Ste. Anne’s Spa Review and Highlights
I’ve been dreaming of sneaking away to Ste. Anne’s spa for several years now. Our recent visit was even more than I could have hoped for! The 1800’s country castle is home to a must-see spa and wellness destination. While some necessary precautions were in place due to the pandemic, we managed to have a relaxing time. Here are my thoughts on Ste. Anne’s and why I think it’s worth the 1 hour drive from Toronto.
The Sprawling Grounds at Ste. Anne’s Spa
Encircling the 1800’s castle manor are vast, verde grounds with Lake Ontario serving as a backdrop along the horizon. Fulfill all of your cottage-core, idyllic nature fantasies in any of the various sections of Ste. Anne’s property. Upon arrival, you’ll make your way through a tidy but rural slab-stone pathway leading through a cobblestone wall and up to the main building (AKA: the manor.) And while the gardens inside the courtyard are beautiful, they are just a small taste of what’s to come!
From rolling green hills dappled with hammocks to the lavender maze and frogs in the Zen garden, it’s effortless to surrender to the tranquil atmosphere. While the main property boasts carefully tended flower beds there are also kilometers of nature trails to trek, too. We spotted Blue Jays, chipmunks, and even a fox cub during our quiet strolls through these trails.
Stay Over Night
Ste. Anne’s does offer day-spa options, but I would highly recommend staying 2 nights for the optimum experience. Accommodations in the main building are limited, though they have acquired several rustic, cozy cottages that dot the property. We stayed at The Birdsong cottage–I’m sure you can guess where the name comes from! Because we stayed while COVID measures were still in place, we had the option of having breakfast delivered and eating in robes on the Southern-style front porch.
In fact, the best part about staying overnight here is that you are encouraged to wear your robe throughout your visit! Not for nature trecks mind you. But all throughout the main grounds and even in the dining areas, everyone was lounging in their plush white robes.
Thermal Pools with a View
Okay… this was easily my favorite place to perch! The newly renovated thermal pools are simply gorgeous and offer serene rooftop views. The thermal pools are shallow and are various temperatures from lukewarm to hot. I spotted many women slipping into a cozy spot in the shallow ends with a book and some cucumber water. Ah, bliss! Oh, and there’s also a cold plunge pool. Maybe not ideal for lounging, but it will kick-start your lymphatic system!
There’s also a massive swimming pool on the main grounds, but it was still closed for the season during our stay.
Ste. Anne’s Locally Sourced Menu
I would be amiss to not mention the delicious food options here too. Ste. Anne’s prides itself on growing many of the items featured in their menu. I was blown away that they had dedicated vegan food too! Plus, many of the non-vegan items could be adjusted. Our favourites were:
- Vegan Cuban Breakfast with Avocado
- Beet and Lebneh Salad (ask for the vegan modification–the whipped vegan ‘cheese’ is incredible!)
- Vegan Cashew Fettuccini
- Vegan Chocolate Date Bar
- Strawberry Rhubarb vegan ice cream
Ste. Anne’s Spa Treatments and In House Beauty Line
And the main event: Ste. Anne’s Spa treatments! Alas, our visit was limited to only RMT massages so I was not able to experience some of their immersive treatments. Our massages were top-notch and highly relaxing. I would put their spa service on-par with the high-end hotel spas in Toronto, like those found at The Four Seasons and ShangriLa. When you book with Ste. Anne’s, they will offer to reserve your spa treatments at that time. Take advantage of this and do it immediately! Their treatment rooms get booked up quickly. Waiting to book your spa treatments when you arrive is risky, as there’s a good chance no timeslots will be left. If you’d like, you can also take advantage of the high-tech massage chairs perched inside a light-filled room overlooking the gardens.
It’s worth noting that Ste. Anne’s makes its own in-house brand of skin and hair products. In fact, you can even see the apothecary on the grounds. Their beauty products are botanical-focused and very natural. Several of them are stand-outs for me. I even purchased the following to take home:
- Body Lotion (vegan)
- Foot Lotion (vegan)
- Hair Conditioner (vegan)
I would absolutely recommend a visit to Ste. Anne’s if you are seeking a quiet, tranquil, relation-focused trip. (It is a spa after all.) But the grounds are also sprinkled with areas to socialize, like the fire pit with large Muskoka chairs and outdoor grilling station. There’s also the farm which offers horse grooming, e-bike tours, yoga classes, and more if you want to switch things up a bit. Oh, and the natural spring water filtered on site! Not only does it taste delicious but you’ll notice the difference in your skin and hair after you shower.
We’re already looking into visiting again, but sadly they are booked solid for the 4 months! Perhaps our next visit will be in the fall haha.
Make sure you check out my sustainable packing guide to Ste. Anne’s. And don’t forget your reusable water bottle. It will come in handy for your daily strolls but you’ll also want to fill it up to take a little taste of Ste. Anne’s home with you when you leave.