Our retreat facilities are located on the border of the 27,000-hectare West Arm Provincial Park, yet we are within walking distance, of the beautiful small city of Nelson, B.C. We offer a unique combination of pristine natural settings and proximity to world-class amenities. Our property is part of the 100-year-old Svoboda farm, nestled on the side of a mountain just to the East of Nelson. We are blessed with beautiful forests, verdant meadows, and delicious wild water that bubbles down Hermitage creek from springs sourced high up in the park.
Our Main Lodge is an inspired circular building that brings a sense of calm and peace to all that enter. We have five additional guest cabins, wonderful gardens for both food and beauty, and two dedicated group learning spaces One in the main lodge, and the second we call our forest Maloca, a round yoga and meditation building that serves as our larger space for workshops and special events. There are trails that lead from our property down to wilderness beaches on majestic Kootenay Lake, and up into the West Arm Park, where if your timing is right, you can feast on wild huckleberries. We have an outdoor jacuzzi-hot tub for your enjoyment and plenty of beautiful natural spaces in and around the property for quiet rest and contemplation.
Nelson is an off-the-beaten-track destination. It is a place where people still leave their cars and walk along the lakefront or down historic Baker Street with its array of shops, outdoor cafes, restaurants, and galleries. It is a small city where smiles are exchanged between strangers and the pace of everyday life unfolds on a human scale.
The city is visually stunning with hilly, tree-lined streets and the beautiful Victorian-era architecture of its founding period. The beauty of the town’s surroundings have attracted many artists and craftspeople, giving Nelson a reputation as one of the finest small arts towns in North America.
Nelson is surrounded by rugged mountains and large pristine lakes. It is home to some of the best hiking, mountain biking, and kayaking in the world. Close to hot springs and four different Provincial Parks, the Nelson area offers an almost endless variety of outdoor recreational opportunities for people of all levels of skill and ability.
Nelson is a town where quality of life is measured in clean air, and deep conversation. The town is strangely quiet on days when it is snowing up at the ski hill. Nelson is a centre for alternative and integrative approaches to health and well-being and it is the perfect place for a retreat vacation that brings together health, nature, and self-exploration.
Nelson is located about halfway between Calgary and Vancouver in the South Eastern part of British Columbia. Highway 3 cuts across Southern BC and provides access to Nelson from both Vancouver (an 8 hour drive) and the Okanagan Valley to the West, and from the Alberta border and Calgary (a 7 hour drive) to the East.
For people traveling to Nelson from the United States, we are about a 3 hour drive North of Spokane, Washington. The most direct route involves crossing the border at the Nelway/Metaline falls border crossing about 50 minutes south of Nelson. For guests traveling from the States please remember that you will need your passport to cross the border.
Nelson has an active ride sharing community and you can both look for a ride or offer seats in your vehicle here. Go to Kootenay Rideshare’s website. This is the cheapest and most eco-friendly way to get to Nelson.
The easiest way to get to Nelson by air is via the Castlegar airport, about 40 minutes west of Nelson along Hwy 3A. AirCanada flies into Castlegar twice daily from both Calgary and Vancouver. Shuttles into Nelson from the Castlegar airport can be booked for $25 through Queen City Shuttles.
For guests traveling from the United States, we recommend that you fly into the Spokane International Airport and rent a car at the airport for the 3 hour drive to Nelson.
GETTING TO MOUNTAIN WATERS FROM NELSON
From downtown Nelson, follow the signs East toward Balfour and HWY 3A. Two blocks before the Orange Bridge over the Kootenay River you will see a Husky Service Station (on the corner of Nelson Ave and Elwyn St.) Take a right on Elwyn St and travel uphill, passing the 10th Street Campus of Selkirk College on the left just before Elwyn turns to a dirt road. Continue up Elwyn another 100 meters, past two corners until you reach a T intersection. Take a left onto Svoboda Road at the intersection and continue up Svoboda for a little more than two kilometers until you reach Mountain Waters. Follow the signs for Mountain Waters printed with our Logo, and you will be looking for a left hand driveway into the Retreat Centre parking area just off a sharp right hand corner. Please note that Svoboda Road is a narrow and steep mountain road, one lane wide in a few sections, so use caution and watch for other vehicles and pedestrians.
For those of you using Google Maps please note that in the past some guests have arrived at the Mountain Waters Spa at 205 Victoria St in the past. Please double check to make sure that you have the Mountain Waters Retreat location.