Last weekend, my wife and I got out of the city to celebrate our 25 th Anniversary. We wanted a causal place with a reputation for good service and great food. We were not disappointed.
We are both very experienced travelers. I have been to most of the major cities and countries around the world and have experience outstanding accommodation and food.
After much research on the internet we decided to travel to Stoney Lake, just outside of Peterborough Ontario and stay for a couple of nights at Viamede Resort, which is on the north end of the lake.
The location is beautiful, secluded and the water is clear , clean and refreshing ( in fact warmer than both the indoor and outdoor pools ).
We stayed in a suite at the Hill Top complex. Our room was clean, spacious and afforded a view of the water and the main lodge. This room had been recently renovated, as are many of the rooms and cottages at the resort.
Our suite had hard wood floors, a king size bed, a sofa and arm chair in a seating area, a fridge, microwave, whirlpool tub, balcony, and Flat screen TV.
Owner , Ben, has been updating the facilities and most should be completed in the near future.
The resort offers two on site restaurants, as well as a dining room where the inclusive breakfast is served, over looking the lake. The breakfast is bountiful and the only recommendation would be that a fresh cooked egg bar be added, in addition to the scrambled eggs. Nevertheless,it was a great way to start the day.
Your day can be filled with many activities, fishing, boating, swimming, hiking, sun bathing, watch the boats on the lake or just relaxing ... perhaps with a good book. The resort has many "toys" for which to do the activities and all are inclusive with your stay.
The surrounding area is beautiful, and the local small villages are a delight, and sometimes very surprising of what you can find there. Nice little hidden gems in Cottage Country.
The first night we chose to eat at the Boathouse Restaurant. This bistro provides an excellent selection of fresh local foods and craft beers. Our table was by the deck railing, with umbrella ( the sun was hot that day ) and overlooked the lake. The gentle breeze helped to cool things down and watching the boats could turn into a full time job.
Service was excellent, and the staff friendly, caring and knowledgeable.
I must give a shout out and thumbs up to Laura.
She was a delight and you could tell that she really enjoyed what she was doing. When she noticed, after I had eaten about half of my minced rib steak burger, that it was a little more well done than I had ordered, she offered to immediately have a new one made. I declined, as the meat was still delicious, the bun was excellent and, even though I am not usually a burger eater, this was an above average and flavorful meal. We did take up her offer of a complimentary resort baked dessert, which we took back to our suite for a late night snack in front to the word burning fireplace ( yes the day was hot, but the smell and the look of a wood burning fire ( wood supplied free of charge by the resort) was too much to resist. It was even better as I turned the ac on and we kept very comfortable )
The next night, dinner was a special occasion. When researching the Ontario resorts, what struck me about Viamede was the on site fine dinning restaurant , Mount Julian.
Chef Kevin McKenna offers a 5, 7 and 9 course tasting menu, with paired wines, and the menu changes weekly. The gourmet fare was excellent. The Chef prides himself on using ingredients from the on site farm and gardens, foraged items from the surrounding land and local foods from the farmers market and farmers. The wines were chosen to compliment each course. The did an excellent job.
The meal is not one to gobble and dash. You take your time and you savor every bite. We took 3.5 hours for our 9 course meal and it was worth every minute ( maybe you can invest in some more comfortable chairs for such a long dinning experience.. the only misstep we could find).
The service staff were way above par.
Jami and Nicole provided excellent service, were knowledgeable on every course, what was in each course, how it was prepared and appeared to really love what they were doing.They were also wonderful in describing the selected wine, where they came from and why they were picked for each course. You can tell that the Chef includes all his staff in every aspect and that he shares his experience and expertise with all of his team. Friendly, knowledgeable and enthusiastic in what they do. Delightful.
Jami and Nicole greatly added to an experience of the chef's creations and my wife and I will remember this meal for the rest of our days.
Over all, our experience was worth every penny. The place is a delightful place where you can be casual and comfortable, all the staff were friendly, outgoing and there to make your stay the best it could be. And the food was out of this world. We will make our way there again.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located only 40 minutes north of Peterborough, Viamede is nestled in the woods on the north shore of Stoney Lake, one of Ontario's most beautiful lakes. Our resort facilities are well suited to both relaxation and adventure. Explore the 165 acres of nature that Viamede offers by hiking our 6 km of private nature trails or canoeing the islands of beautiful Stoney Lake. Enjoy an evening barbecuing on your private patio or join us at the Boathouse Pub for live music, great food and cold craft beers for summer time fun. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Viamede Hotel North Kawartha
- Viamede Resort North Kawartha, Ontario