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Scandinave Old Montreal is the best spa for solo travellers

This review of Scandinave Spa Old Montreal is part of the series 100 Baths, my search for the world’s best spas and public bathing rituals. Read more and see the list here!

Some spas are made for romantic getaways. Others are best for a chatty girl’s day out, or community hang. And then there are spas designed for complete solo relaxation. For me, that spa is Scandinave Old Montreal.

Scandinave is a well-known brand in Canada, and most associated with water therapy circuits at ski resort areas where you can soak in a series of large hot pools while gazing off at beautiful mountains. The spa in Montreal’s old port location is quite different.

Scandinave Old Montreal
Scandinave Old Montreal’s low-key entrance

Scandinave Old Montreal – an urban oasis

This Scandinave is an intimate indoor space in historic Old Montreal, right across from the St. Lawrence river and steps from Notre Dame Cathedral and some of the city’s best restaurants. From the outside, you wouldn’t know that inside there’s an urban oasis.

Now, by “intimate” I mean small. Which is one of the reasons I suggest you visit solo. The other is Scandinave’s “Silence is Golden” policy — no talking, not even a whisper. I previously complained about the “shushing police” at Scandinave Whistler, but here…it makes a lot of sense, and creates the perfect atmosphere for meditative self-care.

Scandinave Old Montreal
No swimsuit? No problem. You can buy one on site.

Hot. Cold. Relax.

After check-in, you’ll find a modestly sized but well-outfitted change room, and then you can pretty much see the whole water circuit at a glance. However, the layout makes great use of its footprint and still has all the hydrotherapy basics you’re looking for: a hot pool, steam room, sauna, cold plunge, and places to relax.

First up, the hot pool, which is tucked into a corner. Large, frosted windows let the sunlight in while providing privacy. I like to sit beneath the waterfall spout for a shoulder massage, then zone out in waters until I’m fully warmed. The pool fits only about 4-5 people comfortably, another reason to go alone.

Scandinave Old Montreal sauna
A traditional Finnish sauna. Photo by Scandinave.

Their Finnish-style dry sauna is one of my favourites in the country. Maybe it’s the little wooden headrests. Maybe it’s just the right amount of hot. But I could easily fall asleep in there. There’s also a eucalyptus steam room that will make you sweat.

For your cold you can choose the plunge pool or a shower. And then, it’s time to relax.

The Ultimate Nap Space

I’ll admit, at big outdoor spas I spend most of my time in the waters – I figure I could read a book in a lounger at home. But at Scandinave Old Montreal….I never skip the relaxation. You’ll find bean bag chairs, and futon beds which are nice for couples, but my go-to zone is the Zero Stress Room – darkened to near-black, with tiny lights and soft music and ….zzzzzz.  

Scandinave Spa Old Montreal

No matter what state my body and mind is before entering, I exit Scandinave Old Montreal in a state of total relaxation. I recommend it for warming up during a freezing Montreal winter, recovering from an extra late night of Montreal’s famous nightlife, or a perfect place to spend a few hours after your hotel check-out but before your flight or train home.

Scandinave Old Montreal also offers a full menu of massage services, which include access to the water therapies circuit. And here’s a tip: book a massage for 9am weekdays and get %15 off. Then float your way through the rest of your day.

Scandinave Old Montreal review

Know Before You Go

My last visit was July 2021. Always check their website for latest info and promotions.

Where: Scandinave Old Montreal/Vieux Montréal is at 71, de la Commune West, Montréal Québec, a five minute walk from Place D’armes Metro station.

When: Open every day from 8:30am to 9:00pm.

What to Bring: Just your swimsuit. Robes, towels, sandals, lockers, and water/tea are provided. Apparently they also put out smoothies throughout the day but I’ve not seen it. There is no food on site.

How Much: There are two prices for the Hydrotherapy. If you want to guarantee your timeslot, advance reservations cost $70 to $95 (depending on day of the week, and season); or take your chances with walk-in for $60 to $80. Students (with proof) can get a %20 discount on weekdays. For tickets and current promotions click here.

Recommended Read

Want more spa inspiration?  Lonely Planet’s Wellness Escapes is a lovely hardcover filled with eye candy photos of hot springs, saunas, spas and other wellness resorts from around the world. These are expensive and often remote destinations, but even if you never get there, you can use this as a starting point for researching dream trips.

Disclaimer: Some of the links on my blog are from Affiliate programmes, including Amazon Associates. At no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase from these links, I earn a small commission.

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