At a waterfront getaway it’s only natural that your clients would
want to soak up the healing power of the sea. At the Kingfisher
Oceanside Resort and Spa, however, the aquatic adventure awaits
indoors, not out.
Last year the Kingfisher enhanced its spa by opening the $1 million
Pacific Mist Hydropath, billed as a walking tour that immerses
clients in the powers of the Northwestern coastline.
“We wanted to create a hydrotherapy circuit with a West Coast flair
to it, something that complements our resort’s oceanside setting,”
said Kingfisher sales and marketing director Tor Nawrot.
Unique to North America and Canada, the hydropath fits in well with
the spa’s focus on natural products that improve a client’s
physical and emotional well-being, said Nawrot.
“Rich marine minerals and elements are good for all of us sea
creatures,” he said.
On a recent visit to the Vancouver Island resort, I tested the
hydropath waters under the guidance of a spa staffer named Carey.
Through the cheery, bright design of the spa’s main level, she led
me down one flight of stairs and opened a door to another world
altogether. The lighting was dim, walls shimmered because of the
reflection of the water and ferns dangled off driftwood beams. On
sandstone-sculpted rocks clung starfish shapes so real I had to
touch them to make sure they weren’t. I felt like I was walking
into a secret cave something out of a Northwest-inspired romance
Carey softly explained each step of the hydropath circuit to come,
then left me alone to enjoy the first two stages. Following a
multi-jetted massage rinse, I sunk into the warm mineral massage
pool, where jets worked up and down my back from the lumbar region
to the shoulders. Carey reappeared just in time to direct me to the
waterfall massage, set in a cave. As I sat on each of four
comfortable perches, water streamed from above at different speeds,
hitting various muscles and body parts. Next, I entered the steam
cave, inhaling aromatic eucalyptus while wrapping the back of my
neck with an icy washcloth. To cool down afterward, I took a brief
dunk under the glacial waterfall just as Carey reappeared with my
During the river walk, I strolled through two lengths of water, one
warm and one cool. This therapeutic exercise increases blood
circulation, Carey said, with stimulating jets positioned along the
way. Just a few steps further led me to the sea mineral soak, a
spacious pool with such sensory enhancements as a bubble massage
seat and unexpected waterfalls from up high. I let myself linger
here, listening to the piped-in lapping of waves, never feeling
rushed by other clients.
The last stop on the hydropath journey took me to single-person
tidal baths carved out of rock. Before leaving me alone in one of
the tubs, Carey handed me a loofah made out of harvested West Coast
seaweed, which is amazingly soft and wonderfully aromatic. I used
it to apply mud on my body, drawing out toxins and adding vital
minerals. After a final shower, I wrapped up in a warm bathrobe and
wandered back upstairs to a private, sunlit lounge. Surrounded by
flickering candles, trickling water, artful shells and hanging
plants, I gazed through walls of windows at the ocean and nearby
Gulf Islands, with newfound appreciation for the wonders of water.
Pacific Mist Hydropath
Kingfisher Oceanside Resort and Spa
4330 Island Highway South
Courtenay, BC, Canada V9N 9R9
The Pacific Mist Hydropath costs $55 per person.
Clients should wear a bathing suit and allow one hour for the
entire experience, followed by a contemplative 10 to 15 minutes in
the lounge afterward. Clients booking a Kingfisher Resort package
can try the hydropath as part of the deal. The two-night
Fall Spa Escape also includes one spa treatment, a
three-course dinner and two breakfasts with rates per couple
ranging approximately $274-$430 from Oct. 2-Dec. 17. The two-night
Golf and Spa Escape augments the Spa Escape with
one round of play at nearby Crown Isle Golf Club. Rates that run
about $364-$544 per couple are good through Oct. 2.