I love the feeling that you get when you get away to the cottage. Its this magical land where your worries disappears, your cell phone stops ringing, and the emails miraculously wait until you get back. Our family owns a cottage in Ontario, so we’ve been getting away every summer for that the last few years. And while knowing that a huge part of my family can be at the cottage at any given time, the magic of being away is still present.
For the last 4 years, the only time that we’ve gone away in the winter has either been Mont Tremblant to snowboard, or down south to get some sun. While I’ve heard of people doing the very same activity, I’ve never been to a cottage in the winter, just for the sake of it. So when we had the opportunity to get away to Viamede Resort a few weeks ago, we jumped at it.
We scoured the website excitedly to get an idea of what types of activities we could do, and made a plan. On Friday night, Aleyah, Noor, my brother and I packed into a car and drove 2 hours north-east of Toronto to spend the weekend in nature to the charming Viamede Resort. We had no idea what to expect but were pleasantly surprised.
If I had to do it again, I would leave slightly earlier than 6:30PM so there is some sign of daylight when we arrive. Viamede, as mentioned above, is roughly 2 hours away from Toronto. It located on Stoney lake and is absolutely stunning. They give guests the option of either staying in a room or a cottage.
The best part of the day was getting to see how close the deer got to our room. They were there at 8AM and 4PM to be fed every day. And while I’m not the best person to be around in the morning, getting up to see them was quite a sight. I imagine that my godson would lose his mind over them.
Even though the lake was still frozen, there were still plenty of activities to do. We jumped at the chance to go snowshoeing, and cross country skiing on the lake. The weather was absolutely perfect and we sweating through our clothes in no time.
The resort has 6 kilometers of private nature trails, and has 165 acres of nature to explore. Not being full fledged nature lovers, we were drawn to the full service spa.
Being the adventurous group that we were, we decided that a drive to visit the nearby towns was in order. We ended in Buckhorn, a ‘town/village’ about 20KMs away. Being from a larger city makes you appreciate the small town charm more than you know. Buckhorn had the hallmarks that only charming little towns do; a general store, an antique shop, and the token restaurant. After spending 2 hours touring around the different parts of the village and getting some for the best chicken fingers and fries, we head back to get ready for dinner.
The front desk also has a selection of movies, and board games that could easily entertain even the pickiest of guests, and a very pleasant staff to answer all of your pointless questions.
I cant say enough good things about the food. This was fine dining on a lake setting. The breakfast and dinner in the main dining hall was spectacular, and the staff caters very closely to dietary needs as we found out. Each meal has 4 options and each one was better than the next. The head chef in the restaurant was hand picked by the fabulous, and very hospitable GM, Ben Sherman. I’ve never stayed at a hotel where I was this excited for breakfast, but even the options at the breakfast blew my mind. Between the 4 of us, we pretty much tried everything on the menu, and don’t have a single negative thing to say.
We also spent some time getting our drink on at the Boat House/bar with some other guests, and were pleasantly surprised by the food quality there as well.
I have to say that we were beyond pleased with our stay there, and can’t wait to go back. We had more fun that I thought we would in the middle of winter, so can you imagine how great the place is going to be in the spring and summer. The cottage rentals are really reasonable, and can easily sleep. The only thing left is to plan a weekend where 8 of us can get away.
Images by the lovely, Aleyah Soloman