elora mill

Five stylish ways to escape winter in Toronto

For those looking to escape winter in style, a boutique retreat is the perfect answer. There are many getaways within a few hours of the city that feature stunning interior design, lavish dining rooms and cosy places to relax. What better way to beat the winter blues than by soaking up the beauty of a country inn or spa? These are the top stylish winter retreats around Toronto.

Wine tastings at Drake Devonshire

Drake Devonshire Inn, the perfect winter retreat near Toronto
Inside one of the chic rooms at the Drake Devonshire Inn

The Drake Devonshire Inn brings a touch of West Queen West to Prince Edward County. You can do wine tastings by day and hang out in the award-winning lakeside restaurant by night. The slick dining area has high ceilings and a rustic Canadiana-themed interior. If you can snatch a lakeside table, it’ll be like dining in the midst of a winter wonderland.

The beautiful millwork in the guest rooms is outstanding, and if you can get the owner’s suite, you’ll feel like the King of the County.

Those looking for more of a retro winter retreat can just hop down the street to the Drake Motor Inn. Inspired by the classic roadside motel, this inn brings all the retro feel, but wrapped in some seriously chic boutique digs.

Drake Devonshire Inn, 24 Wharf St., and Drake Motor Inn, 43 Wharf St., Wellington, Ont.

Foraging at Langdon Hall

Langdon Hall, the perfect winter retreat near Toronto
Exploring the 75-acre forest at Langdon Hall (Britney Townsend)

Built in the late 1890s, the historic chateau that is Langdon Hall offers guests spa services, a beautiful library, a games room and an extraordinary 75-acre forest that’s still lovely even in the heart of winter.

For all that, it’s the dining experience that is most worthy of praise. The award-winning cuisine on offer features unique dishes like braised pork cheek and molasses-smoked bison. If you want  to go all out, try the Chef’s Tasting Menu with accompanying wine pairings.

The menu here is the product of culinary genius Jason Bangerter. He joined the team at Langdon Hall as executive chef in 2013 and continued its reputation for excellence in food. The menu uses items from the on-site garden and foraged edibles to offer the freshest ingredients to patrons.

Once you’ve stuffed yourself, it’s time to kick back and relax in the classically stylish guest rooms or enjoy a nightcap in the library or the billiards room.

Langdon Hall Country House Hotel & Spa, 1 Langdon Dr., Cambridge, Ont.

Activities at the Pillar and Post 

Of the vintage inn hotels found in Niagara-on-the-Lake, the Pillar and Post is surely the most stylish of the bunch. From the large fireplace in the foyer to the wood-adorned restaurant space at the Cannery to the art deco–styled indoor pool area, this place has winter charm to spare.

Not to mention the early morning pool activities for those looking to keep their fitness resolutions, as well as the morning yoga classes.

Add to that the outdoor hot springs and an array of spa services, and the conditions are ripe to help you feel relaxed the moment you walk in the door.

Pillar and Post Inn and Spa, 48 John St., Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont.

Spa escape at the Elora Mill

A view of the Elora Gorge

Perched atop a gorge in the charming town of Elora, the Elora Mill Hotel is a gorgeous luxury escape from Toronto. Enjoy spa services with cliffside views and slick rooms featuring plenty of exposed stone, cosy fireplaces and soaker bathtubs.

You can choose from an array of treatments, including the Celestial Black Diamond Sculpting Treatment and the Eternal Glow Body Treatment that takes moisturising to a whole new level. A

The town itself is charming, and it’s worth making time for an evening stroll before returning to your riverside room.

Elora Mill Hotel & Spa, 77 West Mill St., Elora, Ont.

Romantic getaway at Ste. Anne’s

Melt your stress away by letting your hair down, slipping into a robe and taking in one of the many spa packages or wellness programs that Ste. Anne’s has to offer. This space is the epitome of tranquility.

Whether it’s a romantic weekend or a girls’ getaway, you’ll leave feeling invigorated and ready to take on winter. The grounds are remarkable, so be sure to take a stroll around the old stone inn that dates back to 1858.

Ste. Anne’s Spa, 1009 Massey Rd., Grafton, Ont.  

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