Lakeside Comfort amid Natural Splendor
As night falls on Lake Rosseau, cross-country skiers, fresh from traversing trails through evergreen forests, make their way toward the green-capped rooftops of JW Marriott The Rosseau Muskoka Resort & Spa. The sprawling hotel rests atop a granite bluff nestled amid the 700-acre Red Leaves Forest Preserve in Canada's popular cottage country. A grand Victorian façade belies the laid-back charm of the retreat, which combines cozy comforts with indulgent amenities.
The resort's luxurious spa abuts a heated outdoor swimming pool overlooking sweeping natural vistas. After unwinding with a back, neck, and shoulder massage ($75 CAN), vacationers return to their intimate one-bedroom suite, which includes a homey kitchen and a posh marble bathroom. A stone fireplace complements outdoorsy décor such as hand-carved furnishings, pinecone light fixtures, and floral quilting culled from fluffy cumulus clouds.
As the sun rises over the misty lake, The Rosseau's waterfront restaurant, Cottages, whips up cinnamon-bun french toast ($16 CAN) and three-egg omelets ($14 CAN+) from its eclectic breakfast menu. At Teca, the on-site Italian eatery, hearty portions of tender steaks and handmade gnocchi fuel outdoor adventures such as guided nature hikes, snowmobile excursions, and ice-fishing tours.
Muskoka Lakes, Ontario: Natural Beauty in Historical Cottage Country
More than 1,600 bodies of water and a number of crashing waterfalls dot the Muskoka Lakes area, making it a natural setting for water recreation year-round. For land-based entertainment, nearby Port Carling abounds with historical mansions and churches as well as charming boutiques. A scenic one-hour drive from the resort brings travelers to the RMS Segwun, a restored turn-of-the-century coal-powered steamship on which visitors can get a taste of the region's rich boating heritage and handle a rare, coal-powered wooden leg.