Spa on the Water: Bota Bota

The very name itself conjures up images of being on the water – and that is exactly where this unique floating spa in Old Montreal is located.  Bota Bota SPA-SUR-L’EAU is moored at the end of a pier in Old Port with a stunning view of Old Montreal and the St. Lawrence River. 

Once a ferry shuttling between Sorel and Berthier in the 50’s and 60’s, and then later converted into a floating theater, the visionary Emond family bought the boat in 2008 and had it converted into a contemporary spa oasis.

Naturally a setting such as this would need a “water” theme integrated into the 45,000 square feet of pure indulgence.  This escape within an urban setting has been planned to perfection. The senses are filled with the subtle smells of eucalyptus as you begin your descent down the pathway to the entrance. Past words of inspiration and sounds of lapping water, you arrive in anticipation knowing that something special awaits you inside. 

The entrance does not disappoint.  The professional and attentive staff greet you and whisk you off to one of the 21 treatment rooms.   Imagine lying on a massage table looking out one of the many discreet portholes with breathtaking water views while relaxing to the natural rocking motion of the St. Lawrence River. Even the massage therapist’s soothing voice never rose above a whisper which further added to my hour of escapism.

And my rejuvenation didn’t end there.  With 6 terraces, 5 decks, 4 Finnish saunas, 3 whirlpools, 3 cold baths, 2 steam baths and a pool, the only question in my mind was which one first.

By the time I floated into the on board restaurant, La Traversée, I was very much in a serene state of mind. Still wrapped in my cozy white robe along with the rest of the guests, I was seated with yet another amazing view out onto the water.  With glass of Prosecco in hand, I idled over the menu trying to decide which fresh delicacy of chef Ria-Adèle Beaulieu would keep me in this state of comfort.  Lunch did not disappoint my senses and the extra indulgence with a triple brownie delight was the top off to my rejuvenation of body, mind and spirit. 

As I floated out of Bota Bota to return back to my life, I reread the inspiring words printed on the pathway fence …..

Steps Away from Your Serenity:  Embark on a journey without moving and immerse yourself in a world of endless contrasts.  Bota Bota is a place of relaxation, escape and infinite wonder where each wave washes over your spirit. This floating spa combines vitality, tranquility and modern design. Welcome on board!   

From Anne’s column in Waypoints Global – an online magazine for adventurous affluent travelers seeking to discover the world on water … one waypoint at a time!  

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