We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Deep restoration for mind, body and soul” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Grail Springs Retreat

We can't find prices for this hotel
Our online travel partners don't provide prices for this hotel, but we can search other options in Bancroft
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
Grail Springs Retreat
Save
You added Grail Springs Retreat to your Saves list
2004 Bay Lake Road, Bancroft, Ontario K0L 1C0, Canada   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Bancroft
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
1 review
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
“Deep restoration for mind, body and soul”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 31, 2013

Grail Springs is a wonderful holistic, soul nourishing spa retreat. I do encourage you to take in the word "retreat" and not just spa. It is essentially a place of relaxation and healing. This was my second trip and I got way more than I hoped from my visit. If you are looking for a place to be quiet, to reflect, to walk and go within- then you will love Grail Springs. While it is certainly luxurious ( there were absolutely no signs of wear and tear at all during my visit, or unhappy staff and my room was lovely with a very large tub and great bed) ) if you are looking for a totally urban high end spa experience, then you may not find the spirit- centred focus of Grail Springs to be for you- although you may have a new experience too!
For those that are open to the holistic philosophy, it is heaven. The yoga I experienced is mostly 'yin' yoga, which i was so grateful for...not the aerobic, exercise trendy North American version of yoga. The meditations were wonderful. And the morning mantra is beautiful.
The food is healthy, tasty, beautifully presented and we were offered more of everything at every meal.Grail Springs is an easy and welcoming place if you are travelling alone. You may do as much or as little with other people as you wish and everything is friendly.
The spa treatments are generally pricey for the skill set offered I think, but this trip, I chose things that I wouldn't usually get in Toronto and they were great. There is also a wet and dry sauna, an outdoor sauna, an outdoor hot tub, lovely walks, horses and the labyrinth to walk. Blissful.

Room Tip: I travelled alone and was in room #8 - great bed, lovely fire, big bathroom and tub with a rain sho...
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

227 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    157
    25
    15
    11
    19
See reviews for
12
29
97
8
Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (57)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Ottawa, Canada
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2013

I had high expectations of my stay, but the location, the staff, the therapists, instructors, chef, and participants of my program put it over the top. I can't praise this place highly enough, and every effort was made to cater to dietary restrictions or otherwise while I was there.
I will definitely be back, either for a detox, or to sample another program.

Room Tip: Avoid the room over the kitchen. Air ventilation unit outside, plus meal prep noise.
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 29, 2013

Just back from 7 day Boot Camp @ Grail - transformed! My room (large, two queen (very) comfortable) beds, was in the newly redone section with beautiful views overlooking the lake. I am not a "new ager" and did very little in terms of "homework" before booking other than keeping an open mind about the experience - -I wasn't disappointed.

The staff were gracious and helpful. The Kitchen (Tomoko! Tammy! Dakota! Ashley!) helpful and supportive. Several of us juiced for a few days and they made sure to track us down and
follow up with our individual needs. The food was delish - I am not a vegan or a vegetarian and could not believe that I wasn't hungry or missing meat! What a revelation.

Madeline (owner) was present a couple of days - I spent some time with her talking about the property and appreciated her insight.

The workshops were informative and helpful for someone like me - a beginner in all things nutrition.

Cell and Internet was hit and miss for some but I understand from talking with locals that the entire Bancroft area is challenged in that regard - that Great Canadian Shield? Most of us were too busy with treatments, workshops, sleeping to be all that concerned. My own focus in coming to Grail was to disconnect from the electronic world and reconnect to me, so it wasn't an issue for me.

All of the rooms I saw had deadbolts and door locks.

I attended the daily zumba/workout and mantra sessions. The grounds are beautiful, peaceful and serene. I took walks with the girls and runs on my own and hikes with the group and our guides. I visited with the horses, took a hot tub followed by a dip in the lake, and a walk in the Labyrinth and attended all but one of the workshops (I was exhausted!) I really appreciated that there was no pressure to join a session or a group if I wanted to be on my own.

The daily breakfast, lunch and dinner in the main hall gave us an opportunity to share some time and although none of us knew each other before arriving, we all left knowing we made some great connections.

The spa treatments provided in the package were good. I would opt for an alternate to the red carpet wrap. No one in our group expected any amount of permanent weight loss from this treatment, however we were all curious. Some of us doubled up for the treatment so we were able to exercise and sing along while watching Mama Mia - good fun while wrapped up like mummies!

I would love to see a program that included meal prep and cooking workshops - it's one thing to learn to change our eating habits and yet another to put it into our daily routine without knowing how to prepare those wonderful meals we experienced (although many of the recipes were shared by the Kitchen and/or available at the web site).

Grail is a wellness retreat and may not be for everyone. I love that this is a grace-filled place where I can go solo, and be alone at my whim. I plan to return for another detoxifying, rejuvenating, bliss-filled week in Canada.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2013

I went to this resort not too long ago and stayed for the week. I enjoyed the food, and the hike and yoga classes. Never seen Madeleine tho, was hoping to. I found a lot of people that work there aren't very happy and i have walked in on people complaining about others that work in the same building, that's what bothered me. Don't know whats going on there, if someone is making them feel miserable or what! loved my room, it was always clean, loved the spa treatments, Jennifer was amazing and has a lot of knowledge on the services,enjoyed every minute with her, hard to find an Esthetician I like. The receptionist Debbie(both Debbie's) were very friendly and fun to talk to. Oh and Jason was great also, had some good talks with him. I will be back for more spa treatments and maybe I'll try the boot camp next time. Hopefully people will be a little more cheerful when I'm there next, I feel that they just aren't happy to work there, not good. Nice experience tho, I'll see you again.

Room Tip: Get the mud steam treatment and the facials!
See more room tips
  • Stayed October 2013, traveled on business
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 20, 2013

I stayed at Grail Springs for 5 nights at the end of August 2013 after having reviewed the spa's website which claimed to have in place a "boot camp" during that time.

First off, I would like to say what was great about this property:

1. The lake, the lake, the lake - it truly was beautiful and worth swimming in on a daily basis - which I did. There were kayaks and peddle boats at no extra charge for those wishing to take these out. I did not only because the weather was dodgy and I didn't want to get caught out on my own in a thunder storm. The mist in the morning over the lake early in the morning was spectacular.

2. The grounds - lovely walking trails and gardens. All those who complained of the hot tub, I don't get it. It is only a wooden barrel of hot water, but that made it all the more peaceful and the temperature was perfect. My sole complaint here was the outdoor dry sauna as only the receptionist could turn it on - the switch is located in an outdoor, locked shed. Management does not trust the guests to leave the shed unlocked - pity. This would be fine if the receptionist had a good memory and the time to make the trek outdoors. This wasn't always the case so it could take 30 - 60 minutes from the time you asked for the sauna to be turned on to it actually being turned on. And then it took about 20 minutes to heat up.

3. The Japanese chef and her husband were both very accomodating and friendly. The food is no surprise if you read the website properly - totally vegan and not the largest portions. Given what the chef was working with, I thought she did a pretty good job. I wouldn't say the food was excellent, but you are not going there for gourmet cuisine. I would suggest bringing your own alcohol, sweets and coffee if this is important to you - otherwise, you'll me making the short drive to town to pick them up. The chef does her own version of dessert, but I found these not particularly tasty. Each to their own, but I knew what I was getting in to here.

Now, the mediocre:

1. The room itself - my room (I think it was #7) was quite large with spectacular balcony. There was a fireplace, but I did not make use of it so couldn't comment on that. The shower and bath were fine, although the tub was one of the smallest I have seen. The toiletries were very nice and plentiful, but you are warned not to remove them as they are full-size, rather than travel-size. The cons: a) the plush fuscia carpet in the halls and staircase. Never mind the colour, it was stained and torn throughout. There was a sign indicating that renos were on the way, so maybe that has changed by now. For a spa touting itself as organic and natural, carpeting doesn't quite cut it with me. The same can be said for the linoleum "tiling" in the bathroom and the laminate flooring in the guest room. These are not exactly health-friendly, but they certainly are less expensive than cermamic and wood or cork. The windows were all warped and did not close properly. They didn't open at all. Luckily, it was late summer, so this wasn't that big a deal, but I can imagine how cold this would be in the winter. The A/C worked fine. There is no cordless phone in the room even though it was huge and the cord was short. So, it was difficult to get comfortable when using the telephone. The door to my guestroom did not have bolt lock - only the kind you push in on the door handle from the inside when leaving. These are very easy to break into to and I wasn uncomfortable with this.

2. The treatments: With the exception of the body scrub which came with the boot-camp (there are 3 treatments included with the boot camp - you don't choose these), the other treatments were disappointing. The "red carpet" body wrap is a waste of time and money, in my opinion. They just wrap you up in tensor bandages that have been soaking in a mineral solution, you jump around on an old mini-trampoline in a cold, damp room in a basement while watching a video and they measure you all over before and after. Obviously, you'll lose some inches, but they come right back a day or two later. I paid extra for a facial and a pedicure and neither one of these was worth half of what the spa charges. The facial took 10 minutes less than advertised and I felt the esthetician was racing through it. The spa doesn't have a pedicure room. Instead, you sit in a regular office chair and stick your feet in a bucket of warm water. The treatment rooms are all in the basement so the atmosphere is dark and gloomy. I did not find it to be a relaxing experience at all and I have been to countless spas.

The really bad:

1. Wifi: The spa advertises free wifi in the guestrooms What they don't tell people is that if you have an Apple product, you cannot get a connection. For my entire 5-night stay, I could not connect to the internet through my ipad. I checked with the front desk numerous times only to be told that the person they pay to take care of this sort of thing (who is not onsite) had left town for the long weekend and so, nothing could be done for me. I checked everday with the front staff for help and was told I could use the computer in the lobby instead.

2. The front desk staff: They came off as unprofessional and disorganized All the women in my boot camp experienced issues with double bookings for their treatments. On one day, in particular, I was given three separate times for one of my treatments! You are not given your daily treatment schedule until the morning of and then you have to spend another 15 -30 minutes trying to straigten things out with the front desk. I think this has to do with the fact that the owner of the spa is rarely around. Her house is located right beside the spa, but I think I saw her on only one occasion - when she gave one of the evening lectures about her philosophy and the book she has written.

3. The boot camp: For all intents and purposes, this doesn't really exist. I was expecting a day full of physical work-outs, but all the spa offers is one 7 am fitness class (either zumba or mixed calisthetics) a day. There is no gym on site and no pool. Swimming is in the lake (which is fine on a nice day). They don't tell you this unless you ask, but they do provide free passes for the local gym in town. That being said, you can only ask for a pass on the morning of the day you intend to go. They will not give them out the night before - god knows why. The gym itself, including the sparse equipment, is old and reminded me of soviet-style training areas. It closes Sunday mornings at 11:30 AM. Bancroft is a small town, so you can't really expect a Goodlife, but then the spa should offer its own gym. On a couple of days, there were also guided walks through the property - but this was more a relaxation exercise than a boot camp work-out. Along the walk, you will be shown some stones apparently donated by the local druid and be brought to a place where the energy emanating from the soil is apparently strong enough to create a vortex (??)

4. The snacks: As others have mentioned, all you are provided with is green apples and oranges. They sometimes had pears, but these ran out quickly. Also, once a day, they put out a very limited healthy snack and an elixir (usually consists of water, cayenne pepper and lemon juice). I found I was hungry most of the time. You can buy snacks in their gift shop, but these are expensive. Or, you can just drive down to the Esso station at the bottom of the road.

5. The new age philosophy: What follows is purely my personal opinion and, druids and vortexes notwithstanding, I'm sure those who subscribe to this way of life would totally disagree with me. The "boot camp" was almost entirely focussed on this philosophy. Instead of filling the day with work-outs, most of the day (actually, morning, as afternoons had few planned activities) was comprised of activities related to "spiritual" well-being - i.e, chakra/aura readings, mantras, yoga (not the sporty kind), meditation and evening lectures related to these areas. There was one lecture about holistic nutrition which I found tolerable, but the rest I couldn't sit through. I also tried the meditation, but had to leave when the grunting was introduced. If you believe in shamanism, mediums (those who can channel - not those who are in the middle), nirvana, etc...., this is heaven-on-earth for you. You can even have a "life coaching" session with the owner of the resort for a fee, I believe, of $200/hr. If, on the other hand, you find this stuff a bit silly, you should probably avoid this place.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled solo
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grail_SpringsCanada, Manager at Grail Springs Retreat, responded to this review, October 21, 2013
Thank you for your review. We appreciate your feedback and will do our best to respond to the list of numerous comments. We are delighted you took advantage of swimming in the lake, enjoyed the mineral salt soaker tub, the grounds, your room and view. Thank you for acknowledging that there was a sign saying ‘we appreciated your patience as we finish the renovations’. The new carpets in the hallways have been installed, and carpet was chosen for its sound baffling ability for a high traffic area, and for luggage wheels which can be very damaging to wood floors. There are brand new hardwood floors in the rooms with silk and bamboo area rugs. New window are being installed first week of Nov and again we had signs in the rooms saying as such. We appreciate the cudos to nutritionist, chef and hiking guide. Boot camp program is an event which has been a staple for several years due to its popularity. The agenda is listed for all to view before booking. Full days of fitness is not what we are proposing nor would we. There are three hours of fitness daily including a combination of Zumba, Yoga, Hiking or Nia. This is more than what most people can accomplish. We feel our program is very healthy, balanced and doable by the average person. This is the first complaint otherwise. There are gorgeous trails for those who wish to run on their own. Swimming and canoeing are further options if one wishes to burn more calories. We have performed the mineral wrap here for twelve years and it does perform above and beyond anything we have ever experienced, as featured on Ellen, The View, Entertainment Tonight and so on. You will not keep the inches off by going to the local gas station to fill up on junk food during boot camp week. The program is designed to work for those who have set the intention to improve their life and lifestyle with permanent changes. Meditation is offered daily by a variety of several instructors sharing different modalities so guests can chose which one they like most to take home as a practice. We embrace many unique yoga instructors who each bring their own unique talents and wisdom. This includes breath work and relaxation techniques, all scientifically researched by medical universities, and prescribed by many doctors today including Dr. Oz, Dr. Deepak Chopra and Dr. Andrew Weil, author and renowned medical educators. ‘New Age’ is defined as a modern term in the 1980’s for ‘new thought advocating a holistic philosophy for total health and wellbeing’. Holistic means recognition of the ‘whole being’. Grail Springs proudly considers itself as part of the new thought movement in holistic approaches to wellbeing. We are a centre for leading edge technology including traditional methods to approach the healing of body, mind, heart and spirit. There are dozens of boot camp providers in the US who will offer full days of fitness, however they only address the physical body and not the ‘whole being’, which as we know, is not how you fix the root problem. The issue of being overweight, lethargic, or depressed, goes much deeper to the core. And for this reason we provide nutritional consultations, as well as life coaching and spiritual guidance. Tolerance for diversity and the different reasons why people are seeking help is not for us to judge but to show compassion and bring about a program that offers holistic solutions, not readily available in this country and even beyond. We truly hope this changes and more models like ours pop up nationwide. As far as all the other logistical issues, we are appreciative of your feedback and have shared them with management and will make necessary changes where we feel we can and should, and we sincerely apologize for any inconvenience we caused you. Again we thank you for taking the time to write. We must mention coincidentally, that six women from the August boot camp week, rebooked to come back for our June Boot Camp before departing Grail Springs. So to the readers, we are proud to say we are doing something right and fulfilling the needs of many guests. Stay well and we hope you give meditation another try as it is very clearing and relaxing for body, mind and the soul.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Burlington, Ontario, Canada
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2013

I always enjoy my trip to Grail Springs and have gone 5 years in a row. This past trip was my longest as I stayed for 4 nights and 5 days. I probably could manage one more day, but would be ready to travel home after that.

I enjoy the morning mantra and yoga sessions. Both Ava and Josh are great. I tried a moving meditation this year, which worked well for me because sitting still for an hour is too difficult. You can go hiking in the woods on your own, or guided.

While you are there, I recommend you make use of all the facilities. There is a steam room and infrared sauna within the spa. There is also an outdoor hot tub, Japanese cold plunge and sauna, which is great for the skin and detoxification. If it is warm enough, the lake is beautiful to swim in. There are also canoes and paddle boats to use. There is also a labyrinth to walk and a teepee for some peace and quiet.

You have a choice of juice cleanse or food. I prefer the food because it is so tasty.

The rooms are lovely with comfortable beds. I always try to get a balcony. I would recommend the newer portion of the building with rooms over the spa away from the noise of the front door.

My only complaint is with some of the spa services. I am used to treatments and I guess I expect a little more for the money you are paying at Grail. I would also recommend early afternoon as the estheticians I had at 5:00 p.m. were more interested in going home than the treatment. Neither of them introduced themselves, so tough to provide a tip. One of them ran out of cream, gave me a cup and said I could finish myself. This was a little disappointing.

The evening sessions are fun and enlightening. Always something different at Grail. I will continue to go.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Toronto, Canada
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 30, 2013

Just came back from a transformational wellness getaway - 5 days at Grail Springs- Bliss.
The accommodation is excellent - phenomenal vegetarian meals and wonderful service (special thanks to Tomoko and Dakota). The whole experience left me refreshed, rejuvenated, transformed. This is a total holistic wellness retreat - not a spa in the traditional sense - but a place to transform your soul - your spirit - your energy. Many thanks to all who help create this wonderful experience -

Room Tip: Ask for a room behind the front desk - with walk out facing the water - All rooms are great but thes...
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2013, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
mm/dd/yyyy mm/dd/yyyy
Price Your Stay

Been to Grail Springs Retreat? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about Grail Springs Retreat

Address: 2004 Bay Lake Road, Bancroft, Ontario K0L 1C0, Canada
Location: Canada > Ontario > Bancroft
Amenities:
Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 Hotels in Bancroft
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Number of rooms: 15
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Grail Springs Retreat Centre for Wellbeing is Canada's premiere holistic wellness destination where guests enjoy all-inclusive programs with daily yoga, meditation, life classes, spa therapies, special events and evening guest speakers. The 13-room plus 2-Eco-Tabin retreat centre specializes in detox, juice fasts, outdoor adventure and spiritual experiences designed for healing and rejuvenation. Located on the shore of pristine Chalice Lake near Bancroft, Grail Springs is 2.5 Hours from Toronto and Ottawa, Ontario. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Grail Springs Hotel Bancroft
Grail Springs Resort
Grail Springs Retreat Bancroft, Ontario

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Grail Springs Retreat, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.