Not everyone is head-over-heels in love with winter. And that’s totally understandable. While the picturesque snow-laden landscapes of South Eastern Ontario are absolutely beautiful, winter in the big city can be a cold, hectic and rather messy ordeal. Whether it’s getting slushed at the bus stop, traversing icy sidewalks, or the seemingly endless shovelling – winter can be a cruel beast indeed.
But worry not, dear reader, for there is a silver lining to it all. There is an escape route, and we have carefully mapped it out for you. Winter is a prime time to get away from it all. To put the big smoke in your rearview and find your seasonal zen spot.
This winter, escape the urban grind, and de-stress in style with this list of luxury staycation destinations in South Eastern Ontario! Whether you want a weekend getaway for two, or some much needed “me time,” relax and unwind with us in The Great Waterway this winter!
Bay of Quinte
The Henry Corby House, Belleville
Kicking off our list is the exquisite accommodations that await visitors to Belleville Ontario’s Henry Corby House. This incredible four bedroom house was first built in 1875 and is a truly captivating historic home. One look at The Henry Corby House’s gallery page clearly demonstrates the lavish furnishings and comforts within.
Situated a mere seven-minute walk from downtown Belleville, you needn’t go far to enjoy a day of pampering and spoiling at The Spa, followed by an exploration of Belleville’s splendid selection of shops, entertainment and dining venues.
Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott, Belleville
Belleville’s Fairfield Inn & Suites is among several Quinte area accommodations operated by the highly reputable Williams Hotels Company. Conveniently close to the Highway 401 and 62 South this impressive hotel is home to some seriously swanky suites, and a fully equipped fitness centre. My eyes are on the Spa Suite.
For pleasure-seekers looking for a game or two of chance, the newly opened Shorelines Casino is a short distance from the hotel. Also nearby is a menagerie of spas, entertainment, dining and more!
Prince Edward County
Claramount Inn ~ Hotel & Spa, Picton
Overlooking Picton Harbour from a storied and historic parcel of land is the fabled Claramount Inn. This glorious manse has direct lines to Prince Edward County’s history and since being purchased by the current owners has been fully restored, and completed according to the original architectural drawings.
Compass Rose Suites, Cherry Valley
Milford, Ontario’s Compass Rose Suites is an elegant homage to the early architectural styles of The County – that draws upon French influences. The immaculate farmhouse uses a simplistic design while making use of a subtle and unique elegance. Surrounding the property is an array of seasonal gardens – and scenic trails.
The suites themselves are absolutely breathtaking, promising a memorable and relaxing retreat for any traveller. Your stay comes complete with a full gourmet breakfast served in the spectacular farmhouse, made with seasonal local ingredients.
Huff Estates Winery & Inn, Bloomfield
Located in the heart of South Eastern Ontario’s captivating wine country is Huff Estates Winery & Inn. This elegant 21 room inn has a great combination of warm comfort, delicious food and, of course, an aromatic selection of local wine directly from the source! Each guest to this famous escape is given a complimentary tasting – and can select from several amazing packages that will no doubt result in a memorable stay.
Also on-site is the famous Oeno Gallery which boasts an eclectic collection of contemporary fine art and sculpture. I can already envision a spectacular weekend of tasting wine, dining on delicious culinary creations at Huff Estate’s restaurant, and observing the fine art on display at the gallery!
Isaiah Tubbs Resort & Conference Center, West Lake
Spanning over 100 breathtaking acres of heritage land in West Lake, you will find a rather legendary resort with a rich and touching history dating back to the mid-1800’s. Today, the Isaiah Tubbs Resort & Conference Centre remains an iconic and popular destination in Prince Edward County.
Located a short distance from Sandbanks Provincial Park – the resort offers a beautiful setting for your next winter escape. There are some fantastic winter packages available, as well as affordable meal plans. I can personally vouch for the food at Isaiah Tubbs, as I’ve eaten there several times while performing with a dinner theatre group while I was in high school.
The Restaurant on the Knoll is a stunning dining hall, complete with cathedral ceilings, and an authentic country atmosphere that only serves to complement the exquisite food on the menu.
Land O Lakes
Hetherington Hall Bed & Breakfast in Bath, Ontario offers a unique fusion of charming decor, modern comforts, and superb hospitality. This quaint house has some wonderful rooms each with divine furnishings and ensuite bathrooms.
I’m especially interested in the cozy and comfortable Kathryn’s Suite which sports a four post, Queen size bed, natural lighting and a fireplace!
Parks Creek Retreat, Roslin
Surrounded by 18 acres of natural forest, The Parks Creek Retreat is an impressive 2,400 square foot timber frame home capable of accommodating up to twelve guests! This creekside oasis offers an ideal getaway for groups, or families looking to get out of the city and into a secluded and luxurious retreat.
Kingston & 1000 Islands
All Suites Whitney Manor, Kingston
The Historic and charming, Whitney Manor is a brilliant and timeless testament to 18th-century design and hospitality. It is easily among Kingston, Ontario’s most notable and historically evocative inns, with stylishly decorated suites that present guests with an unforgettable experience. Ideal for honeymoons, family escapes or romantic getaways, Whitney Manor, is conveniently close to Downtown Kingston and nestled alongside the majestic St. Lawrence River.
Each of the suites come with a fully equipped kitchen, spacious seating and entertainment areas and arresting views of the grounds and nearby river.
Best Western Fireside Inn, Kingston
For those of you seeking a weekend escape of the fantastical variety – look no further than the Best Western Fireside Inn in Kingston, Ontario! This well known and legendary inn sports a selection of amazing fantasy suites that will make your stay one for the history books. Have you ever wanted to sleep in a Rolls Royce, or a room fit for Far Eastern royalty?
Personally, I am obsessed with the idea of renting the Tranquility Base suite which has a lunar lander for a bed, and a moon crater pool! I can’t think of a better place to shack up for the weekend and enjoy a romantic marathon viewing of the Star Wars saga.
Gananoque & 1000 Islands
Woodview Inn, Gananoque
Originally designed by famed architect Robert Gage construction on what is now The Woodview Inn began in 1874 and was completed by 1877. This stately mansion in Gananoque is deeply rooted in local history and resonates with a vintage era of hospitality and fine comforts.
The suites available at Woodview are absolutely jaw-dropping in beauty, with the Lady Margaret Suite likely being my favourite. It comes with a handsome list of features, including a marble fireplace, an in-suite jacuzzi, and a king-size bed.
The amazing features, don’t end with the rooms – as guests can enjoy a unique and delicious meal at Graydon’s Restaurant which is attached to the inn. The restaurant is only open during certain hours, so make reservations while you can!
Beaver Hall Bed and Breakfast, Gananoque
This ornate landmark mansion is located within Gananoque’s historic area, and close to the town’s lovely waterfront. First built in 1826, Beaver Hall is a beautiful example of early Canadian design and the fabled river lifestyle of 1000 islands lore. Most of the home is intact, and original – with a lovely garden that sports a collection of grindstones once used in the bustling mills of Gananoque’s storied past.
The extravagantly decorated rooms are akin to travelling back to a bygone era of hospitality and comfort, each with a uniquely memorable character that never ceases to impress. All guests receive a host of lovely amenities including a full breakfast, complimentary coffee and tea as well as other expected modern comforts – in a captivatingly historic atmosphere.
Furnace Falls Farm, Lyndhurst
Situated across the road from Wendy’s Country Market is a fantastic rural escape that beckons to travellers and foodies alike. Furnace Falls Farm is a brilliant farmhouse that has stood for over a century and continues to operate to this day. Furnace Farms is an ideal place to get out of the big city – and settle down in a rustic and comfortable atmosphere – well away from the trifles of urban life.
Not only can you shack up in one of the lovely country suites available at Furnace Farms – but you can also register for and attend in-depth cooking classes! Not only that, but they also have a phenomenal supper club that prepares amazing themed meals throughout the year! Amazing food, gorgeous countryside, and fine company. What more could you ask for?
Brockville & 1000 Islands
Maplehurst Manor & Carriage House, Maitland
Maplehurst Manor & Carriage House is a marvellous Georgian Style Manse that overlooks the captivating St. Lawrence River in the historic community of Maitland, Ontario. Completed in 1829 by Lord Maplehurst of England, the manor is considered to be among Brockville’s premier properties – invoking memories of the legendary river lifestyle and 1000 Islands culture.
The accommodations available at Maplehurst are nothing short of dazzling with a classic-modern motif that is like stepping into a Jane Austen novel. The Victoria Suite would be my top pick from the selection of rooms.
The Victoria is a spacious room fit for royalty. The silk and satin decor work in blissful tandem with the four posted king-size bed offering an enhanced and authentic vintage quality. Coupled with a private verandah with a stellar view of the river, and an en-suite whirlpool tub, the most difficult challenge for guests, will be leaving!
Dewar’s On The River, Prescott
Situated in beautiful Prescott, Ontario – Dewar’s On The River is a unique “motel” with a peaceful atmosphere with fantastic river views. What sets Dewars apart, is the awesome selection of mini cottages available year-round at exceptional rates during the winter months! Choose from a selection of quaint themes such as nautical/marine, Santa Fe, The Gardener and others!
These adorable cabins each come with a fireplace and are perfect for a low-key escape with that special someone. To add icing to the cake, it’s not far to travel for nearby dining options in Prescott. Also close to Dewar’s is a chance to sample some locally crafted beer at The Windmill Brewery, or sip organic spirits or the King’s Lock Distillery!
Rideau Heritage Route
Denaut Mansion, Delta
A scenic 30-minute drive North of Gananoque will bring you to the beautiful and historic town of Delta, Ontario. Known far and wide for the still operational Old Stone Mill, Delta, is a quiet secluded place where everything slows down, and the noise and chaos of the city become an afterthought.
To make your weekend retreat special, consider Delta’s gorgeous Denaut Mansion. There you will find five unique, yet equally comfortable and luxurious suites to choose from, set within a heritage home of epic proportions. Each suite speaks to a bygone era of hospitality and decor, brought to vivid life for the modern traveller.
Terrace Green B&B, Winchester
20 minutes north of Morrisburg, in Winchester, Ontario is a hidden gem of a bed and breakfast just begging to be a part of your next getaway. The Terrace Green is a splendid house with some seriously swanky rooms available for guests.
The owners of the Terrace Green: Annette and Jim are a delightful and welcoming couple that make an awesome breakfast that is the stuff of legend. For a wonderful escape, it’s certainly worth looking into a stay at this fantastic and splendidly isolated B&B in Ontario’s sprawling dairy capital.
Cornwall & the Counties
Upper Canada Accommodations, Morrisburg
We end our luxurious list with a charming rental cottage that is up for grabs at Upper Canada Accommodations in Morrisburg, Ontario. Enjoy a peaceful, clean and private experience in this absolutely delightful and fully furnished house.
This upscale executive house sports two bedrooms, a fireplace, private baths and a full kitchen. It’s ideal for either a secluded weekend rendezvous or a couples retreat, conveniently poised for day trips throughout the 1000 Islands region! As an added bonus, it’s a short six-minute drive to Stone Crop Acres Winery and Vineyard for a memorable wine tasting!
Escape, Relax and Unwind in The Great Waterway!
Keep this blog handy for when the chaos gets out of hand, and you’re ready to hit that eject button. We’ve all been there. The phone is ringing off the hook, the stress gets real – and that all too familiar seasonal tunnel vision sets in. But, as we just illustrated – there’s a warm light at the end of that snowy tunnel.
Time for those pesky emails, calendar updates, quarterly meetings and memos to take a back seat for once. With such a huge list of amazing winter staycation ideas, you now have everything you need to start plotting a much-needed escape to The Great Waterway!
Besides, you deserve it!
Explore even more staycation ideas…