I had the pleasure of visiting St. Anne’s Spa for the first time this past weekend, after several weeks of excited anticipation. St. Anne’s delivers, in spades. First, the grounds are truly breathtaking, inside and out. The stone facing all over the original farm house and surrounding wall harkens back to the English countryside, as do all of the impeccable touches in the various gardens. The interiors are likewise authentic and beautiful. I hope my photos do them justice. The accommodations are elegant and comfortable. The food is creatively prepared, tasty and just right in terms of portions. The facilities offer lots and lots of activities that are good for the mind, body and soul. My personal favorite is the largest of the 3 pools in the grotto - the wave pool. I pushed off the walls and glided back and forth many times, and it was a pleasure to stand under the drops of water that cascade down from the rocks and give my head a cool friendly shower. But you really cannot go wrong when you explore the onsite facilities and all there is to see and do. Even sitting in a chaise and doing nothing is worthwhile. The outdoor pool was open early this year, which made the weekend even more enjoyable. Perfect weather made that possible.
I experienced the Eucalyptus Body Wrap, the Aroma Stone Massage, a Yoga class and the Evening Turn In, during which I helped feed and walk the horses and feed the cows. All of these experiences brought me peace and renewal, especially spending time with the horses.
But here is where St. Anne’s truly earns its fees (which I will admit are on the high side): in the quality of the staff and customer service. I had the unfortunate experience of waking up in the middle of the night on my last night there, with a bit of a health scare. In my anxious state, I required an immediate visit to a health care practitioner, and the nearest choice given the hour was Emergency at the nearest hospital. Salva, the night manager, offered to drive me to the hospital and kept me calm the whole trip. A few hours later, when I was ready to be released, Evan, one of the Guest Services staff, picked me up from the hospital with plates of assembled food (because I had missed breakfast). When I arrived back at the spa, the front desk staff all inquired as to my well-being and Richard, who had given me the tour a couple of days before, came around and gave me a hug. I will never forget the sincere and caring hospitality I received, which was consistent throughout my stay, but even more pronounced during and following the incident.
As many other reviewers have said, yes, you will pay to visit St. Anne’s Spa, and you may have to save your pennies for a while to afford it. But it really is worth it.
Tip: My only criticism of the spa is the online web booking tool. Do not use it, and instead call and book your reservation over the phone. The rate is cheaper by phone, and you will get a true sense of availability. The online tool almost always indicates that there are no available accommodations - sometimes months in advance.
- 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