Feature image courtesy of John Salzarulo, Unsplash
Families crowd together with their children to view the festive displays at Hudson’s Bay/Saks Fifth Avenue. Snowflakes fall on the face of the clock at Old City Hall. Nearby, skaters flock to the ice rink at Nathan Phillips Square and women are dressed to impress in their goose down parkas and UGG boots, ready for the -20-degree weather. It’s winter in Toronto.
The thrill of the holidays does eventually wear off. That’s when the “winter blahs” arrive with luggage in tow, meaning it’s time to think about getting away for a weekend to rejuvenate the spirits.
Winter can be long and arduous in Toronto so why not ramp up the fun factor by planning a winter weekend getaway? Whether your agenda includes carving up the slopes, savouring this year’s Ontario Icewine, enjoying a hot stone couple’s massage, or curling up with Louise Penny’s latest mystery, here’s a selection of winter weekend getaways from Toronto tailored for you.
7 Winter Weekend Getaways from Toronto
Blue Mountain Inn, Collingwood
Only an hour and a half from Toronto, the Blue Mountain Inn in Collingwood recently underwent a multi-million retrofit to unveil chic cottage decor rooms with a multi-media wall unit. If you and your family are looking for additional space and comfort, the Happy Valley Suite features a separate living room, dining table, wet bar, and fireplace. Some of the other family-friendly features of this inn include complimentary WiFi in the lobby, a dog-friendly policy, and a 24-hour check-in.
When hunger strikes, you’ll discover hearty fare such as the prime rib dinner to quell your appetite at the in-house Pottery Restaurant. Afterward, you can unwind with a martini at Jozo’s Bar. With die-hard skiers obviously in mind, the hotel has extended the hours for the indoor swimming pool and sauna to 11 p.m. so you can enjoy a full day on the slopes. Once you’re finished skiing, be sure to relax your aching quadriceps in one of the four outdoor hot tubs while taking in the vista of the mountain.Check availability >>
Prince of Wales Hotel, Niagara-on-the-Lake
Established in 1864, the Prince of Wales Hotel is the pride of Queen Street. If exceptional service is what you’re looking for, this hotel is calling your name. The hotel’s interior recently underwent a complete renovation, preserving this historic property’s Victorian look and feel. Several rooms feature their own fireplace and Tiffany-style lamps. You’ll feel like you belong on the pages of a Dickens novel!
Enjoy a bit of breakfast in the restaurant such as the eggs benny with coffee served in Sterling Silver pots or live like a king and have it delivered directly to your room. The hotel’s calling card is their renowned afternoon tea. Enjoy Darjeeling tea and finger sandwiches while admiring the room’s crown mouldings, Queen Anne chairs, brocade tapestries, and dazzling chandeliers. Be sure to dine at the hotel’s Noble Restaurant where the chef will go to great lengths to ensure your dietary needs are met.
If you feel like venturing out, enjoy a winter walk along the boutique and café filled Queen Street or take a stroll in the neighbourhood that boasts turn-of-the-century homes. Visit in January and attend the Niagara Icewine Festival where you’ll get the chance to sample Ontario Icewine at over 30 wineries in the Niagara Region.Check availability >>
The Waring House, Picton, Prince Edward County
Prince Edward County is on almost every hipster’s agenda lately and that’s due in part to the County’s first class inns including The Waring House. The house is really a collection of buildings and cottages that feature large, spacious rooms, some with their own fireplaces, fridges, and large Jacuzzi tubs. Premium rooms include king size beds and balconies.
This establishment exudes country charm with rooms at the back of the building overlooking the inn’s hiking trails. Choose one of the cobblestone cottages with its own patio and outdoor hot tub for added privacy.
The complimentary breakfast at Angela’s Garden may include freshly-squeezed orange juice, eggs, bacon, omelettes, French toast, pancakes and fresh fruit prepared from locally-sourced ingredients. Upgrade your culinary skills by taking a cooking class at the Waring House such as preparing risotto or visit one of the nearby vineyards such as Huff Estates or Black Prince Winery. If you’re visiting during Family Day Weekend, be sure to check out Snowfest at Sandbanks Provincial Park for a day of tobogganing, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and warm up indoors at a down-home kitchen party with chilli and hot chocolate.Check availability >>
Niagara Falls Marriott Fallsview Hotel & Spa, Niagara Falls
With each room at the Niagara Falls Marriott Fallsview Hotel & Spa displaying captivating views of Niagara Falls, you can’t go wrong with this property for a winter weekend getaway. The hotel recently underwent a renovation and redesign with rooms now featuring a comfortable Marriott brand duvet, mini bar, flat screen TV, WiFi, in room safe, telephone with voicemail and coffeemaker. If you get bored looking at the stunning view of the Falls from your room, you can wander downstairs and enjoy a Salted Caramel Mocha at the in-house Starbucks, shop for souvenirs at the gift shop or take the Skywalk from the hotel to the Fallsview Casino and take your chances at the 3,000 slot machines and 130 gaming tables.
There are several eating options at the Niagara Falls Marriott Fallsview, such as Morton’s Grille for fine dining, Milestones on the Falls for more casual fare and the lobby lounge for a light lunch or hand-crafted cocktails. The Terrapin Café features a breakfast buffet with yogourt, cereal, an omelette station, fruit, coffee and juice. Avoid paying expensive parking rates in downtown Niagara Falls by taking the WEGO transit bus from the hotel entrance to popular Clifton Hill attractions.Check availability >>
Langdon Hall Country House Hotel & Spa, Cambridge
Roaming up the circular driveway to Langdon Hall Country House Hotel & Spa, you’ll feel like you’re escaping to an old English estate. Part of the Relais & Châteaux fellowship, the inn sets the bar when it comes to hospitality standards. Right from the beginning of your stay, you’ll experience luxury amenities, like valet parking, complimentary wine tastings with the hotel Sommelier, and garden tours in the Carolinian Forest. The hotel’s dog-friendly policy means that your furry friend can also enjoy a few days of pampering. Charming touches in the room include cozy bathrobes and crispy cookies for a post-meal snack. Some rooms have wood-burning fireplaces and staff will provide turn-down service at your request.
Enjoy a leisurely traditional afternoon tea, then take a brisk walk along the inn’s wooded trails. Or skip the exercise and enjoy an invigorating Vichy Aroma Rain Scrub at the spa. Langdon Hall’s restaurant is the only CAA 5 Diamond restaurant in Ontario with servers and sommeliers providing impeccable service. Specialties in the dining room include rack of lamb and beef tenderloin or you can try the popular Chef’s tasting menu, which features fruits and vegetables from the inn’s kitchen garden. After dinner, retreat to the games room to enjoy some billiards.Check availability >>
Hockley Valley Resort, Orangeville
This intimate, 28-room Hockley Valley Resort tucked into the Niagara Escarpment is the place to stay if you’re looking for fine dining and downhill skiing. Rooms feature comfortable king beds and sweeping views of snow-capped trees under the straining light of winter from your balcony.
Enjoy a comprehensive selection of body wraps, masks, waxing, IPL – Photo Rejuvenation, manicures, pedicures and reflexology at the 8,000 square foot spa. If you’re feeling lavish, book the 80 Minute Couple’s Retreat for side-by-side relaxation massages, facials, lunch, and champagne.
The resort’s Cabin Restaurant features local fare such as Beet caprese, Ontario buffalo mozzarella, and Grilled Ontario grass-fed rib-eye in a rustic and modern room with an open kitchen — the ideal setting for romantic dining. The Executive Chef employs the farm-to-table philosophy in the kitchen; 80 percent of the restaurant’s produce comes from its two-acre farm. You’ll want to save room for the breakfast buffet that features smoked salmon, bacon, eggs, cream cheese, pastries, and local jams. Work off the calories on the treadmills, bicycles, ellipticals and universal machines in the resort’s fitness centre.
Since Hockley Valley Resort offers both ski and snowboard lessons, it’s a great place for beginners to be introduced to either sport. The more advanced snowboarder can tackle the resort’s intermediate and double black diamond runs. Enjoy the use of the indoor pool, hot tub and sauna after a day on the slopes.Check availability >>
Eganridge Resort Country Club & Spa, Fenelon Falls
You don’t need to travel very far to enjoy a luxurious weekend escape. Eganridge Resort Country Club & Spa in Fenelon Falls is just over an hour from Toronto but provides a secluded setting to enjoy winter activities. Picture-perfect rooms at the 181-year-old estate feature king-size sleigh beds, gas fireplaces, flat screen TVs, DVD players, oversized tubs, and a private balcony overlooking shimmering Sturgeon Lake.
Amorous couples may want to choose the Romance Package and be greeted by fresh flowers, a bottle of sparkling wine, and chocolate-covered strawberries in their room as well as dinner for two and a continental breakfast. Be sure to experience the great Canadian winter by heading outside and strapping on some snowshoes (rentals are complimentary) or cross-country ski along the property’s four kilometres of groomed trails.
After working up an appetite, feast on hearty menu items such as prime rib and filet mignon at the resort’s Terrace Room while watching a sunset illuminate the surrounding water in a glowing orange. If the tastes and tranquillity at Eganridge Resort are not enough, venture into the nearby town of Bobcaygeon to shop for coveted antiques or an artisan keepsake.Check availability >>