Ottawa-area Things to Do: The Nordik

Please note that this post is not-sponsored in any way by The Nordik. I was not compensated for my visit (I wish!). These opinions are my own are more geared towards information sharing than reviewing.


Since we put Max into daycare this week even though we are not officially starting work until next Tuesday, I figured that we could have some ‘parents free time’ on Tuesday. I decided a couple of weeks ago that a visit to the Nordik spa was in order. I haven’t been to the Nordik in quite some time since you cannot go while pregnant and the baths are not quite ‘baby friendly’. So off we went!

The Nordik is a Nordik-bath inspired spa located in Chelsea, Quebec (just north of Gatineau in Gatineau Park). It is a very popular place to go and is open year round. Not only are the baths an option, but they also have massages, facials and other spa treatments available. A restaurant is also on hand where wearing a bathrobe to lunch/dinner is perfectly fine.

When you first walk into the Nordik, the smell of eucalyptus hits you. I love that smell! You are given a locker with two towers and once changed you can head to the baths. There is a way that you are supposed to experience the baths. Essentially it is a hot room (steam or sauna), followed by a quick dip in the polar bath or temperate pool, then followed by relaxation in your choice or room (indoors or out Рwith music, fire or nothing at all. The hot and relaxation parts are supposed to take about 10-15 minutes each (I can sometimes only stand the steam room for 5 minutes though). The cold section can be very brief. Given that I have been to the Nordik in both the winter and summer Рthe polar bath/waterfall is much more of a shock to the system in the winter! The idea behind the baths is that you are to open your pores and sweat out toxins in the hot rooms, which you then rinse off in the cold water (which also closes your pores). The whole process takes 45 minutes Р1 hour and you are advised to spend at least two hours at the spa.

There are also some hot tubs on hand. These are not part of the Scandinavian spa experience, but are just as fun! They are building some new sections of the Nordik with new pools and saunas. Listed in the advertisement was something called an infinity pool – not sure what that is, but it looks interesting! New additions since I’ve been there are updated facilities in the reception room and a new ‘beach’ relaxation area.

I have never gone to the Nordik without a trip to the restaurant. They have a selection of wines, beers and other beverages, and a medium-sized menu. On the menu is a selection of tapas, sandwiches, salads, a pizza and quiche choice, some meat/fish dishes as well. There are also cheese plates with a selection of fine cheese to nibble on. As stated, wearing your bath robe is totally fine in the restaurant (you will be one of the few in clothes if you don’t wear your robe).

When going to the Nordik for the first time, you need to remember a few things: flipflops, a bottle of water, reading material and a bath robe. The bath robe isn’t a total must in the summer – but highly recommended for the winter. The Nordik is mostly outdoors, so going from room to room gets a bit chilly! If you wear glasses like I do, you might want to bring a small pouch/bag to carry your glasses in while you go into the steam room.

As you may have figured, the Nordik is not for children. So this is a good opportunity for a ‘parents night out’, or ladies night. We went for a staff-ladies night last year (I just went for dinner) and P and I have been a few times. Hours are form 9am-10pm and massages/treatments need to be booked in advance. The price for the baths is $45 (treatment prices vary). It is a little pricey – but it is money well spent in my opinion!

If you live in the Ottawa area and haven’t been – go! If you are coming to visit, you should put it on your itinerary! It does get a little busy on weekends and on holidays, but you should definitely visit soon!

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