Bota Bota began its life on the water as a ferryboat named The Arthur Cardin, sailing between Sorel and Berthier, Quebec, in the 50’s and 60’s. This was followed by a stint as a Richelieu River show boat named L’Escale in 1967, with decades of shows featuring the likes of Ginette Reno. The Emond Family acquired the ship in 2008 with the crazy idea of transforming it into a spa. The family entrusted the ambitious project to Jean Pelland of Sid Lee Architecture, and once transformed, Bota Bota, spa-sur-l’eau officially opened its doors in Old Montreal in December 2010.


25 000 square feet
678 portholes
274 cm of submerged hull
239 lockers
138 nail polish colours
52 employees
40 types of services
35 massage therapists
21 treatment rooms ( 4 exterior cabanas)
14 metres below the level of the Saint Lawrence River
6 terraces
5 decks
4 cold showers
2 cold baths
2 basins fed by the river
2 Finnish saunas
2 whirlpool baths
1 steam room (often referred to as a Hammam)
1 garden


Anchored in the Old Port of Montreal, Bota Bota, spa-sur-l’eau offers its passengers the healing benefits of a spa while being lulled by the natural movements of the St Lawrence River. With its enchanting ambiance, and Old Montreal as a magical backdrop, this mysterious and innovative floating spa offers all who come aboard privileged access to the river while enjoying the relaxing and energizing properties of the water circuit.

Bota Bota consists of five decks which house the various spa installations: two saunas with incredible views onto the river and the Old Port, a eucalyptus steam bath, outdoor whirlpool baths, cold showers and baths, relaxation areas, a restaurant, terraces and a garden. Over and above its breathtaking Montreal location, this unique spa offers prolonged well-being through massage therapy, body treatments, facial treatments, manicures and pedicures, as well as yoga and Pilates classes.

You can also delight your taste buds at the Bota Bota, spa-sur-l’eau restaurant, operated by Auberge sur la Route, with Michelin-starred chef Éric Gonzalez at its helm. Affiliated with the reputed Auberge St-Gabriel, Auberge sur la Route allows passengers to complement their experience with a fresh and simple menu, both original and comforting, for a serene healing of body and mind.

Step onboard into a universe awash with astounding contrasts. In an enchanting space, between two water worlds… float away.


Since Bota Bota is a boat, it does not have a physical address. We are located at the corner of McGill and De La Commune West….on the water!

Old Port of Montreal,
McGill entree
Corner de la Commune West and McGill


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