My wife and I along with our 8-year old twin girls recently visited Niagara-on-the-Lake for an end of summer/early fall mini-vacation trip, and chose Scott's place as our 'home base' to explore and experience the best of what the area has to offer. That said, here is the experience what we walked away with:
HOST: Scott was fantastic, and truly an A+ host in every sense of the word. From the moment we arrived, he was very communicative and helpful. Checking in was very smooth, allowing us to settle in in no time (loved the keyless entry). Five full stars for Scott!
LOCATION: 'By The Vines' is located in a stunningly beautiful location backing on to a vineyard, just a two minute drive from the little town of Virgil and seven minutes from downtown Niagara-on-the-Lake. What's more, its a short 20 minute drive from the Horseshoe Falls, and 12 minutes from the QEW, for those desiring a quick arrival and departure. It was an ideal spot for getting our stay organized before venturing out to take in all the local attractions. Yet another five stars.
ACCOMODATIONS: There is a common thread you'll notice with all of the 'By The Vines' reviews: Cleanliness and comfort, and we can add one more testament to this. Upon entering Scott's place, we instantly recognized what previous reviewers had stated, an immaculately clean place with a relaxing vibe permeating throughout. Sanitizer is also provided at the entrance on the welcome table for guests. Any questions we had during our stay were instantly answered by Scott, with no issues during our stay whatsoever. Scott's place is incredibly relaxing, perfectly laid out, and a place you truly felt you could 'live in' beyond a vacation. So many thoughtful conveniences and touches, we were left wanting for nothing, and not only met, but went way beyond our expectations . The Niagaran/wine country decor theme throughout feels like a true escape, and kicking back in the living room in front of the big screen TV (on the main floor AND the basement level!) after a day at the Falls or historic Niagara-on-the-Lake was truly blissful. Scott's place also has a modern, full kitchen, complete with fridge/freezer, oven/stove, microwave, dishwasher and large kitchen table. Other highlights for us included the oversized basement bathroom, free Netflix/Apple TV, a PC for personal use and onsite laundry. Our girls loved the backyard as well (I'll get to that). All in all, a very comfortable stay with sound, restful sleeps during all three nights of our stay. Truth be told, our girls didn't want to leave when our last day arrived!
GROUNDS: Aside from the aforementioned convenience of being able to park right in front of the house, you also have the added convenience of keyless entry. The tree-lined driveway also gives the whole property a very natural, 'intro to wine country' feel (there are actual grapes on the trees!). Now on to the backyard... you can truly tell Scott put his heart and soul into it. How do you add ambiance to a place that backs on to a vineyard? You create a space that is an entertainer's dream, complete with a huge deck with string lighting surrounding it, a brand new wooden bar, furniture, gas fire pit with four Muskoka chairs... and a hammock! I mean, what else could you possibly ask for? Our only disappointment was not having an extra few more days to enjoy it some more! Five more stars, without even blinking.
THE BOTTOM LINE: My wife and I have stayed at several other amazing vacation rentals across North America prior to 'By The Vines', and we can say unequivocally, this has toppled the pack. If you are seeking a home base in Niagara-on-the-Lake to truly relax, escape and get submersed in wine country, Scott's place will not disappoint. From the lovely setting, ultra-comfortable space, and amazing host, my wife and I would return here in a heartbeat (and we will). Get out to NOTL, embrace all that it has to offer, explore its beautiful surroundings, have a glass of wine at dusk, and above all else, stay HERE to do it all.