I popped by Ste. Anne's last summer on the heels of a stay at The Dorset Manor to see what all the fuss is about but it seemed too busy and too loud for my liking (especially compared to the Dorset which is soooo quiet and relaxing). But this winter when I needed a getaway and saw there was a winter special (less than $200 per night) I thought that I would check it out in the hopes that winter would be much quieter and less busy...and I was RIGHT! I stayed for 4 nights and in 2 different rooms. First and foremost, Ste. Anne's sits in the midst of a spectacular landscape (500 acres) and the snowy landscape was incredible. The building and grounds were something I really enjoyed exploring and it was soooo quiet. I was treated like a VIP from the moment I entered until when I left. I stayed in the Frances Anne Hopkins room for the first 3 nights and it was the most incredible suite I have ever seen (mini fridge and safe in room was a nice touch). It was ultra quiet and on the 3rd floor so it afforded me beautiful views (you can take an elevator to the 2nd floor but there are only stairs to access your room on the 3rd). I was so excited the first night that I had a terrible sleep! I enjoyed every area of that room to its' fullest, lounging in every seat and staring out each window while enjoying the classical music from the radio. The next morning I added on an extra night and due to the FAH room being booked already, I was placed in the Canopy room...TOTALLY different experience and I loved it just as much. About 1/4 of the size of the FAH but cozy and wonderful...I loved that I could feel the history in the Canopy room. I loved the creaky, original wood floors, the rounded doorways, the wood burning fireplace, the ULTRA comfy bed, the view of the grounds and the bright and modern bathroom. It too was quiet, despite it's location in the original part of the building with rooms on either side (this room too is only accessed by stairs).
For a tea drinker, the unlimited, wonderful array of teas is one of my favorite treats about being at Ste. Anne's (& The Dorset), especially high tea every afternoon. The food is shockingly good for such healthy/organic selections! I cannot name all the dishes I loved but the beef stew and the tofu (I know, tofu? BUT SERIOUSLY, it is unbelievable) are amongst my favourites. Bring your own liquor if you would like to enjoy a drink with your meals.
The yoga and stretch classes I took were a lovely addition to my experience. The classes were small and intimate. The euchalyptus steam room can be a bit overwhelming with the scent but you get a great sweat on! I loved that the outdoor hot tubs were fully operational (and VERY popular) but I did not indulge. The spa waiting room was never busy or noisy and I enjoyed hanging out there while waiting for my services. The massages I received were mush-inducing (I had a swedish and a hot stone) and I also had some hand and foot treatments that were lovely. I also really liked the "spa shop" and its' selection of beauty products and other spa appropriate items.
There is a room right off of the dining room that has a fireplace and games and lots of couches and chairs to relax in and it was the perfect place to have a cup of tea after the meal to relax and digest by the fire. I loved it. Alternatively, in the evening I would take my dessert and tea into my room and enjoy it there as well.
Ste. Anne's was the best spa experience of my life and I have longed to go back ever since I left (and leaving was painful, let me tell you...who would want to leave this place?). I am excited to return in a couple of months and see how the summer experience compares to the winter one.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Ste. Anne's Spa, situated in the Haldimand Hills gazes down on over 400 acres of forested rolling hills overlooking Lake Ontario. It is Ontario's largest destination and day spa, offering extensive spa facilities, luxuriously appointed guest rooms, fine dining, and an array of spa treatments. Surrounding the main inn at Ste. Anne's are private guesthouses, truly a unique aspect of the "spa village" experience. Located only 90 minutes east of Toronto. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Ste. Anne`s Hotel Grafton
- Ste. Anne's Spa Grafton, Ontario