Winter weekend getaways offer fantastic respite from a busy life in Toronto. With so many options for surrounding yourself in the natural beauty of Ontario landscapes, luxurious spa retreats, amazing fine dining experiences, and rejuvenating outdoor adventures, driving less than three hours outside of the city will feel like a winter vacation in a completely different land. Our list of outstanding weekend getaway destinations barely scratches the surface of what’s possible, but it’s a fantastic start.
Less than two hours away from Toronto is a stately manor-turned-luxury hotel and spa with excellent fine dining and plenty of activities all located right on the sprawling grounds of the Langdon Hall Country House in Cambridge, Ontario.
Originally a private residence built in 1898, the 25,000-square-foot estate was designed to mimic the Federal Revival style south of the border. The current owners renovated the massive home to become what it is today: an opulent and serene retreat from the city. The grounds also feature its famed gardens that grow flowers, herbs, and vegetables used by the hotel kitchens. The gardens were designed to mimic the original plans created by the same landscape architect, Frederich Olmsted, who designed New York City’s, Central Park.
The award-winning cuisine at Langdon Hall is ranked 5th best restaurant in 2022 by Canada’s Top 100 and has one of Canada’s most celebrated chefs, Jason Bangerter, at the helm. Enjoy the view of the gardens from the main dining room or a casual lunch or cocktails in the Wilks’ Bar. Both were transformed by the award-winning designer, Sarah Richardson.
The spa at Langdon Hall is also acclaimed, ranking high among all of Canada. The space is quiet and tranquil, as you’d expect, and offers services like massages, baths, wraps, polishes, and many more restorative and aesthetic treatments. You’ll also find dining in the spa, so you won’t have to go far to feel replenished before your next service.
Langdon Hall features sitting rooms for gatherings, tennis courts, croquet lawns, and walking trails. The staff can arrange your day of activities and suggest local outings as well. Langdon Hall offers wine tasting with a sommelier, 45-minute interactive cooking demonstrations, and private yoga classes.
Every room has been carefully designed and many feature amenities like wood-burning fireplaces, sitting areas, private patios on the ground floor, luxury bathrooms with soaking tubs, feather beds, and private dressing areas.
The Rosseau is only 2.5 hours north of Toronto in the heart of Muskoka. The year-round pristine beauty features rugged hills, tranquil lakes, and wide open blue skies. It's been a favourite for rest and relaxation as well as outdoor activities like snowshoeing, ski biking, snowmobiling, and skating. The area has been recognized by National Geographic as one of the world’s most beautiful destinations.
The original resort, known as Paignton House, was built in 1894 with an impressively pure and scenic landscape. The first owners intended the resort to be a summer getaway for locals and now offers both a wealth of activity year-round and luxury amenities set within natural beauty.
The Rosseau offers more dining options than your average resort, from casual to award-winning. Teca offers award-winning Italian fare within a lively space and open kitchen. Muskoka Chophouse is an elegant space with Certified Angus Beef and chef specials that pair spectacularly with wine from an impressive menu recognized with the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence.
The Cottages is a more casual dining spot that overlooks Lake Rosseau. The Lake Muskoka restaurant, with light fare and specialty cocktails, is known as ‘the gathering place’ for its large open space that’s perfect for gathering after a day of activities, also with excellent views of the lake. ICEBAR features signature flights of Crystal Head Vodka along with tapas in a -15°C space.
The Rousseau features a signature spa, fitness centre, and a year-round indoor-outdoor swimming pool, heated HydroSpa outdoor pool, and hot tubs. The spa offers a menu of treatments, like body wraps, massages, and hydrotherapy treatments. Guests can also indulge in activities like painting, sculpting, workshops, and stargazing.
The luxury rooms and suites at The Rousseau are cozy and perfect for a winter retreat, with natural stone fireplaces and soaking tubs. Enjoy a view of the famous Rousseau Lake from your balcony.
Ste. Anne’s Spa is set in an old-world village-like environment that’s comforting and charming. The property is only 90 minutes from Toronto, but you’ll feel like you’ve travelled across the Atlantic, overlooking 500 acres of rolling hills, lush gardens, and quaint farmland, right in Grafton, Ontario.
Built in 1858, the fieldstone country castle has changed hands multiple times before being restored by the current owners. Over time the castle rooms have been filled with antiques and traditional furnishings. After discovering the freshwater spring and through the family’s travels, the destination spa has become a place for wellness and rejuvenation.
Every part of a stay at Ste. Anne’s is focused on wellness and relaxation. Yoga, meditation, painting lessons, hiking, snowshoeing, healthy cuisine, and more are all built into the all-inclusive retreat. More than 35 spa treatments are available at Ste. Anne’s, as well as a eucalyptus steam room, saunas, and fitness facility.
One of the principles of Ste. Anne's is sustainability, including humanely raising cattle on site, growing flowers used in the rooms, and vegetable gardens that supply the kitchens. The botanicals in the skin nourishment products made on-site are also from the property. Composting, reforestation, and regenerative agriculture are peripheral principles that make up the spa’s holistic wellness practices.
Choose one of Ste. Anne’s 35 rooms are all uniquely furnished and decorated in traditional styles. The rooms may include a gas or wood-burning fireplace, a soaking tub, a sitting area, a balcony, and vaulted ceilings. The rooms also include a minifridge so you can preorder special meals, snacks, and cakes to be waiting for you. The spa cottages offer the availability to include a private chef to prepare a four-course meal right in your room. Flowers, bespoke skin and bath products, and other gifts are also available during your stay. There’s even a private limousine car service available to pick you up from the city to deliver you to Ste. Anne’s Spa.
Blue Mountain is a popular winter destination for outdoor adventures and luxury indulgences alike. It’s located just north of Collingwood and only two hours from Toronto. Skiing, dining, spas, snowshoeing, thermal baths, and so much more is available in this gorgeous winter paradise.
Blue Mountain began humbly in 1949 out of a barn at the foot of the slopes. It was the ski headquarters, providing food and accommodations. The rustic beginnings made way for a magnificent resort that local and world travellers seek out every year to enjoy the community, amenities, and of course, skiing.
Skiing is the most notable reason many flock to Blue Mountain due to its abundant options. With 42 ski hills, there are options for all skill levels and abilities. Blue Mountain also offers a variety of ski packages, whether you’d like a single lift ticket for the day or invest in a season pass. There are also ski schools, glades, night skiing, and a terrain park.
If you’re looking for new gear or have forgotten something at home, there are plenty of shops to fill your needs. To avoid having to bring all of your ski gear to and fro your lodging, storage is available and the resort will have your gear ready to go when you get to the slopes. Regardless of the pass purchased, Blue Mountain has recently upgraded its lifts to include high speed to expedite the venture back up the hill.
The town of Blue Mountains and the Blue Mountain Village offers so many more outdoor activities than downhill skiing. Enjoy the outdoor skating rink, downhill tubing, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and cave exploring.
Venture into the village for the area’s three luxurious spas. The Scandinave Spa is favoured by most for its thermal baths set in the forest–a truly dreamy experience after a day of treatments. They also offer a eucalyptus steam room, wellness classes, fitness, and walking trails. The Iwa Spa features a volcanic rock sauna room, large enough to practise hot yoga or just sit back and relax after a deep tissue massage. Lastly, the Kalola Spa takes a holistic approach by including nutritional guidance and Reiki as well as standard spa body and face treatments.
After an active day, satiate your appetite with a wide variety of dining options in the Blue Mountains, from coffee and pastry shops to award-winning fine dining restaurants. For breakfast, stop in at Sunset Grill or The Pottery Restaurant. Casual dining options abound for lunch or dinner, but some of the more popular eateries include Chuck Burger, Firehall Pizza, The Cheese Gallery, and Copper Blues Bar & Grill. If you’re looking for something sweet or a hot espresso or hot chocolate to warm you up, local favourites are Royal Majesty Espresso Bar and Bakery or Beaver Tails. For finer dining for dinner, Oliver & Bonacini is a go-to, as is Tholos Restaurant. Bruce Wine Bar or Thornbury Cider is great for sitting back and sipping on local drinks.
With almost a dozen unique places to stay at Blue Mountain, there will undoubtedly be a perfect fit. No matter if it’s quaint and cozy, or deluxe and luxurious, most time will likely be spent outside the room. However, after a long day in the cold, it’s nice to choose the right spot to soak in a hot bath, sit next to your own fireplace, or lounge with others in warm sitting areas.
Many of the accommodations offer other amenities, like fitness facilities, heated pools, and ski packages. Commonly found in Blue Mountain Village are chalets that offer more privacy than hotels and more amenities that feel like home, such as a kitchen and laundry.
When you’ve fully recharged at one of these amazing destinations, continue the feeling of wellness, excitement, or sustainable living right at home. SevernWoods is a Toronto luxury custom home builder and remodeler that can take that getaway magic and bring it into your own space, with a spa-worthy bathroom retreat, high-end outdoor living, and sustainable home features. Contact SevernWoods to dream up a home that feels like a vacation every day.