Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel Spa: Willow Stream is a Canadian Rockies Getaway in Banff Near Calgary

January 14, 2004

Willow Stream Spa at The Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel

Visitors to Banff inevitably go looking for the fairy tale castle that is the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel. The lucky ones actually stay there, and the even more fortunate will spend a day or more in the Willow Stream Spa. The day spa is best experienced as part of a relaxing stay in the hotel, but it is not necessary to be a hotel guest to visit the spa. A day at the Willow Stream Spa can be a touch of luxury in an otherwise economical trip.

Complete Menu of Spa Treatments

Travel + Leisure Magazine has rated the Willow Stream at Banff Springs one of the top 25 spas in the U.S. and Canada. Their current “don’t miss” treatment is the “Mountain Stone Treatment, which uses water-heated stones to massage pressure points.”

Spa treatments are a matter of choice, and other visitors prefer a good old-fashioned massage, whether to combat the effects of a hard day’s skiing, or to justify a lengthy dip in the warm mineral bath without actually exercising. As would be expected, there is a comprehensive menu of therapeutic and aesthetic treatments, professionally and courteously delivered by experienced staff.

The Pools and the Location Make the Banff Springs Hotel Spa Special

As good as the available spa services and treatments are, it is the ambience that makes the Banff Springs a choice spa destination.

The spa is its own separate world within the historic Banff Springs Hotel. Guests may lounge in the ladies’, men’s, or co-ed lounges while waiting for treatments. There is a selection of teas and some light snacks (apples, biscuits) on offer, and lunch may be ordered from room service.

The focal point of the Banff Springs Spa is the pool area. A central warm pool filled with mineral water is extremely easy to lie back and float on, seemingly for hours. The mineral salts that make the water so buoyant are not the same as the minerals in the natural Banff Hot Springs, which smell of sulphur. Here in the spa there is no sulphur smell at all, and the water is like silk on the skin.

Around the main pool are three smaller ponds, all indoors, each with its own waterfall. Guests are advised to progress through these, from the very warm one through to the third, which is rather cool. Some guests have been known to cheat and stay in the warm water all day.

View of the Canadian Rocky Mountains

In any weather, the outdoor hot pool is a treat. The warm water makes it enjoyable to linger there admiring the beautiful mountain scenery regardless of the temperature. From the indoor hot pool to the outside one is only a few steps.

Cost and Reservations

As at the date of this article, spa access without treatments is $69.00 per day for hotel guests.

Access is complimentary with most spa services (not salon services).

There is an offer of $539 Canadian per person for one night in the Banff Springs Hotel with breakfast and a spa treatment (including spa access for the day).

The cost of individual treatments varies. Couples rooms are available.

It is advisable to book the spa in advance, particularly if the timing of the treatment and the gender of the service provider are important.