Archive for the ‘fishing’ Category

Andrew Hind

Children in bathing suits running past, faces spread wide in smiles and squealing in glee. Parents sunk into comfortable chairs, content and relaxed under azure skies. Turquoise waters lapping a sandy shoreline. The palpable thrill of seemingly endless activities from which to choose, but sadly not enough time to sample them all. A glorious sun beating down from high above. Nope, not Florida or the Caribbean—this is Fern Resort, an all-inclusive family-friendly resort right here in Ontario.

Sounds enticing, doesn’t it?Fern-IMG_9338

When you’re looking for a summer escape to a family friendly resort, you don’t want just any resort. You want one that will thrill the entire family, from children to restless teens to deserving parents. You want one that children will have to be pulled away from, where parents can truly unwind, one where cherished family memories that will be fondly recalled at gatherings for years in the future are made.

Thankfully, Ontario has a number that fit the bill to a tee, each one elevating a family escape to OMG-heights in their own unique ways: among them Bayview Wildwood Resort, Shamrock Lodge, Bonnie View Inn, Pine Vista Resort, and of course, Fern Resort. You don’t need to go far to relax and rejuvenate as a family.

“What’s the perfect family vacation? It’s one where the kids are entertained, parents are relaxed, and where parents aren’t looking ahead to the next expense,” says Scott Collens, General Manager of Fern Resort, an Orillia property which has been perfecting the family vacation for 120 years. “That’s where an all-inclusive, family-friendly resort like Fern comes into its own. There’s so much to do that you never have to worry about children getting bored, and with their children (infant to teens) enrolled in a kids club program,  parents get important alone time.”

Though Fern Resort is a magical year-round destination for kids, it truly comes alive in summer with oodles of family-oriented activities—from wall-climbing to mini-golf to tennis and knee-boarding, not to mention swimming in two large pools or the clear waters of Lake Couchiching. It’s like a cruise ship on land.

Fern-IMG_9949

“When considering where you want to spend your vacation, ask yourself what you are hoping to enjoy and what do you want to achieve during your holiday? Where you go should satisfy all your needs,” says Collens. “It’s important to call and speak to someone at the resort itself. You can read all about our programs and facilities online, but you only get a feel for how everything we do is based on solid family-values by actually speaking to us.”

Muskoka’s Shamrock Lodge, another all-inclusive resort, represents a dying breed: a family owned and operated resort where the owners are ubiquitous and as much a part of stay as are the joyful activities or comfortable accommodations. “The Bryant’s are very present. They’re here every day, driving the boat, running activities, overseeing operations and welcoming guests. By the second day, they know every guest by first name. People love that connection. It’s rare today, but people value it. Our guests often say a stay feels more like vacationing at a family cottage than a resort,” enthuses Operations Manager Susan Nairns.

In many ways, Shamrock is a throw back to a simpler time, a more innocent time. Indeed, the lodge itself is over a century old. But it has remained relevant by keeping up with vacation trends, offering an all-inclusive vacation in an atmosphere more intimate than most of its kind. Parents with love the charm and idyllic setting; children will love the endless fun.Fern-IMG_9876.JPG

“We’re rated the #1 resort in Muskoka by Tripadvisor and we always encourage people to go there when they are considering booking—here or anywhere— because it’s written by guests from their own personal perspective,” explains Nairn.

Every resort is special in their own way, so choose the one that best suits your needs and interests.

Nothing beats a vacation at one of Ontario’s family-friendly resorts. You’ll know it’s a special holiday when, at the end of the day, exhausted children drift off to a contented sleep with the need of a bedtime story. They’ve made their own adventures.

Bayview Wildwood Resort Beach

List of Questions to Answer when Booking a Summer Resort Vacation

In an attempt to help readers choose from among the many family-friendly resorts in Ontario, we wanted to put together a checklist of questions to answer. Who better to help us than Dianne Hounsome, Owner and General Manager of Bayview Wildwood Resort, a property with an unrivaled reputation for providing cherished summer memories.

  1. Do they want a supervised children’s program? If the resort offers them, what times are they offered, what ages of kids can participate, and is there a cost?
  2. Is entertainment at night important to them?
  3. Can kids go into the entertainment areas (bars) at night?
  4. How does the meal plan work – are their meal times set – do they have to make a reservation or do they get assigned a table?
  5. Do the rooms/cottages have views of the lake with balconies or decks?
  6. Are there room/cottages that are 2-bedroom or 3-bedroom?
  7. Do you want to cook your own meals or have a meal plan?
  8. Do you want to eat with your kids? Do you want the option to have a meal without kids if possible?
  9. What is the atmosphere of the dining room (upscale dressy or relaxed casual)?
  10. Are the meals buffet or service? Is there a kids buffet option?Bayview-fire-3-2010
  11. Are there food allergies and can they be accommodated?
  12. What is the clientele – is it mostly families, conferences, couples, or a mix of any?
  13. What watercraft (canoes, paddleboats, etc.) are available – are any free and what is the cost?
  14. Can you swim in the lake – is there a sandy beach – and are there water toys (trampolines, for example)?
  15. Is there an indoor pool? Is the outdoor pool heated?
  16. Are there activities to do indoors in the case of bad weather?
  17. Is there private babysitting service at a cost?
  18. Can they rent a boat and fish?
  19. Is there a teen program (if relevant)?

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Great news for all of you with little ones looking to make a splash in this terrific summer heat. Golden Beach Resort has added an all new splash pad this summer. Judging by the look on this little guys face, I would say the splash pad has been a hit for their guests on these hot summer days. Golden Beach Resort Splash Pad

Of course, at Golden Beach, adults can also cool off while swimming the days away in their outdoor pool. You can grab a rod and head out fishing for some of the monster bass that call Rice Lake home. You can add some activity to your day, by also going for a hike, grab the horseshoes for a tournament, play a round of tennis and much more. There is still some limited availability this summer so give them a call while the temperature is hot.

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Resorts of Ontario and some of our properties are happy to welcome Breakfast Television up to our place this week. On Monday morning Breakfast Television’s Live Eye was on location at Couples Resort located on the Eastern Side of Algonquin Park. Jenn did a fantastic job of showcasing some of the great activities available for guests staying at Couples Resort such as Horseback Riding, Spa treatments, fishing, canoeing, or just relaxing in your suite.

While there, Jenn also got to experience first hand the fantastic artistic abilities of Gertrude Sorenson. Gertrude started the resort in 1967 as what was then known as the Bear Trail Inn. Guests at the resorts can view Gertrude’s work in her art studio located on site. She also takes the time to teach painting.

Of course at Couples Resort, you can spend the day relaxing in the beautiful accommodations complete with the jacuzzi tubs and many that have private outdoor hot tubs as well. The food is phenomenal and you never have to leave your room as you can have your meals provided by room service.

To view the clips of Couples Resort click these links:

Part 1 http://video.citytv.com/video/detail/1063866317001.000000/couples-resort-pt1of3/

Part 2 http://video.citytv.com/video/detail/1063861565001.000000/couples-resort-pt2of3/

Part 3 http://video.citytv.com/video/detail/1063885864001.000000/couples-resort-pt3of3/

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School’s out for another summer and that means you are likely trying to figure out what to do with the kids. In an earlier post I mentioned some of the resorts that offer children’s programs but there are also resorts that let you plan your own days events. Our cottage resorts are a great option for reconnecting with your family, with the natural surroundings and are conducive to having fun. From the moment you arrive, you’ll be greeted with a warm welcome and realize this could be the start of an annual tradition.

Bondi Village Cottage Resort

Kayaking on Lake of Bays at Bondi

At Bondi Resort in Dwight they are welcoming guests back this week for their 50th summer! Over the years the family has grown and they are now at the point of taking over the resort when they come. Bondi offers a little bit of everything from swimming in the lake, a frisbee golf course, several kilometers of hiking trails, wolf calling, star-gazing and so much more. The team at Bondi knows what it takes to make a vacation memorable and keeping their guests coming back year after year.

Looking to catch the “big one?” They look no further than Beauview Cottage Resort. In owner Gord’s latest blog post, he shares a picture of some young gentlemen showing off their catch. Speaking from experience, the first bass a young boy catches is the one he will remember for the rest of his life… not to mention it’ll have them hooked on fishing. Beauview also added to their water toys this year with a “Moonwalk” connecting the “Iceberg” to the Water trampoline. At the end of the day, you can soak in a private hot tub or sit under the stars next to a campfire.

The 4 season Sandy Lane Resort in Haliburton is another great option for those looking for a kid friendly atmosphere. The cottages surround a beautiful park like setting on the shore of Halls Lake. Sandy Lane is ideal for all types of activities and your kids will love playing on their playground equipment, swimming in the lake, or just going out for a relaxing and calm paddle on the water.

Heading east towards Ottawa? Then you’ll want to stay Perth’s “Ultimate Family Resort on the Lake,” McCreary’s Beach, which is only 10 minutes out-of-town and only 45 minutes to the nation’s capital city, Ottawa. Pick between staying in one of their charming cottages or condos and enjoy the tranquil setting as you look out onto Mississippi Lake. During your stay, you’ll enjoy use of their Fun Zone, entertainment complex, arcade, tennis courts and so much more.

Whether you are looking to go to the near north, towards Lake Huron in the west, or east of Toronto, there are spectacular cottage resorts available. Visit the cottage resort section of our website and start planning your new summer tradition of experience cottage resorts in Ontario.

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Westwind Inn

Westwind Inn

Summer is here and that means it’s time to plan your escape(s) to resort country. There are few things that feel as nice as a cool breeze on a hot summers day and with the beautiful views overlooking Buckhorn Lake Westwind Inn is a great place to escape to on your next vacation.

Nestled among 65 acres of forest on the shores of Buckhorn Lake, this country inn on the lake, provides stunning views of open water and terrific Canadian Landscapes. Throughout the day, you can relax on the shores in a hammock, take in the sights of some of the nearby attractions include Petrogylphs Provincial Park (a place I recommend everyone see at least once in their life,) or tour Gallery on the Lake, located next door to Westwind and also provides art classes. Then finish your day with a fantastic meal provided by Westwind  (an excellent compliment to your days activities.) As your day winds down, relax at the water’s edge and enjoy the stunning sunsets that present themselves.

Buckhorn Lake is also a known hotspot for fishing and there are a variety of species available to be caught. To make your fishing experience one to remember, Westwind has partnered with local operators and guides which you can rent a boat from (and have it delivered to the Inn,) and to show you some of the local hot spots.

Westwind Inn and the Jensen Family are celebrating 20 years of owning and operating this Kawartha gem. Their clientele has traditionally been couples but they also welcome solo travelers, groups and children (although no kids programs are offered.) With the beautiful lake scenery, nearby attractions and shops, excellent fishing and more, Westwind Inn is a great spot for you to take your next vacation.

For even more great resorts, visit www.resortsofontario.com or call 1-800-363-7227 to order your free resort guide.

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Resorts of Ontario is pleased to launch its second annual Resort Week promotion running from May 20 – May 30 2011. Participating resorts from across Ontario are opening their doors with special offers to the travelling public. As part of this special promotional kick off to summer, participating resorts will be donating 10% of the revenue received to Camp Trillium when a resort week package is booked between May 20-30.  This post will focus on the family packages available and you can view the entire list of participating resorts and all 30 available packages by visiting http://resortsofontario.ca/index.cfm?DSP=Chapter&ID=111.

Photo taken by Peter Sibbald

Photo taken by Peter Sibbald

The Briars resort family expedition gives families the comfort of a resort getaway while offering a glimpse of camping adventures only steps away from your Woodland Cottage. Starting at only $159 per person, The Briars resort continues its camping theme by offering guests a s’mores kit to take home or use while gathering around the resort fire. All meals and recreation are included and one child under the age of 10 stays free when accompanied by two adults. For more information visit www.briars.ca.Scotsman Point Resort

Single Parents – This package is for you. Curious about trying fishing? Then you’ll want to visit Scotsman Point Resort for Resort Week. They are offering single parent families the opportunity to take your child to learn to fish. Don’t have a fishing rod, don’t worry about it. Scotsman Point will loan you a rod and reel for each child this weekend.  This fantastic getaway includes fishing activities, teaching how to make lures, crafts, games and even learning how to canoe and row a boat. For 2 nights 1 adult and 1 child the cost is only $149 on May 27-29. Visit www.scotsmanpoint.com for more details.

Americana Conference Resort, Spa and WaterparkWhy not reward those closest to you with the Ultimate Family Fun package from Americana Conference Resort, Spa and Waterpark. Starting from $299 per family, you can enjoy two nights accommodation and 3 days of unlimited play at Waves Indoor Waterpark. You also get 20 game tokens for the kids (adults with an inner child,) pop corn and drinks, in room movie and 2 breakfast vouchers. Go to www.americananiagara.net/resortsontario to learn more about this great getaway offer.

Summer getaway warm up with Pine Vista Resort’s family getaway package. Included in the $480* for a family of 4 package is a two night stay in one of Pine Vista’s cottages or townhouses. You can also take in a relaxing and scenic boat cruise of Stoney Lake, swim in the heated pool, lounge on the sand beach, de-stress in one of the two hot tubs on site. You can also use the canoes or kayaks, take in the nature trails or just sit and unwind at your leisure. To warm up to summer vacationing, visit www.pinevista.com.

Irwin InnLooking for a true resorting vacation experience, then you’ll want to take advantage of the 5 night Back to Resorting Package offered at The Irwin Inn. During your 5 day stay, you’ll enjoy lakeside accommodations, delicious dinners and breakfasts daily, a personal s’more kit upon arrivel, free boat and motor rental for 1 days, guided trail ride at Irwin Inn’s Milestone Farm and complimentary use of the 9 hole golf course and other resort activities. This experience is $775.00 per person and children under 3 are free, 2 additional children under 12 free. Taxes are extra. www.irwininn.com/resortweek.  

Come on up to our place and celebrate the kick off to summer resorting. Book your Resort Week getaway and vacation while giving to Camp Trillium. Visit us at www.resortsofontario.com, www.resortweek.ca or phone 1-800-363-7227 for more informaiton and to make a donation with our resort team.

*Not valid Victoria Day weekend.

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7lbs 2 oz Lage Mouth BassThe 2010 edition of the Resorts of Ontario Big Fish Competition has come to a close and we wanted to send out special congratulations to all the winners. This year’s competition resulted in some really nice catches including a monster large mouth bass weighing in at over 7lbs. This fish was caught by a very skilled young fisherman named Kody. Another lucky catch and big fish was for a 27 lbs Muskie.

Here is a list of all our winners and some pictures of the big catches as well as what resorts and lakes the fish were caught on.

Catch and release

31 inch Pickeral/Walleye: Caught by Jerry Martin on Buckhorn Lake while staying at Scotsman Point Resort.Walleye Caught on Buckhorn Lake

7lbs 2 oz monster Large Mouth Bass: Caught by Kody Williams on Kasshabog Lake while staying at Blue Mountain Lodge in the Kawarthas.

5 lbs 5oz Small Mouth Bass: Caught by Harry Hipkiss on Georgian Bay while staying at Pleasant Cove Resort.

52.5 inch Muskie Scotsman Point27lbs 7 oz Muskie: Caught by Mark MacFarlane on Buckhorn Lake while staying at Scotsman Point Resort.

Catch and Keep

3lbs 15oz Large Mouth Bass: Caught by Mike Matthew on Rice Lake while staying at Southview Cottages.

3lbs 14oz Small Mouth Bass: Caught by Stan Hullah on Rice Lake while staying at Southview Cottages.

Pan Fish

14oz Perch: Caught by Heidi Sielicki on Rice Lake while staying at Southview Cottages.

1lb 6oz Crappe: Caught by Norman Weaver on Rice Lake while staying at Southview Cottages.

Southview Cottages Rice LakeCongratulations again to our winners. For details on how you can participate in the Big Fish Competition visit our website.

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