might mean treating yourself to upscale cuisine. At Toqué!, internationally-recognized Chef Normand Leprise has been a frontrunner in the culinary trend to eat locally. Over at Pastaga the menu is delectably on-point with delicious signature dishes, including pork belly in a brown sugar glaze atop a parsnip pancake. Finally, Les 400 Coups proposes refined and accessible cuisine that promotes homegrown talent by using, as much as possible, local ingredients.
Montréal wouldn’t be Montréal without an array of trendsetting hair salons. The fashion-conscious and hair-aware flock to Salon Pure (a winner of the North American Salon of the Year at Vegas’ NAHA Awards) in the heart of downtown and get special-occasion blowouts at Le Style Bar and Bleu Blow Dry Bar. Sprawling over 10,000 square feet, the Aveda Montréal Lifestyle Salon Spa & Academy offers a wide range of hair, makeup, facial and massage services (with those deliciously smelling Aveda products).
For the menfolk, Mann Grooming in Delta Montréal is the city’s only one-stop men’s grooming destination. Opt for an old-fashioned shave treatment ($30), with hot towel treatments and soothing mini facial massage. For those with longer locks (we’re looking at you manbuns!), Salon Sweet William is a handsome loft studio that reflects the evolution of the hair salon towards the intimate, the individual.
If you’re training for a marathon — or any running race, really — you know that a weekend getaway does not mean a vacation from your preparation program. Montréal has hundreds of hectares allocated to urban park space, enabling locals and visitors to jog safely. Check out these five running routes departing from downtown hotels…
Other guided tours
If you want to get out, stretch your legs and explore a bit, there are tons of guided tour options to discover Montréal’s neighbourhoods, markets, food, history and architecture. From foodie tours with VDM to biking (or even snowshoeing!) tours with Fitz & Follwell, there is no shortage of option year-round to get out and about in the fresh air.