We’re walking hand in hand along the bear trail on a lakefront property, just outside of Algonquin Provincial Park, where it’s not uncommon to spy moose, bears, owls and snakes. Today along the trail, we hear only sounds of twigs snapping underfoot. No cars, no kids, no traffic, but loons calling on the lake and Blue Jays chirping as we blissfully lose track of time.
Ontario is dramatic with granite rock outcrops, sand dunes, hardwood forests, and meandering rivers. From the wild crashing power of Niagara Falls to the rhythmic advance and retreat of the water in Ottawa’s Rideau Canal and then on to the striated rocky Canadian Shield in Muskoka, this province is built for lovers and outdoor enthusiasts.
Some of the most romantic spots to take a break are already well-known, like Blue Mountain’s Westin Trillium House, Ottawa’s Fairmont Chateau Laurier, and the Niagara Falls Marriott Fallsview. In stark contrast is Ste. Anne’s Spa, located in a hamlet near Oak Ridges Moraine, and Couples Resort in the town of Whitney, South Algonquin.
Romantic Getaways in Ontario
Collingwood — The Westin Trillium House
From Georgian Bay’s calm beachfront to a tranquil harbour and the towering Blue Mountains, Collingwood is a magnet for domestic and international guests. In the spring, summer and fall, the Collingwood area is an upscale resort destination with expansive beaches, hiking trails, and scenic caves. The summit of the Blue Mountain resort is often lit up from June through August with catered outdoor weddings. In the winter, the mountain is a mecca for skiers and snowboarders.
In this area, there are many condominiums to rent and hotels to stay in, but the The Westin Trillium House is my favourite spot to stay for a romantic getaway. The Westin’s spacious rooms are decorated in warm dark wood with plush white bedding. Many rooms have kitchenettes and a view of the lively pedestrian village at the foot of the ski hill. The in-room fireplaces and the large outdoor hot tub are the two features my husband and I love the most about the Westin, and nothing is quite so soothing as a soak together in the hot tub at the end of the day.
Besides the rugged Blue Mountain views and promise of adventure, The Westin Trillium House also offers a plethora of dining options for every taste. Right at the Westin, you’ll find the Oliver & Bonacini Café and Grill open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. For dinner, start with the mushroom soup. For your main course, the bacon and white cheddar burger will satisfy any burger connoisseur. Shrimp linguine is my favourite go-to meal here but the Bee Sting Pizza, topped with pepperoni, salami, pepper, cheese, and local honey is great for sharing.
Copper Blues, just across from Firehall Pizza, has dim relaxed lighting indoors and a busy outdoor summer patio for people watching. Their slow cooked prime rib always melts in your mouth and the Sea Bass with key lime rub is as flavourful as it sounds.
While you might not want to leave the pedestrian village or the resort itself, you would be doing yourself a disservice if you didn’t take time to visit Spa Scandinave — just a short five-minute drive from the Westin Trillium House. This nordic-style spa experience is a tranquil spot to soothe your body and connect as a couple. Enjoy the Scandinavian baths and the eucalyptus steam bath while listening to babbling brooks and wind whistling gently over the speakers hidden nearby in the rocks. Be sure to schedule a couples massage here when you book your romantic getaway.Check availability >>
Muskoka — JW Marriott The Rosseau Resort and Spa
Just a few hours north of Toronto lies Muskoka. This coveted northern Ontario destination is rich with lush pines, fragrant cedars, and maples, all creating a sense of privacy for the secluded lakefront properties nearby. It’s just remote enough that Hollywood stars like Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell used to summer in the area on Lake Joseph and Lake Rosseau. The cottages, homes and resorts are elaborate, but nature takes the starring role here. For a romantic getaway in Muskoka’s cottage country, you won’t be disappointed by a stay at JW Marriott The Rosseau Resort and Spa.
Muskoka is luxurious in and of itself, but this resort elevates your experience with a year-round indoor/outdoor pool and Spa Rosseau, featuring the ultimate couples massage in your own deluxe couples suite where you each receive custom facials, relaxing scrubs, and side-by-side massages. In the summer months, the secluded beach and lakefront are calm enough for stand up paddle-boarding, but if you prefer to travel at a faster pace, hug your partner tight around the waist, hop on a jet ski and take a ride.
As the snow starts to fall across the sleepy cedar boughs and pine trees, you can imagine you’re stranded together at the edge of Muskoka where nothing else matters. Ice fishing together in a secluded hut with a bottle of wine to share, scraping through the woods on snowshoes, holding tight to your loved one’s hand, pausing to close your eyes and just listen are a few of the outdoor winter activities that will stimulate your senses and bring you closer together here in Muskoka.Check availability >>
Haldimand Hills — Ste. Anne’s Spa
Perhaps you’re in the mood for a spa getaway or a couples wellness retreat? The all-inclusive Ontario resort Ste. Anne’s Spa on 400 private acres in Haldimand Hills has a quiet charm that’ll draw you in. Spend the day in your bathrobe and sign up for the spa’s romance package featuring a one-hour Swedish massage and chocolate-covered strawberries to share with your better half. After your four-course meal, use the personal blend of massage oils and bath salts and don’t forget to hang the ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign on your door.
Even though you may want to stay in your robe, it’s worth changing outfits to explore the trails behind the castle. You could consider elevating your stay by requesting one of the seven private cottages at Ste. Anne’s Spa.Check availability >>
Niagara Falls — The Niagara Falls Marriott Fallsview
The roaring falls, the mist leaping off the water, it’s no surprise Niagara Falls has been synonymous with romance for years. As the closest hotel to the falls, The Niagara Falls Marriott Fallsview is one of the most romantic properties you can book in the area thanks to awe-inspiring views of the misty falls from just about every room.
From the window of your Fallsview room, you can cuddle comfortably watching the fireworks during summer evenings while sipping a glass of wine grown in the Niagara region. Outside of the fireworks season, you and your sweetheart can still enjoy the hypnotic light show that illuminates the Falls every night of the year. Pick a special occasion like Valentine’s Day to witness a uniquely-themed lighting display of pinks and reds. Whatever you’re celebrating, take the time to book a hot stone massage during the day or a couples massage and let the sensation of a relaxing therapeutic touch wash over before going back to your room to dress for dinner.Check availability >>
Niagara Falls — Sheraton on the Falls
Another option in Niagara Falls is the Sheraton on the Falls. Thanks to the floor-to-ceiling windows in the Fallsview rooms, you’re practically guaranteed magnificent views. It’s also the ideal spot for couples who enjoy a little gambling with Sheraton’s connection to the Fallsview Indoor Waterpark and Casino Niagara.
If you’re looking for a romantic adventure, book an early morning sunrise cruise, or an evening sunset cruise, with Hornblower Cruises. Clutch your partner’s hand tight as the mist lands lightly on your arms and your boat sails towards the thundering Horseshoe Falls.Check availability >>
Romantic Getaways in Toronto
The Fairmont Royal York
The Fairmont Royal York is one of the most historic hotels in Toronto and it’s within a short walk to tourist favourites, such as the CN Tower, Ripley’s Aquarium, and The Rogers Centre where the Blue Jays play baseball. Don’t be surprised if you bump into celebrity guests like Kate Beckinsale or Drake while staying here. But if you don’t see any celebrity guests in person, consider taking a stroll through the halls along the lobby and the second floor while looking for framed photos of previous celebrity guests.
For a special treat, book your vacation over the Christmas holidays when the décor is opulent and the Christmas trees sparkle, making the interior of this hotel appear as if you’ve stumbled into a winter wonderland.Check availability >>
Not so far away from the Fairmont Royal York, the Ritz-Carlton Toronto is the epitome of class, located close to the fashion and entertainment districts. Exceptional service and luxury define this destination, and a stay at the Ritz-Carlton is a popular choice for couples celebrating milestone anniversaries and birthdays together.
Take a dip together in the saltwater pool and browse the art collection featuring more than 400 pieces by Canadian artists or make an appointment to visit the fifth-floor retreat Spa My Blend by Clarins which offers massages and specialized facials. From the DEQ Terrace & Lounge overlooking the dynamic Toronto skyline, the Ritz-Carlton boasts some of the most dramatic city views, making it easy to see why this is a coveted destination to stay at for a weekend or midweek celebration. Mark your special occasion with a visit to Canada’s only cheese cave, followed by dinner at TOCA, an Italian restaurant, then walk over to the Scotiabank Arena, formerly the Air Canada Centre and surprise your love with tickets to a concert.Check availability >>
Omni King Edward Hotel
Built in 1903, The Omni King Edward Hotel recently underwent an extensive $40 million renovation and offers all the same access to tourist favourites and entertainment venues at a slightly lower price than the Ritz-Carlton and Fairmont nearby. If you choose to stay here, you need to make time to attend a concert or a ballet at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts where you’ll find world-class acts and rich concert experiences just a short walk from the hotel. (It was on the Sony Centre stage that Russian ballet star Mikhail Baryshnikov defected from the USSR in 1974 and Julie Andrews once performed in Camelot.) During the holiday season, you’re likely to find a Christmas ballet such as The Nutcracker performing here, making this outing together the perfect end to an urban romantic escape.Check availability >>
Romantic Getaways in Ottawa
Fairmont Chateau Laurier
Perhaps you want an alternative to Toronto’s hectic pace and streets full of tourists. If that’s the case, then a stay in the capital city of Ottawa will deliver the quieter yet no less romantic getaway you’re looking for.
Stay at a castle in the Fairmont Chateau Laurier located just steps from the Rideau Canal. This castle has a commanding view of Parliament and you can even spot Gatineau, Quebec across Alexandra Bridge. Canada’s First Nations culture and customs are captured in the art and history museums and the restaurants here reflect the French heritage.Check availability >>
Andaz Ottawa ByWard Market
The pristine new boutique hotel Andaz Ottawa ByWard Market has already generated a lot of buzz in the Ottawa area from both locals and travellers. Boasting colourful window displays with First Nations crafts and souvenirs, and the aroma of coffee and croissants all around, the market area is a lively place to shop and stroll by day. At night, find your way to the new rooftop bar Copper Spirits and Sights, the premium lounge on the 16th floor with some of the best views in the city.
Watch the boats passing through the Rideau Canal, which is a UNESCO world heritage site, and then take a dinner cruise or a quick stroll together, admiring the historic statues and monuments. Search out the sweet pastries called Beaver Tails and share one with your significant other or indulge in poutine from a food truck downtown.
In the winter months, the Rideau Canal is transformed into the world’s largest skating rink. There’s no sweeter way to spend a snowy February afternoon than skating hand-in-hand with your sweetheart on the canal before you race back to the Andaz to spend a cuddly night with specialty coffees by the fire.Check availability >>