While location is a major factor in real estate, in the end, our hearts tell us which “home” is best for us. How it makes us feel is the secret sauce. And so it is when we are seeking a vacation destination. Ideally, it includes four essential elements: water, earth, fresh air and fire for warmth.
Why are all four elements necessary? Water connects us to our emotions and our memories. How many of us have been calmed by the ebb and flow of the ocean or a lake? Forests and the landscape help us feel rooted and grounded. Who hasn’t found solace on quiet walks along paths cushioned with centuries of pine needles and surrounded by sounds only Mother Nature can produce? Not only does the land nourish us, it is the foundation upon which we build our structures that keep us safe and secure from the elements of nature. In nature, even the air is different, especially at night when it wraps us in a velvet blanket under starlit skies as we relax around an open campfire for warmth.
For leisure and in times of uncertainty, we turn to nature. We depend on the lakes, forests and air to always be there to bring us comfort. In nature, we take time to relish life’s simple delights. We eat slowly, walk slowly, kiss slowly. We can taste the water, feel the wind and breathe in the scents of the seasons that come and go. Leaves sprout, turn colours and fall to nourish future seedlings. Flowers bloom and fade. We don’t argue with nature. She always wins. As we look around and observe, nature teaches us the lessons of non-attachment and acceptance—wisdom we all can use and appreciate at this time.
More than 100 Resorts of Ontario properties are found in such natural settings. Location plays a major role in setting the mood for each property and how it resonates with us.
THE BIG SECRET SAUCE REVEAL
Adventure-seekers, environmentalists, artists, photographers, birders and romantics flock to Algonquin Park where the focus is on wildlife and the environment naturally encourages eco-friendly outdoor excursions year-round. This is home to Algonquin Log Cabin & Cottages where guests are treated to outstanding gourmet meals in the cozy comfort of a rustic lodge or a private log cabin. Also in this beautiful pristine wilderness, the Killarney Lodge provides all-inclusive lodging in log and pine waterfront cabins, with friendly and attentive service. Ultimate adventures and thrills await you at Owl Rafting and Resort, a family-owned operation, which organizes low- to high-intensity whitewater rafting and camping trips on the Ottawa River.
Some properties naturally appeal to our romantic nature. A short drive from Huntsville and Algonquin Park, the all-inclusive Cedar Grove Lodge on Peninsula Lake in Muskoka features 19 unique log cabins with wood-burning stone fireplaces and three meals daily. Or sneak away to the Spectacle Lake Lodge, South Algonquin’s hidden gem, where warm, intimate quarters set the stage for you and your sweetie to connect in front of a fireplace, in the hot tub, on a stroll or paddle through nature and over candlelit meals. Another, the couples-only Heather Lodge, situated on Twelve Mile Lake in the scenic Haliburton Highlands, has offered romantic escapes since 1942. Amenities include canoes, kayaks, SUP boards and a paddle boat should you decide to venture out from your love nest. Mountains add a scenic element to any destination. Situated on the shores of Calabogie Lake at the base of Dickson Mountain in the Ottawa Valley, the Calabogie Peaks Resort is a perfect choice for limitless year-round activities and romantic ceremonies.
For some, access to structured entertainment and creature comforts in a natural setting is important. Cobble Beach Resort, a four-season waterfront golf resort community in the Georgian Bay area, features a selection of seasonal amenities, including indoor and outdoor golf facilities, tennis courts, spa services, on-site dining and snowshoe rentals. In nearby Collingwood, the Living Water Resort & Spa welcomes guests to its natural playground between the mountains and the bay where guests can play a championship-style golf course, dine on the water and feel reinvigorated in a full-service spa featuring Ontario’s only Aquapath Experience. The JW Marriott The Rousseau Muskoka Resort & Spa, another luxurious resort, offers scenic views of Lake Rousseau, access to a variety of outdoor activities as well as award-winning on-site restaurants, a signature spa, a fitness centre and a year-round indoor/outdoor pool. There’s no end to family fun at the Rocky Crest Golf Resort perched on the shores of majestic Lake Joseph along the rocky outcrops of the Canadian Shield, where a waterpark, a world-class golf course and fine dining keep all ages amused.
Occasionally, we need to step back from our hectic schedules to appreciate a simpler, more casual lifestyle. The historic Ogopogo Resort on Mountain Lake in the Haliburton Highlands is one such property where fishing is second to none and guests are accommodated in private cottages, with fully equipped kitchens. Sitting on 86 acres in the heart of Muskoka, the Trillium Resort & Spa features six lakefront chalets, a chalet overlooking a waterfall and 10 “bedsitting” cottages set amid towering hardwoods riddled with walking trails. In operation for more than 90 years and renowned for its country cuisine and panoramic views, Beachwood Resort on Lower Buckhorn Lake in the Kawarthas is ideal for family gatherings, intimate getaways, weddings or meetings. On the shores of West Lake in the Kawarthas, a private sandy beach and lakeview dining await all who come to enjoy the natural surroundings at the Isaiah Tubbs Resort & Conference Centre. Nestled on the banks of the St. Lawrence River in the heart of the 1000 Islands, the Glen House Resort has entertained guests for more than 100 years with a range of activities, including golf, paddling, shuffleboard, spa, swimming, workout facilities and games room.
Spring, summer, fall or winter, Resorts of Ontario offer a plethora of accommodation choices, amenities and attractions in breathtaking, natural surroundings. Choosing one just depends that secret sauce—how does it resonate with you?