Living

Highlights From Chatelaine’s Inaugural Wellness Retreat

Spa-goers gathered at Vettä Nordic Spa, just north of Barrie, Ont. for a day of restoration and self-care.

For those who hadn’t yet visited the Finnish-inspired Vettä Nordic Spa, Chatelaine’s inaugural Wellness Retreat was the perfect opportunity to do so.

Nestled in the beautiful Oro-Medonte, Ont. and surrounded by nature with added elements of fire and water, Vettä welcomed more than 90 spa-goers for a day of self-care, rest and reflection. Once fitted into ultra-comfy robes, guests were free to explore the grounds—spanning 26,000 square feet and featuring a collection of hydrotherapy pools, scented steam rooms, wood-burning saunas, a hot stone room and an exfoliating salt scrub shower.

A ohoto of a Scandinavian inspired building with outdoor pools.

Vetta Nordic Spa in Oro-Medonte, Ont.

The hydrotherapy experience was the perfect warming and revitalizing practice for a brisk autumn morning. “The benefits are substantial,” says Donna Harkonen, Vettä’s guest services manager. “Especially when moving from the hot steam rooms or jet pool to the salt water cold plunge.”

Gathering in the dining area of the four-storey main building, guests were joined by clinical psychiatrist Dr. Sarah Levitt for a special edition of UHN Foundation’s Serving Knowledge Supper Club. They enjoyed a harvest-inspired lunch alongside Vellamo water, and with a stunning floor-to-ceiling view of the spa as its backdrop, the conversation addressed climate change and its effects on mental health.

From the direct effects of extreme weather events to the indirect effects on our mental health from overloads of news, Levitt’s discussion broke down the unique ways people around the world are experiencing climate change, including the downstream effects on youth and underserved communities.

A photo of a yoga instructor leading a yoga class of women

Yoga instructor Ashleigh Jeffery-Price leading a yoga and meditation session.

Throughout the afternoon, yoga and meditation practices brought guests together for moments of pause, as well as physical and mental exercise. Powered by Aveeno Hair Care, the sessions, led by Ashleigh Jeffery-Price, included restorative flow sequences as well as Pranayama breathing techniques.

Outside the yoga studio, UHN Foundation’s Health Hut offered guests journals courtesy of The Success System, plus information packs on UHN Foundation’s Women in Philanthropy initiative.

Served alongside two delicious wine offerings from Bonterra Organic Vineyards, a closing dinner featured butternut squash soup, organic chicken breast and maple roasted acorn squash, along with a Finnish apple cake for dessert.

As the sun set on Chatelaine’s first-ever Wellness Retreat, guests left with a newfound ease, sense of relaxation, plus a goodie bag stuffed with gifts from Greenhouse Juice, Karine Joncas, Aveeno Hair Care, HerbaLand Gummies and more.

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