Just minutes from Canada’s busiest highway, sits an historic castle reminiscent of what one might find in the English countryside. Overlooking rolling hills and meadows, on a clear day, you can see the sun dancing on the surface of Lake Ontario out on the horizon. Your mind plays tricks with you; you know you are only a stone’s throw from the hustle and bustle of modern life but yet you feel a million miles away. That is the beauty of Ste. Anne’s Spa.
Walking through the arched gateway at Ste. Anne’s Spa in Grafton, Ontario is like walking through a portal into another dimension. Think Outlander dimension, not Star Trek. While there may not be a sexy Scot in a kilt waiting for you on the other side, there is something far, far better; your peace of mind.
Consistently named one of Canada’s top destination spas by guests and reviewers alike, Ste. Anne’s offers its patrons a 360 wellness experience. From the moment you arrive, you can feel the weight of the world lift off your shoulders.
Aside from offering world-class spa treatments like Aroma Stone Massage and Eucalyptus Body Wraps, Ste. Anne’s also offers daily yoga, meditation and stretching classes. The yoga studio with its floor to ceiling windows overlooking the herb garden on one side and the impeccable grounds on the other is one of the most serene places you’ll ever visit.
Far from the madding crowd and devoid of skyscrapers, guests can revel in a truly natural experience at Ste. Anne’s. Nearly 500 acres are meticulously maintained and are perfect for long strolls or bike rides along its outdoor trails. An aquifer that runs under the property fills outdoor hydrotherapy pools with healing waters that run year round. Seasonally, these same waters fill the outdoor swimming pool.
Guests can choose to visit for a day if a busy schedule precludes them from staying longer, but if you can stay overnight, I highly recommend it. It’s a complete mind/body reset.
There are 28 cottages and guest rooms spread out over the property at Ste. Anne’s Spa. Accommodations, as you would expect, fit the mood of the spa with thick, thirsty towels, luxurious bed linens, and enough pillows for even the pickiest sleeper. You may choose to drive your own vehicle from cottage to spa or take advantage of the spa vehicle to transport you back and forth.
The cuisine at Ste. Anne’s is unique to the experience as well. You won’t find sparse plates with low calories counts here, but rather something akin to what your old school grandmother might have served you—a well balanced, delicious meal. Chefs here focus on using only the freshest ingredients and present them to you slowly at your table so you can linger over a meal. You’ll leave the table neither stuffed nor starving, but completely satisfied and feeling good about what you just ate. There are four meal times available; breakfast, lunch, tea time and dinner.
I recently started a personal journey of embracing self-care as a way of life. One of the inspirations for this was my recent visit to Ste. Anne’s. My brief stay was exactly what I needed to get my body and spirit to take a step back from the pressures of everyday life. It allowed me the time to think about where I want my focus to be. You simply can’t put a price on that kind of experience.
Three things you should know before visiting Ste. Anne’s Spa
Bring Your Own Wine
Ste. Anne’s is not licensed and therefore does not sell alcohol on the premises. You, however, are welcome to bring your own for your room and you may also bring wine to your table for lunch and dinner.
Leave Your Fancy Clothes at Home
Most patrons spend their entire time at Ste. Anne’s Spa walking around in their spa robe. This includes time spent roaming the grounds and dining. While my uptight self simply couldn’t imagine dining in my bathrobe in public, I did love watching how relaxed everyone else was in theirs. Maybe next time, I’ll throw caution to the wind and join in.
Book Your Treatments Ahead of Time
While most people book at least one treatment when they book their room, you’ll find you want to take advantage of at least two while there. Unfortunately, there’s not a lot of wiggle room since services book up fast. Best to book ahead of time so you don’t miss out on the incredible spa services offered.