Bota Bota: A Spa That Makes The Trip to Montreal Worth It

Plug out for a weekend by visiting Montreal's most relaxing spa.

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A beautiful, calming oasis is what awaits you at Bota Bota. This spa on the water is just that – a spa on a stationary boat docked on the Saint Lawrence River. As the most popular spa in Montreal, it not only attracts locals but is a must on many tourists’ itineraries. The perfect spot to visit with a friend, your mom, or even with a large group for an on-trend bachelorette party, visit Bota Bota once and you’ll be smitten.

What has launched this urban spa into the stratosphere, you may be wondering? Well for starters, it’s totally Instagrammable. The boat and the grounds surrounding it are filled with aqua pools, waterfalls, and panoramic views of Montreal’s picturesque Old Port. Beyond the bathing pools, there are plenty of cute photo ops, sitting in one of their rope chairs suspended from the ceiling or posing in front of the chic porthole windows. But more than pretty photos, Bota Bota provides a place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city without actually leaving it.

Unwind at Bota Bota

Relax, rejuvenate, and feel your stress melt away. The water circuit, which the spa is known for, is a must-try and a particularly great activity for a group. There are certain “silent zones,” but there are also designated areas where you and your friends can chat away as you paddle through pools of various temperatures.

Aboard the boat and on the gardens adjacent to the boat is where you’ll find the Scandinavian-inspired water circuit, by far the spa’s most popular treatment. The water circuit has visitors immerse themselves in saunas, steam rooms, and pools of various temperatures in a specific order that facilitates maximum relaxation and tranquillity for the mind and body. When you wish to take a break from the pools, there are a multitude of lounge areas situated throughout the property, from reclining deck chairs and the swinging rope chairs to sofas and bunk beds by the garden. The water circuit ranges in price depending on the season and length of time you wish to stay, but no matter the time of year, you’re almost guaranteed to want to remain upwards of two and a half hours, making it well worth the price tag.

Beyond the water circuit, there are plenty of specialized treatments offered by the registered massage therapists and beauty technicians on-site. From anti-ageing facials and gel manicures to coconut body scrubs and pre-natal massages, there is a treatment to suit every person. There are also packages available for couples and special occasions, such as Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day.

Another feature of Bota Bota is the restaurant, La Traversée, which allows visitors to have a bite to eat or a glass of wine on board. The restaurant faces east, boasting magnificent views of the Saint Lawrence River and Old Port, and even has an outdoor patio. Mains include salmon tartare, risotto, and lasagna, while snack options consist of charcuterie and cheese platters, white wine hummus, and marinated olives. It’s also the ideal spot for a post-treatment glass of bubbly or rosé.

Overall, if you’re planning a trip to Montreal in fall, winter, summer, or spring, be sure to make time for a morning (fewer crowds) or an evening (relax in the moonlight) trip to Bota Bota. Your body (and Instagram feed) will thank you.

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Emily Southey
Emily Southey is a freelance writer from Toronto and it was during her time studying History and English that she became interested in writing. When she's not working, you can typically find her in a museum, baking cupcakes, or watching Disney musicals.