Quebec is full of fabulous Nordic spas, but the formula is the same everywhere, with large spaces shared by all customers. Obviously there is something for everyone, but what if you could book your own spa to meet up with your loved ones? This is precisely the idea that massage therapist Françoise Pigeon had when she opened Au Snooze micro spa, in Grandes-Piles.
Nestled in the hills of Mauricie, the spa offers a treatment room as well as a proper thermotherapy circuit with hot bath, sauna and cold shower, but it never welcomes more than one group at a time. times, usually with no more than six people. “Six is the magic number to make it comfortable for everyone, both for interior space and for sitting or lying outside,” Ms. Pigeon explains as she shows us its facilities, open since the summer of 2019.
The site, which has a large comfortable lounge as well as a beautiful suspended outdoor terrace offering a panoramic view of the Laurentian forest, is thus reserved entirely by one and the same group for a minimum of two hours – you can go up to at six o’clock. Customers can bring food and drink, they can even choose their own music. “I consider it to be like renting a chalet, but where you can’t spend the night,” says Françoise Pigeon. You bring your food, your drinks, you enjoy the outside and the inside. And if people don’t bring anything, I always offer a tray with apples, cheese, dark chocolate, energy bars, herbal tea. It comes with it because I know heat therapy whets the appetite! » Towels and bathrobes are of course also provided.
As for the massage therapy treatments, they are offered à la carte: “If I have a group of four people who all want a massage, I’m the one who manages the schedule,” explains the owner. Often I do two clients in a row when people arrive, then leave the group together for a while, and then do the last two massages afterwards. Massage therapist for 18 years, Françoise Pigeon favors Swedish massage, but she also benefits from the various training courses followed over the years, such as the Californian method, reiki, reflexology or lymphatic drainage. “Swedish is a perfect massage, but it’s a therapeutic massage,” she says. Sometimes people also want to relax and not stay in therapy mode for an hour, because when you’re always feeling where you’re going wrong, you don’t pick up. »
We welcome groups of friends, birthday parties, team building sessions for small SMEs, but also many families. “I welcome children, let’s say from 4 years old, but young people must always be accompanied by an adult until they reach the age of majority,” notes Ms. Pigeon. As a matter of fact, I also massage children! Besides, in the big spa where I worked, I was the one who was recognized for that. Not all adults are comfortable with it, but I, in any case, it makes me happy. There are children who like it because they have already had a massage and others for whom it is a first experience; the initiation therefore does not last more than 30 minutes. »
Everything is designed to make the experience as user-friendly as possible, and this is certainly what sets Au Snooze the most apart from large spas. “We’ll tell each other, it’s very beautiful, the big spas, it’s superb, you walk in and it’s wow, recognizes Ms. Pigeon, who worked for eight years in a renowned spa. But there are a lot of regulations, you pay a lot and you can’t talk, or if you’re trying to relax because you’re tired, you’re sometimes bothered by those who have difficulty not talking…”
As for the rates, we are talking about $55 per person for two hours, we add $15 per person for each additional hour. It’s $22 per hour for children under 16. You can also treat yourself to an à la carte treatment for $79 per hour, but there is also a package for two that includes access to the sauna, bath and cold shower for $250 for three hours.