It’s time to chill, literally, at North America’s very first cold sauna spa in Canada’s stunning Okanagan Valley. Sparkling Hill Resort’s KurSpa, about an hour north of Kelowna (and five hours from Vancouver), provides a treatment called cryotherapy, which involves spending up to three minutes in a room set at –110°C (–166°F!).
That’s possibly three of the longest minutes of your life wearing just a bathing suit at a temperature you’ve most certainly never felt before and likely never will again. So, why subject yourself to such torture? Here’s why: First popular in Europe with Olympic athletes, the treatment is said to kick your nervous system into high gear. It is known to alleviate joint pain and inflammation, improve muscle aches, and even help with sleep disorders and depression. After cold-sauna treatments, guests say they feel an unexpected warm sensation throughout their body that makes them feel happy, strong and full of energy.
Continuing the ice-cold theme, the aptly named resort is owned by the Swarovski family patriarch and has about $10 million worth of Swarovski crystals incorporated into its design. The $122 million, 152-room Sparkling Hill Resort is nestled in a valley recognized for its majestic mountains, refreshing waters, lush vineyards, world-class golf and skiing, and warm (for Canada) climate — except inside the cold sauna, of course. One session, $40; 10 sessions, $300; www.sparklinghill.com