Etiquette at Ritual
Rules to Sauna By
- Always wear a bathing suit.
- Silence your phone—and other devices—and leave them in your locker.
- Shower with soap before entering the circuit or the private saunas.
- Bare feet are best in the circuit area. If needed you can borrow a pair of Ritual sandals.
- Our saunas are social. Talking is fine in the sauna, quiet voices are appreciated.
- Rinse off between sauna visit and going into the plunge pool.
- No physical displays of affection. Ritual is a non-sexual environment.
- Check with others in the sauna before adding water to the rocks.
- Drink water! Use the water fountain or bring your own non-glass water bottle.
What is a Nordic spa?
A Nordic spa—also known as a Scandinavian or Thermal Spa—is a popular practice from Nordic countries of Finland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Iceland that has grown in popularity across Canada and the US. The heart of Nordic spa is “thermotherapy” or moving through cycles of hot, cold, and rest.
Is there an age requirement?
RITUAL Nordic Spa services are available to guests 18 years of age and older. This applies to all services, the Nordic Circuit, massage treatments, and private sauna suites.
What is a sauna circuit? How long does it take?
The Nordic sauna circuit at Ritual includes time in a sauna, steam room, cold plunge pool, Nordic shower, and relaxing areas such as a salt lounge and outdoor patio. Go at your own speed but most people spend 10-15 minutes in the heat, 2-5 minutes in the cold, and 5-15 minutes resting.
Can I book online? Do you offer walk-ins?
Reservations are required at Ritual. We encourage you to book your visit online but can also assist guests by phone (778-440-9009). If there are available slots in the circuit we may be able to accommodate walk-in visits. Call or text ahead to check.
What should I bring? What do you provide?
Just bring your bathing suit, and perhaps a reusable (non-glass) water bottle and a clean robe if you like. We provide a place to change (male, female, universal), spa towels, a locker, water station, showers, soap, shampoo/conditioner/body wash, hair dryers, and a robe and sandals if you need them. (Our surfer style robes can be added to your booking for a small eco fee. Bare feet are the best option for the Nordic circuit but we have sandals if you prefer.)
Forgot something? Our retail area includes bathing suits for men and women, water bottles, and Ritual ronchos! (not to mention some other great merch and gifts!)
I forgot my fave water bottle/bathing suit/book after my circuit! What can I do?
No problem! We get it, it’s easy to leave things behind when you’re busy experiencing post-sauna bliss. Please call us as soon you realize you’ve left something to coordinate its safe return.
We hold forgotten items in our Lost + Found for up to 1 month: At the end of each month, we post all collected contents publicly online – You can check the ‘Lost + Found’ Highlight on our Instagram feed to see what we currently have in the spa and phone us to confirm pickup. After posting, items are then held for an additional 2 weeks, with any unclaimed belongings donated to a local charity afterwards. Please note: We are not responsible for lost or stolen items at the spa.
Do you have food or snacks on site?
Our Après-Café is a great place to gather with friends or solo for a cold beverage and snack after your Circuit. Refresh with a Scandinavian-styled snack and a cold juice, or try our own “Cold Plunge Pilsner” on tap (brewed locally by DRIFTWOOD). There is also tea and macarons, local Kombucha, and Italian prosecco on tap! Weekends are are extra special with muffins delivered fresh. Kippis! (That’s cheers in Finnish).
Can I sauna if I’m pregnant?
It’s best to check with your doctor if you’re pregnant and considering using a sauna. Please speak with them first and get their advice on this before you decide.
How is your cold plunge pool treated?
Our water treatment process is based on the BC Pool Regulations under the Public Health Act. We use a chiller, a sand filtration unit (similar to the kind used at rec centre pools) and chlorine to treat and disinfect the water. Pool pH levels are checked twice a day.
Is your facility wheelchair accessible?
Yes, Ritual was designed and built to ensure access for those with mobility issues, visual impairment, and specifically those in wheelchairs. We are located on one level (ground floor) and have accessible washrooms, shower and changing areas with lockers. Our main sauna, steam room, salt lounge, patios and cold bucket showers are accessible.
Where are you located exactly? Can I walk from downtown? Is there parking?
We are at the corner of Johnson Street and Vancouver Street at 989 Johnson, four blocks from the downtown core of Victoria. On-street paid parking is available, and a paid parking lot is located across the street. Free two-our parking is available 2 blocks away on Pandora Street at Cook Street. We have bike racks on location. Ritual is located on several public transit routes.
What is your cancellation policy?
Reservation changes and cancellations must be made a minimum of 24 hours prior to the booking for a full refund. Please call or email to cancel. No-shows or guests with reservations who do not arrive for their circuit, treatment or booking will be charged the full amount of the experience that they booked.
How are you giving back to the community?
As we open our doors in the winter 2021, watch for the launch of a healthcare workers and military discount, as well as details about our Women’s Night program. (We are finalizing details to donate a portion of revenue from Nordic circuit entry fees on Wednesday nights to an organization in Victoria involved directly in assisting women and children. Stay tuned!) As well, we allocate a portion of passes each season to assist community groups and organizations working to support community wellness and social justice initiatives.
What efforts are you making for the environment?
Our sauna house design was guided by the quest: how can we do this right in light of the current climate crisis? As a result, we’ve installed an energy recovery ventilator to recover waste heat from the exhaust air, and transfer it to incoming fresh air used to ventilate the space. We selected high-efficiency laundry systems that use fewest resources and adopted low-flow technology for our water fixtures. Our water heating is provided by high-efficiency tankless water heaters. Plus we’ve designed the space to maximize natural light and passive solar heat, with major rooms oriented towards a south-west exposure.
How is the spa ventilated?
When designing Ritual during the pandemic we intentionally chose systems that reduce the potential for airborne viruses to exist. Our engineers devised an innovative ventilation plan where the sauna house is divided into three separate airflow zones, each with their own unique and independent HVAC systems. Overall ventilation is provided by a dedicated outdoor air system, which ensures fresh air from outside is delivered into each space directly, minimizing the mixing or recirculation of air from other parts of the building.