Amongst the gleaming lakes, rolling mountains, and lush forests of the Ottawa Valley, Somewhere Inn Calabogie, a refurbished roadside inn which opened on Labour Day weekend in 2021, evokes both a strong sense of place and pure escape. “We cater to those looking to escape the city and disconnect,” co-founder Joel Greaves says in an email. The guest suites don’t come with televisions, so take that as your hint to get outside. “And while our experience centres around nature, we aren’t just for the outdoor enthusiast,” he notes. It’s true: for as much hiking and biking as there is, Calabogie also has a thriving dining scene with trendy breweries, cozy restaurants—a sunset dinner at the nearby lakeside restaurant On the Rocks is a must—hip cafés, and historic live music venues. As far as country getaways go, Somewhere provides the perfect micro-cation for adventure-minded millennials.
Greaves, a burned-out ex-telecom professional, and his wife, Devon Vaillancourt, had the idea for Somewhere after redesigning a cottage together in 2017 and renting it out as an Airbnb. As cottage prices soared in places like Muskoka and Prince Edward County, the pair saw a need for “unique, off-the-beaten path accommodations in Ontario.” In early 2021, they moved to Calabogie to pursue their dream of developing well-designed spaces that foster connections with nature. “With Somewhere Inn, we wanted to bottle up that feeling that our guests had when they escaped the city and visited our cottage,” Greaves says. “A place where your stresses dissolve, you slow down and reconnect with yourself and others.”
Somewhere caters to the millennial travel experience, something Greaves says was missing was from Ontario’s boutique hospitality scene: thoughtfully designed, sustainably minded country accommodations with upscale touches and communal hang zones that honour the rugged surroundings. In true millennial fashion, the inn’s charming, hut-like lobby is a bottle and tuck shop, with a fridge-full of local craft beers, natural wines from around the world, and artisanal snacks. Home and personal goods such as Maison Louis Marie candles, branded merch made in Canada, and the same Malin + Goetz grooming products that are stocked in the rooms are for sale, too.
Somewhere isn’t just a summer destination, though. “It was important to us that we chose a four-season destination,” Greaves says, noting that activities include snowshoeing and skiing in the winter, hiking in the spring and fall, and time on the water in the summer. “The vast majority of our guests had never heard of Calabogie before visiting,” he says. “Many of them don’t realize that a place like this exists in Ontario.”
To achieve the rustic-minimalist chic that defines the property, the founders partnered with design firm Westgrove to dream up the rooms and lobby. “We try to make nature approachable,” Greaves says. “That starts with beautifully designed rooms with comforts of the city and extends out to the experiences we offer.” Solid-wood cabinetry (which houses vintage board games) come from Coquo, a Montreal manufacturer, lighting is from Luminaire Authentik in Cowansville, and much of the furniture is custom-made in Canada. On the walls above the Endy mattresses, you’ll spot Montreal artist Cath Laporte’s pieces hanging.
“It was important to us to make the experience as authentically Canadian as possible,” Greaves says.
To book your stay, visit somewhereinn.ca.