Last summer I visited Viamede Resort on beautiful Stoney Lake for a relaxing weekend away. I think I slept 80% of my time there, only waking to eat and lounge by the lake. I kind of regretted not doing more while I was there so last weekend I returned – with pup in tow – for another fun weekend away. We’ve decided we might as well make it a tradition and visit every summer! Only two hours away from Toronto, Viamede has a little something for everyone whether you’re looking for relaxation, adventure, fine dining, and more.
Here are a few of my favourite things:
Last year I stayed in a gorgeous room with the sunniest little patio. The room was spotless, big, and comfortable. This year I opted for a dog-friendly cabin on the edge of the woods instead. I was a bit worried about the extra bugs and critters a cottage may bring, but luckily we didn’t have many unwanted visitors with the exception of a few mosquitos we accidentally let in.
The cottage looked like a hotel room on the inside and was just a few feet away from the water. The cottages are equipped with patios, a gas BBQ, and a small fridge and kitchenette. I just had a one bedroom but there are larger cottages available for families or bigger groups.
There are so many different ways to relax at Viamede, whether you’re a lake lounger or a spa dweller. I did a little bit of both, enjoying the lakeside by my cottage and then the spa for an hour long massage after I checked out on Sunday.
My massage was the best way to end the weekend! For a full hour I was pampered by my massage therapist and left Viamede relaxed and ready to take on the week.
If relaxing isn’t your idea of a good time, there are tons of activities to keep you busy all weekend. Since the forecast called for rain Saturday evening, I got up early and did everything I could on Saturday while it was bright and sunny. Viamede has a frisbee golf course, a farm (with the cutest new piglets!), nature trails, archery, and what I call the “activity field” with soccer nets, volleyball nets, and lots of fun games to play.
You can also explore the lake on a kayak or canoe – all included with your stay!
This is one area where I was particularly impressed. No one expects a cottage or resort to have great food. In fact, I brought some extra snacks and protein bars in case I couldn’t find any gluten-free options but I didn’t end up touching any of my own food! Here are some of the food highlights:
The Boathouse Pub
The Boathouse Pub has lots of traditional pub-fare food and overlooks the lake. Don’t expect any soggy chicken fingers and fries though – the food is all high quality and really, really good.
The Dining Room
With a full buffet breakfast each morning and a dinner menu with an ever-changing menu of entree-style dishes, the Dining Room is also a great option for meals at Viamede. It also overlooks the lake so you can enjoy your meal with a fantastic view. The Dining Room also hosts tons of events including a pig roast on our last visit and an oyster shucking on this visit.
Order BBQ to your Room
This. Is. Awesome. Viamede provides a BBQ menu with options including steak, fish, burgers, salads, vegetables, and even ice cream. You place your order at least 4 hours in advance and they bring the food to your room for you to BBQ or prepare yourself.
The Inn at Mount Julian
The Inn at Mount Julian provides a fine dining experience at Viamede. All items on the menu are carefully curated by the Executive Chef who uses seasonal vegetables, local produce, and meat directly from animals that live at the Viamede farm.
This time we opted to try a 9-course blind tasting menu. I was a bit worried that there wouldn’t be enough gluten-free options to make 9 courses but it turns out that only 2 of the courses had to be adapted slightly. Instead of bread baked fresh on-site I enjoyed gluten-free bread prepared at a local bakery, which isn’t a bad substitution at all! The menu seemed very “Toronto” – with complex ingredients and flavours and dishes you would never expect to be served in a small town. Here are some photos of the meal, with each course being served with a wine pairing.
This was by far the best meal I have had in a long, long time and since the restaurant is never really busy, we got to talk to our servers a lot about the food and wine.
One thing I love about Viamede is how pet-friendly they are. There are dog-friendly rooms and cottages so that you don’t have to miss your fur family while you are away. It saved me from getting a dog-sitter for the weekend and it was fun to watch Moe explore the trails and lakefront with me. Viamede’s trails are dog-friendly and there is also an off-leash dog park.
Not only does Viamede accommodate dogs, but every time you stay with your dog they make a $10 donation to Golden Rescue! They also drop off a dog bed and treats to your room to help keep your pup comfortable during their stay. The resort even has a dog named Toby that roams around and helps the front desk staff.
My trip was just last weekend and we’re already planning our next trip back! For more information or to book your own trip visit viamede.com.