Paris, Tokyo, New York—these cities suffer no dearth of luxury accommodations. Yet, while cocktails await on Midtown Manhattan rooftop decks and black truffle spaghetti is being prepared in Parmesan wheels in St. Barths, domestic destinations in Canada are offering competitive experiences for discerning travellers, too. Take Ontario. There are countless lakes and rivers to be explored, serene porches on which to lounge, and gourmet local food to sample. Here, we suggest five luxury accommodations in a province that’s yours to discover.
Millcroft Inn & Spa
The four-diamond Millcroft Inn & Spa in rural Caledon blends country elegance with high glamour. Guests can choose from spacious rooms overlooking Mill Pond or Shaw’s Creek Falls to two-storey chalet-style lofts with heated flooring, private wood-burning fireplaces, and ground-level patios. At the resort’s Headwaters Restaurant, executive chef James Buder offers a breakfast buffet and menus for lunch through dessert, afternoon tea, and Sunday brunch, all dictated by what’s locally in season. The spa’s treatments are inspired by international healing rituals (ranging from Japanese Ofuro to a Swiss Shower Kur), and a day spent unwinding can be topped off by a soak in the outdoor hot springs (or a quick dip in the polar plunge pool) and a detoxifying meal at the spa’s own café.
The Thompson Toronto
At the Thompson Toronto, it’s the small details that count: aside from the usual A-list amenities (high-thread-count sheets, 42-inch plasma TVs, and cushy bathrobes made by Sferra), there is custom millwork with built-in workstations, floor-to-ceiling windows, heated marble floors in the bathroom, and hardwood floors with area rugs. The hotel’s 30,000 square feet of dining and event space includes a screening room, a rooftop bar and lounge with a swimming pool, a 24-hour yoga studio, a skating rink, and a signature restaurant, Scarpetta.
The Lodge at Pine Cove
A three-and-a-half hour drive north of Toronto lies the Lodge at Pine Cove on the French River. Seventeen cottages are scattered along 2,600 feet of waterfront property, and come equipped with copper bathtubs in front of private, expansive windows, french doors that lead to screened porches, handcrafted wooden furniture, wood-burning stoves, Gabbeh hand-dyed rugs, and a wood interior finished in Cedar and White Pine. Hiking opportunities abound in the surrounding property, and the French River offers kayakers limitless scenery. The lodge offers special events, too: guests can enjoy annual travel writing workshops, four-day yoga retreats, gourmet picnics, and a hamper breakfast delivered every morning (filled with fresh-picked fruit, home-made granola, orange juice, and still-warm croissants and pain au chocolates, with local jam or honey).
The Ritz-Carlton Toronto
A stone’s throw away from the CN Tower and in the middle of the city’s downtown core is the Ritz-Carlton Toronto, posh and proper as only a Ritz property can be. All 267 elegantly appointed guest rooms and suites feature magnificent views of Toronto from the floor to ceiling windows. Though rooms are large and the comforts are legion, the public spaces are even more opulent, from marble floors and Anigre wood of the lobby to the 23,000-square-foot urban sanctuary and spa, the second Spa My Blend by Clarins in the world outside of Paris, France.
Northern Edge Algonquin
The Northern Edge Algonquin resort is tucked amidst the maple and balsam fir forest of Algonquin Park. Various cabins are offered, including some with a canvas roof, allowing one’s mornings to start with tranquil songbirds and soft natural light. Northern Edge is best known for its low carbon, sustainable, and eco-friendly approach to tourism. Twenty-six solar panels help to fuel the resort, guided no-trace paddling and overnight hikes are offered, a boardwalk made of 100 per cent recycled plastic is featured, and fresh herbs and vegetables are harvested throughout the summer. Guests are invited to unplug for a quiet getaway, and can enjoy yoga retreats, wellness workshops, and wildlife canoe trips.