Want to learn where—and how—to make this your best ever stay in Muskoka? Check out these five amenity-packed resorts. By Viviane Kertész
- A landmark since 1896, this staple on Peninsula Lake is fit to host world leaders at the 2010 G8 Summit, and known for having the most on-site activities of any resort in Eastern Canada.<br />
<br /><span style="color: #ff0000;">FACILITIES & AMENITIES</span> H2O-based play includes waterskiing, wakeboarding, an inflatable waterpark, fishing, sailing and boat rentals. On land, horse around in the stables or golf at one of two 18-hole courses, Deerhurst Highlands or Deerhurst Lakeside, a Thomas McBroom and Robert Cupp redesign. Try paintball in the woods, biodiesel-fueled hummer tours and all-terrain rock buggy excursions. Enjoy The Spa at Deerhurst, Eclipse or Maple restaurants or live musical stage productions—Shania Twain got her start here. In winter, skating, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, dogsledding and snowtubing are available.<br />
<br /><span style="color: #ff0000;">STAY</span> Rent one- to three-bedroom condo units from $199 to $789 per night, depending on size and the season.<br />
<br />1235 Deerhurst Dr., Huntsville, 705-789-6411 or 1-800-461-4393; <a href="http://www.deerhurstresort.com" target="_blank">deerhurstresort.com</a>
- <a href="http://www.where.ca/muskoka/guide_listing.cfm?listing_id=317" target="_blank">Deerhurst Resort</a>
- Located at the apex of the region, this Lake Muskoka gem hosts the area’s only private residence club and resort on a stunning 12-hectare shoreline between Bracebridge and Port Carling.<br />
<br /><span style="color: #ff0000;">FACILITIES & AMENITIES</span> Taste Restaurant is a casually elegant setting for sampling farm-to-table flavours, while Touch Spa offers Ayurvedic and four-hands massage. Don’t miss the hot tub, sauna, steam room, fitness centre, tennis courts and infinity pool with breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape from its elevated vantage point.<br />
<br /><span style="color: #ff0000;">STAY</span> Rent from $199 per night for a one-bedroom unit in low season to $499 in summer. Quarter-ownership of a three-bedroom costs $283,000 with $777 each month in maintenance and realty taxes; a four-bedroom costs $350,000 with $963 monthly fees. Full ownership starts at $1.1 million with residences overlooking the lake.<br />
<br />1869 Muskoka Rd. 118 W., Bracebridge, 705-764-5353 or 1-866-928-1098; <a href="http://www.touchstoneonlakemuskoka.com" target="_blank">touchstoneonlakemuskoka.com</a><br />
- <a href="http://www.where.ca/muskoka/guide_listing.cfm?listing_id=575" target="_blank">Touchstone on Lake Muskoka</a>
- Mere minutes south of Lake Muskoka, this master-planned community is set among 344 hectares of pristine forests and meandering, rugged granite ridges. Phase Two of new construction offers from 2,200 to 4,000 square feet of recreational or four-season living, with high-end appliances and finishes.<br />
<br /><span style="color: #ff0000;">FACILITIES & AMENITIES</span> Villas are nestled within the terrain of a Doug Carrick–designed 18-hole championship golf course. The 17,000-square-foot Clifftop Clubhouse is a social hub with an indoor/outdoor bistro, dining room, entertainment lounge and a pro shop. Outside, a fire pit, tennis courts, infinity-edge swimming pool and kids’ splash pool provide family fun. Winter wonders include tobogganing, skiing and skating.<br />
<br /><span style="color: #ff0000;">STAY</span> Ownership of freehold homes ranges from $450,000 to $1 million. Buy freehold villas in either a Frank Lloyd Wright–inspired style or time-honoured “Muskoka lodge.” Villas may be entered into the Muskoka Bay Getaway rental program, which costs $258 to $395 per night for guest renters. <br />
<br />1217 North Muldrew Lake Rd, Gravenhurst, 705-687-7900 or 1-866-321-2004; <a href="http://www.muskokabay.com" target="_blank">muskokabay.com</a>
- <a href="http://www.where.ca/muskoka/guide_listing.cfm?listing_id=496" target="_blank">Muskoka Bay Club</a>
- Secluded from other resorts amid 35 hectares of forest, this tranquil, charming venue that prides itself on having an “adults only” setting overlooks its own private non-motorized lake and waterfall. Unwind in chalet- and cottage-style accommodations or the traditional farmhouse lounge, which sports a library and century-old fieldstone fireplace.<br />
<br /><span style="color: #ff0000;">FACILITIES & AMENITIES</span> Explore 6.5 kilometres of trails by foot or mountain bike, or head out in a kayak, canoe, sailboat, paddleboat or rowboat. Take a dip in the outdoor pool or relax in the steam room, Finnish sauna or 5,000-square-foot post-and-beam spa. Tennis courts, state-of-the-art fitness centre, and a fire pit, too. In winter, try snowshoeing, cross-country skiing or skating.<br />
<br /><span style="color: #ff0000;">STAY</span> Rent from $115 to $175 per person per night, which includes breakfast and three-course dinner, plus on-site amenities.<br />
<br />848 Clearwater Lake Rd., Port Sydney, 705-385-1212 or 1-800-263-6600; <a href="http://www.trilliumresort.com" target="_blank">trilliumresort.com</a>
- <a href="http://www.where.ca/muskoka/guide_listing.cfm?listing_id=572" target="_blank">Trillium Resort & Spa</a>
- Also known as “Red Leaves,” this Lake Rosseau resort destination boasts all you could want within a stone’s throw: The Rosseau, The Rock golf course, Wallace Marina and Butson’s boat shop.<br />
<br /><span style="color: #ff0000;">FACILITIES & AMENITIES</span> Find Cottages and Teca restaurants, a full-service spa with hair salon, and an indoor/outdoor pool at this four-season venue. In summer, enjoy watersports, golf, mountain biking and hiking on an amazing nature trail, while winter activities comprise cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, ice-fishing, snowmobile expeditions and astronomy treks.<br />
<br /><span style="color: #ff0000;">STAY</span> Strata ownership allows you to purchase a specific hotel room and use it up for up to nine weeks per year. When you’re not using it, the room is available for rent, which means you, as a partner in the hotel’s business, earn a share of its profits. Buy from $166,000 to over $1 million with an annual investment return, or rent from $199 to $1,200 each night.<br />
<br />1050 Paignton House Rd., Minett, 705-765-1900 or 1-866-240-8605; <a href="http://www.redleavesmuskoka.com" target="_blank">redleavesmuskoka.com</a>
- <a href="http://www.where.ca/muskoka/guide_listing.cfm?listing_id=570" target="_blank">The Rosseau, A JW Marriott Resort & Spa</a>
The days are getting warmer in cottage country, and there’s lots to do both outside and in!
Friday, May 29
As the Stanley Cup playoffs draw to a close, honour a Canadian hockey legend in his hometown at the Bobby Orr Hall of Fame in Parry Sound.
Savour old country charm at The Norseman Restaurant by ordering the delectable confit of duck—a tender duck leg served with rich orange sauce.
Saturday, May 30
Unwind amidst 86 acres of immaculate woodland while indulging in a European rose mud body wrap at Trillium Resort and Spa.
Behold the musical brilliance of Blue Rodeo as they take over the Kee to Bala for an evening of harmonious lyrics and country-rock melodies.
Sunday, May 31
Survey the rock ridges, wetlands and beaver ponds of the Muskoka Bay Club—they make the Doug Carrick-designed golf course all the more beautiful (and challenging).
Delight in the colourfully crazy amalgam of Dr. Seuss’ books and characters in Seussical the Musical, performed at Bracebridge’s Rene M. Caisse Memorial Theatre.