Muskoka Resorts
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Since the 1880s, people have traveled to Muskoka in search of solace and relaxation, enjoying the comfortable confines and warm hospitality of resorts while at the same time reveling in the tranquil wilderness and refreshing lakes. Things haven't really changed all that much over the past 130 years.
Carefree summers and timeless hospitality remain a carefully preserved tradition at a number of historic resorts nestled within Muskoka's forests. Three properties in particular stand out for capturing the essence of a Muskoka vacation: warmth, luxury, spectacular scenery, and opportunities to relax and play under the deep-blue cottage country skies.

“Deerhurst has always been a special place, ever since it was built over a century ago by my grandfather,” says Bill Waterhouse, who ran the famed Muskoka resort in the 1970s and 1980s, the third generation of Waterhouse to do so. “There's something almost rejuvenating about the location.”
Countless others who have visited Deerhurst over the years agree. Set in 800 acres of wilderness on the shores of Peninsula Lake, Deerhurst allows you to appreciate the outdoors while still enjoying the lap of luxury. It's been perfecting the art of hospitality since 1896.
It's the blend of excitement and comfort that we found most appealing about Deerhurst.
On the one hand, there's an almost dizzying array of things to see and do, enough to keep even the most energetic person occupied for days on end. We enjoyed a Hummer tour (fuelled by bio-fuel from the kitchen in a sign of eco-consciousness) that explored the forested landscape in exhilarating fashion. You can also try your hand at waterskiing across the Peninsula Lake's crystalline waters, golf one of two spectacular courses, tennis, swimming in the lake or indoor pool, or a host of other activities.
After a morning of excitement, we were looking for relaxation. Unwinding begins at the spa, where we enjoy some sinful pampering. Deerhurst is famed for hosting the longest-running live stage show in Canada, so we made sure to set aside time after dinner to take in an unforgettable performances on the very stage where a young Shania Twain launched her career. Finally, immerse yourself in the bubbling hot tub upon returning to your room — spacious and luxurious, with crisp, white linens — for a peaceful sleep.   “Things weren't nearly so comfortable when my grandfather ran the resort, nor was the resort an immediate success,” explains Mr. Waterhouse nostalgically. “In the first year, they had a total of two guests. It was a rustic country hotel only open for the summer, and wealthy Americans guests came to get a taste of a “real” Canadian wilderness. It's come a long way.”
Whether action-packed or relaxed, a Deerhurst getaway is memorable.
“It becomes a part of you”, says Mr. Waterhouse as he casts his eyes lovingly over the hotel that had been in his family for three generations. “You never forget it.”

Since the 19th century, Windermere House's distinctive white siding, twin towers, and candy-striped awnings have come to symbolize the luxury of Muskoka. It's always been a place where guests could enjoy comfortable accommodations, indulge in fine dining, or relax in an atmosphere of serenity.
Originally established by Thomas Aitken in 1870, the resort slowly expanded from a rustic boarding house to an oasis of refinement and hospitality in the wilds of Muskoka. In 2007, Paul Jeffery, a local cottager and founder of Kelsey's Restaurants and Montana's Cookhouse, purchased the resort and began the process of redesigning the property for the 21st century. 
Everything about Windermere House speaks to unwinding and rejuvenation. Get cozy in plush beds, enjoy a drink on the patio under the warm Muskoka sun, and relax on the trademark veranda, gazing out upon the gentle soothing waters of glittering blue Lake Rosseau. There are a number of accommodation options available, but for sheer luxury opt for a platinum suite, with Jacuzzi tubs and private balconies overlooking the water. 
Indulge in sumptuous dining at the Rosseau Grill: succulent steaks, deliciously fresh seafood, pleasing contemporary atmosphere, and glorious Lake Rosseau vista. It's a recipe for marvelous memories. For a more casual meal, head to the rustic ambience Windermere Pub, or enjoy the unique flavours of authentic Japanese and Korean delights in the Sushi Café. Windermere House has the widest selection of dining options of any Muskoka resort.
Relaxation is a 140-year old tradition at Windermere House. Days are spent relaxing in carefree recreation. Enjoy a calming swim in the refreshing waters of the lake or within the outdoor pool. Take a stroll along a country road, surrounded by verdant green forests, or through the tiny historic Windermere village with is cluster of charming buildings. Enjoy a laid-back game of golf at Windermere Golf Club.

The Rosseau, a JW Marriott property located on the shores of Lake Rosseau, might not have the instant name recognition of Windermere House or Deerhurst, but it boasts a seductive mix of elegance and natural splendour that instantly hooks you. Less than a decade old, it carries on the tradition of a century-old resort, Paignton House, upon which property it was built and from whom it inherited the most picturesque stretch of shoreline in Muskoka
As we pulled into the Rosseau's grounds, the grand resort reared into view atop a hill —almost palatial in appearance. Then, pulling up to the resort's grand entrance, we were greeted by a calming waterfall feature and impeccably manicured gardens alive with rich colors, underlining the Rosseau's commitment to blending refinement and nature together into one unforgettable location.
The design of the Rosseau is intended to reflect the Muskoka resorts of old. In fact, when it was being built photos of the Royal Muskoka Hotel — in its day the finest in the region — were referenced. As a result, the Rosseau has an authenticity despite being only a decade old, and despite its luxury is surprisingly comfortable.
The spa at the Rosseau is not only the finest in Muskoka by a far margin, but is also among the most luxuriant in North America. Begin with a soak in a hot tub with expansive ground-to-floor windows looking out onto Lake Rosseau where you watch as a steamship, smoke trailing from its stack, slowly crawls past.  For true luxury, go for the 80-minute Rosseau Signature Massage, a warm eucalyptus foot bath and soothing foot massage, followed by a full body massage with aromatherapy oils. Heavenly. 


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