The Gleaner

Area spas are given go-ahead on all services

As the COVID-19 vaccine is being rolled out, the provincial government has begun giving various establishments in orange and red zones the go-ahead to reopen. Amongst these many businesses are spas, which have had a rocky and unpredictable year. Forced to close at the start of the pandemic in March of 2020, spas across the province have had to reopen and close more than once since then. They’ve now been given the green light to offer all services once more, and many owners are hopeful that this time it will be for good.

Spa Champêtre La Belle Blanche in Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle is in its third year of operation. Owned and run by Annie Duquette, it offers massages, aesthetic services, and thermal baths. Forced to close on March 15, 2020, it was allowed to reopen in July, offering all services in a “bubble” format, but then had to close the baths once more in September. Now with the reopening all services, the safety of clients is at the forefront of their planning. “We did the ‘bubbles’ last summer, and we’re doing it again; it’ll be even more safe because ‘bubbles’ must be from the same address,” says Duquette. “We’re following all the rules and safety precautions, we’ve installed up-to-date air filters and purifiers. It’s going well.”


The grounds at Spa Champêtre La Belle Blanche.  PHOTO Courtesy of La Belle Blanche


Arielle Benny and Nathaniel St-Pierre, owners of Spa Franklin, are also thrilled to be able to offer all services once more. Like La Belle Blanche, Spa Franklin had to close its doors to the public last March and were only allowed to reopen temporarily from July to October. Although the pandemic slowed down the owners’ plans for expansion, they still managed to get enough work done to maintain pre-pandemic customer capacity and space for social distancing. The two emphasized how excited they are to welcome clients back to the spa, saying “Our clientele is there [for us] at each reopening and we have been able to adapt to this new reality [with them].”
Duquette made the most of the closures by making some additions to La Belle Blanche, including hiring a new massage therapist and building a new relaxation room. When asked if there were any worries regarding reopening, Duquette emphasized the depth of the precautions being taken. “We are not too worried; people seem to understand the regulations. Even if we were allowed to have multiple groups, we wouldn’t authorize it,” she says. “Our methods are very by the book, and we’re taking this incredibly seriously. The only thing I’d be afraid of is another wave where we’d have to close again.”

The worry about yet another closure is shared by the owners of Spa Franklin. However, both Duquette and Benny spoke about the loyalty of their clientele. Supportive customers faithfully waited for every reopening, and Duquette mentioned that the phone rang non-stop the day of the most recent reopening announcement. “We thank all the people who support us, who have faith in us, and who continue to support our business. We’re here because of these people,” she says.

Even amidst the uncertainty, both La Belle Blanche and Spa Franklin are excited about providing their baths and services. They are currently taking clients by appointment only and are thrilled to show off the new sites and services they have to offer. Benny says that being open once again is not only important for their business, but also for their clientele, explaining that “The benefits of a ‘spa day’ are felt both physically and mentally, and many of us need a break from the year we’ve had.”

To keep track of Spa La Belle Blanche, check out their website or their Facebook page
To keep up with Spa Franklin visit their website or their Facebook page


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