The new year is a time for renewal. And what better way to kick off your year than with a post-holiday retreat, complete with a soak in the warm mineral waters of a stone grotto?
Slinking into a steamy pool of hot water is a blissful and relaxing experience any time of year. But after the holidays it can feel especially rejuvenating and invigorating. Add to this a stay in a hand-hewn rustic cottage nestled amongst Douglas firs and cedar trees and you have all the elements of a serene and contemplative retreat—perfect for recharging and envisioning your year ahead.
Where Is Tigh-Na-Mara Seaside Resort?
Situated on 22 acres of forest and beachfront, Tigh-Na-Mara is a quiet escape that also happens to be ideally located minutes from the quaint seaside community of Parksville. The idyllic charm and natural surroundings define the ambience of the property. Parksville and neighbouring Qualicum Beach are some of BC’s best places to access wide swaths of sandy shoreline. And Tigh-Na-Mara with its beachfront location has direct access to miles and miles of it. But if the forest speaks more to your soul than the ocean, you’ll find it here too. Vancouver Island’s old-growth trees offer a different way to unwind. (In fact, there are certified forest therapy guides that offer meditative walks—known as the Japanese concept shinrin-yoku, which translates closest to forest bathing—near the resort.) They offer a Reconnect Package that includes this rejuvenating forest experience.
Unwind in Rustic Cottages and Authentic Seaside Suites
Tigh-Na-Mara features a variety of accommodation, from rustic log cottages that blend Canadiana with modern and minimalist touches to luxurious blissful or tastefully appointed seaside suites with private balconies and hot tubs.
The rustic cottages are surrounded by towering trees where the scent of sea air mingles with fir and cedar from the forest. And the warm glow from the stone-clad fireplace is the perfect spot to hunker down inside and read a book or enjoy a glass of wine.
The newly renovated and luxurious seaside suites offer breathtaking ocean views that will capture your attention for hours while the spa bungalows are the best option for those who want easy access to the renowned Grotto Spa.
The Grotto Spa at Tigh-Na-Mara
The Grotto Spa at Tigh-Na-Mara has been voted number one spa in Canada and one Ocean Spa Experience in North America by Spas of America. And for good reason. There are a variety of treatments from facials and body wraps to massages, manicures and pedicures—many of them made with west coast natural ingredients. The most popular feature of the spa, however, is the 2,500 square foot warm mineral pool, whirlpool and cool waterfall shower. Here one can borrow from the Nords and practice the art of Scandinavian hydrotherapy: a relaxing soak in the warm mineral pool is followed immediately by a cool plunge under the waterfall shower. Next, visit the relaxation lounge to bring your body back to room temperature. Repeat several times and soon you will feel any lingering stress of the holiday season melt away. (A bonus: phones are not allowed in the spa so your visit will also be technology-free.)
Access to the pool is complimentary with any sixty-minute treatment or you can choose to enjoy the pool features for a facility fee of 45 dollars (note: reservations are required). The spa is designed to emulate a natural stone grotto (hence its name) and the warm water is infused with natural minerals and trace elements that help to detoxify the body and rejuvenate the spirit. To top the experience off you’ll want to try the Endless Tapas Experience – dining in your robe and sandals above the forest canopy savouring the anti-oxidant rich gourmet tapas in the Treetop Tapas & Grill.
New Year, New You
If you prefer a more adventurous start to your new year, the resort also boasts an array of recreational options. A fitness centre comes with weight machines and cardio equipment where you can work off the last of your holiday treats. If the weather is dry and mild, opt for a game of tennis, ping-pong, volleyball or basketball on the outdoor courts. (The equipment is available at no charge.) Looking for a more scenic way to stretch your legs? Take a light stroll along the beach. And when you’re done, grab some marshmallows and sit around your own beach campfire while watching the sun go down.
The seasonal recreation program at Tigh-Na-Mara also promises to keep guests busy with creative crafts like glass painting and jewellery making. The program is available during summer, the Christmas holiday season (and into the new year), and spring break.
However you choose to embark on the new year, whether it’s poolside in a bathrobe, fireside with a glass of wine, or with a brisk walk on the beach, a stay at Tigh-Na-Mara will help you ring in a new year…and a new you.