Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Weekend Getaways: Viamede Resort on Stoney Lake

Move over Muskoka, there is a new kid on the cottage block! Viamede Resort has actually been around for over 100 years (so it's not that new) but I like to think of it as the perfect alternative to the touristy cottage hotspots. Ben, is the General Manager and he's been busy all winter adding his loving touch to the cottages, recreation programs and restaurant menus. So expect a fair share of modern luxury and good old fashion charm!

A short drive to serenity! Viamede is only a 2 hour drive heading north from downtown Toronto. Gather the girls or your date, pop in the iPod and get ready to leave the concrete jungle behind for 165 acres of pristine nature and r-e-l-a-x-a-t-i-o-n. The resort is nestled in the woods on the north shore of beautiful, Stoney Lake and is opened year round.

The splendid scenery is definitely breathtaking but what absolutely blew me away was the incredible food! Now I've had my fair share of cottage buffets and other pubby grubs so I was really surprised that the two main dining rooms, 1885 and Mount Julian offered white table cloth service and a fine-dining menu. With a focus on local ingredients, Chef Ken VanMackelbergh’s attitude is “tasty and fresh,” which shows in all of his work. Vegetarian and vegan options are also available upon request. Oh My Yum, kudos to the Chef!!

There is definitely no shortage of fun things to do here! In the summer you might drift lazily in a kayak or explore the bays on Sea-Doos. How about a game of tennis, badminton, horseshoes, bocce ball or shuffleboard? There is also an animal farm and a 6 km private nature trail perfect for an afternoon meander... remember to bring your camera because you will most likely spot a family of deer that live nearby. Doing absolutely nothing is certainly allowed as well! So simply relax poolside or along the sandy beach with a good book or check into their spa for a rejuvenating facial and massage.

In the evening, head over to the Boathouse Pub for live music, great food and cold craft beers. Or better yet, host your own BBQ under the stars! Guests can order marinated steaks, burgers, and salads plus s'more kits and ice cream. Seriously, the folks at Viamede are all about great service and hospitality so they have it all figured out!

After a day of fun in the sun, we rest our heads in the comfy couple's suite. It comes complete with a mini-kitchen, living room, fireplace, jacuzzi tub and private balcony. All rooms, even at the entry level are really spacious. Private cottages with all the wood trimmings are also available if you are vacationing here with friends or family (it's super kid-friendly). Starting at $180/night, all rooms include a complimentary hot breakfast that is absolutely delish, of course!

Thanks again to Ben and his wonderful staff for hosting us. We hope to see you again soon!

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