Seeking an escape from the city and have your sights on booking one of the many Northern Ontario Resorts? Here is a quick guide to the top 5 properties that you should consider booking whether it's for summer, winter, or any time in between.
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Northern Ontario Resorts
If you're looking for the best Northern Ontario resorts, you've come to the right place. These aren't listed in any particular order and they're really catered to all styles of getaways, and group sizes.
Killarney Mountain Lodge
Originally designed as a private retreat, its hallmarks have always been the unique Canadian wilderness experience that allows guests to disconnect from the world.
This resort may be the farthest from Toronto (4 hours) but Killarney is always worth it. On the Northern shore of Georgian Bay, you'll be treated with incredibly views of its rugged landscape, the warm glow of pink granite at sunset, and fresh air.
This is a full service resort that is aimed for exploration and relaxation. Divide your day with your own canoe expedition or hiking through the mountain and spend the rest of the day unwinding in the knitted wood decor of your room and listening to live music.
Great for: Upper-scale resort that offers a great way to explore Killarney, all-inclusive meal plan options, and those looking for budget options
Meals: Meal plans available for purchase (Bed & Breakfast, American Plan, and Canadian Plan)
Room types: Lacloche Rooms (shared bathrooms), Georgian Bay Suites, Covered Portage Suites, Historic House, Pine Lodge
Wifi: In public areas only with it intentionally left out of rooms to encourage guests to be outdoors
Amenities: Tennis court, water sports facilities, fitness centre, pool, shared lounge, and games room
Activities: Cycling, hiking, paddling, sailing, cruising, fishing, trivia night, painting party, family fish fry, and live music
Pets: Yes, but only for some suites
Price: Starts at $114 CAD to $332 CAD per night
Bayview Wildwood Resort
Since the late 1880's, Sparrow Lake and this resort has been welcoming guests to their four-season resort village. They're great for families with their supervised kids programs, and tons of activities including inflatable water park, pools, and sports.
As part of the Ascend Hotel Collection, they're in the Choice Hotels family. This means that if you have points, you can redeem them here and you can also accrue points.
In the rooms, expect free wifi, a fridge, coffee maker, and free toiletries. Select rooms also include a balcony or patio.
This resort is great whether you're here for summer or winter.
Great for: Access to Muskoka with comfortable accommodations, all-inclusive option, and kids
Meals: Meals are not included but an all-inclusive package can be added.
Room types: Suites, rooms, and cottages
Amenities: Badminton court, baseball diamond, basketball court, tennis court, beach, lounge, playground, indoor pool, and fitness centre
Activities: Canoeing, kayaking, water sports, bicycling boating, lawn games, and evening entertainment
Price: Starts at $313 to $522 CAD if you're a Choice Privileges Member.
Deerhurst is one of the premiere resort properties in Northern Ontario. In fact the G8 summit in 2010 took place here.
Located near Huntsville and along Peninsula Lake, this resort is renowned for their golf course, four onsite restaurants, live entertainment, and luxurious accommodations.
There are plenty of activities to do here whether in the spring, summer, fall, or winter.
Being near Huntsville also means you're close to Algonquin Provincial Park which is a nice bonus if you're looking to do more in the region.
TIP: Heads up that Deerhurst Resort charges a resort fee which is $36.95 CAD per night.
Great for: Those that want to golf, seeking a luxurious experience, and those looking for a large property,
Meals: Meals are not included but there are 4 different restaurants on-property
Room types: Suites, rooms, and cottages
Wifi: Available but known to be weak
Amenities: Golf course (Deerhurst Highlands), sugar shack, water sports, waterfront with beach, arcade, pool, and fitness centre
Activities: Paddling, hiking, disc golf, escape room, volleyball, scavenger hunt, basketball, fishing, rock climbing, cross-country skiis, snowshoes, skating rink, and kids fun zones
Pets: Yes in designated accommodations and areas of the resort. A pet fee of $50/stay will be added.
Price: Starts at $220 to $989 CAD a night + taxes and resort fee
Hidden Valley Resort
Hidden Valley is another resort in Northern Ontario that is part of the Ascend Hotel Collection of Choice Hotels. What's different about this one is that it's got a bit more of a hotel vibe to it but that means you get uber modern hotel rooms while having access to a secluded white sand beach and a ton of other water and land activities.
If you take a look on the map below, you'll also see that Hidden Valley Resort is on the same shores as Deerhurst and just around the corner so you'll get access to the same sights but at a fraction of a cost.
TIP: Note that they do charge a resort fee on a nightly basis to your room bill. This is a charge of $12.50 per night plus tax.
Great for: Spending or earning Choice Hotels points, comfortable hotel-style accommodations, with plenty of activities all year round
Meals: The Birches Restaurant is the on-site restaurant on-property. Meal plans can be purchased.
Room types: More standard hotel rooms that range from 2 queen beds to king bed with and without balconies
Amenities: Ski hill (Hidden Valley Highlands Ski Area), outdoor pool, fitness centre, sauna, indoor pool, game room, babysitting service, movie theatre room, beach, and lounge/bar
Activities: Canoeing, basketball & tennis courts, fishing, beach volleyball, jet skiing, water sports (canoes, kayaks, pedal boats, paddle boards), golf, skiing, snowmobiling, tobogganing, snowshoeing, dogsledding, and ping pong
Pets: Yes upon request but charges may apply
Price: Starts at $160 to $249 CAD a night + taxes and resort fee
Hockley Valley Resort
While Hockley Valley Resort is better known for its winter activities because of its snowboard and ski hills but most people don't know that they are also a fabulous place to stay in the summer.
They don't offer an all-inclusive option but there are a number of restaurants to choose from and I like that they have unique activities on property such as tree-top trekking (extra cost). They are also one of the few resorts that also have their own golf course so make sure to add clubs to the cottage packing list.
One thing that this Northern Ontario resort is the lack of a waterfront so you won't find a beach here. That said, there are plenty of activities here to keep you and your family relaxed and in vacation-mode.
Great for: Those looking to golf, treetop trekking,
Meals: There are 3 main restaurants and also Pizza in the Garden Friday – Sunday noon to 5. Most room packages include breakfast.
Room types: 7 types of suites and rooms that range from basic to luxury bi-level.
Wifi: Yes but many recent reviewers have said it is slow
Amenities: Indoor and outdoor swimming pool, hot tub, sauna, spa, fitness centre, golf, ski & snowboard, winery, organic form, bocce court, treetop trekking
Activities: Golf, ski & snowboard, swimming, spa, bocce, ropes course, winery tour
Price: Starts at $209 to $372 CAD a night + taxes and fees
JW Marriott The Rosseau Muskoka Resort
If you're looking for an even more luxurious and prestigious stay than Deerhurst Resort, I'd consider looking at the JW Marriott in Muskoka.
As Marriott's flagship brand, you'll be spoiled in this luxury hotel that surrounded by the unspoiled nature of the tranquil Lake Rosseau.
Set on a granite bluff, you'll be treated with large and gorgeous lounge spaces, multiple pools, lake access for all the water activities, branching hiking trails, and award-winning restaurants.
On Marriott Bonvoy points, it starts at 40,000-60,000 points per stay as a Category 6 property. If you sign up for the Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card you get 50,000 points as a welcome bonus. You can also pair that with the business version of the card for another 50,000 points.
Note that there is a daily resort fee of $49 CAD from May to October and $39 CAD from November to April.
If you're a fan of Airbnb, make sure to check out the best Muskoka cottages in the region.
Great for: Those looking for a luxury experience, are a loyal member of Marriott Bonvoy and have points to spend
Meals: There are 5 restaurants and one cafe. Continental breakfast can be added for $19.95 per person or a full American breakfast for $29.95 CAD. Meal packages are not offered.
Room types: Rooms range from basic 1 bedroom suites to larger multi-bedroom suites with kitchens. Most rooms feature a balcony but some have a lake view and others don't.
Amenities: Spa, fitness centre, indoor and outdoor pool, hot tub, beach, many lounge areas, fire pit, game room, and gift shop
Activities: Canoe, kayak, stand-up paddleboard, Pontoon Boat Cruise, guided nature walks, Segway tours, jet skiing, volleyball, table tennis, biking, trails, and snowshoeing
Price: Starts at $342 to $1,129 CAD a night + taxes and resort fees
Want to know the best travel hacking credit cards for Canadians?
Make sure you read the breakdown of the 11 credit cards you need to know about that could land you a free stay at the JW Marriott Muskoka Resort.
Millcroft Inn & Spa
Originally a knitting mill, The Millcroft Inn & Spa is now on the same grounds, preserving its original architectural beauty while also creating the perfect serene getaway for its guests.
Located near Caledon, Ontario, this property is only an hour away from Toronto which makes it an easy getaway.
As a true country inn retreat, you'll experience the heritage charm, comfort, and hospitality of the rolling countryside of the Hills of Headwaters.
What sets this property apart from the others is their spa. Spa services are at an additional cost but all guests can enjoy their hot springs, sauna, and polar plunge pool.
Great for: Romantic getaway, pets, and spa especially with their hot springs pool.
Meals: There are 2 restaurants on-property. There are various packages offered throughout the year and some include meals.
Room types: Rooms range from standard guestrooms in The Main Mill, ore spacious guestrooms in The Manor House, or a self-contained two-story chalet in The Crofts (these have private outdoor two-person hot tubs).
Amenities: Hot springs pool, polar plunge pool, heated pool (indoor and outdoor), sauna, steam room, fire pit, walking trails, fitness centre, spa, lounge areas, and hotel shuttle service within town
Activities: Outdoor yoga, croquet, volleyball, soccer, hiking, bike rentals, and bocce ball
Pets: There are special dog-friendly rooms. There is a fee of $35 CAD per dog, per room, per night + tax. Maximum of 2 dogs per room
Price: Starts at $509 to $630 CAD a night + taxes and fees
Arowhon Pines Algonquin Park
This is the quintessential wilderness retreat where the idea of disconnecting is not just a concept but a reality when you stay here.
Located in the center of Algonquin Park and on the shores of Little Joe Lake, this seasonal resort hearkens back to the summer camps of old except it's built more for families of all shapes and sizes.
All guests are provided full board of 3 meals a day where everything is prepared with local ingredients.
The activities here truly can't be beat by any of the other Northern Ontario resorts as you have access to not only the grounds of the property that are packed with numerous recreation activities but you also have the rest of the provincial park to do your own mini canoe or kayak trip or serious hiking as well.
There's also no guarantee but you might also see moose here if you go on one of their wildlife viewing activities.
To maintain a quiet and peaceful atmosphere, no TV’s or telephones in the rooms. There are no motor boats on the lakes and no wifi and cellular signal is sporadic at the property.
A complimentary Algonquin Park vehicle day pass is included with your stay
Great for: Those interested in combing with the exploration of Algonquin Provincial Park, chance to see moose, large groups, all-inclusive, canoeing, and true wilderness
Meals: All-inclusive which means 3 meals are included per day.
Room types: A wide range of cabins that are single private cabins or have 2 upwards to 12 rooms.
Amenities: Tennis courts, sauna, shuffleboard, horseshoes, volleyball/badminton net, and games room with ping pong, piano and board games
Activities: Canoe, kayak, hike trails, stand-up paddleboards, bicycle, tennis, lake swimming, and wildlife viewing.
Price: Starts at $268 to $632 CAD per person per night + taxes and fees. 15% service charge is added in lieu of tipping.
Located in the southern reaches of Muskoka, Severn Lodge is a family lakeside resort that's a short 90 minute drive from Toronto.
Originally built in the mid 1800's for a lumber company, it was converted to a vacation retreat and opened to the public in the early 1920's.
Surrounded by the Georgian Bay countryside and on Gloucester Pool Lake, this family-owned lodge is packed with activities which makes it perfect for kids and adults alike.
When here, make sure to take advantage of their boat cruise aboard a historic 1922 Ditchburn motor launch.
Great for: Kids as resort is packed with various land and water activities and has their own Kids Club, and all-inclusive (no resort-fee added)
Meals: All-inclusive which means 3 meals are included per day in their Main Lodge Dining Room
Room types: They have hotel-style rooms for couples and smaller families and 2 bedroom units or cottages for larger families. All rooms have view of the water and are equipped with mini-fridges
Amenities: Outdoor heated swimming pool, hot tub, beach, water trampoline, tennis, shuffleboard, volleyball, basketball, horseshoe, games room, and water sports on the lake
Activities: Water skiing, tubing, boating, sailing, canoeing, pedal boating, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, fishing, jet-ski, mountain biking, boat cruises, hiking trails, on-land sports, and evening entertainment
Price: Starts at $418 to $921 CAD per night + taxes. They do not charge any fees or mandatory tipping.
Map of the 9 Northern Ontario Resorts
All of these 9 resorts have been marked on the map.
TIP: To create a copy, maximize the map clicking on the icon on the top right corner. From there, if you're logged into your Google account, you'll be able to click on the 3 dots to make a copy of the map. This will allow you to access the map on your phone's Google Maps app (cellular data required).
Frequently Asked Questions
Bring casual sport clothes, good shoes for hiking, sandals for the summer, water bottles for any outdoor activities, sunscreen, sunglasses, hat, bug repellent, and a jacket for the cool nights
All resorts have wifi included with the exception of Arohon Pines Algonquin Park
Yes, all accept credit cards.
This depends on the season but during high season (late June to late September), it is recommended that you book in November of the previous year to February.
Normally long weekends book out first followed by all other weekends so if you're going after a competitive slot, book as soon as you can.
Parking is complimentary for all guests.
The following resorts have electric charging stations:
– Deerhurst Resort (2 Tesla charging station, 1 electric car charging station, and 2 wall outlets for electric cars)
– Millcroft Inn & Spa (2 electric car charging station)
– JW Marriott The Rosseau Muskoka Resort & Spa (2 wall outlets for electric cars)
Millcroft Inn & Spa, Hidden Valley Resort, Deerhurst Resort, and Killarney Mountain Lodge are pet-friendly. In all cases though there are additional fees added on top.
If there is strong cellular signal, you should be able to turn your smartphone into a hotspot. Otherwise, I recommend that you check out Skyroam.
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