Ste Anne’s Spa is the Best Relaxing Retreat You Could Ask for in Ontario
I hate standing on the train. It really is a pet peeve and I wish that each day I commute into the Six that I had the luxury of a seat. But we can’t all get what we want all the time. This daily drudge is a common routine that many of us endure as we head to work, bring home the bacon, and sit through snore-fest meetings requiring triple shot espressos. We crave a change. We crave an outlet. We crave an escape. Ste Anne’s Spa in Grafton Ontario is the answer. At Ste Anne’s Spa, not only do you have all the facilities at your disposal, but you also have the ultimate sanctuary away from the familiar. Plus, there is always a seat waiting for you….
Book a Tour: Toronto: Heart of Downtown Bike Tour
A Few Facts about Ste Anne’s Spa
- A family owned company, Ste Anne’s Spa wants guests to feel right at home.
- After a decade without any action, the family took matters into their own hands and began building the inn and spa to what it is today.
- Ste Anne’s Spa is looked upon as an unofficial castle!
- The family are constantly revolutionizing the spa experience, adding new amenities and treatments frequently.
- The centre house dates back to 1858.
- Ste Anne’s Spa prides itself for having a tranquil environment and limits the amount of guests at one time to ensure a pleasant experience for all.
- Ste Anne’s Spa opened officially to the public in 1985.
- They don’t host weddings, but they book hen parties, showers, bachelorettes, and other getaways.
- A New Hydrotherapy area is currently being developed and a culinary school is in the works!
- A bottanist was commissioned to create a skincare line that stands behind the values of the spa and treatments.
- Cannabis oil massages are being introduced at the spa – a revolutionary treatment aligned with the legalization of cannabis coming in October 2018.
Ste Anne’s Spa Visit Logistics
So when you arrive at Ste Anne’s Spa, you are treated like royalty. I was ready to forget the irritating commute I endure daily and allow myself to unwind and unplug. As you drive in from the highway, take a close look at the signs on the sides of the road. They are the first subtle messages to release stress, park the daily grind at the door, and allow the peace and quiet to take over.
Book a Tour: Toronto: Niagara Luxury Winery Tour and Lunch
Enter the front door and feel the pulse of bliss. The lobby boasts a beautiful chandelier, comfy sofas, a daily tea offering, and of course, the friendly staff waiting to check you in. Whether you are there for a day spa or for an overnight experience, you will be taken care of to the nth degree.
Once you check in, you are given a bag that includes the official Ste Anne’s Spa uniform – A bath robe! A plushy white robe to wear while you are enjoying the spa. Ste Anne’s wants guests to feel right at home so they encourage wearing of the robe throughout the day and even to meals in the dining room. I also love the attention to detail with the customized bags and itinerary detailing exactly what I’m to experience during my time there. Forget comfy shoes? No sweat! Ste Anne’s Spa offers shoes for daily use. They are sterilized and ready at the front desk should you need a pair.
The Ste Anne’s Spa Facilities
After check in, the lovely staff at the inn will take you on an informative tour of the facilities. They will point out the various pools, steam rooms, relaxing rooms, and spots to wait for treatments. Change Rooms, the dining room, and the store are also pointed out for guests.
The Change Rooms
The change rooms are beautifully clean and modern. They boast beautiful wooden lockers with state of the art locks to keep your belongings safe I must admit the lock I found a little high tech, but was able to manage securing my belongings for the day.
As you change into your comfy clothes for the day, check out the sauna within the change room, the whirlpool, shower stations, blow dryer areas, and more. There are towels for your use as well as various toiletries available in the event your forget yours at home.
The Grotto and Eucalyptus Steam Room
Being from Australia, hubby loves eucalyptus. Not only is it a small reminder of the comforts of home, but it also brings many a healing property. The steam room definitely is perfect if you have allergies, may be getting a cold, or simply wish a detox. Don’t spend more than 8-10 minutes in there! It can be quite strong. And DEFINITELY drink lots of water upon exiting.
The Grotto is one of my favourite spots on the Ste Anne’s Spa property! An outdoor sanctuary with pools of varying temperatures, the Grotto is the perfect spot to begin your cleanse, unwind, and de-stress itinerary. Designed with the stone architecture of the rest of the resort, the Grotto gives guests that feeling as if they are overseas in Europe. Enjoy a refresh in the main pool with a temperature of 85 degrees Fahrenheit. A cold plunge of 65 degrees Fahrenheit is the perfect way to keep your thyroid healthy (if you dare to plunge in the cold water, it is said that the cooler temperature is good for the neck gland in many ways.) And lastly, a hot tub of 104 degrees ready to ease and soothe the achy muscles, relax the tension in your mind, and allows for complete peace. I honestly now want to go back!
The on thing I must note about the hot tub in the Grotto was the seating within the tub. If you are not tall, you will struggle to sit with your head above water. Since I am 5″4, I had to kneel on the seats in order to keep my head from being underwater. Some guests may find this inconvenient or uncomfortable.
Dining – Lunch Options
So during our stay we had the pleasure of enjoying a 3-course lunch in the dining room. The set menu offers guests a variety of choices for the appetizer and main courses. The dishes are for the most part gluten free and have a variety of options for vegetarians.
Have a dietary requirement? No problem! I love their attention to detail as they give the guest with the requirement a card noting the allergy. This is a nice touch to ensure meals are served right acknowledging the request.
Appetizer – Charcuterie Plate
So, I had trouble choosing my appetizer until my husband said to me: “They have a charcuterie plate!” SOLD. This meal is one of my favourites out there with the combination of meats, cheeses, pickles and other savoury condiments. The one I was served ticked all the boxes and was the perfect start to the meal. I particularly loved the figs. Figs are such amazing fruits that taste great with cheese. You need to try it!
The Marinara Meatballs
Hubby opted for the marinara meatballs. Perfect size and flavour, the meatballs served as the ideal starter for his lunch.
So with your 3-course meal you can choose a hot or cold beverage. If you wish alcohol, it is extra. We chose two different flavoured cocoas to try – Honey hot cocoa and peppermint. Both came with frothed milk and cinnamon. They were delightful.
After enjoying our appetizers, the mains arrived of the mushroom quinoa burger served with the daily soup of sweet potato curry and Pesto pasta with vegetables. Both were delicious with great flavour and ample portion size. Combined with the appetizers, I could not have wanted more than what was served. Truly a delicious lunch choice.
Ste Anne’s Spa had many desserts to choose from all made in house. A variety of ice creams, cakes, and pies were available to conclude your delightful meal. It was so hard to choose! In the end, hubby and I went for the carrot cake and the creme brulee. Both were tantalizing and made perfectly. I love carrot cake when it is spiced just right. This one was moist, spiced, and had the incredible cream cheese icing. The creme brulee was the seasonal vanilla flavour served with fruit and the traditional sugared top. Delicious and ultimately satisfying. The creme brulee flavours change seasonally so do ask your server for the flavour available when you visit.
The Trails and Outdoor Grounds
For the hikers out there, or those who wish to work off the dessert, there are numerous hiking trails on property! Not only will you be surrounded by gorgeous trees, plants, flowers, and wildlife, but also the artistic flair of the hired gardeners. I particularly love the lavender labyrinth! Walk through the fragrant herb garden and enjoy the aroma as you appreciate your natural surroundings.
The Acreage of the property is just incredible boasting horse stables, curated gardens with produce and herbs grown for the restaurant, special plants for the skin care line, and for the leisure of guests.
So a big part of a spa is the range of treatments offered above and beyond the pool and sauna facilities. Here at Ste Anne’s Spa they offer a variety of treatments to accommodate many needs including body scrubs, body wraps, massages of all sorts and lengths, facials, and more. While we were there, we got the pleasure of a body treatment each. I opted for the seasonal pumpkin spice body scrub while hubby chose a 60-minute body massage administered by a Registered Massage Therapist. Both were exceptional and respected our privacy. I loved the peace while getting the treatment, the professionalism of my practitioner who ensured I was covered when on the bed and ensured I was as comfortable as possible. While I showered off the pumpkin spice body scrub, she came in and replaced the linens on the bed for the moisturizer step of the treatment. I liked this as she used the time I was in a private shower to do this instead of having me standing unclothed.
Book a Tour: Best of Toronto: Food and Sightseeing Tour
The massage I was advised was also very respectful considering clients are partially clothed and exposed as well. Care is taken to ensure you are felt at ease in the peaceful space. Music plays to calm your senses creating that zen you need in order to get the most out of the experience.
So I fell in love with this British tradition when I lived in the UK. The scones, the clotted cream, the savouries and more. Well, here at Ste Anne’s Spa, the dining room adopted this sweet and delightful meal time and offers it daily to guests in three varieties: Traditional, Gluten-Free, and Vegan. Enjoy a selection of sweets, savouries, and a pot of one of their delightful tea selections. Hubby chose a chai tea blend, while I opted for a pear fusion. Both were incredible and went perfectly with the offered petit fours and crudites.
The Massage Chair Room
This was one of my favourite spots on the entire property! This quiet room that overlooks Lake Ontario is a beautiful sanctuary of electric massage chairs, water and tea, puzzles, and more. The room insists on quiet so you cannot come in and have a lengthy heated conversation. The massage chairs were my favourite as these high-end recliners have every setting you could imagine to give pain relief in all areas of your body: back, neck, calves, feet, legs, thighs, and more. The remote control has buttons for you to select which area of your body you wish relief. Just be careful! The intensity level is adjustable and you should to ensure you don’t injure yourself. The last thing you need is to be too abrasive on your body and cause pain. My favourite? The leg massage 100%. I was incredible as I rarely get massages on my calves, shins, or thighs.
Not only does Ste Anne’s Spa offer a large variety of services and treatments, but it also has a great collection of wellness classes. While we enjoyed our time here, we signed up for the meditation class. And boy was it incredible and effective. The class takes place in the beautiful yoga studio on site. With the direction of the instructor’s words, you are transported into an abyss of thought, clearing of the stress and blocks within your head, and taken to a whole new world. My husband’s experience was more profound than he could ever have asked for and left rejuvenated and relaxed. This may not happen for everyone, but it is a great possibility.
So there you have our review and synopsis of our zen and peaceful day at Ste Anne’s Spa. Whether you have stress in your life or just want a getaway to be pampered, this is the place for you. I cannot recommend this spot more. When we were there, it was not overly busy. Do check back when you go to see how booked they are as the experience is far superior when there are fewer people. I hope that everyone goes to Ste Anne’s Spa and soaks up the serenity it boasts and aims to give its guests.
This is only scratching the surface of what you can enjoy here. Take a farm tour. cycle through the trails. Stay overnight in a cottage. Or indulge at the on-site Gluten-free bakery. This all-inclusive hot spot is everything you could want for a mini local getaway.
Check out our incredible Travel Supplies and Gear in our shop!
Travelling to Canada? Don’t be a ninny and go without insurance!
Thank you in advance to our all our partners and supporters who are making this initiative possible through sponsorship, in-kind, and social promotion.
We were guests of Ste Anne’s Spa for the day. All opinions within the post are ours and were not influenced in any way.