By Laura Kathleen Maize
Less than two hours from Toronto, this luxurious spa on a historic 500-acre estate makes a perfect day trip or overnight escape from the city, especially in cold-weather months.
Tucked away in Ontario’s Northumberland Hills, Ste. Anne’s Spa is in an incredibly relaxing, rural setting east of Toronto near Cobourg. An Aveda-only spa, Ste. Anne’s has won numerous awards, including SpaFinder reader’s choice awards for best spa in Canada and best spa treatment.
The spa building is in a renovated 1800s, stone-walled farmhouse with walkways and tiny cottages surrounding the main building. Inside, luxury takes over, with big windows, fireplaces, cucumber-water coolers and deep couches with throws. Guests, all clad in white bathrobes, drift from one treatment to the next, and the scent of eucalyptus radiates throughout. The grounds, with their tailored gardens and gazebos, are stunning; in warm weather, enjoy them from a hammock or chaise lounge.
Most noticeable is the quiet, the sound of the wind blowing through the trees and not much else.
Of the many sublime treatments, must-dos are the moor mud bath and aroma-hydro massage and the milk and sesame stone wrap—both involve getting slathered in sweet-smelling paste, massaged, and wrapped in warm towels. (I dream of those treatments once temperatures drop.)
Or you might try the more meditative chakra-balancing massage or a Thai massage, where you are as active as the masseuse. Seasonal treatments are tailored to the weather, such as (for winter) the warm chocolate Swedish massage.
To get the full experience, stay for a night or two in a Victorian-style room or more modern country-style cottage and indulge guilt-free in healthy, farm-to-table meals and an elaborate afternoon tea.St. Anne’s Spa
1009 Massey Road, Grafton, ON K0K 2G0
888-346-6772 or 905-349-2974