cool as a crystal

It’s no secret how beneficial a session in a hot sauna can be for relaxation and rejuvenation, but a cold one can be just as good – at least according to British Columbia’s new KurSpa, located in the recently opened $122-million Sparkling Hill Resort.

The first of its kind in North America, the cryotherapy – or “cold” – sauna dips to temperatures of -166°F and is reputed to aid in the relief of arthritic pain as well as kick-start the circulatory and nervous systems. Three minutes in the dry cold are apparently followed by hours of feeling warm and well. (please don’t call it chillaxin.) Focusing on whole-body awareness, KurSpa offers a variety of other treatments including facials, massages and reflexology, in addition to a almost a dozen different saunas and steam rooms. Or you can simply float in the outdoor infinity pool surrounded by Douglas fir trees.

Carved into a granite hillside overlooking Okanagan Lake, the resort was funded by Gernot Langes-Swarovski, patriarch of the Austrian crystal family. A funky piece of design, the 152-room hotel draws on European influences, featuring cool colors, natural woods and as you’d expect, 3.5 million Swarovski crystals deployed throughout the resort.


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