Bota Bota is one of those hidden gems that you hope no one else will find out about it and secretly wish you can keep the place all to yourself. I remember leaving Bota Bota feeling exactly this way and was debating whether I should share this gem with everyone or save it for myself! The entire experience at Bota Bota was perfect from check in until paying the bill at the very end. For starters, Bota Bota is a silent spa located in the heart of Old Montreal. The spa is divided into 2 sections – (1) The main spa “building” is actually sat on a ferryboat which facilitates the different spa offerings such as massages, water circuits and a dining room. (2) The other different temperature pools along with sleeping pods, hammocks and relaxing chairs are off the boat on land.
WHAT I LIKE ABOUT BOTA BOTA
SERVICE & CLEANLINESS – Without informing the staff it was our first visits to Bota Bota, we checked in at the front with the staff being very helpful and friendly informing us where to meet for our massage appointments, where the change rooms are (it’s not as obvious as you think!) etc. In fact, if you ever get confused, there are a lot of labels on the grounds along the spa that tell you where to go and which floors are “silent floors”. The spa itself was well maintained and kept very clean throughout the day. They had multiple staff walking around the facility (without feeling intruded) to enforce the silent spa rule to ensure other guests can also have the same relaxing experience
SPA FACILITIES – The best part about Bota Bota is the number of different temperature pools offered across the large facility. We moved around to ensure we got the maximum experience but my favourite is the hot pool looking out at the St. Lawrence and Old Port of Montreal. Bota Bota also offers a number of sleeping pods, hammocks and a resting area with bunk beds in different secluded rooms. One of the highlights for me is the “make up” area in the change room. It looked like a studio with enough equipment such as blow dryers and hair straighteners for everyone without the need to rush.
PRICING – Don’t know where you can have such an affordable spa experience at such a great location than here. I’m located in the downtown core of Toronto and relatively speaking, you can break an arm and a leg to have some pretty decent spa experiences in Toronto. For majority of the massages, Bota Bota offers 2 prices for either a 60 min or a 90 min massage. I opted for a 60 min relaxation massage which costed $100. To me, that is a complete steal given its offerings and location! In addition, if you book a massage along with a water circuit, you get a $15 off the water circuits. They have different times and different prices for water circuits with a chart showing the differences in times and prices for high and low season.
WATER CIRCUITS – Water Circuits are thermal baths with different temperatures and are known to have many healing properties. Bota Bota recommends you start off on the Promenade Deck or the Sunshine Deck for a 10 to 15 minute session in the dry sauna or steam bath followed by a cold bath or shower. They have different baths (including a 1 person cold bath) and steam rooms throughout the facility labelled with signage that shows the recommended baths in steps and also signage showing the temperature of the bath with simple instructions. Bota Bota offers steam rooms, saunas, hot tubs and cold pools, relaxing pods, hammock, deck chairs and even an area for you to relax on bunk beds.
60 MIN RMT MASSAGE – Before you head into your appointment, they give you a sheet to complete asking for your medical history, your preferences for a female or male masseuse and anything else that the staff may need to know prior. When your masseuse is ready, they go over your sheets and will also ask you if you’ll be claiming insurance for the massage. In terms of the massage itself, I always opt for a 45 min to a 60 min relaxation massage across different spas. My experience here was great. My male masseuse was professional and asked to see if the pressure suited my needs. Before I knew, I was already asleep.