Features & Images » Feature Story

Best of Whistler 2015 - Health and Fitness



Best Spa Scandinave Spa - P: FILE PHOTO / SUBMITTED
  • P: File Photo / submitted
  • Best Spa Scandinave Spa
Best Spa/Salon

Scandinave Spa

A little extra noise and activity hasn't affected locals' love for the Scandinave Spa.

That's because the Scandinave, snuggled away just east of Fitzsimmons Creek, is undergoing an expansion project with a brand-new 4,100-plus-square-foot building (380 sq.m), with a sauna, steam room, yoga studio, relaxation room and sun deck.

But general manager Doug Deyagher stresses the little things, even just offering an apple or fresh towel to someone at just the right time, are what continues to set the Scandinave apart.

"It gets more difficult every year," he says. "It's like a good hockey player — it's hard to stay on top and you've got to keep improving.

"This year, we've made the challenge to exceed the guests' expectations and it's actually paying off because it's such an amazing place and we've gotten such great traction in Whistler and in Vancouver. To keep that momentum up is very difficult."

Elevation Hair Studio placed second and Be Beauty, a newcomer, debuted in third.

Best Chiropractic Facility

Whistler Chiropractic

When your body is keeping you from what you want to be doing, the pain of the absence can rival anything literal.

Longtime local Dr. Keith Ray and the crew at Whistler Chiropractic are well aware, and work to remove all that pain as quickly as possible.

"It's really nice to be recognized. My partner, (Dr.) Jacqueline Brusset and I are in our 19th season in Whistler. We have a great staff offering chiropractic massage and acupuncture working with motivated patients and helping them into the Whistler lifestyle," Ray says. "That's what keeps us motivated."

Ray says it's not hard to get on the same wavelength with patients.

"We just share the stoke for Whistler. Today, I just skied down off of the mountain. I just skied down after taking a couple laps on the peak. It's just about living that Whistler lifestyle to the fullest," he says. "We want to help them be as healthy as they can, be fit, and do what they came here to do."

Village Centre Chiropractic and Massage took the runner-up position.

Best Physiotherapy Facility

Peak Performance

Physiotherapy is a rapidly changing field, but Peak Performance does everything it can to stay up to date.

Owner Allison McLean says the practice is keen to stay on top by constantly developing. The physiotherapists are regularly attending clinics to learn all the latest about how best to serve their patients. They also brought in a shockwave machine that can be used to treat a variety of ailments from improperly healed bones to scar tissue.

"We had a really busy year with new changes, new equipment and new programs because we just got a new shockwave machine. We're the first clinic in the corridor to have shockwave," she says. "We've started an evidence-based concussion program where we baseline test and do post-concussion management."

Back in Action Physiotherapy was second and Whistler Physiotherapy scored the third-place position.

Best Medical Clinic Whistler Medical Clinic - P: FILE PHOTO / BONNY MAKAREWICZ
  • P: File Photo / Bonny Makarewicz
  • Best Medical Clinic Whistler Medical Clinic

Best Medical Clinic

Whistler Medical Clinic

Consistency is key for the Whistler Medical Clinic.

When talking to manager Jocelyn Dean after their sixth-straight win in the category, she took the nod as a sign things were clearly going well, with a well-trained and caring staff from doctor to reception.

"It's great, because it means that we're doing something right," she says. "I think we're all kind of the same. Same doctors, things are steady."

What sets the clinic apart, Dean theorizes, is that they're willing to bend over backwards to ensure that those who are ill or injured get the care they need in the way that works for them.

"We're quite accommodating for patients with the way that we book. You can book ahead. You can book same-day and we'll try to fit you in if it's urgent. We're just accommodating to the patient and also have very friendly staff," she says.

Northlands Medical Clinic took second place and Coast Medical Clinic snagged the third-most votes.

Best Dental Practice

Creekside Dental

There's been talk this year about a rejuvenation plan for Creekside.

But Whistler's first hub has one major neighbourhood pillar in the ever-popular Creekside Dental in the Franz's Trail complex.

Office manager Marjorie Ordona says there are many ways to spread the credit for a successful practice, noting Creekside Dental is appreciative of any and all referrals.

Though there are several different team members working to make the place tick, she says everyone should expect to feel more than welcomed on arrival.

"We do have a large staff, but at the end of the day, we want to treat our patients like family, like they're our friend next door or like they're our cousin who's visiting from overseas," she says. "We just want to give them the best service."

Dr. Phil Gaudin was thrilled to hear the news, especially considering the sometimes-unpopular nature of the work.

"It means a lot to get recognized in the community and we're happy for that," he says. "At the end of the day, it's everyone working hard to make sure everyone's having a comfortable experience and that's what we strive to achieve with every appointment.

"It's not the most favourite place for everyone to be at the dentist, but if we can make them happy leaving the office, that's our goal."

Best Massage Facility

Scandinave Spa

Scandinave Spa general manager Doug Deyagher is quick as a jackrabbit in knowing where the credit for this award should go.

"You know what that is? That's therapists," he says. "You can put a good building together. You can dress it up. You can attend to the details, but it comes down to the therapists.

"You make sure they have an incredible work environment to work from. They really enjoy it. They love working here. They're passionate and it shows in what they do."

The spa employs roughly 90 therapists — a number that amazes even him — but while many employees of the entire Scandinave turn over, the therapist department is one that sees relative calm and consistency.

"That's great to have that stability. They understand the concepts and they understand the brand and that's incredible for us," he says.

Peak Performance Physiotherapy nabbed second place, just ahead of The Spa at Nita Lake Lodge.

Best Hair Salon Elevation Hair Studio - P: COASTPHOTO.COM / SCOTT BRAMMER
  • P: Coastphoto.com / Scott Brammer
  • Best Hair Salon Elevation Hair Studio

Best Hair Salon

Elevation Hair Studio

Elevation Hair Studio in Whistler Village topped the hairstyling heap for the first time in its roughly two decades in business last year.

In a fiercely competitive field, the crew pulled off a repeat once again.

Manager Rhiannon Rogers says the team welcomed some new members to its ranks, and all got on board quickly with the goal of taking home the title once again.

"We have the biggest team we've had yet with so many amazing personalities and strengths and so many opportunities to work with truly talented community members like photographers and makeup artists," she says. "Of course, we wouldn't have nearly as much fun without our incredible clientele who make us excited to come to work each day."

Rogers added Elevation made more connections in the community, teaming with more community groups like the Kids of Steel and Whistler Triathlon.

Farfalla Hair & Esthetics took second place and The Loft scored third.

Best Coach / Personal Trainer Andy Robinson - P: COASTPHOTO.COM / SCOTT BRAMMER
  • P: Coastphoto.com / Scott Brammer
  • Best Coach / Personal Trainer Andy Robinson

Best Coach/Personal Trainer

Andy Robinson, Whistler Core

Andy Robinson was, admittedly, pleasantly shocked when he was informed he'd received this honour.

After finding himself in third in 2013, the seven-year Whistler Core employee, who is originally from the U.K. dropped off the list last year. He's back in a big way in 2015, though.

"I'm really surprised. I didn't think I'd win it this year," he says. "I thought I'd get top three, but to get No. 1, I'm really stoked."

Robinson's specialty is in strength and conditioning with a focus on functional strength and rehabilitation.

More and more people have acquainted themselves with Robinson recently, which may have helped put him over the top.

"I almost doubled my numbers (of clients) from both last year and the year before," he says. "I focus predominantly most of my training life on athletes. Living in Whistler, I come across people who are very athletic and dealing with injuries and of course athletes as well.

"I've been very lucky. Working here has been great."

Robinson's colleague at Whistler Core, Richard Sievewright, placed second and Greg McKinnon of Whistler Creek Athletic Club took up in third.


Best Yoga/Pilates Studio

Yama Yoga

Yama Yoga owner Colleen Felgate has always gotten by with a hand from the local population.

She got her start with the business in 2011 with some elbow grease from them, and is thankful for their patronage to continue to thrive from there.

"The consistency of that support is really flattering and says a lot about what we have to offer," Felgate says. "It's how we get by."

Felgate says it's the attention to detail, like the location with plenty of parking and the cozy heated floors, that encourages people to become loyal. But it's the wide variety of programming and accommodating schedule that brings them in initially.

"We offer, I would say, the most variety. We're the go-to when people have injuries or ailments or they want to focus on strength or healing a certain aspect of their body," she says. "We get a lot of references from various (physiotherapists) who send people our way because we're so anatomy-based and we're so therapy-based."

Whistler Core placed second while YYoga NeoWhistler and Lululemon tied for third.

Best Holistic Facility

Whistler Integrative Wellness

The three-time champion, which offers such services as acupuncture, massage therapy, osteopathy, naturopathic medicine and low-level laser therapy ran away with the vote once again.

The centre, located in Market Pavilion, is open daily and offers booking and all the necessary forms through its website www.whistlerintegrative.com.

Healing Hands and Scandinave Spa rounded out the top three.