Image source: Flickr - Rick Harris
When the mercury begins to sink and daylight scurries into hiding, we can't help but dream of whisking off to places where the sun shines endlessly and a quick swim won't jolt your heart. But this year, why not try something different: instead of escaping winter, embrace it. And perhaps there's no place better to do just that than in Ontario, Canada's own winter wonderland.
Need inspiration for your Canadian winter vacation? Stitch one of these Ontario winter resorts into your travel plans and fall back in love with Canada's favorite season.
Sir Sam's Inn and WaterSpa (Haliburton)
When former Canadian defense minister, Sir Sam Hughes, built his estate on Eagle Lake in Haliburton he likely had no idea that his rustic design would one day become one of Ontario's best getaways, even in the dead of winter.
Whether you're in the mood for a little outdoor winter action or simply to whittle away at your stress by the fire, this cozy lakeside country inn could be the best winter getaway you never thought of taking.
After a day of leisurely plowing through powder at the Sir Sam's Ski Area, yelling "Mush!" to your team of trusty sled dogs, or unleashing your inner Scandinavian at the nearby Haliburton Nordic Ski trails, retreat to the award-winning WaterSpa to soak your troubles away in mineral-rich waters.
JW Marriott The Rosseau Muskoka (Rousseau)
With most of their resorts perched along the ocean and roasting under perpetual heat and sunny skies, JW Marriott threw a bit of an oddball into their portfolio when they established their only Canadian location in Muskoka.
The Rosseau Muskoka deflates the notion that staying in a luxury resort always involves chilling on beaches and soaking up the sun as if it's about to burn out. Even in winter, this year-round resort never fails to impress, whether you're a devout sun-worshipper or unrelenting snow-maven.
Set upon Lake Rosseau in the heart of Ontario's cottage country, The Rosseau Muskoka offers guests the quintessential Canadian winter luxury experience with activities like wine tasting, campfire cooking, stargazing and, of course, snowshoe trekking and snowmobiling. Don't forget to dip into the year-round outdoor pool to soothe and warm yourself after a long day of frolicking in the snow.
Couples Resort and Spa (Whitney)
What's in a name? Apparently almost everything you need to know about this 5-star year-round resort on the edge of Algonquin Provincial Park.
For a romantic couple's winter getaway, few places in Ontario compete with Couples Resort in Whitney. Imagine warming up in front of a wood fireplace in your own cozy, rustic chateau after a fun-filled day of typical Canadian winter activities like cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling and dog sledding. (Okay, maybe the last one isn't so typical!)
Even once the usual winter resort activities have run their course, Couples Resort has a few surprises in store including winter horseback riding (you might want to top up with one of RoamRight's adventure vacation insurance policies first!), ice fishing, and ice skating under the flawless, star-studded skies of Central Ontario. Finish it all off with a shiatsu or hot stone massage to mash out the kinks from all the winter fun.
Which of these cozy getaways sounds best to you?