A Night at the Pomeroy Mountain Lodge and the Kananaskis Nordic Spa
I may not be travelling abroad as much as I’d ideally like to be right now, but a little adventure and some weekends away make an incredible difference when I’m feeling a bit blue about it.Read: 8 Ways to Be a Weekend Adventurer (When You Can’t Afford a Plane Ticket)
Fortunately, living near the mountains means there’s no shortage of adventure to be found - and loads of unique and fun weekends away to be had. With that in mind, my guy and I opted to find a little adventure AND tackle one of my New Things in 2019 at the same time!
Enter the Kananaskis Nordic Spa and the Pomeroy Lodge, at a steep mid-winter discount! (Our costs are outlined at the bottom of this post)
I was pretty darn excited to try to the Nordic Spa and I never - NEVER - turn my nose up at a night in a fancy hotel. Andy was teasing me because I kept telling people “it’s 4.5 stars!” and to that I say, it’s 4.5 stars! That’s a big deal in my mostly budget backpacker world ;-)
We arrived early and weren’t able to check in yet - no biggie! There’s little walking paths throughout the grounds, so we took some time to meander and enjoy the crazy warm January temps. Take note if you're outdoorsy - they have great snowshoe and cross-country ski paths right from the grounds, so bring your gear!
Before long we were in our room and heading down to the Nordic Spa, with hours upon hours before they would close.
What to Expect at The Kananaskis Nordic Spa
When you check in, they don’t totally tell you what to do or what to expect...maybe I’m precious, but I felt a little confused. So, to help in the event that you'd be similarly confounded by apparently normal experiences, here’s the scoop:
You will get sandals and a wrist key to a locker. Then in the locker room, you’ll locate your locker and inside will be a big flannel robe, a couple of towels, and a complementary body scrub. Turns out, once you go through to the sauna area, there are as many towels as you could want. So don’t feel like you have to put wet towels back into your locker with your clothing like SOME FOOLS (ahem) because you don’t. The scrub is actually meant for one of the saunas - the exfoliating sauna! So save it, don’t waste it on your plain shower in the beginning.
Also, and here was my biggest letdown of all: they don’t let you take any pictures - even cell phone pictures. I snuck a few but they got super mad at us for trying another time, and even said they’ll often ask people to delete them. I GET IT. I do. I’m not a monster. But I HATED it at the same time. If I didn’t get to ‘gram it, did it even happen?
Having lived in South Korea for a year, I am very familiar with and fond of the communal spa experience (google jimjilbangs if you’re curious). The Nordic spa was a little different, though, with a heavier focus on a variety of saunas and steam rooms, and less variety between pools. Apparently you’re supposed to go hot >> warm >> cold >> rest, with 1-3 options for each. The cold was definitely the LEAST fun, but I appreciated the variety of hot and warm options. To rest, you could hang outside in your flannel robe by a huge wood fire, so that was quite quaint!
All in all, I would definitely recommend the Kananaskis Nordic Spa. Andy and I used the time to decompress and catch up and it felt romantic even though there were loads of other people around (I wouldn’t recommend it on a Saturday over the winter because it gets PACKED and that seems less enjoyable). Sunday afternoon was great, so I def recommend taking a long weekend if you can, as we did, and enjoying the slower pace.
There is a little “snack” restaurant back up the stairs that you’re welcome to head to in your robes. Which is weird and fun. But they definitely aren’t messing around here - snacks consist of soups, charcuterie boards, sandwiches and the like, and they are pricey. Our little “snack” cost us $60 with a drink and a soup each...so you’ve been warned there.
The Pomeroy Mountain Lodge
After a quick cat nap (saunas really take it out of you!) we had an amazing dinner at The Cedar Room on site. Now, I am an eater in the first place, but I have to say - as much as I truly enjoyed the spa, that meal might have been the highlight of my entire experience! Definitely worth it, and not as astronomically (I almost wrote gastronomically and that would have been a hilarious and apropos pun, my friends) priced as it probably could have been.
The room was actually the most disappointing part of our entire stay, boasting neither a fireplace nor a jacuzzi tub - our main two reasons for hoteling! That said, it was large, the king bed was extremely comfy, and the service was outstanding. So all in all, still a great experience. I’d be hesitant to pay normal prices nearing $400 a night though…
Review of the Kananaskis Mountain Lodge and Nordic Spa Experience
I give the Kananaskis Nordic Spa 4 out of 5 stars and Andy gave it 5 out of 5. He was really taken with the free razors and gel in the men’s side (“you don’t have to give a shit, you can just show up and enjoy yourself!”). I felt the women’s side could have been better stocked but we agree the overall ambiance was great and felt cosy and comfortable.
The Pomeroy Kananaskis Mountain Lodge, including the room and dining got about a 3.5-4 from both of us. The food really upped the rating, because, well, it was delicious but the hotel room itself didn’t quite live up to the expectation. HOWEVER, I will say that they nailed it in terms of overall ambiance at the lodge: fireplaces indoor and outdoor that are always stoked, excellent mountain-themed decor that didn’t feel Canadian to a silly point, and again, excellent service.
The Cost of our Night Away
The Lodge (1 night, winter discount) - $229
McDonalds breakfast en route - $18
The Nordic Spa - $57 x 2 (regular price is $70 if you're not a guest of the spa)
Snacks at the Spa - $55
Coffees at the Lodge - $12
Dinner at Cedar Room - $180
Bottle of wine we brought - $20
Breakfast in Canmore - $44
WEEKEND TOTAL: $672
To sum, I think you should go! Just look for those discounted nights, because even with them it's not a cheap weekend escape.
Most photos (minus the robe selfie) by Andy Nichols!