Like many couples in Ottawa, my husband and I are without family living nearby. Date nights are few and far between, mainly because babysitters are few and far between! We have some awesome cousins, but university life is demanding for them and we try not to ask very often. We also have a younger babysitter down the street, but again, school and extracurricular activities means she's often busy.
I don't begrudge our lack of dates, mainly because we manage to get away just enough times in a year to really enjoy ourselves (and plus, we save money!) This past weekend we were lucky to score a babysitter so that we could go and check out a new Northern spa experience in Perth, Ontario.
For those who aren't familiar with the area, Perth is a small town just southwest of Ottawa (we were surprised that it only took one hour to drive there - on a Friday at 5pm!!). Driving in off Hwy 7, I marveled at all the beautiful stone buildings. I later learned that many Scottish immigrants to Perth were stonemasons.
When we pulled up to the property that is Tay River Reflections, my husband said, "it's a horse stable!" Well, it used to be! As we learned on the tour, the beautiful building that once housed horses has been transformed into a state-of-the-art gym, medical clinic and spa.
As much as I wanted to hop on an elliptical machine, we were there to check out Tay River AQUA, their new outdoor Northern spa experience. And Northern it was! It was predicted to be a chilly low of -14 that night, and large snowflakes were blowing across the tubs. I kind of wanted my hair to do one of these.
But no matter. We were there to relax! Upon arrival we got a locker, and the change rooms led out onto the patio. There are two hot pools with jets, and two gazebos where guests can warm up next to a cozy fire. Off to the right is a dry sauna.
The staff were welcoming and courteous, and walked around with lemon-scented cool towels and cucumber slices for our eyes. There was an array of snacks upstairs in the lounge, and I learned that they have a wonderful chef on site (they are also fully licensed).
It was great chatting with the owner, Dr. Manuela Joannou. In addition to practicing as a medical doctor in the emergency room, she's somehow managed to find the time to open the medical spa, gym and AQUA facility! Her spa services are science-based, and she offers a wide range of anti-ageing technologies (not that I need those....yet....ahem).
It was a lovely evening, and my husband and I are hoping to plan a getaway to Perth over the summer. Dr. Joannou's plans are to eventually build cabins in the woods surrounding the facility, but right now you can score a beautiful room at the Perth Manor. If you don't want to spend the night, a day trip to Tay River Reflections would be totally doable!
Disclosure: I was invited to attend a free media event at Tay River AQUA. All thoughts and opinions are my own.