Usva Spa Nordik readies the waters for its first Moncton summer
AFTER A VACATION to Iceland where her family was introduced to thermotherapy, Geneviève Nolet’s homesickness for the nordic spa experience got the better of her. The Quebec-native found herself trekking to the myriad of nordic spas in her home province (there are at least 50) and realized she missed the waters so much she had to open one herself.
On March 8, Nolet opened the doors of Usva Spa Nordik on a hill overlooking Moncton. The name characterizes the nature of the spa’s activities; Usva translates to “mist” from Finnish. Wanting a name tempting both French and English-speaking residents, Nolet aimed to make them feel transported, portraying scenes of mist rising from hot pools on a cold day. “In the Maritimes we have a lot of fog, so it’s also part of the everyday,” says Nolet.
Nolet scoured the region for the ideal location so spa-goers can enjoy picturesque views. After all, Nordic spas are typically immersed in nature. It also needed to be large enough to accommodate 8,000 square feet of saunas, cold baths and hot pools. Thermotherapy is done in cycles which take 30 minutes to complete, but Nolet says visitors spend at least three hours at Usva. From the initial hot saunas to the cold pool followed by relaxation in the outdoor hot tubs, lounging by the firepit or enjoying a platter of local charcuterie, it’s easy to lose track of time.
While thoughts of Nordic Spas may conjure up images of snowy hot tubs, Nolet says spas are also popular in the summer months because they are a big part of vacation experiences. “It’s not just about the thermotherapy, it’s about being in a place that’s quiet,” Nolet explains. Patrons are encouraged to only speak in whispers, if they have to speak at all.