A quebec family success story
In less than ten years, Bota Bota, spa-sur-l’eau, has become an Old Montréal institution. Behind this success is a family full of seasoned entrepreneurs, including Geneviève Emond, President and Co-owner, her father Daniel, Co-owner, her sister Natalie, Vice-President of Customer Experience, and Stéphanie, who contributes her expertise as the owner of another well-known spa, the BALNEA spa in Bromont, even though she is not officially employed by Bota Bota. This is a family success story that is one hundred percent Quebecois.
The year is 2008. Daniel Emond, Co-founder of the BALNEA spa in Bromont, and his oldest daughter, Stéphanie, are about to embark on a new project with Emond’s youngest daughter, Geneviève. “We found that what was available in Montréal was not at the same level as what was happening outside the city or in the countryside,” said Geneviève Emond. The father and daughter decided to provide Montrealers with a high-quality urban spa that could be accessed without a car. Very quickly, the proximity of water became an essential prerequisite for the project.
From the very beginning, the two partners were interested in the parc des Éclusiers, ideally located with its view over the city, the river and Habitat 67. But construction is not allowed at this location. However, they did find a former showboat that was for sale. “That’s when we got the idea to build a spa on a boat directly overlooking the river,” says Geneviève. Two years later, in December 2010, Bota Bota, spa-sur-l’eau, was born.
“Thanks to our team and our outstanding customer service, we are still growing.”
Geneviève Emond, President and Co-owner
A refreshing maritime atmosphere
Bota Bota is infused with a unique maritime atmosphere. Visitors get changed in the former engine room and can admire the city from the spa’s five bridges. With twenty or so massage therapy and cosmetic treatment rooms, two floors, a garden dedicated to the water circuit (saunas, steam baths, cold baths), a pool, and several outdoor hot tubs, the spa truly has wonderful facilities. But its success is not only the result of its excellent facilities. “Thanks to our team and our outstanding customer service, we are still growing in our eighth year of operations. And that’s where Natalie, my other sister, plays an important role,” says the young woman.
Of course, quality massage services provided by experts trained in techniques from around the world are also part of the spa’s appeal. The result is that customers return, year after year.
Beyond the spa: the brand
Over the years, Bota Bota, spa-sur-l’eau, has developed its own online magazine, The Porthole, a blog, and its own events (like free summer yoga classes). More than a spa, it has become a brand focused on well-being and relaxation. “We want to be present in the daily lives of Montrealers to help them live better, but people can’t go to the spa every day. That’s why we developed these additional features,” says Geneviève. As she concludes, “People realize that life is increasingly stressful and are looking for ways to remedy the situation. We help them respond to their needs.”
$40 before 11:00 a.m. during low season
From Monday to Thursday
- Layover water circuit
- 60-minute 4-hand massage
- Gel manicure
Monday to Thursday: $326 (for two people)
Any time: $348 (for two people)
- Water circuit journey
- 60-minute Swedish massage
- Tasting plate
- Glass of wine
Text: Diane Stehle