For most of my adult life I’ve dreamed of visiting Ste. Anne’s Spa in Grafton (fun tidbit: the original part of the building was built by the Massey family, of Massey-Ferguson), so when my friend Allison suggested it as a girls’ getaway for her 40th celebration I certainly wasn’t going to refuse. (Especially since she flew to London for mine!)
Along with our friend Amanda, we booked an all-inclusive day spa getaway which included a three-course lunch, afternoon tea, $120 spa allowance (I used mine towards a seaweed wrap; more on that later) and complete use of the facilities, including pools, hot tubs, sauna, steam room, relaxation rooms, classes, fitness room and gardens…and of course you get to spend the day wearing the signature Ste. Anne’s robe.
I have to admit we were pretty hyped up about our getaway, and it definitely did not disappoint. We were there from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (they do have overnight accommodations and packages available) which seemed like a perfect amount of time.
- The service. The moment we arrived we were greeted warmly and given a very helpful tour of the main building. (Everything we needed for the day was all in one spot.) From meals to spa services to just passing employees in the hall, it felt like a very warm, inviting space. We were also given a welcome bag with our itinerary for the day, as well as a map with extremely helpful FAQs on the back (of note: “all-inclusive” really means just that, and tipping is not expected). I also appreciated all of the details available on the website, as I really felt I was prepared and knew exactly what to expect before our arrival.
- Going back and forth between indoor and outdoor hot tubs, cold plunge pool (of course I didn’t partake in that, but the other two did!), eucalyptus steam room (I had visions of Chandler accidentally sitting on his father-in-law’s lap when I opened that door, lol), and dry sauna was a lot of fun.
No filter! I swear!
- The relaxation room with massage chairs facing out on the beautiful property. These are even more luxurious than the ones you’ve been in at the nail salon – you can get massaged from neck right down to feet – there are special enclosures you slide your feet into! The only recommendation I would offer to Ste. Anne’s after our day is that they need even more of these chairs so no one feels they need to be polite and offer theirs up to someone who’s patiently waiting elsewhere in the room!
- The spa services – there are 35 options! Allison went for a facial that she described as “heavenly”, and as I mentioned, I chose the “Nourishing Seaweed Body Wrap” (as did Amanda), mainly because I wanted to try something new. As befits my nature, I usually go for treatments that are more visually productive (resulting in painted toenails or extracted blackheads, for example) but was drawn in by the description: “This treatment begins with a gentle full body exfoliation using a dry brush, removing dead cells and increasing your body’s circulation. Your therapist will apply a nourishing masque of Klamath blue-green algae, sea kelp extract and rosehip oil. You will then be wrapped in warm linens while you enjoy a face, scalp, and foot massage. After a shower, your treatment will conclude with an aromatic lotion application.” Wow. It was incredible. Something we all noticed about our treatments is that the therapists made use of every moment of time to pamper the guests, which was so appreciated.
- The locker rooms are very well-appointed, with lots of showers and extra amenities like hair dryers and toiletries.
- The food. Another wow. You are encouraged to dine in your bathrobe (in fact, to go everywhere in it) and we took advantage at lunch, where we could choose a drink, starter, main course and dessert from several options. My shaved beef sandwich was absolutely delicious, and the other girls were equally impressed with all of their food. (At Ste. Anne’s, they encourage you to enjoy food, not deprive yourself.) At afternoon tea, you can select from the regular sampler, or a gluten-free or vegan option, which includes sandwiches, scones (Allison: “This cranberry scone is the best scone I’ve ever had in my life”), cheese, crackers and sweets. And by the way, the spa is BYOB, with no corkage fees!
- The ambiance. The whole place has a warm, cozy country feel. While there are signs in some areas reminding you to socialize quietly, silence is not expected. You are well-taken care of, and nothing is pretentious or sterile.
I’ve already had a few people ask me about cost, and you should definitely bear in mind that for most people’s budgets, any all-inclusive spa is more of a special occasion destination than a weekly meetup, but I certainly felt I got my money’s worth, and prices are all up-front on the website.
I can’t recommend Ste. Anne’s Spa highly enough for anyone who is looking to get away from it all for some quiet R & R and pampering, whether with your spouse or friends. There are so many things we didn’t even get to check out, like the bakery, walking trails and horse stables, which give me a great reason to go back again someday – maybe next time with my husband! Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions at all about our experience!
DIsclosure: I was provided a media discount for review purposes.