This is a post by guest blogger Bruce McHendry, a mutual lover of the outdoors.
Located just a few minutes from the east gate of Algonquin Park, the Couples Resort in Whitney, Ontario is a wonderful place to visit. Now I have to start by saying, as happens any time of year, the weather was a bit of a challenge. While it was mostly sunny, it was cold! I’m a snowboarder and my wife skis so we do know how to dress for chilly temperatures, but with wind chill gusts running -20s to -30s, time outdoors was kept short.
While the main part of the resort was originally built in the 60’s it has been kept up and looks good. The resort is a collection of a couple older two-storey buildings that have suites, separate cottages (Villas) and some newer looking chalets that were impressive. Entering reception we received a nice greeting where all the services were explained. We also made our dinner reservation as the dining area is adjacent to reception. The accommodations all include dinner and breakfast. Dinner was a terrific five-course gourmet meal, wonderfully presented and the service outstanding. There was an option to have order your breakfast ahead and have it delivered to your room offering a romantic touch. There are several packages including spa treatments if that’s your desire.
Our suite was roomy, clean and well-appointed with a real wood fireplace and view of the lake. The large 4 poster bed was comfortable, the whirlpool tub inviting and the spacious room was clean. One thing we noticed and liked was the fireplace was actually built a couple feet above the floor with the wood stored underneath. Being elevated you could see the fire while relaxing in bed. I was pleased with the size of the balcony and could imagine it in summer.
There was a rink outside for skating and it was maintained by a nice hard-working lad who was very helpful with trail information. Other available outdoor activities include snow shoeing, cross-country skiing, dog sledding, horseback riding and hiking. Unfortunately for us, even that far north they had weathered the same thaw we had a couple weeks earlier so surprisingly so snow conditions weren’t great. And that whole wind chill thing was a challenge. We did several hikes, around the resort, into the village of Whitney and around the Bear Trail including the lookout to Algonquin Park. After a couple hours outside we came back to check out the Recreation room and played billiards, darts, shuffleboard and foosball.
To visit the resort under the deal we got was awesome. The room, staff and food was well worth the trip of a half day drive. It’s beautiful to drive up through the Muskokas and across Algonquin Park to see the rugged country. One of the things I love to see is the rock faces along the highway that have frozen run off on the rock faces reflects the sun and sparkles. If you can take the time try to see Ragged Falls between the park and Huntsville. A short hike in form the highway and you can see rapids and a waterfall. Sadly we couldn’t get a very good view as the thaw-freeze incident created dangerous ice all around the trail near the river. I had to settle for hanging onto a tree and getting as low as I could for a view.
It’s nice to go to a new destination in the winter and see new places, mid-week often means less people and good deals on pricing. We did enjoy the Couples Resort and I was left wondering what it would be like in the summer ! Maybe we’ll have to go and find out.
The Couples Resort
Galeairy Lake Rd
Whitney, ON K0J 2M0
Living most of his life in the Waterloo-Wellington area, Bruce thinks it’s amazing how many things there are to see and do locally and within a few hours from this region in all four seasons. He was fortunate enough when he was a teen to have a friend with a family cottage on the Bruce Peninsula. That helped launch a life-long love of fishing, hiking, camping, photography and the outdoors in general. He’s been fortunate enough to be able to dip his boots in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, as well as Georgian Bay and the St. Lawrence River at old Quebec City.
He likes to balance a stressful job by getting outdoors and taking in the amazing places that are so accessible with just a little effort. Bruce also feels lucky to have a wife who also enjoys the outdoors, allowing them to share these experiences together.