“The mountains are calling and I must go.” ~ John Muir
To get to the famous Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, you first have to enter Jasper National Park. Here, the spectacular scenery and abundant wildlife are awe-inspiring—from the 50 shades of green, the breathtaking mountains, and so many species of wild animals you’ll run out of fingers trying to count them all.
Established as a park in 1907 and made a national park in 1930, Jasper was named after Jasper Hawes, who operated a trading post in the region for the North West Company in the 1800’s. Today, the park is as stunning as it’s ever been.
Year-round wilderness activities
The jewel of Jasper is the Jasper Park Lodge (known locally as “JPL” or “the Lodge”), built in 1923. This sprawling luxury property hugs the shoreline of jade-green Lac Beauvert. A ridiculously romantic getaway (complete with cozy wood-burning fireplaces), the Lodge also offers easy access to a wealth of wilderness activities in all seasons.
As Jasper’s only year-round full-service resort, JPL features onsite and offsite activities that include hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding and canoeing. It also has an award-winning 18-hole golf course designed by the renowned Canadian golf course architect Stanley Thompson. Winter at the Lodge is outdoor oriented, with activities such as cross-country skiing, horse-drawn wagon rides, snowshoeing, and outdoor ice skating on Lake Mildred.
Relaxing treatments in spacious spa
Reflections, the Spa at Jasper Park Lodge, mirrors the energy of the mountains, rivers and waterfalls that surround it. At 10,000 square feet in size, the Spa offers 10 treatment rooms, two couples massage rooms with Jacuzzis, therapeutic mineral baths, rain showers and deluxe glacial-inspired steam rooms. Facilities also include a well-equipped fitness room and a heated outdoor pool. An outdoor hot pool is in the works.
“I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.” ~ John Burroughs
This was my first visit to this spa and my first to a Fairmont Spa. Lucky for me, I had two treatments planned, beginning with a Jasper Active Massage, described as “perfect after a day of strenuous hiking, paddling or golfing.” I had done none of these, only had a relaxing walk into the nearby town of Jasper for lunch. My therapist Anita, a Registered Massage Therapist, gave me a relaxing deep-tissue massage. I still reflect on how she was able to pinpoint stress points with her technique and knowledge, especially in the essential areas of my shoulders, chest and back.
After a break in the spa lounge, overlooking Lac Beauvert, and a few minutes in the steam room, I was greeted by Jessica, my therapist for an Active Outdoors Man Facial. As I settled in, Jessica provided an overview of the treatment. My facial would incorporate pure (not cold) glacial water and B.Kamins skin care products, including a bio-maple compound created to hydrate and protect the skin. B.Kamins products work well and smell great. As I closed my eyes and relaxed, Jessica said, “Just don’t let the bears smell you.”
Fairmont Spa provides perfect service
Around the globe, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts leads the way in creating extraordinary Spa & Wellness experiences. Most of the time, the larger-sibling spa brand Willow Stream takes the spotlight. On my first visit to a Fairmont Spa, I couldn’t have been more impressed. Not only was my spa journey intimate and personal, but the life of the spa—the staff—were friendly, professional and had my interests top-of-mind.
Every moment of my spa experience was perfect: from relaxing in the spa lounge to learning about the products that would be using during my treatments to enjoying my treatments in the luxurious soft sheets in the treatment rooms to taking my leave, when I was given a daily home care program along with a business card from both of my therapists.
Just as snow complements a rugged mountaintop, my visit to the Spa at The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge made my Jasper experience even better.
Getting here: To get to Jasper, drive 3½ to 4½ hours from either Edmonton (via the Trans-Canada Hwy) or Calgary (via the scenic Icefields Parkway). Luxury Motor Coach Charters offers bus service; train service is available through VIA Rail Canada or the Rocky Mountaineer.
~ Craig Oliver, Healthy Living + Travel