We've always said that “A great adventure requires a mix of pampering and romance.” Well, if you drive three-hours North of Toronto, Ontario to the Haliburton Highlands, you can have both!
While on our Epic Ontario Dogsledding adventure with Winterdance, we had the opportunity to have our own little romantic winter getaway at Sir Sam's Couple's Resort and Spa. Located directly on the 850km Algonquin Snowmobile Loop, this is the perfect place to base yourself for a few days as you explore the beautiful Ontario North while having a little romance on the side.
A Romantic Winter Getaway
We thought that we'd be spending all our time dogsledding while in Haliburton, but as it turns out, we had a lot of down time for fun and relaxation. Sir Sam's is probably the closest accommodation to the trailhead where your Winterdance dogsledding begins and makes for a great choice if you are making dogsledding your main priority like us.
We arrived in the afternoon and the place was abuzz with snowmobilers and couples on romantic weekend winter getaways. Sir Sam's is the former home of decorated government official Sir Samuel Hughes who led the troops through World War I.
The sprawling estate has now been converted to a retreat that has all the amenities of a Five Star Resort with all the charm and hospitality of a family run B&B. Each room has a fully functioning wood fireplace, big screen TV's and refrigerator blended seamlessly with a country style decor. Our room even had a huge jacuzzi tub!
Sir Sam's is actually family owned and operated, so we can understand why it has that “stay at home” feel. Ryan Cole is a young entrepreneur who recently took over Sir Sam's and is in the process of giving it an overhaul.
Seeing a great business opportunity and learning to seize the moment by learning from his grandfather who founded Coles Book Stores and father who ran a successful summer camp; he knows what it takes to create a profitable business and to attract customers.
Adventure on your Romantic Getaway
In today's world, couples want a thrill to go along with the romance. We've always said that an adventurous day makes for more conversation and fun at night!
Sir Sam's never offered snowmobiling before, but now, they've got some brand new state of the art sleds in the shed with all the gear and warm clothing you need to get out on the trails to explore the back routes of the Haliburton Highlands and Algonquin Park.
Don't worry if you don't have experience or gear, Sir Sam's will guide you. We were very excited to take a spin with Ryan to see some of the tours that guests can take.
A huge dumping of snow happened the night before, and the main hadn't even been ploughed yet. We were riding on the road as if we were riding on the trail. 3km later and we were at the trail entrance buzzing through the forest.
Whenever we're on an adventure, Dave and I feel the most comfortable and happy. As usual, we both had big grins on our faces as we zipped through the snow following Ryan through the winding trails.
There's something very freeing about snowmobiling. You feel like you are out in nature, but you also have the speed to get from point A to point B quickly. We even had heated steering wheels to keep our fingers warm!
I can understand why so many Ontario adventure seekers take snowmobiling trips up here. You can ride from B&B to hotel and Inn for hundreds of miles. The trails are well marked and machine groomed and they take you right through the centre of the Canadian Wilderness and over frozen lakes.
Snowmobiling in Ontario
It was a thrill for us to finish off crossing Eagle's Lake. You need to know what you are doing though, and you must follow the signs and precautions when crossing a lake.
Many a snowmobiler has lost their lives crossing Ontario winter lakes, but Ryan knows the area, the trail was well marked, and the lake ice was at least 16 inches thick. We were well into winter and it was safe to make our way.
We ended up right back at the parking lot of Sir Sam's. We literally took the trail across the lake and followed it right up on to their beach and in to the back lot. It was incredible.
What's best about Sir Sam's? – The Water Spa!
After being outside and cold all day, we hit the water spa to warm up! The WaterSpa is a huge hot tub set up with different circuits designed to relax your body as warm water beats down on your cold and aching muscles.
We spent a few minutes at each station letting the jets pound on our backs, massage our calves, and we even stood under the warm water fountains giving our shoulders a good thumping.
It was laying out on the air lounge that took up most of our time though. We closed our eyes and relaxed in the warm pool forever.
We ended off in the hot co-ed sauna before feeling completely drained and ready to sit down and do nothing for the rest of the day. And let me tell you, this is the perfect place to do nothing.
There are several different nooks and crannies to relax by the fire and read a good book, lounge in a chair and take a nap or just sit at the window and take in the beautiful scene while enjoying hot apple cider and afternoon biscuits.
A Romantic Winter Getaway
Sir Sam's has a bar, pool table and game room, countless dvd's for rent, magazines and books to borrow, and they even offer massage and spa packages. It's truly a place to lose yourself.
If you are feeling energetic at anytime, there is a lot to do besides snowmobiling too. There's Sir Sam's Ski hill right next door with two quad chair lifts, tow double chair lifts and 14 runs and a terrain park.
We got ourselves some snowshoes at the front desk (complimentary to guests) and took a hike across the lake to explore the island. Walking in the snow can be a tough slog, but walking in snowshoes makes it much easier, so much more fun and turns it in to an adventure!
Sir Sam's offers plenty of packages ranging from all-inclusive winter getaways that include breakfast and four course meal at the Twin Fires Dining Room, There are adventure packages that include your choice of dogsledding or snowmobiling, romance packages with spa treatments, champagne and dining, or even downhill ski packages. It's a winter vacation destination in your own backyard perfect for a winter getaway today!
Ontario truly offers amazing winter escapes. It's a province blessed with endless outdoors, enchanting scenery and an abundance of nature. Forget the Caribbean this year, we're exploring Ontario!
For more information on Booking your own dogsledding trip visit the Northern Ontario Travel Website