This past weekend my wife and I sneaked away to Muskoka for a three-day weekend of much needed R and R. We had considered more far-off destinations like Miami, New York or Las Vegas, but came to realize we’d like something close and quiet - where pure relaxation, not activities - would be the goal. We looked at all the better properties north of Toronto to decide where to go; based in part upon Trip Advisor reviews, we chose The Rosseau.
The drive from Toronto is quick and easy, at "get the heck out of Dodge" speeds, it was around 2 hours and 15 minutes from downtown. Most of the drive is quite pretty; once north of Barrie, the drive is very nice. Arriving at the hotel, you are greeted by a lovely building with charming architectural detail. In the winter, it is a very pretty snow-covered facade, in summer, with the gardens planted and fountains in operation, I think it will be really beautiful.
The first staffer we met was bellman Nico, (sorry about the spellin') who right from the start made us feel really welcome with what seemed like genuine care about how we enjoyed our drive. Nico helped us with our luggage and walked us through the beautiful foyer - with the impressive view through to the "conservatory" room - to the check in. Here we met Jessie, who was also very friendly, and made genuine efforts to make us feel welcome. After a quick check in, Nico took us to our room, a beautiful one-bedroom suite.
Now, I have stayed in a lot of hotels, some expensive and some not so much, and this was one of the nicest rooms I have checked in to. Beautifully decorated in a tasteful old-timey cottagey motif, it felt both homey and luxurious. The suite featured a nice big deck (obviously better for summer), a nice gas fireplace, galley kitchen with dishwasher, two big flat-screen TV's, an amazing granite bathroom with double sinks, separate deep tub and shower, and a tucked away WC (one reviewer below is right about the light in the WC. It's a green-minded LED lamp, and er, forget reading on the loo). We were thrilled with our room, and after settling in for a few minutes and unpacking, we went to see the rest of the property.
Down in the foyer we bumped into a charming manager (you know who you are) to whom we gushed about how much we already liked the property, and the suite. Long story sort, she suggested that she could shift us to an east-facing suite where she promised we would be blown away by the sunrise over Lake Rosseau. We said we'd be delighted to take her up on the offer, though the suite we were in was fantastic.
It was worth the time to shift our things; the corner suite was AMAZING. A little bit bigger, with an entry foyer, a larger, even more impressive bathroom with a beautiful round window over the soaker tub. The bedroom was as nice as any hotel I can remember. The only drawback is that it's a pretty long walk from the elevators, but it assured the most privacy - and quiet - possible. She was right, by the way; dawn broke clear on Saturday morning, and sunrise over Lake Rosseau was very beautiful indeed.
We were on a weekend dining plan, so later headed to Cottages for our first dinner. After a quick stop at Lakes, the lobby bar, we got our table. On the dining plan there is a "table d'hote" menu, slightly condensed from the main menu. There were plenty of choices for our three nights' stay. We both enjoyed delicious appetizers, mains and dessert, in a lovely cottage-country resort ambiance. Like the people we had met at check in, all of the staff in the dining room were wonderfully pleasant, and as we were learning was typical of the staff, would do anything they could do to ensure a pleasant experience. We especially enjoyed meeting the managers of both of the dining rooms, who at our invitation, joined us for a few minutes to chat about the property of which they were both clearly proud.
After dinner we retired to our room for an early night, we were both tired from work.
Over the next three days we enjoyed breakfasts in Cottages, which on the weekend had a great breakfast buffet, with so many choices we had to strategize how to try them all during our short stay. We enjoyed the exercise room (most sophisticated treadmills I have ever seen) and the pool. The pool has an indoor and an outdoor portion that are joined by a swim through. Outside was the large hot tub, which was fun to soak in in the cool weather and especially nice in the falling snow. One warning: after the hot tub, the pool feels (brrr!) cold.
Beyond that, we didn't do much. Even in the winter there are lots of outdoor activities for guests, but we were interested in mostly a quiet weekend curled up by the fireplace with a book. Whether in our own room or in the public areas, there were plenty of nice corners with comfy chairs or couches to curl up in and dig into our books.
We had two more dinners to enjoy, one more at Cottages, and one at Teca, the Italian Grille themed dinner spot. At Teca our server was Simon, who clearly loved his job, and was very good at it; from wine recommendations, to thoughts about the many menu items. We were joined that evening by another couple who we had met earlier, and together had a fantastic dinner experience where we could not possibly have asked for more attentive and thorough service, with just the right “casual-professional” attitude. We laughed, chatted and lingered long over a delicious dinner, until we were the last guests in the dining room. After dessert was an unexpected capper – close-up magic performed by the bartender, a delightful close to a wonderful evening.
Monday morning we were sad to be packing up to leave, we had had such a nice time, very peaceful, fun, and relaxing. We truly cannot wait until summer, when we hope to be able to visit again with our boys. I believe the property will be even more wonderful in the summer season.
A couple of reviewers pointed out those things they found wrong with the property. I found that there were a couple of issues consistent with the property being open only a matter of weeks. But to tell the truth, these issues were so minor as to be not worth mentioning here. Once the bugs are all ironed out over the next weeks and months, this property is going to be even better.
In summary: a beautiful, well appointed hotel situated in one of the most beautiful parts of Canada. The staff are hand-picked and consistently some of the most friendly, caring people I have ever encountered. There wasn’t a single one that failed to greet us warmly, or, when appropriate to offer to go the extra mile to ensure we had a wonderful time. Of course, this was not a bargain hotel, so one would expect a certain level of luxury and staff care, but I think that our experience exceeded what one might normally expect of a good hotel.
No, I am not affiliated with the hotel, and yes, we’ll definitely return.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- JW Marriott The Rosseau Muskoka Resort & Spa welcomes guests to luxurious surroundings overlooking Lake Rosseau. Year-round, experience the beauty and renewal of nature on your terms. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Expedia, Marriott, Priceline, Booking.com, Orbitz, Despegar.com, TripOnline SA, Travelocity, Hotels.com, Odigeo and Tingo so you can book your JW Marriott The Rosseau Muskoka Resort & Spa reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
- Also Known As:
- The Rosseau, a Jw Marriott Resort And Spa
- The Rosseau, a Jw Marriott Hotel Minett
- Jw Marriott Rosseau
- Jw Marriott Minett
- JW Marriott The Rosseau Muskoka Resort & Spa Ontario/Minett, Canada