My sister's-in-law & I decided to spend our July birthdays together at The Briar's for 2 nights/3 days. We purchased the Soul Sisters package which consisted of mini manicures, all our meals, accommodation, wine & treats, plus all the activities The Briar's had to offer. We decided to book this package as it was within our budget and only 1 hour north of Ajax.
We arrived in the early afternoon and since our room wasn't ready yet, we decided to check out the grounds and have some lunch. One thing we noticed was that there were a mix of guests on the property - families with children, young couples, older couples and singles. Another thing we noticed was that even though this is an older resort, it isn't rundown and is kept in pretty good shape. There are 2 pools - 1 indoor and 1 outdoor, a sauna, hot tub (both indoors and by the pool) and the lake is across the street. The grounds were gorgeous, there were activities and games to play indoors and out and they even had their own herb and vegetable garden. At the lake you could laze by the water and work on your tan or sit in the gazebo and watch the boats go by. You could also enjoy plethora of activities available such as SUP, pedal boats, kayaks, canoes or cruise Lake Simcoe on the Lady Simcoe.
We decided to have lunch at Drinkwaters' Lounge. Our waiter took our food order, but didn't ask us if we wanted anything to drink. He assumed we only wanted water and that's what we got. My SILs had the seafood chowder and appertiser Caesar salad. I had the soup of the day which was Turkey noodle. All of our soups came with a Cheddar cheese scone. My soup tasted like it was homemade and my SIL's enjoyed their soups and salads.
I decided to have my manicure as well as a pedicure on the day I arrived since I was having more treatments the next day. The spa is located in the Tower which is adjacent to the main building where we were staying. My esthetician, Katherine, was a little rougher than I'm used to and keep telling me to relax my fingers - something I'm not really good at, and telling me to relax doesn't help. I found my pedicure procedure to be very different than what I'm used to. Instead of soaking my feet in a tub, they wrapped them in hot towels instead. It wasn't unpleasant, just different.
While I was getting my manicure and pedicure, our room became ready earlier than expected, so my SIL's were able to bring our suitcases in. There, waiting for us, was a bottle of Pelee Island chardonnay and a HUGE plate of fruit, chocolate, macaroons and Perrier. It was way more than we expected (honestly I though we were getting cheese and crackers) and it took us the entire weekend just to make a dent in it. We didn't even need the snacks we brought.
We had 2 double beds in our room, which was on the 2nd floor of the Leacock Wing in the main building, nice and close to the spa. Our room also had a decent sized bathroom, a vanity and sink just outside the bathroom, Keurig & tea/coffee maker, TV, table, 2 chairs & spa robes. Our room had a balcony which overlooked the rear of the property and had views of the lake and a couple of chairs to relax in.
Our dinner reservations for both evenings was at 7pm. There were several areas to dine in the main restaurant so you never felt crowded. Our package consisted of an appetiser, main course & dessert, alcohol was extra. Our meals were fantastic & filling. The goat cheese & heirloom tomato salad was amazing. I had the chicken breast which was cooked & seasoned to perfection. One of my SILs had steak, the other had beef tenderloin. They both enjoyed their meals immensely. Portion sizes are generous, so leave room for dessert. We had the chocolate brownie & strawberry ices - both were delicious and the perfect proportion. We didn't expect our meals to be filling and/or flavourful considering we were on a package, but The Briar's continued to surprise us!
Breakfast in the mornings was buffet style. Breakfast included juice, tea, coffee, cereal, fruit, pastries, eggs, french toast, pancakes, bacon, sausage, and toast. All of our meals during our stay at The Briar's were filling - if you leave hungry, it's your own fault!
On Saturday we decided to take a tour of the house, the history room, library and drawing room, which is full of history of the property and both the Bourchier & Sibbald families going all the way back to France/England & Scotland. After our tour and before my spa appointment, I went to the top of the Tower. Although the windows could use a really good cleaning on the outside, the Tower offered magnificent views of the lake and the grounds (tennis courts, herb garden, Peacock House, beach volleyball court and walking trails).
After breakfast, my SIL's had their manicures and pedicures while I indulged in a 90 minute hot stone massage, which included reflexology and a 45 minute Lake Simcoe facial. The hot stone massage is a must! I was so relaxed afterwards that I didn't want to leave the massage table. It was that good! My facial was also very good. While the first mask was on my face, I received a hand & arm massage. My only complaint about my facial was the lack of massage during my second mask. This would've been a perfect opportunity to get a foot & leg massage. Something to keep in mind for next time. My treatments ended with me lounging in the waiting room, sipping on Green tea and nibbling on freshly baked, homemade cookies. While I was settling up my bill, the manager had accidentally charged my SIL's and me the tax on our treatments, which was included in our package. She noticed the error, corrected it and reimbursed us the change. Even though it was just a few dollars, this little act of honesty is what will make me a return client to The Briar's resort and spa.
After lunch on Saturday we warmed up in the hot tub, then cooled down in the indoor pool. Then we participated in a beginners yoga class. Since the weather was so nice, our class was held in the outdoor gazebo by the basketball courts. The friendly, neighbourhood fox decided to grace us with his presence at a safe distance during our class.
On Sunday, our last day, my SILs enjoyed some of the activities while I went on a leisurely bike ride to the marina and to Sibbald Provincial park. After checking out of our room and enjoying our last lunch on the outdoor patio, we decided to conclude our visit with a cruise on Lake Simcoe on the Lady Simcoe.
There is so much to do on & off the property. You can relax by the lake and watch the boaters go by or take a leisurely trip on the lake. There are yoga classes, either indoors or outdoors, weather permitting, ranging from basic to intermediate. There are zumba classes for the whole family or in one of the pools. There are too many activities to mention, but they all are listed on their website. There are winter activities as well. When you check in to the resort, you are given an itinerary of what activities are available, the day & time, if you need to sign up at the front desk and if there is an additional fee for that activity.
My only complaints about the resort was that the windows needed a good cleaning or replaced altogether, and the carpets could use a good steam cleaning. Other than that, no complaints. I would highly recommend The Briar's and look forward to my next visit.
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- Also Known As:
- The Briars Hotel Jackson`s Point
- Briars Jacksons Point
- Briars Hotel Jacksons Point
- The Briars Ontario, Canada