Similar to most of the reviews, I’ve been wanting to go to Ste. Anne’s ever since a very well-off friend told me about it and similar to most, I bawked at the price. Finally, I decided to splurge for my birthday and found a decent mid-week single occupancy deal. From the time I started my inquiry, until the time I was still trying to make last minute changes, the reservation agents were polite and helpful.
I took the Stress Express to Ste. Anne’s and I was very pleased with the service. It was a quick and comfortable ride, and when I arrived there was already someone from Ste. Anne’s waiting to take us to the spa. When I arrived to reception, even though there were quite a few people checking in at the same time, there was several staff to ensure the flow was efficient. Even if they cannot accommodate everyone at once, they found a place for everyone to wait their turn.
I had the Canopy room. Although the room was considered to be “standard” accommodation, I found it very comfortable for a solo traveler. The bed was so comfortable. I’ve never been a fan of rustic or old fashioned type of décor/hotels, but I was really pleased with the room. The washroom was bright and modern. Whatever imperfections the room had, management has managed to find a way to make it work. For example, this is essentially an old house and the wood floors were really creeky. I was worried I’d be able to hear my neighbours, especially since the cathedral room was right next door. However, in my room at least, there were two sets of doors before you get into the room so this blocks out most of the sound. I’d only hear people when they went in the door, but once they got into the room I did not hear anything.
I really liked how Ste. Anne’s paid attention to detail, and this is where the “stars” come into play. The stars are not about how luxurious a hotel is but what kind of amenities they offer. I loved that you could drink out of every tap and in every common area with a sink, there were plenty of cups. Any place you can wash your hands, there was always a combination of hand soap and lotion. Instead of wasteful paper towels, there were regular hand towels. Although it was a bit too chilly to hang out outdoors, I found there were plenty of snuggle-up spots and Ste. Anne’s even provided blankets. This attention to details is what makes good hotels, excellent. The eucalyptus steam room is AMAZING! Made the regular steam room feel like crap :) For those that find it busy, on the weekdays at least, I found that around 6pm it was always empty. I really liked the Pavilion area (beside the eucalyptus steam room) because it was quiet and tranquil, it was a nice place to unwind before an activity.
I came here to have a mini yoga retreat, and in my 3 days, I managed to squeeze in 6 yoga classes. In certain classes, I felt like I was in a senior’s yoga class but all the teachers were very respectful of everyone’s own practice and comfort level. The teachers always encouraged you to take it to the level of your practice. My favorite yoga class was the intermediate class, it’s taught like a standard beginner’s yoga class with more advanced moves. So even if you are a true beginner or an advanced practitioner, you’ll find that all the yoga classes will accommodate your level. It’s a great place to start yoga if you were ever curious.
I really enjoyed all the meals I had (minus the beef entrée I had for dinner one night). My favorite meal of the day was lunch – yes the burger is delicious! I actually like that Ste. Anne’s is not licensed because you can bring your own wine, they’ll uncork it for you. All of the serving staff I had during all my meals were helpful, efficient and well trained.
I had two spa services the signature facial and the athlete’s relief sports massage. The facial started with a foot soak which was a nice touch. The facial was not the best I ever had, but it was not the therapist’s fault – she was very skilled but just the nature of the facial and the products used (not really to my taste). What I did like about the facial was that instead of leaving the room when you had your mask on, your therapist would work on other parts of your body such as your hands or feet. The sports massage with Andrea was AMAZING, the BEST massage I ever had. If you like deep massages, she’s the one you have to book with. I also LOVE that after your treatment your therapist will give you your care instructions or your RMT receipt so it eliminates the shuffling when you check out.
The only negatives I experienced and it was really difficult to find negatives (and to be fair, are not really Ste. Anne’s fault) was that due to the weather and all the fire places going, my skin got REALLY dry and my room was a little bit musty when I first arrived (I opened the window for a little bit and this solved the problem).
When I first booked my trip, I felt like I was spending a lot of money, so this is how I justified the cost (and hopefully it’ll help you decide). From your rate you’re paying, subtract:
-$120 for the spa allowance
-$29 for lunch (based off of Elmwood Spa’s lunch rate)
-$25 for afternoon tea (lowest price for afternoon tea in Toronto)
-$15 for breakfast (made to order option)
-$40 dinner (average price for fixe prix meal)
After factoring the above costs, the leftover amount was not enough to book a night’s stay in a 4 star hotel in Toronto so therefore, the price I paid was actually very reasonable.
Overall, I was very pleased with my stay and will return as soon as I can. I can see why there are so many repeat customers. I had a great time by myself and even made some new friends. This is not a super “ritzy” spa but a cozy, luxurious and welcoming spa. Ste. Anne’s is a well-run facility with highly trained staff that pays attention to the details. They should be proud of their accomplishment and establishment.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Ste. Anne's Spa, situated in the Haldimand Hills gazes down on over 400 acres of forested rolling hills overlooking Lake Ontario. It is Ontario's largest destination and day spa, offering extensive spa facilities, luxuriously appointed guest rooms, fine dining, and an array of spa treatments. Surrounding the main inn at Ste. Anne's are private guesthouses, truly a unique aspect of the "spa village" experience. Located only 90 minutes east of Toronto. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Ste. Anne`s Hotel Grafton
- Ste. Anne's Spa Ontario/Grafton, Canada