Shining the Spotlight on the New Bota Bota Gardens and Outdoor Pool
by Robyn Fadden
This year marks Bota Bota’s first foray on dry land with the opening of the new Bota Bota Gardens, downtown Montreal’s one and only four-season urban oasis. Since its opening in 2010, Bota Bota has been adding new installations every year, and this year is no exception. With their new garden extension, they’re pushing back their own limits and creating a relaxing refuge of quiet luxury that reflects a philosophy of environmental sustainability.
Elegantly connected to the boat’s main decks, the Bota Bota Gardens offer a superb indoor and outdoor thermal spa experience in the unique setting of the Saint Lawrence River and the Old Port. Built using recycled shipping containers – a nod to the ferry that became a spa – the Gardens feature a steam bath, a whirlpool bath, a fireplace, relaxation zones, an area reserved for yoga, and, right in the middle of it all, a 60 × 100-foot pool. From almost anywhere in the complex, you can drink in the spectacular view of the river, the skyline, and the historic industrial buildings that dot the landscape. But the best part of all this is that you can come and enjoy it 12 months a year!
Geneviève Émond, captain of the Bota Bota, explains that the outdoor gardens not only expand the water circuit currently offered, but that they add a much welcome green space to the amenities already enjoyed by patrons. “Bota Bota is committed to offering a unique outdoor spa experience in the heart of downtown Montreal throughout the year, even in the heart of winter. Located as we are on the water, we can provide that craved sunshine during the dark winter months or that fresh breeze when the hot city air becomes unbearable. Coming here in the summer is like going on a seaside vacation. There’s always a delightfully fresh breeze to cool the sweltering city dweller.”
With their abundant vegetation and a green roof for shade, the Gardens provide a perfectly balmy environment as well as a spectacularly comforting view from the bridge. Bota Boat’s new installations feature a natural aesthetic that showcases indigenous annuals among other plants. Energy for the Gardens’ – and the boat’s – heating, hot water and air conditioning is supplied by the Saint Lawrence through geothermal technology. This same process will extract energy from river ice during the winter months to heat pools and floors.
OPENING TIMES : 2pm to 10pm