The Horseshoe Valley is about to become even more relaxing, when one of the largest saunas outside Finland opens its doors there.
The expansive therapeutic haven is part of Vettä Spa – the valley’s first Nordic spa, which is slated to open by the end of 2021. While there have been some delays to the project – much like other construction projects which were slowed by the pandemic – Vettä’s founder and CEO Eric Harkonen says opening day is just around the corner.
“We have a great amount of ‘sisu’ in our favour,” says Eric. “Sisu” is a Finnish word for intestinal fortitude – the idea of digging down deep to press forward and succeed at what others may see as impossible.
As workers put the finishing touches on Vettä’s main building, outbuildings, and pathway heating, that sisu is paying off.
“We can’t wait for opening day,” says Eric. “We invite everyone to sign up for our newsletter, as a way to stay informed about our pre-bookings.”
The new spa brings a uniquely Finnish take on the Nordic spa, from its architectural design to its approach to the guest experience.
Vettä was designed by Finnish-born and -trained architects and built with wood sourced directly from Finland. A visit to Vettä will feel as though you were flown to Finland for the day as it truly is a Finnish masterpiece.
“We are very grateful to Tero Malcolm of ISM Architects for helping us make this possible,” says Eric.
Vettä also takes a distinctly Finnish approach to the spa experience – one that sees relaxation as a social event rather than a solitary act.
“Finns tend to be quiet, stoic people, but we open up in the sauna,” says Eric. “We all need to take time from the stresses of everyday life, unwind with friends and family, and immerse ourselves in nature regularly.”
At Vettä Spa, guests are invited to partake in a thermal experience, which includes intervals of hot, cold, and relaxation, using the saunas, steam rooms, hot stones, pools, lounge areas, and massage.
While a day at the spa melts away pent-up stresses, hydrotherapeutic circuits like those at Vettä also come with some impressive health benefits, including boosted immunity and mental clarity.
The design addresses mind, soul, and body… including the appetite: the spa features a one-of-a-kind restaurant, grab-and-go coffee bar, and casual bistro which can be enjoyed from the comfort of your robe.
“We have intentionally created menus to source from local farmers, ranchers and fishers,” says Eric. “We want to nourish the bodies and souls of our guests, with colourful, responsibly sourced, delicious food.”
TEXT SHELANNE AUGUSTINE | PHOTOS ANDREW FEARMAN