Archive for the ‘golf’ 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)?

Read Full Post »

Glen House Resort, Gananoque

One of Eastern Ontario’s most demanding and picturesque courses  is found at this historic 75-room inn on the banks of the St. Lawrence River, in the heart of the Thousands Islands. From the nerve-rattling opening tee shot over a deep gorge, Smuggler’s Glen Course treats golfers to spectacular river views and a roller-coaster thrill ride through a Canadian Shield landscape of high granite cliffs and rolling pine-covered hills and valleys.

4Pete teeing off 1st tee

The Briars Resort and Spa, Jacksons Point

With nine holes designed by legendary golf architect Stanley Thompson, and nine by his lone-time associate Robbie Robinson, The Briars Golf Course boasts one of the most enviable  pedigrees in Canadian golf. The subtle 6,285 yard layout near the banks of Lake Simcoe rolls gracefully through mature stands of birch and evergreens, while offering vistas of the Black River. The resort itself is build around an antiques-filled Regency manor house dating from the 1840’s.

1 golf

Cobble Beach Golf Resort, Owen Sound

Doug Carrick’s acclaimed Cobble Beach Golf Links is the centerpiece of a master-planned golf community on the southern shore of Georgian Bay near Owen Sound. From the Nantucket-style clubhouse, which includes a 10-room inn (there are also five new guest cottages), golfers set forth to play a links-style course that offers gorgeous views of the bay with almost every shot. And like all great courses, this one ends with a wallop on the 18th hole, a par five that rolls along  dramatic cliff-top bluffs.

a-Clubhouse 9th and 18th holes from air

Pinestone Resort, Haliburton

A sky-high slope rating of 141 has earned Pinestone’s golf course a reputation as one of the most challenging in cottage country. Though just 6,024 yards long, architect Jack Davison’s layout deep in the Haliburton Highlands features tight fairways, treacherous multi-level greens and numerous water hazards. After golf, explore kilometres of marked wilderness trails at a country-style resort that offers accommodations in 103 guest rooms, villas and chalets.

2Pinestone Resort Golfers on 18th Green - Jpeg June 2009

Hockley Valley Resort, Orangeville

This intimate and popular family-run resort, which offers 14 downhill ski runs in winter, is home to a gorgeous links-style course by Tom McBroom routed through the dramatic and heavily wooded Hockley Hills. Following the natural contours of the land, McBroom’s layout climbs about 90 metres and then plunges as much within a span of several holes. On a clear day, eagle-eyed golfers can see as far north as Lake Huron’s Georgian Bay.

Golf-Hole-10

Rocky Crest Golf Resort, MacTier

A popular cottage country getaway offering spacious suites and a variety of sporting activities on Lake Joseph, Rocky Crest caught the attentions of the golf world with the 2000 opening of a Tom McBroom-designed course that surely numbers among the most scenic  in Canada. McBroom carved his fairways through a thrilling mix of forest and wetlands, brilliantly using the granite outcroppings of the Canadian Shield to shape and accent golf holes the same way that Arizona’s desert courses are framed by cacti and sand.

golf

Horseshoe Resort, Barrie

Adrenaline junkies flock to this popular ski resort during the summer to mountain bike, take a Hummer tour, and zip-trek through the treetops. A more sedate-though no less satisfying challenge is offered by Horseshoe’s two excellent Rene Muylaert-designed golf courses. The Valley course starts at the base of the hill and ends with a panoramic view of the valley from the 18th tee while the wider fairways of the Highlands course are slightly more forgiving.

Golf

Deerhurst Resort, Huntsville

Muskoka’s golf boom began with the 1990 opening of Deerhurst Highlands Golf Course, an outstanding Top McBroom-Robert Cupp co-design on the grounds of a sprawling lakeside resort capable of accommodating more than 1,000 guests. Starting with a awe-inspiring view of the surrounding countryside from the elevate first tee, Deerhurst Highlands leads golfers on a thrilling ramble through forest and wetlands, and past immense walls of Canadian Shield granite. Also offered at Deerhurst Lakeside, and executive course renowned for its lovely views of Peninsula Lake.

Golf-Swing

Read Full Post »

The Spa at Pinestone is officially open giving guests more reason to stay at this beautiful Haliburton Resort. Offering a complete selection of treatments and services, a stay at Pinestone Resort, Conference Centre, Spa and Golf Course, will have guests feeling relaxed and rejuvenated. Located two and a half hours from Toronto, Pinestone offers guests:

  • Relaxing and comfortable accommodations with options for solo travelers or large family groups.
  • Fantastic Golf: Pinestone Resort is offering a fantastic special of 2 for 1 golf on Tuesdays. This is a great opportunity to challenge your game on their par 71, 6,204 yard course designed by Jack Davidson.
  • Full conference facilities. With 10 meeting rooms, they can easily accommodate groups from 10 – 250 people making it a great place for you to hold your next wedding or conference.
  • Dining at Heatherwood Restaurant. This beautiful restaurant was designed with true north decor and provides fantastic views of stunning sunsets. Heatherwood Restaurant a very sought after restaurant in Haliburton so be sure to make a reservation.
  • And now they add the new spa with an assortment of treatments that will leave any guest feeling completely rejuvenated.

Of course, if you are going to Haliburton, the town is beautiful, it is a short drive to Algonquin Park, and there are many beautiful lakes in the area. Haliburton is also a terrific spot to see the fall colour change in all it’s glory.

Read Full Post »

Resorts of Ontario is pleased to announce that we have another new member joining us – Cobble Beach “Georgian Bay’s Extraordinary Golf Resort Community.” Their golf course has received rave reviews including being recognized by Rolex, Links Magazine, Ontario Golf Magazine etc. Set on the western side of Georgian bay’s stunning blue waters, Cobble Beach offers guests 574 acres of emerald greens of outdoor bliss.

A stay at Cobble Beach’s Inn offers 10 fantastic suites, the raved about links style course, year round activities including winter fun such as snowshoeing, cross-country, dog sledding and of course for downhill enthusiasts Blue Mountain is only an hour away. When you aren’t golfing in the summer, take some time to relax at the spa, or do some exploring and head up to Tobermory and experience Bruce Peninsula National Park. (I recently visited the park and The Grotto is a must see in Canada!) Cobble Beach also offers perfect facilities to host your next meeting and a romantic location to have a wedding.

On Friday August 26th, Cobble Beach is pleased to welcome world-class celebrity Chef Mark McEwan. Working with Cobble Beach’s executive Chef Tim Johnston, Chef McEwan looks to craft a menu inspired by his summer cottage favourites. Anyone who wants to enjoy world-class cuisine would not want to miss this. This event starts at 6 p.m. with Chef McEwan doing signings of his newest cook book – Good Food at Home. Following that, there will be a cooking demo and dinner at 7. This is a great chance for you to come out and meet a very talented chef and taste his creations. Tickets are only $99 and can be ordered from Greg Gutowski, Clubhouse manager by calling 1-888-278-8112.

Resorts of Ontario is very pleased to welcome Cobble Beach to our membership. This is a beautiful resort in a stunning location that offers unique experiences for all past, present and future guests. To view a complete listing of all our amazing resorts visit www.resortsofontario.com.

Read Full Post »

As I blogged about yesterday, this week we are fortunate to have Jennifer from Breakfast Television Toronto coming up north from the big city to some resorts this week. After her stay at Couples Resort on Sunday night for the broadcast on Monday morning, she moved on to Deerhurst Resort in Huntsville. With the increasingly hot temperatures this week, BT did a great job of showing off beautiful Peninsula Lake as the perfect way to cool off.

Chef Rory Golden was on hand to show some of his culinary creations preparing a delicious looking arctic char with a maple sauce. Deerhurst produces their own maple syrup from their 800 maple trees on site. In addition they grow their own herbs and spices as well as having bee hives for honey.

New at Deerhurst is the one the lake water park “Splash Zone,” which is the perfect way to cool off. They also have the adventure activities on site such as hummer tours through the beautiful Muskoka landscape. In the winter there is skiing, snowmobiling, golfing on one of their two courses etc. Of course there are also the relaxing activities such as the spa treatments available through Deerhurst Shizen Spa.

Deerhurst is a beautiful all season resort and we encourage you to come on up to experience all the Deerhurst and Muskoka has to offer.

Part 1 http://video.citytv.com/video/detail/1065547769001.000000/deerhurst-resort-pt1of2/

Part 2 http://video.citytv.com/video/detail/1065628630001.000000/deerhurst-resort-pt2of2/

 

Read Full Post »

You may have seen or heard the slogan “Your base camp for adventure,” as part of advertising for Horseshoe Resort in Barrie. If you haven’t heard this yet or don’t know what it is about, Horseshoe Resort has built a new adventure park with fun for the whole family. As part of the new park you can try zorbing which puts you inside a giant ball and sends you rolling and bouncing down the hill (This is the first Zorb park in Canada!) Feel the rush of the wind on your face as you zip over 2000 ft down Canada’s only Zip Flyer.  Take your life to new heights climbing the 32 ft high tower.  Let your adrenaline flow free as your race down the new downhill mountain biking park’s different runs featuring ladders, bridges and boxes. Like to skate or bmx? Bring your board, bike or skates and try the new skate park. With all that is new at Horseshoe Resort, this truly is “your base camp for adventure.” For those seeking softer activities, Horseshoe also offers two golf courses – The Highlands and Valley, horseback riding, a Shizen spa, skiing/snowboarding plus so much more. Come on up to Horseshoe for your next adventure.

Read Full Post »

I was recently able to visit the all new JW Marriott Resort – The Rosseau and was amazed at the detailed craftsmanship throughout. Everything from the seamless wallpaper to the leaves on the lights was incredible. The standard rooms were very large and comfortable. The decoration in the hotel rooms followed the central theme of Muskoka while also looking contemporary. The view from the main patio deck was incredible as it overlooked the waters of Lake Rosseau. The vast halls looked perfect for holding events of all types and sizes whether it would be a wedding or exhibit. Offering different pool areas is another bonus and with one being an indoor/outdoor pool, I cannot wait to go back in the winter to experience swimming while surrounded by snow. The exercise facility featured state of the art equipment and would be perfect for those following a workout plan. Dining at Teca is another must do as you get to enjoy the sight through the open kitchen. With lots to do on site and nearby The Rosseau has thought of everything in making a stay here a great experience.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »