November is the calm before the storm. A chance to catch your breath, ground yourself and prepare for the whirlwind of holiday activity to come. You definitely need an emergency recharge and Ontario delivers. Whether it be a full-service spa resort escape, a restorative retreat or an off-grid wilderness getaway, find your happy place, get centered and be your best you for the festive season.
SPACATION FOR ONE
Langdon Hall Country House Hotel & Spa is a historic 1890’s chateau in Cambridge with an on-site full-service spa. It’s also Ontario’s only prestigious Relais & Châteaux certified property, which guarantees the utmost level of luxury and service. Packages include ‘Only You’, a solo one-night spa escape, including wine and cheese upon arrival. ‘Me-time’ done right.
Photo credit: Ste. Anne’s Spa
Plunge pools and terrycloth robes go together like champagne and strawberries. Sink into the fieldstone grotto at Ste. Anne’s Spa in Grafton, Canada’s largest (and voted favourite) destination spa, or soak in the outdoor hot springs and saltwater pools in 100 Fountain Spa at Pillar and Post in Niagara-on-the-Lake. During your stay in the wine-soaked region, you’ll definitely want to pair your pampering with a local Pinot, Cab Sauv, or whatever tickles your palate. Experience ultimate hydrotherapy, alternating between hot and cold in the Nordic baths in Spa Grande Nature at Cedar Meadows Resort & Spa in Timmins. Or spend the day under Nordic waterfalls in the fairy-tale forest setting of Blue Mountain’s Le Scandinave Spa. Breath in crisp country air from the outdoor hot springs and plunge pools at the Millcroft Inn & Spa in Caledon, surrounded by acres of woodlands and meadows.
Photo credit: Cedar Meadows Resort & Spa
Muskoka – Ontario’s crown jewel resort destination – boasts some spectacular water-inspired spas. Christie’s Mill Inn and Spa is a boutique resort property perched on the Muskoka peninsula in the hamlet of Port Severn and surrounded by scenic lake views. Choose the resort’s Blissful Retreat package and find your bliss at the The Avalon Spa. Cozy up by the fire and witness the drama of November’s unpredictable weather over Lake Rosseau after your Rejuvenating Experience, a signature treatment at the JW Marriott Spa Rosseau in Minett. Let off some steam at Touchstone Resort On Lake Muskoka with spa therapies that incorporate the healing properties of plants and minerals indigenous to the lake.
Photo credit: Grail Springs Retreat for Wellbeing
Holistic wellness retreats combine yoga, meditation and spiritual restoration with organic, guilt-free nutrition and detox programs for mind, body and soul healing. Grail Springs Retreat for Wellbeing is a private sanctuary near Bancroft devoted to providing a transformative experience through SOULSHOPS, a spiritual enrichment series. Unplug and unwind at Shanti Retreat located on beautiful Wolfe Island, near Kingston. Restorative yoga weekends are designed to nurture your body with hatha yoga, and your mind with the tranquil 11 acres of garden and private lakeside shoreline. Get back to the basics at Sugar Ridge Retreat Centre just outside of Midland, with silent, mindfulness meditation and juice and soup cleanses to restore your glow.
GET OFF GRID
Perhaps you crave a dose of wilderness therapy. Watch sunrise steal across the lake and steam up the forest canopy. Listen to the soundtrack of wind in the pines, leaves crunching underfoot and the gentle ripple of each paddle stroke. Lounge fireside, and gaze up at the vast, untainted night sky at Voyageur Quest Algonquin Log Cabin – a rustic, authentic log cabin tucked in the forest on Surprise Lake, just outside the northwest corner of Algonquin Park. The space is warmed by a massive stone fireplace, and instead of WIFI, enjoy each other’s company … in real time. Your digital detox begins the moment you arrive at Cabinscape, off-grid, solar-powered tiny cabin rentals in Eastern Ontario. Each private cabin comes equipped with lake views, rugged landscapes and wilderness trails.
TO KID OR NOT TO KID
Treating yourself to ‘me time’ when you’re away with the kids is rare (try never: says every parent everywhere). The challenge is real, but there is help out there. Deerhurst Resort offers amazing indoor adventures such as the obstacle treehouse playspace, indoor rock climbing, scavenger hunts and arts and craft programs, so kids stay active regardless of the weather. Hopefully this will give you enough time to squeeze in a yoga session and escape to Amba Spa for an hour or two. The Games Room at Oakwood Resort features pool, board games, ping pong, foosball and more; enough distraction for you to hit up the Lakeside Spa for some anti-stress revitalization.
If you can somehow disconnect completely from the everyday, adult-only resorts will ensure your nirvana spell won’t be broken by someone else’s little cherub. Couple’s Resort in Whitney, just six kilometres from Algonquin Park and Sir Sam’s Inn and WaterSpa in Haliburton on the shore of Eagle Lake, both offer kid-free oases to relax and rejuvenate.
Now bring on the holiday season planning, shopping, entertaining … You got this!