16 Top-Rated Resorts in Ontario
Ontario is not only home to some of North America's best places to visit -natural attractions such as spectacular Niagara Falls top the list of visitors from across the globe - it's also where you can experience some of Canada's best hotel and resort vacations. Sprinkled across this vast province (it's many times bigger than the UK, for instance) you'll find everything from luxurious wilderness lodges to beautiful country estate-style accommodations just begging you to stop awhile as you explore the surrounding areas.
Ontario attracts a good number of overseas visitors eager to explore its vast stretches of heavily forested and unspoiled scenery. Many of them will stay at family-friendly locations, like Bayview Wildwood Resort near Orillia or Deerhurst Resort in Muskoka. There are also options close to larger urban centers, such as The Briars and Great Wolf Lodge, each only an hour or so from downtown Toronto.
Much, of course, depends upon the season. While some areas cater to guests wanting to experience activities such as skiing and snowmobiling in winter, others - such as Muskoka and Algonquin Park - tend to focus on experiences such hiking and canoeing in the summer months.
Whatever your preference and whatever time of year you visit, we're pleased to bring you this list of the best resorts in Ontario.
1. Bayview Wildwood Resort, Severn Bridge
Ranked as one of Ontario's top family resorts, Bayview Wildwood Resort in Severn Bridge is just 1.5 hour's drive from downtown Toronto (and a little less from the city's international airport). Though a popular spot for corporate groups, weddings, and romantic couples' getaways, the resort does an exceptional job of looking after the vacation needs of families and provides plenty of fun activities for all ages to enjoy together.
Outdoor winter fun includes ice fishing, skating, and snowmobiling, while summer activities include swimming at the beach or in the heated pool, hiking, boating, canoeing, tennis, and ATV rentals. Those looking for things to do indoors won't be disappointed, either. Highlights include supervised kids' programs, an indoor swimming pool, evening entertainment, and excellent dining.
When it comes time for bed, guests are spoiled for choice. A popular option are the resort rooms with their lake views, which can be combined for larger groups and families. For guests wanting something to themselves, a number of stand-alone cottages are also available. Among the most popular are one-bedroom units with private balconies, and larger two-bedroom cottages with their own fireplaces, kitchens, and decks.
Address: 1500 Port Stanton Pkwy, Severn Bridge, Ontario
Accommodation: Bayview Wildwood Resort
2. Deerhurst Resort, Huntsville
Set in the heart of Ontario's cottage country region of Muskoka, Deerhurst Resort has been synonymous with great Canadian hospitality since it opened in 1896. Since then, Deerhurst has grown into one of the largest resorts in Ontario, offering everything from great family vacations to romantic couples' getaways and corporate functions.
Its accommodations can handle groups of any size, whether in its nicely finished standard hotel rooms or in its larger open-concept suites. If your budget can handle it, consider opting for a one-, two- , or three-bedroom unit, many of which boast their own private kitchens.
Where Deerhurst outdoes most resorts, however, is on the activities front. On-site amenities include a large beach area with water toys, indoor and outdoor pools and hot tubs, two golf courses, horse riding, hiking and biking trails, and treetop trekking.
Deerhurst also boasts a wide variety of indoor activities for when the cooler winter weather arrives, including fun things for kids, such as a play zone and rock climbing wall, while adults can enjoy indoor tennis and squash. The resort also has a large fitness center, spa, and great on-site dining options.
Address: 1235 Deerhurst Drive, Huntsville, Ontario
Accommodation: Deerhurst Resort
3. Great Wolf Lodge, Niagara Falls
When it comes to year-round family fun, Great Wolf Lodge in Niagara Falls certainly delivers. A mix of water park excitement and great accommodations, Great Wolf Lodge offers plenty of fun on-site, and is close enough to all the dining, shopping, and attractions in Niagara Falls.
On-site amenities include a vast array of water-based rides, pools, and games; multiple dining options; kids programs; mini-golf and bowling; a large fitness center; and both an adults' and kids' spa.
Come bedtime, youngsters are going to love settling down for the night in one of the themed "Kid Kamp" suites. Capable of sleeping up to six guests comfortably, these fun suites consist of a tent-themed area with bunk beds just for the kids, along with a queen bed for mom and dad, plus a sofa bed if it's needed. Other features include large screen TVs, private balconies (or patios), fridges, and coffee makers.
Other options include suites with two queen beds and a pullout, and a loft suite with a cozy separate living area.
Address: 3950 Victoria Ave, Niagara Falls, Ontario
Accommodation: Great Wolf Lodge
4. Totem Lodge, Sioux Narrows
Ontario's a big, big place. So big, in fact, that people will travel more than 1,800 kilometers from Toronto to destinations north for a spot of fishing... without ever leaving the province. That fishing spot? Totem Lodge, part of the Totem Resorts property in Sioux Narrows.
One of three vacation properties that make up the sprawling Totem Resorts complex, Totem Lodge offers a luxurious five-star take on the traditional Canadian fishing lodge, offering visitors a superlative wilderness retreat experience.
Guests can choose from a variety of guided fishing packages that include state-of-the-art fishing boats and lunches. On-site amenities include a beach with diving platform, various dining options, and plenty of comfortable places to lounge about in the main lodge.
Consisting of attractive stand-alone cabins, the lodge's modern accommodations include plenty of great reasons to skip the occasional fishing trip: exquisite marble bathrooms with large Jacuzzi tubs, authentic stone fireplaces, full kitchens with the latest appliances, as well as large HD TVs (which you'll likely not watch thanks to the incredible lake views).
For those into winter activities, the resort does offer some all-season accommodations, along with fun adventures including snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and ice fishing.
Address: 120 Totem Road, Sioux Narrows, Ontario
Accommodation: Totem Resorts
5. Killarney Mountain Lodge, Killarney
One of the most northerly resorts on Georgian Bay, the fully renovated Killarney Mountain Lodge offers guests a choice of 87 luxurious accommodations. Among the most popular for couples are the large, comfortable queen or king suites with views over Killarney Channel plus outdoor seating.
Larger groups should consider opting for one of the delightful cabins. Highlights include rich pine-clad interiors, spacious bathrooms with separate bathtubs and showers, plus rollaway beds when extra guests are expected.
The delightful accommodations at Killarney are certainly matched by the resort's public spaces and amenities. Overlooking Killarney Channel, the main lodge building is where you'll find comfortable lounge seating in which to relax, as well as on-site dining (a variety of personalized meal plans are available).
Summer activities available for guests to enjoy include exploring nearby hiking trails, endless miles of boating on Georgian Bay (boat rentals are available from the adjoining marina), guided cruises, canoe and kayak adventures, a games room, barbecues, plus live music and entertainment. Popular winter activities include snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, and ice fishing, to name but a few.
Address: 3 Commissioner Street, Killarney, Ontario
Accommodation: Killarney Mountain Lodge
6. Severn Lodge, Port Severn
One of a number of great family-run businesses offering traditional cottage country vacation experiences, Severn Lodge boasts more than 700 meters of pristine shoreline for its guests to enjoy.
The lodge overlooks Gloucester Pool, which connects directly to Georgian Bay and the Great Lakes, and guests are often surprised to see the occasional yacht pass by as they relax (you could in fact sail all the way to the Atlantic Ocean from here). And for those wanting to get out on the water themselves, the resort offers Jet Ski rentals, as well as the use of kayaks and canoes. Tours aboard the resort's vintage wooden boat can also be arranged.
A variety of first-rate accommodations are available in the main lodge building, while those with a larger budget and needing extra space should consider one of the resort's larger units. A favorite for families are the well-appointed two-bedroom suites, which come with a great deal of additional space thanks to their living rooms. Each comes with a full kitchen, pull-out sofa bed, and large decks or terraces with screened-in porches and lovely water views.
Although closed in winter, Severn Lodge makes for a great base from which to explore the magnificent all colors in this corner of Ontario.
Address: 116 Gloucester Trail, Severn, Ontario
Accommodation: Severn Lodge
7. Sir Sam's Inn & Spa, Eagle Lake
Located on Eagle Lake in the beautiful Haliburton Highlands northeast of Toronto, the adults-only Sir Sam's Inn is the perfect getaway spot for couples needing some alone time.
A highlight of any stay is the chance to lounge about in your luxuriously appointed room or private stand-alone cabin while admiring the views over the lake. Whichever you choose, you'll enjoy deluxe oversized bathrooms with large tubs, as well as real fireplaces with an ample supply of wood and kindling - a real treat for those traveling in fall or winter. Honeymooners in particular are drawn to the cozy two-story suites with cathedral ceilings.
There are also many things to do around the inn. Highlights of this all-season resort include the use of bikes, kayaks, and canoes; tennis courts; a private beach; plus direct access to plenty of good hiking trails. In winter, many guests will head next door to Sir Sam's Ski/Ride Park, which also offers ski rentals and lessons.
The inn also offers excellent dining, and for those wanting to splash out on a little pampering, their full-service spa offers massages and other treatments.
Address: 1491 Sir Sam's Road, Eagle Lake, Ontario
Accommodation: Sir Sam's Inn & Spa
8. The Briars, Jackson's Point
One of the closest country resorts to Toronto - it's less than an hour from the city's outskirts - The Briars in Jackson's Point on Lake Simcoe is a delightful getaway destination for groups of any size. Able to trace its beginnings as far back as 1840, this historic location consists of a conference center, luxury spa, and elegant accommodations set amid a beautiful lakeside backdrop.
Other great reasons to visit include gourmet cuisine and plenty of year-round outdoor activities: in winter, it's all about cross-country skiing and ice fishing, while summer fun includes nature hikes and kayaking. Also worth checking out are the resort's indoor/outdoor swimming pools, hot tubs, sauna, and fitness center. Other fun tings to do include tennis, badminton, basketball, and volleyball. There's also a nearby golf course.
The resort's accommodations are impressive, too. Favorites include the quaint studio cottages overlooking the golf course or lake, each with a fireplace, four-piece bath, fridge, and fire pit. Assuming cost isn't an issue and you want to bring friends or family, why not splurge on a two- or three-bedroom cottage? These larger units offer separate living rooms and large decks. Pet-friendly units of all sizes are available.
Address: 55 Hedge Road, Jacksons Point, Ontario
Accommodation: The Briars
9. Elmhirst Resort, Keene
Located on the shores of Rice Lake near the pretty country town of Peterborough, family-owned Elmhirst Resort offers a relaxing vacation in pleasant waterfront cottages.
Guests can choose from a stay in the one-bedroom honeymoon suite, complete with king bed and large bathroom with separate shower and Jacuzzi tub, right up to a huge five-bedroom cottage with a wood burning fireplace, full kitchen, two large bathrooms, a large deck with a barbecue, plus its own private dock. There are also a number of three-bedroom cottages available. Pets can be accommodated with prior notice.
Elmhirst offers a great deal of fun around its 240-acre property, too. Highlights include taking a pleasant stroll along the lakeside boardwalk, swimming in the resort's pools, working out in the gym, enjoying on-site dining (many ingredients come from the resort's working farm), or relaxing in the full-service spa. Kids also have space of their own to run around at the playground, with a selection of kids' programs available during the summer.
The resort also offers a number of off-site experiences, including guided nature hikes and horseback trail rides, sightseeing by air, fishing trips and boat rentals, and golf. Live music is frequently available, and an on-site art gallery showing works by local, national, and international artists adds a dash of culture to your stay.
Be sure to also check out the resort's winter packages, which include a popular Rice Lake fishing getaway.
Address: 1045 Settlers Line, Keene, Ontario
Accommodation: Elmhirst Resort
10. The Westin Trillium House, Blue Mountain
Part of the huge Blue Mountain Village development near Collingwood, Westin Trillium House is about as close as you can get to some of the best ski action in Ontario. Just steps away from the slopes, guests can buy their pass and enjoy any one of 42 trails spread across 360 acres of skiable terrain.
In addition to ski schools and programs for kids (they'll love the nearby aquatic center), families can enjoy snow tubing, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing adventures, along with snowmobile rentals or ice fishing. In summer, the slopes become perfect terrain for mountain biking and hiking, while other sports include golf, sailing, and waterskiing. The resort also has a large fitness center and restaurant.
Accommodations at the Westin are suited to parties of all sizes, and are perfect for everything from romantic couples' getaways to family gatherings and corporate retreats. One-bedroom suites feature separate family rooms and living areas (the latter with a pull-out couch), fireplaces, kitchenettes, and balconies. The larger two- and three-bedroom units feature larger kitchens, a dining area, plus an en-suite bathroom adjacent to the master bedroom.
Address: 220 Gord Canning Drive, The Blue Mountains, Ontario
Accommodation: The Westin Trillium House, Blue Mountain
11. Inn at Cobble Beach, Kemble
Located on a 574-acre parcel of land on rugged Georgian Bay, the all-season Inn at Cobble Beach near Owen Sound offers guests an outstanding Canadian vacation experience.
In addition to having access to Cobble Beach Golf Links, the resort also boasts great dining and world-class spa facilities. Other amenities include a fitness center, indoor golf facility, and a 14-kilometer trail network to explore. For winter sports enthusiasts, most of this expansive trail network is accessible with snowshoes and cross-country skis.
The inn's accommodations consist of 10 elegantly appointed suites plus an additional five stand-alone cottages. In-room features include spacious bathrooms with separate bathtubs and showers, comfortable up-graded bedding, free Wi-Fi, HD TVs, fridges, and great views over Georgian Bay or the golf course.
When additional space is needed, request a room with a pull-out sofa bed, or opt for the loft suite, capable of sleeping up to eight guests comfortably and with an additional bathroom. Larger groups should also consider renting one of the two-bedroom open-concept cottages, each with two bathrooms, separate living rooms with pull-out sofas, and great waterfront views.
Address: 221 McLeese Drive, Kemble, Ontario
Accommodation: Inn at Cobble Beach
12. Sherwood Inn, Port Carling
Those looking for a stay with an added sprinkling of luxury should consider Sherwood Inn. Located near the beautiful cottage country village of Port Carling, this historic inn sits on the shores of lovely Lake Joseph, one of the most sought-after vacation destinations in Muskoka.
In addition to exploring the many boutique shops, art galleries, and dining options of Port Carling (also accessible from the resort by boat), guests can enjoy on-site amenities that include a full-service spa, a well-stocked games room, a fitness center, canoes and kayaks, and a restaurant.
Nearby activities include golf, boat rentals, and water-ski schools. For those interested in fun things to do in Ontario in winter, special weekend packages are available that include accommodations, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing.
The accommodations at Sherwood Inn are well-suited to both couples and larger groups and include a selection of spacious suites and private cabins. While each of the well-appointed and elegant suites features a queen bed and bathroom with separate shower, some of the larger units also come with separate living areas with pull-out sofas and their own balcony.
For a little added indulgence, splurge on one of the resort's lakeside cabins, each with a wood-burning stove, or the quaint boathouse suite right on the lake.
Address: 1090 Sherwood Road, Port Carling, Ontario
Accommodation: Sherwood Inn
13. Smoothwater Outfitters & Lodge, Temagami
One of the most-visited vacation spots in north eastern Ontario, Temagami is an ideal location for those wanting to get a taste of the province's vast wilderness. While a number of excellent outfitting businesses have sprung up to satisfy this demand, Smoothwater Outfitters & Lodge has set the bar somewhat higher by providing guests with an opportunity to experience this abundance of nature without having to sleep under the stars - unless they choose to. Accommodations include cozy private rooms perfect for couples, and larger dorm-style bunk rooms for groups of friends and families. Camping, of course, is also available.
On-site amenities include unlimited use of a large public space that's perfect for relaxing, playing games, or planning the day's adventure; a lakeside sauna; fire-pits for campfires; and canoes. Meal plans are also available and are well worth including in your stay, as all dishes are made using fresh local ingredients wherever possible, some of which is grown on-site.
As a full-blown outfitter, Smoothwater can also provide everything that's needed for overnight expeditions into the surrounding provincial parks and the neighboring areas of unspoiled crown land. (The lodge is closed during the winter months.)
Address: 34 Smoothwater Road, Temagami, Ontario
Accommodation: Smooth Water Outfitters & Lodge
14. Bondi Village Resort, Dwight
Bondi Village Resort near Dwight in Muskoka has been proudly family owned and operated since it opened in 1905, and has offered great cottage country vacations ever since. Highlights of a stay include having access to the resort's large sandy beach, and mile-after-mile of navigable waters on the beautiful Lake of Bays.
Many family-friendly activities are available at Bondi, including boat rentals (canoes are free), a play area for kids, a games room, shuffleboard, volleyball, plus a fun Frisbee golf course, to name but a few.
Guests can also access endless hiking trails through more than 600 acres of adjoining, unspoiled wilderness. Come winter, some of these same trails are groomed for cross-country skiing. The resort is also very close to Algonquin Provincial Park, popular for its many outdoor adventure opportunities and scenic hiking trails.
Accommodations include a choice of traditional Muskoka-style housekeeping cottages, some winterized for year-round use. They range in size from a cozy two-bedroom unit above the resort's boathouse (great water views included) to larger three-bedroom affairs sleeping up to eight guests. Features may also include private decks and docks, direct beach access, real fireplaces, and barbecues.
Address: 1260 Fox Point Road, Dwight, Ontario
Accommodation: Bondi Village resort
15. Heather Lodge, Minden
Situated in the scenic, rolling countryside of the Haliburton Highlands, adults-only Heather Lodge in Minden can trace its roots as a holiday destination back to its founding in 1942. Set overlooking Twelve Mile Lake, this picturesque all-season resort consists of just 12 studio accommodations, ensuring the kind of peace and quiet that's perfect for a great romantic getaway.
While all suites include comfortable king beds, fridges, coffee makers, satellite TVs, and cozy bathrobes, a number of larger options provide additional space and privacy, along with real fireplaces and a private balcony.
Guests have full access to the resort's amenities, including its never-crowded shoreline, outdoor seating, and swimming dock. Getting out and about on the water is also easy thanks to the provision of complimentary kayaks, canoes, and a paddleboat (a motorized fishing boat is available for rent).
Come winter, your stay includes free use of cross-country ski equipment and snowshoes. Indoor amenities include a combined hot tub and sauna room available for private use, along with an intimate dining room serving three meals daily.
Address: 14483 ON-35, Minden Hills, Ontario
Accommodation: Heather Lodge
16. Tomahawk Resort, Sioux Narrows
Another of Ontario's superb wilderness lodges, Tomahawk Resort in Sioux Narrows has been a popular fishing destination in Ontario for more than 70 years. Located on the fishing paradise of Lake of the Woods - famous for its excellent fishing thanks to an abundance of pike, walleye, bass, and lake trout - Tomahawk Resort offers a variety of all-inclusive packages, along with options for those bringing their own gear and boats.
Other things to do include swimming and sunbathing at the private sandy beach, use of canoes and paddleboats, a full-service marina, volleyball court, horse-shoe pits, and a playground for the kids. There's also a nearby golf course, plus a fun mini-putt attraction. The resort is especially popular among snowmobilers and ice fishers during the winter months.
The resort's unique accommodations include a number of "floating cottages." These houseboats come complete with bathrooms, full kitchens, and comfortable beds, and can sleep up to six guests. Best of all, you can untie your lake home and sail away to the next great fishing spot. Larger groups of landlubbers should consider one of the resort's premium cottages.
The largest of these consists of five bedrooms, two bathrooms, a spacious kitchen, separate living room, gas fireplace, and a barbecue. The smaller two-bedroom units are equally well appointed, and perfect for families and groups of friends.
Address: Sioux Narrows, Ontario
Accommodation: Tomahawk Resort