Lakeside Comfort Amid Natural Splendor
On a clear winter night along the shores of Lake Rousseau in Muskoka, the snowfields glow deep blue under the moonlight. Naturalists from the JW Marriott The Rosseau Muskoka Resort & Spa unveil this dreamlike landscape on snowshoe tours beneath the stars. The sprawling hotel rests atop a granite bluff nestled amid the 700-acre Red Leaves Forest Preserve, an outdoor wonderland traversed by dogsleds and snowmobiles. A grand Victorian façade belies the laid-back charm of the retreat, which combines cozy comforts with indulgent amenities, including a full-service spa.
Spa Rosseau abuts a heated outdoor swimming pool overlooking sweeping natural vistas. After unwinding with a back, neck, and shoulder massage ($75 CAN), vacationers can settle into their intimate one-bedroom suite, which include 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 harvested from fluffy cumulus clouds.
The Rosseau's waterfront restaurant, Cottages, whips up cinnamon-bun french toast ($16 CAN) and three-egg omelets ($14 CAN+) for breakfast. At Teca, the onsite Italian eatery, hearty portions of tender steaks and handmade gnocchi fuel outdoor adventures such as ice-fishing and snowmobiling.
Muskoka Lakes, Ontario: Natural Beauty in Historical Cottage Country
More than 1,600 bodies of water and a number of crashing waterfalls make the Muskoka Lakes area 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.