Posts Tagged ‘Gananoque Inn’

While today might be Valentines Day, I for one believe that romance shouldn’t be reserved for one specific day out of the year. Sure today is the traditional day of men showering their loved ones with flowers, chocolates, and/or jewelry, but what about the rest of the year. The gestures tend to be more memorable when unprovoked by a commercial holiday  and what is more memorable than a romantic escape for two.  The benefit of Ontario is that there are countless possibilities for you to take your loved one to a place that is new and something that you will both surely enjoy.

Nothing sets the mood quite like a great meal and a good bottle of wine.  The Niagara Region certainly offers plenty in the way of romantic sites and plenty of wine tasting opportunities and exquisite culinary. If you have never toured this wine region, we suggest a stay with White Oaks Resort and Spa, Pillar and Post or Inn on the Twenty; each conveniently located to several wineries and offering superior luxury. In Prince Edward County, you can stay at the Claramount Inn and Spa overlooking picturesque Picton Bay, partake in the culinary classes offered at The Waring House Inn or enjoy the private beach offered at Isaiah Tubbs Resort.

If your romantic getaway needs to be something a little more intimate, then how does a private cottage or a room that includes a fireplace and maybe even a personal hot tub sound? Your loved one would be so pleased to stay at a place like Couples Resort which offers fantastic dining, private hot tubs (in most rooms,) scenic surroundings and a wide array of activities. Beauview Cottage Resort is another fantastic option that offers the peace and solitude of the country. When you stay at Beauview, you wake up to the sounds of the birds chirping unlike the typical big city noise.

If you are into history, consider staying at one of our resorts that has been in operation for over 100 years. The Gananoque Inn and Spa main building was once a carriage factory. Throughout the summer months, you can take in a cruise of the beautiful 1000 islands, take in a show at the theater or visit some of the mueseums. Westover Inn began as a limestone Victorian Mansion in 1867 and throughout the years has expanded to now offer 19 acres including private cottages located on the Thames River.

For the true “Northern Feel” Northridge Inn & Resort is one resort that would be a sure fit for your romantic escape. A stay at Northridge Inn is animated throughout the seasons with an array of activities, and serenity of wilderness calls all night long.  Also with the northern feel is Trillium Resort and Spa which is nestled in amongst 86 acres of forest. Trillium offers waterfall viewing, a private lake and a truly indulgent experience through its 5,000 sq. ft. spa facility.

Ontario offers so much to experience and the resorts mentioned above are just a sampling of the romantic escapes that await. For a complete list of resorts catering to romance visit us online.

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We’ve got more New Year’s Eve ideas this week from Resorts of Ontario– dining and dancing at three beautiful  country inns and lots of fun filled activities at two lakeside resorts.

winter at the Westover Inn

The Westover Inn – an 1867 limestone mansion in St. Marys, Ontario

The Westover Inn is a limestone mansion in St. Marys, a town twenty minutes west of Stratford,Ontario. New Year’s Eve begins at 8pm here this year with a New World, Old World wine tasting and hors d’oeuvres party. That’s followed by a five course dinner that includes house specialities like the pork rib loin. Dinner and the wine-tasting reception are $85 per person. If you want to stay overnight, it’s $129 a person, double occupancy with dinner and reception included. Taxes and gratuities are extra.

I’m taking this space to announce the Westover’s annual holiday bake sale. I first heard about it years ago. Lots of Christmas baking is sold and the prices are terrific considering everything is made from scratch. Cookies and tarts are $4.50 a dozen. Squares are $7 a dozen and  homemade candy starts at $7.50 a pound. Advance orders are required. Call the inn for further details: 519-284-2977.

If you’ve never been to St. Marys, go! It has several limestone buildings and lots of rolling hills which make it interesting. A massive trestle bridge that once had the Grand Trunk railway running across it is now part of the Grand Trunk recreational trail, and in the centre of town is a former quarry. The town bought it years ago and every summer it becomes Canada’s largest outdoor swimming pool. The Westover was built in 1867 as a private home then it served as a Jesuit seminary before becoming the Westover. I’ve brought food writers here for a meal and a couple of years ago, Glenn and I had dinner and stayed overnight. I remember playing hooky the next morning. It was a Monday and instead of heading to the office, we hung out in big terry robes, sipping hot coffee and reading the Globe and Mail.

cottages on the shore of Lake Couchiching at Fern Resort

Fern Resort cottages on Lake Couchiching

Fern Resort is on Lake Couchiching near Orillia, Ontario, two hours north of Toronto. Four generations of the same family have operated this resort since 1918 and when we visited last March, we found out they’re still using the resort’s original tagline: “the home of rolls and honey”. Jim Pettapiece, a successful Ottawa baker bought the property in 1918 to run as an inn. Jim’s bakeries were famous for their buns so, Jim made sure his new inn served them too, along with his favourite honey, Crerar’s from eastern Ontario. Ninety-one years later, both bun and honey are still served.

On New Year’s Eve, all ages are welcome at Fern Fesort, even babes in arms. Check out the Fern website and a PDf on the site and you’ll see what I mean. It lists everything from a DJ-led kids dance to dogsledding to 2010 tea leaf readings. Some activities are free with accommodation. Others have a fee. Flexible two and three-day packages include three meals daily and start at $360 per adult. Reduced children’s rates are available.

bedroom at the Inn at Christie's Mill

Luxury at The Inn at Christie's Mill

If you’ve driven Highway 400 north of Toronto, you’ve likely passed the exit for Port Severn. This pretty community two hours northwest of Toronto is on the Trent Severn Waterway near Georgian Bay. Port Severn began as a lumber town in the mid 1800s. The Inn at Christie’s Mill stands on what was once a mill owned by the Christie family. It has a nice spa, superb dining, and large suites with fireplaces. New Year’s Eve dinner will be a sumptious seven course affair with party hats, favours, and a glass of sparkling wine to ring in the New Year. A full breakfast is planned for New Year’s Day. The price for dinner, room and breakfast is $164.50 per person, double occupancy. Taxes and gratuities are extra.

Pond hockey rink at Viamede Resort, Ontario

Viamede Resort & Spa is on Stoney Lake in the Kawarthas, two hours north east of Toronto. It has all you would expect from an Ontario resort in winter: pond skating, great cross- country skiing, snowtubing , tobogganing and wildlife viewing. A New Year’s Eve dinner and dance is $129 per couple. Add an overnight in one of the main lodge’s rooms for $285 a couple. Applicable taxes and service charges are extra. Stay two nights and the resort will throw in a $25 spa coupon that can be used towards a spa treatment of your choice. For couples traveling together or even a family of four, Viamede has cottages rentals. I looked into what a deluxe two bedroom would cost. These are equipped with a full kitchen, electric fireplace, and two baths, including a jacuzzi. A New Year’s Eve package in a deluxe two bedroom includes two nights’ accommodation, breakfast daily, the New Year’s dinner and dance, and a New Year’s Day brunch. It is priced at $770 a cottage.  Gratuities and taxes are extra and a two night minimum is required.

Gananoque Inn from the St. Lawrence River

View of the Gananoque Inn from the St. Lawrence River

The Thousand Islands are in the St. Lawrence River which straddles the international border between Canada and the United States. On the south side of the St. Lawrence is New York State and on the north side is the Province of Ontario. Picturesque and close to New York City, Montreal and Toronto, the Thousand Islands have attracted travelers for over a century. In the heart of the islands, you’ll find the resort town of Gananoque, Ontario, and the Gananoque Inn. The inn first opened in 1896. I stayed here with a BBC film crew and blogged about it. Muskie Jake’s, the inn pub, has a great atmosphere and while I haven’t eaten at Watermark, the inn’s fine dining restaurant, I hear it’s good and I know it has a fabulous river view. There’s also a nice spa. A one night New Year’s package here includes sparkling wine, chocolates, a four-course gourmet dinner at Watermark, breakfast, and a late check out. Rates are per couple and start at $275. Taxes and gratuities are extra.

winter view of the St. Lawrence River from a balcony at the Gananoque Inn

View of the St. Lawrence River from a balcony at the Gananoque Inn

More New Year’s Eve ideas are found on last week’s post. You can also sign up to receive the Resorts of Ontario monthly newsletter. It always has good mid week and weekend deals too. Have a safe holiday and Happy New Year everyone!

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Two of my favourite Ontario drives are found in the 1000 Islands. Hwy. 2 is the old stagecoach road between Montreal and Toronto and the 1000 Islands Parkway hugs the St. Lawrence River between Brockville and Gananoque. Both routes take you to the town of Gananoque, a riverside community dating back to the late 1700s. The 1000 Islands is also where you’ll find two Resorts of Ontario properties – the Gananoque Inn and the Glen House Resort.

View of the 1000 Islands area from the air.

View of the 1000 Islands area from the air.

Originally built as a carriage factory, the Gananoque Inn first began welcoming guests in 1896. It was a heady time for the 1000 Islands, which was fast becoming a summer playground for the rich and famous. Millionaires like George Boldt, owner of New York City’s Waldorf Astoria hotel, and the Singer family of Singer sewing machine fame were building their palatial homes back then. The area was becoming known as the “Venice of the North”.

The Gananoque Inn welcomes guests in the 1000 Islands.

The Gananoque Inn has been welcoming guests in the 1000 Islands since 1896.

Today, the Gananoque Inn is a relaxed place to spend a couple of days. I stayed here a while back with a British TV crew that was scouting locations for a Survivor-type TV show. I’ll always remember the crew and my first meeting with Chad, a survival expert who ran a wilderness school in the wilds of eastern Ontario. In the parking lot of the Gananoque Inn Chad wowed the British TV crew (and me too) by rubbing two sticks together and igniting a small handfull of dried bullrush in a matter of seconds. He was hired on the spot as the outdoor resource guy. During our five-day stay at the Inn, the crew and I ate most of our meals on the fab deck overlooking the St. Lawrence River and the Gananoque Boat Lines. The Gananoque Inn is also just down the street from the 1000 Islands Playhouse. Many theatre-goers arrive by boat at its two theatres, one a 1909 canoe club, and the other an old fire hall.

The Glen House Resort in the 1000 Islands of Ontario.

The Glen House Resort in the 1000 Islands of Ontario.

The Glen House Resort is on a picturesque piece of St. Lawrence riverfront just east of Gananoque. Its idyllic setting is popular with wedding parties and often families will book the entire resort for their celebration. The resort has a 180 degree view of the St. Lawrence at one of the river’s widest points. You can explore the waterway in a Glen House boat, canoe or kayak, or for landlubbers, bicycles are available for cycling on the path along the parkway. I’m itching to play the resort’s Smuggler’s Glen, a championship 18 holes that has had rave reviews. I checked, and the Glen House Resort has some great mid-week and weekend golf deals for it.

A peaceful moment on the St. Lawrence River from the dock of the Glen House Resort, 1000 Islands.

A peaceful moment on the St. Lawrence River from the dock of the Glen House Resort in the 1000 Islands area of Ontario.

In fact, if you plan on touring the 1000 Islands, check out the Gananoque Inn and Glen House Resort’s summer and fall packages. In addition to golf, both include Gananoque Boat Line cruises and Thousand Islands Playhouse Theatre.

The official tourism bureau of the 1000 Islands region.

Gananoque

Gananoque Inn & Spa

Glen House Resort

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