In 1883, three young railway workers discovered hot springs in the Banff area. Although they tried to develop and own their discovery themselves, and in fact opened Banff's first "hotel" at the Cave and Basin, the government and the Canadian Pacific Railway soon proposed the springs as the site of Canada's first national park. Five years later, the CPR had built the first Banff Springs Hotel, and tourists were coming from across North America and Europe to enjoy the Rockies and "take the waters" at the hot springs in the hope of curing their ailments.

If you want to see the original sources of the "spa culture" in the Canadian Rockies, visit the Upper Hot Springs and the Cave & Basin National Historic Site, both on the outskirts of the Town of Banff.

Today, there are still spas at the hot springs and at the Banff Springs Hotel, carrying on a tradition that's now over a century old; however, modern visitors also like to combine a relaxing visit to a spa with their visit to the Rockies, and many new spas are now open.  Many hotel spas are open to non-guests, but may give preferential treatment to their guests. Most spas are associated with hotels, but there are some independents. 

Grotto Spa (Delta Banff Royal Canadian Lodge)

Mountain Spa (Harmony Lane shops, 2nd floor)

Pleiades Massage and Spa (Banff Upper Hot Springs) - reviews

Red Earth Spa (Banff Caribou Lodge) - reviews

Rimrock Spa (Rimrock Resort Hotel)  - reviews

Stretch for Life (Banff Avenue) - massage therapy and assisted stretching

Willow Stream Spa (Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel) - reviews

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