A Perfect Ontario Getaway: Ste. Anne’s Spa

Established in the 1800’s Ste. Anne’s holds an immense amount of history from being used as farmland, a school, a summer home and a castle.

Today, it is a beautiful inn and spa perfect for a solo retreat, family getaway or romantic couples day or weekend. Located on Grafton, the drive to Ste. Anne’s is beautiful if you go at the right time of year.

In the summer you can enjoy the vast outdoor pool, beautiful walking trails and plunge pools. No matter how many people at the spa, its grounds are so large, you always feel like you’re one of the only people there. On my most recent trip in July I had the pool to myself for the several hours that I was out there and enjoyed a breathtaking view while swimming and tanning poolside enjoying a mimosa. Ste. Anne’s does not provide alcohol but you can bring your own alcohol to enjoy.

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A typical day at Ste. Anne’s goes something like this. Arrive early to enjoy the whole day where you are warmly greeted by reception and given a tour of the facilities. No matter how many times I visit I always take the tour as it’s so large it’s good to get reoriented. We started the day on one of the walking trails and wandered around the grounds taking in the warm sun and fresh air. We made our way back and found a swinging bench that overlooks the landscape, made a mimosa and relaxed.

We had time for a quick dip in the pool before lunch. We ate lunch inside the dining room as we thought it may be a bit too warm to sit out on the patio. We started with the chili which was hearty and delicious. For the main we both had the chicken club sandwich but after the filling chili we could barely eat any. They boxed up our leftovers and saved them for us to pick up at the end of the day. After lunch we went back out to the pool and swam and tanned for a while. Then we made our way up to the plunge pools. We cycled between the plunge pools and the eucalyptus steam room. It was heavenly and relaxing! Before we knew it was time for afternoon tea which consisted of different kinds of sliders, baguettes and pinwheels, crackers and various cheese, fruits and veggies, scones and a variety of sweets. Our favorite was the blue cheese pear tart which is a phyllo tart with caramelized pear, cream, walnut and a sprinkling of blue cheese.

After tea we had our couple’s massage, which was fantastic. Being gluttons and deeply immersed in relaxation, we ended the day in the quiet room which is full of massage chairs where we sat and enjoyed being massaged for an hour, because we hadn’t already been massaged enough! The change rooms are massive and have everything you need from shampoo, soaps, hair dryers and fresh towels. I ended the day with a piping hot shower, blow dried my hair and drove top-down all the way home. Depending what way you drive home, you may pass one of several farms full of sheep. It’s worth pulling over and seeing them, they’re very cute!

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A single day at Ste. Anne’s makes you feel like you were away for a weekend. The staff cater to your every whim, the food is amazing, the scenery is breathtaking and the amenities are unparalleled as far as Ontario spas go. I’ve been in both fall and summer and due to the pool would recommend the summer however, the fall with the changing leaves is also remarkable.

 

 

 

10 Staycation Dates in Toronto this Summer

  1. Book a spa treatment at the Sheraton Center Toronto, Senses Spa. The massages and facials are amazing and with your spa treatment you get free access to their outdoor pool for the day. Order lunch and have some drinks poolside between spa treatments.
  2. Go to the rooftop pool at the Radisson on Queens Quay. The Radisson pool is $30 for entry and will make you feel like you’ve left the city. Watch the boats go by as the lounge music plays and you sip a cool margarita. The food’s not bad and you can bring your own food/snacks in to enjoy. A perfect way to spend a summer day!
  3. Visit the sea creatures at Ripley’s Aquarium. Wander through the hallways and pass a giant octopus, watch sharks swim overhead and see ancient species that survived the ice age! You can spend hours getting lost in the wonderment under the sea here!IMG_0264
  4. Go to the Drake hotel for brunch then take a stroll through Queen West. The chicken and waffles at the Drake can’t be beat and the patio has the best people watching! Walk off brunch along Queen St and explore all of the shops along the way.
  5. Rent bikes and bike through Trinity Bellwoods ending with a stop at Bang Bang ice cream. Bike through the park, play with the dogs in the off-leash areas, see people drumming and dancing, sit on a blanket and enjoy the atmosphere around you. If you feel like something sweet bike over to Bang Bang ice cream if you can stand to wait in the line and get the peanut butter and jelly ice cream on a peanut butter cookie, you’ll thank me later.
  6. Go to woodbine beach. Bring a speaker, some snacks and a good book or magazine. Play some volleyball with new friends, go for a swim and enjoy the sand under your toes. If you get hungry head into Carter’s Landing for some lobster guacamole!
  7. Play tourist for a day and explore your own city! Buy tickets to a bus or boat tour and learn something new about the place you live.IMG_0273
  8. Watch the sunset from the tall ship Kajama as they fire off a canon from the side of the ship.
  9. Wander the streets for Kensington Market’s Pedestrian Sundays. See artists, musicians, performers and local vendors.
  10. Listen to music at a castle with Symphony in the Gardens at Casa Loma. A perfect summer evening date night! Keep an eye out for tickets on Groupon!