Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Relaxing at Ste. Anne's Spa

A couple of my girlfriends were celebrating their birthdays this month and had planned a spa day at Ste. Anne's Spa, in Grafton, Ontario.  This was such a treat as I haven't been to a spa or had a massage in years!  It was definitely a splurge but sometimes you gotta do it!

First and foremost, it's a great place to relax! We were a group of 11 and our day was well organized.  The day spa package comes with lunch, afternoon tea, use of the facilities and $120 that can be used towards a spa treatment or massage.  There are quite a bit of amenities available like hot tub and cold plunge pool, eucalyptus steam room, outdoor pool and sun chairs, and a quiet lounge room with magazines and puzzles. There is also a gym but that was 1 km away...I figured, exercising was not for me today!  Some of us started by enjoying the eucalyptus steam room and then headed to the grotto area for a soak in the hot tub and a few were brave enough to jump into the cold plunge pool.  (Of course I hate the cold so none of that for me, hahaha!)  This was a great time for us to chat and gossip (and share beauty tips).

 And some of us headed to the pool...

One of the pathways...

You could have lunch and/or afternoon tea outdoors which overlooked the beautiful grounds.  But, we sat inside and because our group was so large, we were in a semi-private room as sometimes the conversation could get loud.

Loved that they have a garden supplying some of the greens and herbs for their meals, but it was a shame that extra care was not taken to provide the freshed greens. I had the kale salad which was tasty but did notice a couple of yellowing leaves; no big deal. But, some of my friends got the carrot and watercress salad and there was yellowing watercress plated, which my friends politely put to the side. Not the best impression. The other items were done well though.  I ordered the hamburger and it was quite tasty. They do raise cattle which I believe provided the beef for the hamburger which was interesting to note.

Dessert was okay, nothing fancy, 3 options available.


Mint chocolate cake
Spa service waiting room or just place to relax.  There is biscotti, tea, coffee and water available.

I had the swedish massage which was done outdoors in one of the gazebos (which is covered with drapes so you don't have to worry about others looking in). Loved the massage outdoors as it felt like you were somewhere tropical. I had an outdoor massage once in Bali and it had a similar feel; it was relaxing to have a warm breeze and just the sound of the outdoors was soothing.

Went to look at their garden and it was interesting to see the kale that they would have picked for my salad.  It's not very big but they do grow a number of vegetables and herbs.  On Mon, Wed, and Fri they do offer tours where the gardener is on-site to answer questions and highlight some of the items.  You can also read more about their greening practices here.  I also thought it was interesting that the water used at the spa comes from the natural spring that the spa is built on and the water is "recycled through the natural reedbed septic system".

The day was quickly going and soon it was time for our afternoon tea.  Afternoon tea was okay, but I I miss-read. There is a dessert plate, a savory plate, a fruit plate, and a sampler plate. My impression of a sampler plate is that you get a bit of each plate to sample. Since I'm big on desserts, I requested the dessert plate because I wanted to have all the desserts on offer. Well...I wish I got the sampler plate because the sampler plate is actually all the items in one plate!  So, what I'm saying is, get the sampler plate!  (On a side note: the gluten free bakery is actually quite a distance from the main building.  I would have loved to visit but unfortunately I wasn't in the mood to walk over a km to get there.)
Service was excellent though, and I think if I wanted to get any of the savory items, they would have provided a plate for me. Many of my friends ended up ordering 2 drinks without any fuss.  (The pepper hot chocolate was a hit!)  But, I was full and content so I didn't need to order anything extra.  Oh, yes...forgot to mention my tea.  I had a mixed Chinese white and green tea that was pear flavoured - average tasting.  But, earlier in the day, I tried their chocolate tea in the quiet lounge room and thought it was pretty nice.  Teas are available for purchase in the gift shop.

Sampler plate

Dessert plate
Overall, a lovely experience and definitely would go back!

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