Posts Tagged ‘Brookstreet’

A look at some of the downhill ski runs at HorseshoeSkiing/Snowboarding in resort country is a fantastic way to escape the winter blahs and feel the rush of setting off down hill through groomed trails and fresh powder. Being a fairly new snowboarder, I have certainly been excited with the early and massive accumulations of fresh snow this winter at the different  Ontario ski resorts. Depending on the area you are looking to travel to there are many options to get out and try this activity.

For central Ontario, Blue Mountain Resort near Collingwood is an excellent choice for those looking to get that Ski Village feel offered out west. The village offers a variety of restaurants and nightlife opportunities to keep your energy pumping long after you have left the hills for the day. The resort offers an outdoor heated pool which is always fun on a winter’s day. Horseshoe Resort outside of Barrie and Orillia has been working hard at updating their Terrain Park and is a great place with options of staying at Horseshoe or Carriage Ridge Resort. Further down the road is Mount. St. Louis Moonstone which is just a quick drive from Christie’s Mill Inn and Spa and Muskey’s Landing.

 

In the Haliburton Region Sir Sam’s Skiing offers 12 trails of great fun and with Sir Sam’s Inn and WaterSpa located near the base of the hill, you can stay in comfort and give your muscles some much-needed relaxation through hydro therapy. Also nearby is Pinestone Resort, Sandy Lane Resort, Bonnie View Inn and Halimar Resort all offering their own comfortable accommodations and winter fun activities.

 

For those visiting the Ottawa area Calabogie Peaks Resort offers the convenience of 23 runs at the resort. For those looking to take in the Capital, you can also book ski packages through Brookstreet Hotel and have the best of skiing and history while staying at a great hotel.

 

Muskoka is often thought of as a summer destination for the pristine lakes but those that have visited the area in winter know that Hidden Valley Highlands Ski Area is a great place to get out an enjoy some downhill fun. With it’s longest run being 580 meters (1902 ft.) there is a great opportunity to explore and have fun on the slopes for a day. There are many resorts to stay at in Muskoka that are just a short drive to the ski hill including Deerhurst Resort, Beauview Cottages, Cedar Grove Lodge, Bondi Cottage Resort plus many others.

 

If you are in the Greater Toronto Area and don’t want to venture far, Hockley Valley Resort is just a quick 45 minute drive north. With 15 runs, both an upper and lower level terrain park and state of the art snow making, there is a long season ahead for those looking to take advantage of the convenience Hockley Valley offers.

 

Regardless of which part of Ontario you are looking to visit, skiing and snowboarding gives you a great way to get out and experience an adrenaline packed sport that is fun for first timers and lifetime skiers. While you might be intimidated to try this out, each of the ski areas mentioned offers lessons to help you get the hang of it, which at the end of the day makes the hills that much more enjoyable. Come on up to our place for great skiing.

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With Earth Hour approaching on March 27, it is a good time to look at how resorts are doing their part to help the environment. One of the biggest reasons people go to a resort in Ontario is the natural beauty and tranquility. It is because of this reason that resorts are now taking notice of what their impact on the environment is and how that can be reduced. They consider everything from the surrounding forestry, the electrical use, fresh water, fishery management and then even the potential cost savings for running their business more efficiently.

Audubon International is a not for profit group that provides information on how hotel and resort operators can limit their impact on the environment. These resorts are then awarded a green leaf rating up to 5 which shows their commitment and improvements towards limiting their impact on the environment. Similarly is the Green Key Eco-Rating Program which looks at “…opportunities to reduce operating costs and environmental impacts through reduced utility consumption, employee training, and supply chain management.”

Cedar Grove Lodge was the first resort in Ontario to receive a 4 green leaf rating. Their commitment to environmental stewardship runs so deep that they have now also been the first Ontario resort to also receive Ocean Wise Designation. Working through their suppliers they are now sourcing 100% sustainable seafood items which are not at risk from over fishing. They also attempt to use organically grown foods whenever possible. Guests at Cedar Grove have an opportunity to participate in helping the environment by paying Plantair to offset the carbon emissions for the travel to and from the resort. The owners are true leaders in changing business practices in favour of the environment.

The 4 Diamond Brookstreet Resort located in Ottawa is another fine example of a resort that has committed to the environment. Brookstreet maintains a 4 out of 5 rating with both the Audubon and Green Key eco rating programs. The Green Key program gives hotels and resorts guidance on how to “unlock” opportunities on lower operating costs while also lowering the impact on the environment. Brookstreet’s “Green committee”  educates staff through weekly emails on initiatives they can take to be more efficient. Brookstreet is also a proud follower of Earth Hour and in both 2008 and 2009 all non-essential lighting was turned off, essential lighting was dimmed where possible, the escalator was turned off and elevator service reduced to top if off they held an Earth our celebration at Options Bar with Canapés by Candlelight.

“The pristine setting, the abundant wildlife, the clean air and fresh water… these are the attributes which make Foxwood so very special.” Foxwood Resort is another resort earning the 4 leaf rating through Audubon International by preventing pollution, practicing resource conservation and energy efficiency. New structures are built incorporating sustainable and recyclable materials. Ecological biodiversity is also considered through managed forest practices, visitor education, and sensitivity to wildlife. Foxwood even promotes “Dark Skies” (A plus for star-gazing and astronomy enthusiasts,) by using downcast or low-wattage lighting.(c)Photo Provided by Glenn Cameron

This is just the tip of the iceberg as more and more resorts try to get on board with environmental best practices. Other resorts that have obtained Green Leaf ratings through the Audubon program include White Oaks Conference Resort and Spa in Niagara on the Lake, Great Wolf Lodge in Niagara Falls, and in Huntsville – Beauview Cottage, Pow-Wow Point Lodge, and Tally-Ho Inn.

 

As you think of ways to participate in Earth Hour 2010,  consider a stay at one of these resorts and get some rest and relaxation while putting you mind at ease knowing that you are supporting a business which goes the extra mile to support the environment.

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There’s no better time than now to book a girlfriends’ getaway at Resorts of Ontario. From November to mid- December, occupancy rates are lower and prices can’t be beat. Add fine wine, delicious food and a spa date to the mix and you can see why getting away with the girls at this time of year is so popular. Just look at Deerhurst Resort and the town of Huntsville in Muskoka. Their Girlfriends’ Getaway Weekend, November 13-15, 2009, has already sold out but I called the resort today and rooms are still available. Entertaining workshops include a Renovate my Wardrobe at Deerhurst and a Style by Jury fashion show in downtown Huntsville. There’s also Wine Tasting with Ann Martin, a Natural Beauty Show with wine and tapas served, and morning Vinyasa yoga classes. To book, call Deerhurst’s toll-free line at 1-800-461-4393.

poolside in the spa at the Inn at Christie's Mill, Resorts of Ontario

Part of the spa at the Inn at Christie's Mill

But wait, there’s more….

spa at Brookstreet, Ottawa

"Boy-free" spa date at Brookstreet

Last winter, I had the pleasure of visiting Brookstreet in Ottawa. Owned by billionaire Sir Terry Matthews, this place has all the ingredients for a great urban getaway for girls – luxurious accommodation, a gorgeous spa, four-diamond cuisine and outstanding fitness facilities. And because Ottawa is Canada’s Capital, the Brookstreet getaway could be combined with visits to national treasures like the National Gallery of Canada and the Canadian Museum of Civilization. I checked Brookstreet’s website and found its Boy-Free package is available Monday through Saturday until December 20th. Priced from $215 per person, based on double occupancy, the one-night package includes deluxe accommodation, a Table d’Hote dinner in Perspectives, its four-diamond restaurant, a $90 spa credit, an in-room movie, breakfast, plus complimentary indoor parking.

A mom told me that she and her girlfriends love booking a spa date at Hockley Valley Resort while their kids take a ski lesson at the resort’s ski hill. The spa lounge overlooks the hill so the moms hang out in terry robes sipping hot tea while watching the kids ski. For a spa date without the kids, Hockley’s Spontaneous Spa getaway is a one night package priced per room at $433, double occupancy. Besides accommodation, each gal receives a $75 spa credit, three-course a la carte dinner, and a full breakfast. For the ultimate private spa party however, consider this: Hockley Valley will let you and a group of friends book its entire spa after hours for a three hour date. Minimum group size is required and a surcharge is applied. Contact the resort directly for details.

evening shot of the skihill at Hockley Valley Resort, Ontario

Ski hill at Hockley Valley Resort

Viamede spa, Resorts of Ontario, hot rocks treatment

The spa at Viamede

In the Kawartha Lakes region near Peterborough, Ontario, Viamede Resort is celebrating its 100th anniversary. The resort which is on Stony Lake, two hours from Toronto and three hours from Ottawa, has special anniversary deals that include a Girls Just Wanna Have Fun two-night weekend. For $250 per person, choose either a winterized cottage or deluxe room accommodation with fireplace and whirlpool bath, depending on the size of your group. Breakfast, a 1/2 hour aromatherapy massage and a further $75 spa credit are included. Elmhirst’s which we blogged about last week is another Peterborough-area resort. It has a  Wild Women’s Weekend planned for November 13-15, 2009. Four women can share a winterized cottage for $249 per person with meals included. Cottages include woodburning fireplaces and fully equipped kitchens. Spa services are available at the resort which has an indoor pool, sauna and hot tub.

Girlfriend getaways at the Inn at Christie’s Mill start at $197.50 per person (double occupancy) for one night of accommodation, dinner and breakfast, plus a $100 spa credit and beverage of your choice to enjoy with your spa treatment. This inn is on Gloucester Pool near Georgian Bay, just an hour and a half drive north of Toronto. It has a three-bedroom winterized cottage also available for larger groups. Travel writer Ken Bagnell recently wrote about his stay here for SUN Media.

More winter resorts with girlfriend getaway deals are found at Resorts of Ontario

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The Ridge at Manitou, next door to the Inn at Manitou. Photo credit: Clive Barber

The Ridge at Manitou, next door to the Inn at Manitou. Photo credit: Clive Barber

One of the advantages of working in the Canadian tourism industry is that I get to play a lot of golf on different courses across the country. In the province of Ontario where there are over 800 courses to choose from, we’re working with Resorts of Ontario this year. Many of its one hundred resort hotels, lodges, country inns and cottage resorts either have golf on-site or they have playing privileges at private and public courses nearby. Several have famous golf architects attached to them like Brookstreet‘s Trent Jones course near Ottawa. It’s owned by Sir Terry Matthews who also owns the Celtic Manor in Wales, the venue for the 2010 Ryder Cup. Others may not be as well known but they still offer challenging play. A couple of weeks ago, I asked the resort owners if they would send me their golf news for 2009. Many included their new golf packages as well and there are a number of good deals. Here’s is just a small sample of what I was sent:

Pine Vista Resort in the Kawartha Lakes, is partnering with Wildfire this year, a new McBroom-designed course just five minutes away. • Clevelands House in Muskoka, has its own ‘executive 9’ which is great for families and this year it is also packaging with The Rock, the redesigned Nick Faldo course, one minute away. Also in Muskoka, Deerhurst Resort has a new Island & Highlands golf package that includes a round of golf for two at Deerhurst Highlands and Bigwin Island. Its 18 hole Lakeside course is also good for families. • At Bayview Wildwood, guests can opt to play two out of five courses on a two-night package offered all summer long with dinners and breakfasts included, starting at $344pp/do. The choice of courses are: Hawk Ridge, South Muskoka GC, Bonaire GC, Lake St. George GC and Settler’s Ghost. • Closer to Barrie, Carriage Ridge Resort partners with Settler’s Ghost, Horseshoe Highlands with Horseshoe Valley and Hawk Ridge, and has an early spring rate starting at only $89pp/do. • The Briars on Lake Simcoe, has a mid week spring special that includes two nights, two breakfasts and two rounds of 18 for just $129 per person per night based on double occupancy. Cart is additional.

Lots more can be found by clicking on “Golf” at Resorts of Ontario.

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