Posts Tagged ‘resorts’

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Ahhh Winter…one of our most majestic seasons. Make time to come with friends and family and savour great times at Ontario Resorts. As the temperature drops and the snow starts to fall, Resorts, Lodges and Inns throughout Ontario are rolling out their welcome mats, lighting the fires and grooming the trails for you to experience Winter. The promise of Winter offers both great outdoors and memorable indoor experiences.

A majestic season, winter is a time to bask in the warmth of resorting, romance the snow and find panoramic winter scenes, where you can experience the wonder and enjoyment that winter has to offer. The great outdoors offer all kinds of winter pursuits and adventures whether for making trails, romance, activities on the hill or simply just to taste winter.

  • Dreamy ski hills
  • Exciting trails
  • Luxuriating spa treatments
  • Exhilaration of dog sledding

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5hi-res dock girl Resize Wizard-1

Christie's Mill Inn & Spa

Ontario provides such a stunning array of varied landscapes that lends itself perfectly to those seeking a romantic getaway. Regardless of the season, there is a charm when visiting Ontario Resorts that is unmatchable. Scattered throughout the province these hidden treasures provide serenity and a mysticism that will help your love blossom. Resorts of Ontario offers 100 unique resort hotels, lodges, cottages and inns, each with their own unique qualities. From sunrise to sunset, our goal is to make every moment of your stay worth sharing with your loved one to create lasting memories and romance that will carry on past your vacation.

Our resorts are the ideal location for a picture perfect wedding. Imagine saying your vows surrounded by lush and beautiful forests or overlooking a calm lake. Your guests will love sharing in the scenic ceremony and reception as much as you. They will thank you for providing them the perfect reason for their own romantic escapes.

Couples Massage at The Pillar and Post at Niagara on the Lake

When you stay at an Ontario Resort, you control the days events. So whether you’re the type that wants to go for a morning stroll with coffee in hand to watch the sunrise across the lake or if you prefer to sleep in and have breakfast in bed; we work with you to make sure your day starts off right.

After any vacation, people always talk about the food. Our resorts recognize the importance of providing exceptional meals. It’s not often that people can feel pampered when dining but that is what you can expect from these culinary teams. Each course is prepared to the highest quality. The aromas from the kitchen will cause your mouth to water. The visual presentation is a photographic delight and the flavours are to die for.

What could be more romantic than treating yourselves to a couples massage, letting your muscles loosen while soaking in a hot tub and detoxifying in the sauna. Of course that is just a taste of the treatments and relaxing experiences available through our resort spas and you can add to and customize your relaxation with things like a mud wrap, facial, manicures and pedicures.

As your day winds down, pour yourself a glass of wine and enjoy the silence of the surrounding nature in each others arms. One those cooler nights, a crackling fire adds to the perfect ambiance of your romantic getaway. Next time the two of you need to getaway, come on up to our place and visit www.resortsofontario.com to find your perfect romantic retreat.

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Resorts of Ontario is pleased to announce that 3 of our current resort members have been selected as readers choice winners through the Toronto Sun. Nottawasaga Resort in Alliston Ontario won the top honour with the Gold award for favourite Ontario resort. Silver went to Great Wolf Lodge in Niagara falls and the bronze went to Blue Mountain Resort near Collingwood. Nottawasaga Resort also secured the gold award in the category of favourite recreational hockey arena and bronze for restaurant with a view.

It’s no surprise to us that some of our resorts took this honour but if you aren’t familiar with the terrific resorting experiences Ontario has to offer, we encourage you to come on up to our place for your next getaway. With activities like a year round indoor hockey rink at Nottawasaga, fantastic activities like skiing and the new Ridge Runner roller coaster at Blue Mountain and the ever fun water park at Great Wolf Lodge; you’ll leave with new memories as a reminder of the fun you can have when you visit an Ontario Resort.

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… and head out on the water canoeing or kayaking.

With the scorching hot temperatures we have been having lately, I thought I would share at least one great way to cool off; by paddling around the lake.

Ontario is home to over 250,000 freshwater lakes and the majority of our resort partners are situated on some of these bodies of water. This gives new and returning guests the perfect opportunity to try your hand at manoeuvering either of these types of watercraft.  

Before you head out on the water there are a few things you should consider.

  1. First is always wear a life jacket. Even the most advanced swimmers, canoers and kayakers will tell you this is a must. Paddling can be unpredictable at times so safety and respect for the water need to be on the front of mind.
  2. Make sure the paddle you are using is the correct size for your body. Using a paddle that is too long or short, will make paddling more of an exercise than it needs to be. This is especially important if you plan on going for a long distance. Muscle fatigue can occur quickly and you don’t want to be too far from your original destination that you can’t make the return trip. It’s also worth noting that unless you paddle every day, you’ll be using muscles you don’t normally use.
  3. Notify someone of your planned route. This way if you don’t return within a reasonable time, there is someone on shore that knows to go looking for you.
  4. If you aren’t sure how to use a kayak or canoe, ask for help. Any fellow paddler I have ever met has always been friendly and open to sharing tips and even experiences. They can tell you areas that are safe and spots to avoid.
  5. Wear sunscreen. While the water may seem cooler, it also reflects the UV rays making it easy to develop a painful sunburn while on the water.

These are just some of the guidelines to keep and mind and it is always important to ask questions. Afterall when you are staying at a resort the owners and staff want to make sure you make the most of your experience. For more information check out our partners Algonquin Outfitters and The Portage Store for tips and information.

Cedar Grove LodgeThe first paddling experience I can remember was with my mom. She took me paddling around an island in an older style, (slightly leaky,) canoe. It was on Otter Lake outside of Parry Sound. As we paddled around close to shore, my mom pointed out a big snapping turtle in just a foot of water. It might have looked bigger because I was so young but I would swear it was as large 2 – 3 feet around (Or as my mom put it, as big as our deck table.) The trip was ended with my mom splashing me and of course me returning the favour. (Paddles are great for throwing some water around.)Bonnie View Inn at sundown

While it is a nice way to cool off during the heat of the day, heading out in the morning or evening offers different rewards. Many lakes from Central Ontario to the far north experience morning fog or mist which burns off when the sun comes out. Paddling through the mist presents possibly the most relaxing feeling in the world. If you are out early enough, you’ll feel as if time stands still. Provided there is no wind (which I find for whatever reason is more often the case ,) the waters are so calm it’s like paddling across glass. It is usually silent exception for the sounds of nature, there are rarely any boaters out except for maybe a few fishermen and the loons are active. When out on early morning paddles, I have been welcomed by the haunting call of a loon after it popped up right beside my canoe. Paddling in the evening is again a great experience, in part because once again the fishermen and canoers reclaim the lake from the heavier boat traffic. Paddling as the sun starts to set is an amazing experience. If you time your trip right, you’ll be able to capture the reflection of the different hues stretching across the sky. Just be careful not to be out too late as it can be hard to see your way back when the sun goes down.

Over the years, I have been fortunate enough to paddle many different lakes in Ontario. Being in a canoe or kayak gives you access to areas of lakes and rivers that boaters can’t get to. You can also move in closer to shore without much worry about bottoming out your boat. It’s a great way to get stunning photography of natural landscapes, cool off, relax or burn calories. To view some resorts with great canoeing or kayaking click here.

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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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Despite what our brand name implies, Resorts of Ontario is more than just resorts. We also partner with some attractions and adventure outfitters. You might be asking yourself “Why would be partner with non resorts?” The reason is because we believe in promoting the experience, the dream or vision, the goal or bucket list item. You’ll also find that our resorts members partner with the same companies to add to your resort experience. At the end of the day we want you to have a memorable vacation whether it be with friends, family or your spouse/partner.

Visiting an Ontario Resort is in part about experiencing the outdoors, going off on an adventure, seeing some sites. With out a doubt, one of the most popular destinations in Ontario for this is Algonquin Park and we have many resorts located in and around this beautiful area. To help ensure you have the right gear for the right outing, Algonquin Outfitters and the Portage Store should be on your must visit list. Their friendly and knowledgeable staff will ensure that you get the information and supplies/gear you need to have a safe and enjoyable time out. Whether it be hiking, canoeing, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing or nature viewing. Stop in and say hi to the friendly folks at Algonquin Outfitters and the Portage Store.

Sometimes while staying at a resort, kids get a little antsy and need some increased stimulation. That is why we also partner with Santa’s Village in Bracebridge. This family entertainment park let’s kids “Be an elf for the day,” while providing the fun of rollercoaster ride and train rides, a sports land and for the adventurous person, Eaglecrest Aerial Park.

For the winter enthusiast, we have also partnered with Snow Valley in Barrie. Named as “the best Ontario hill for kids,” by Ski Canada Magazine, they have a strong focus on ensuring a day spent here is fun for the whole family. Snow Valley offers 19 trails of varying difficulties and tubing park with 9 chutes and over 600 tubes! Check out a video of their snow tubing here http://www.skisnowvalley.com/barrie-ski-area/snow-tubing/videos.aspx.

Niagara Falls is certainly a major tourist destination with no shortage of activities and attractions and while you could see the power of the Niagara River the traditional ways, we would suggest something a little less traditional. Through Niagara Helicopters, you can view the Horseshoe and American Falls from high above as you soar around the region in a Helicopter giving you unique vantage points for those special photographs and more importantly, memories that will last a lifetime. Take a look at the flight plan to get a sense of what this experience is all about.  Want to experience that awesome power of the raging Niagara River? Then we would suggest a ride up the river provided by Whirlpool Jet Boat Tours. Experience the rush in either a wet or dry boat as it speeds up the mighty Niagara. Rider beware though, if you choose the wet adventure, you will get “absolutely soaked,” but to have that memory, I think a little/LOT of water is completely worth it.

After tackling whitewater in a jet boat, why not head up to Canada’s “rafting capital” in Ottawa, for some real white water adventure. We also partner with Wilderness Tours and River Run Rafting both operating on sections of the Ottawa River. Wilderness tours has been in operation since 1975 and River Run Rafting since 1980. At Wilderness Tours guests can also enjoy mountain biking and bungee jumping. River Run Rafting gives guests the option of staying on site at the London House Inn and Spa. Guests can enjoy the private pool and hot tub after a day out on the water and of course a nice cold beverage at the Riverrunners Pub. To get a sense of what white water rafting is all about check out this video from River Run Rafting.

Come on up to our place and experience true adventure and create lasting memories.

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With Winter 2009-10 fast approaching we thought it might be fun to check out some of the ski deals that Resorts of Ontario will be offering this year. The resorts included in this post either have their own ski hills or they are offering a ski deal with lift tickets included. However, there are plenty more out there with great winter deals that are close to Ontario’s downhill ski centres. For a complete list of these, check here.

Blue Mountain, Ontario’s best known ski destination, gets a lot of newbies wanting to try skiing or snowboarding so it developed a Discover Ski & Snowboard program. Since the program began, hundreds of couples, groups of friends and families have learned to ski and snowboard at the resort. This year, Blue Mountain Inn has a new Stay & Learn to Ski package to go along with its Discover Ski & Snowboard Program. The package includes one night of accommodation, a beginner lift ticket, equipment rental and lesson, a breakfast and a Pottery Restaurant dinner and is priced per person, double occupancy. Village Suites has a similar package with breakfast as a buy in option. If you decide to book either deal, drop by Jozo’s in Blue Mountain Inn for some great apres ski. When we visited Blue Mountain earlier this year, we heard it’s where all the locals hang out after a day on the hill. Similar getaways are offered at other Blue Mountain accommodations. For the best rates, reserve online or call one of the resort’s leisure and travel representatives at 705-445-0231 or 877-445-0231.

WaterSpa at Sir Sam’s Inn

The new WaterSpa at Sir Sam’s Inn

Looking to combine romance and skiing? Sir Sam’s is the perfect find. This romantic Haliburton-area inn not only has its own ski hill, its WaterSpa is spectacular and the inn’s dining and wine list are both superb. Its ski hill has lots of gentle runs and a welcoming atmosphere for newbie skiers. This winter, Sir Sam’s has a two-night “Learn to Ski” package that includes accommodation, dinner and breakfast each day, plus a day on the hills with full equipment, lift ticket and lesson. Save $55 and go mid week when this getaway is priced from $670 per couple.

Eastern Ontario’s Calabogie Peaks and Dickson Manor have developed a fun package for couples looking for a brief escape from the holiday crazies. Running from December 20-23, the package includes an overnight in one of the manor’s deluxe rooms, dinner for two in its Canthooks Fine Dining Restaurant, 20% off of ski or snowboard lift tickets and complimentary ice skating, snowshoeing and cross country skiing. It’s priced at $199 per couple. Dickson Manor also has an outdoor hot tub, indoor pool and fitness centre.

A room at Hidden Valley Resort

One of the rooms at Hidden Valley Resort

Hidden Valley Resort is just outside of Huntsville, Ontario. Considered to be a good value ski hill with no line ups, Hidden Valley has its own luxurious hillside resort and restaurant. Ski & Stay packages here start as low as $85 per person, per night, double occupancy. Learn to Ski/Skateboard are two night packages starting at $215 per night, double occupancy. A variety of ski lift tickets are also offered to guests at a discounted rate.

Horseshoe Resort is just over an hour north of Toronto near Barrie, Ontario. It has a Ski & Stay package this season that combines unlimited skiing or snowboarding for two with one night of accommodation and breakfast, based on double occupancy. All rooms have wireless hi-speed internet, movies and video games. And here’s something worth noting, this hotel is pet friendly and has an 8000 square foot dog park. Priced from $2o3 per night, double occupancy, the package runs November 27-28, December 4-5, 2009 and then from December 11, 2009 – March 21, 2010

horseshoe-resort-chalet

View from the deck of The Chalet at Horseshoe Resort

Close to Horseshoe Resort, you’ll find Carriage Ridge. This family-oriented resort has partnered with two area ski hills this winter; Horseshoe Resort and Mount St. Louis Moonstone. Its open-concept condo suites are suitable for couples, small families or groups of friends. The suites include kitchen facilities, a king side bed, queen sofa-sleeper, balcony and living area. One or two bedroom suites with full kitchens, fireplaces and jacuzzi tubs are available for larger groups. There’s also an indoor pool, kids pool, hot tub and games room. A “Ski-Xtreme getaway” is one of several offered this winter. It includes a one night stay in one of the oversized condo suites, a lift pass for Mount St. Louis Moonstone or Horseshoe Resort, lunch voucher and skiers welcome gift. Packages start at $89 per person, double occupancy and kids stay free.

Hockley Valley Resort

The main buildings at Hockley Valley Resort

Hockley Valley Resort is another ski resort close to Toronto. We wrote a bit about it in last week’s post. It has a bunch of great ski packages listed on its web site starting at $229 double occupancy but we liked its Winter Bliss package. It includes one night’s accommodation, lift ticket for skiing or snowboarding, full buffet hot and cold breakfast, three-course dinner for two and a $75 spa credit per person for Hockley’s hillside spa. Priced from $463, double occupancy.

For more resort packages, sign up for the Resorts of Ontario newsletter.

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