Here’s a tip for an offbeat destination you wouldn’t typically think of as a destination with spa or wellness options: The badlands of Alberta, Canada.
Drumheller is a town within the Red Deer Valley in the badlands of east-central Alberta province in Canada. It’s located 110 kilometers (68 miles) northeast of Calgary. It’s referred to as Dinosaur Valley, and is known for being a rich source of dinosaur fossils, its striking landscape, Hoodoos and canyons.
This fascinating area boasts several protected geographic sites, parks, and museums, and appeals to hikers, runners, bicyclists, and adventure enthusiasts. This doesn’t mean spartan accommodations, or preclude romantic outings, however. We recommend a stay at the Heartwood Inn & Spa in Drumheller, so that you’ll “be in good hands in the bad lands.”
The Heartwood Inn & Spa is centrally located, just a few blocks from downtown
Drumheller. It has eight unique rooms and cottages with over-sized jetted tubs and fireplaces, a
large dining room suitable for meetings and receptions, and a day spa. All interior spaces are non-smoking. A limited number of rooms are pet-friendly.
The Inn’s full service day spa has a full menu of spa treatments and healing arts
for men, women and couples. Services include skincare, body scrubs
and wraps, manicures and pedicures, massage, hydrotherapy, and more.
Interesting wraps and scrubs include the Oriental Pearl Scrub, D Age
Firming Treatment, Mediterranean Olive Scrub, European Thermal Mud
Treatment, Indian Rice Scrub, Arabian Coconut Scrub, Cellulite
re-modeling Treatment, and a re-moisturizing body wrap (1 hour each, $130).
For hikers returning from touring the Badlands, try the the Spa’s Badlands Leg Circulation Restorer (1 hour for $110). Runners should try the Intensive Sport Performance Foot Treatment (1 hour for $85).
FALL TRAVEL SPECIAL
- One night Luxury Accommodation
- Hydrotherapy massage
- Tickets to the Royal Tyrrell Museum (see below)
- Tickets to the World’s Largest Dinosaur (see below)
- Happy hour
From $99 per person (weekdays), $129 weekends – based on double occupancy.
Dinosaur Provincial Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is open May through
October. The park is well known for being one of the richest dinosaur fossil locales in the world. It offers guided excavations ranging from 7 hours to 3 days. The
experience includes an orientation to the Park and the research project,
working in a real quarry, and hiking and prospecting for new fossil
finds. Your work will contribute to research going on at the Royal
TheRoyal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology is a museum that hosts Canada’s largest collection of dinosaur fossils. Tickets to the museum are included in the Heartwood Inn’s Fall Special (above).
In and around Drumheller are the striking hoodoos — also called fairy chimneys – tall, thin spires of rock.
The name “hoodoo” is derived from the word “voodoo” and was
given to these geological formations by the Europeans. In the Blackfoot
and Cree traditions, the Hoodoos are believed to be petrified
giants who come alive at night to hurl rocks at intruders.
The World’s Largest Dinosaur is a tourist attraction of an obviously pretty large fiberglass dinosaur. It’s open year-round and visitors can climb the giant T-rex and admire the badlands from inside her (yes, it’s a she) gaping jaws. On your way up, you’ll see mural paintings by local
artist Gary Cox, as well as the black light area, which features fossils
and dinosaur bone displays. Tickets included in the Heartwood’s Fall Special package.