Close to Home, Far From Ordinary The Rosseau Muskoka Resort & Spa

If you take a short four hour  drive  from the capital (via the beautiful Algonquin Park), you’ll come upon  The Rosseau Muskoka Resort & Spa,  in an area formerly referred to as Red Leaves. The lakes, forests and rocky landscape that make up the Muskoka’s have attracted tourists, cottagers and visitors since before Confederation.  Whether it is the gleam of the Muskoka Lakes on a sunny summer day or the colorful  plaid   landscape in the fall season or the cozy wintry canopy of snow that covers the area from November to April, The Muskoka’s remain are of Canada’s treasures..

Gravenhurst is still the entry point to the Muskoka’s and it has a colourful history. A century ago visitors, often took the train  to the Muskoka Wharf where they were transported by steamship to their summer homes and holiday resorts. (At  the turn of the century, lumber was the big business in the area and there were sawmills on Gull Lake and Lake Muskoka, with logs floating to cover much of Gravenhurst Bay) . 

Today, there is no train and the lumber business is gone, but you can still step into the past by cruising on one of the historic ships that ply Muskoka’s big three lakes. The RMS Segwun, at 130 years old, is the oldest operating steamship in North America.

A short distance from  Gravenhurst  you’ll find the charming communities of Bracebridge, Bala, and Port Carling . Nearby you’ll find  the Rosseau Muskoka Resort & Spa, a luxurious, elegant and wonderfully comfortable hotel that radiates relaxation. Set on a hilltop surrounded by forests, it overlooks beautiful Lake Rosseau.  It’s been ranked  #7 of the Top 20 Resorts in Canada. The first thing you’ll notice on arrival is the friendly staff and down to earth,  unpretentious atmosphere. The  interior lobby and common areas  are beautiful, featuring classic, sophisticated design with Canadian themes. The resort features two  stylish  restaurants. The first one is Teca Restaurant, which has been award-winning for its sample scrumptious Italian cuisine. The second one is the elegant Muskoka Chophouse Restaurant, which characterizes for its Certified Angus Beef steaks. Both restaurants are recipients of the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence. There are other food options nearby whether at the cozy Cottages Restaurant, open for breakfast, lunch and dinner- and Lakes, The Gathering Place – bar and lobby lounge overlooking Lake Rosseau-. You can also visit the Country Market Resort Shop and Café which serves  great espresso and  house-baked pastries  and The Deck –which is a pub open just for the summer season.

The Rosseau Muskoka has services  and activities for all ages, tastes and seasons. The staff will help you do it all, whether its float plane and helicopter sightseeing in the summer or snowmobiling  and guided snowshoes walks and dog  sledding in the winter. There is a  year- round indoor-outdoor swimming pool, plus outdoor pool whirlpool and children´s splash pad. If you are a golfer, The Rock, Nick Faldo design championship golf course is nearby. The resort has a world class spa chicha offers  different services, treatments and amenities, such as couple's massage, foot bath, hair and scalp treatments, plunge pools, separate men's and women's lounges, steam room or therapy baths.  There is also a gym/work out room and the resort offers boating, canoeing, kayaking, water skiing , paddle boarding and a wonderful beach with great swimming.. If you choose, you can  get closer to nature and connect  with local naturalists and artists or take a hike to decompress and relax. I enjoyed the  boat trip  around Rousseau Lake. It’s a great excursion and you ‘ll learn lots of  facts, history and trivia about the region. Be sure to  visit local artists’ galleries and  antiques and collectibles shops.  Boating is also big in the Muskoka’s  and the  home  to many classic wooden boat builders and restorers. There  are annual power boat races, an annual Muskoka regatta, featuring classic boats and many fishing tournaments between spring and fall.   Evenings are well spent sipping a cocktail or  chillin  in front of  one of  fabulous  stone fireplaces while occasionally  gazing up at the starry nights that illuminate the lake below.

Ken Fowler was the original developer and builder of The Rosseau, which was originally built as a hotel/residential/condo/retail development in 2009. Fowler’s vision for a spectacular hotel shows in the thoughtfulness of the architecture, which blends tom compliment and not overpower the  wondrous nature and landscape of the area. His attention to design detail included little things like ensuring all  hotel exterior lights all faced downward so that they would not interfere with the night sky, to accommodate astronomy sessions. He placed  stone fireplaces, hand painted furniture , granite countertops and carved headboards  in each unit. In fact he was so passionate about doing things at the Ritz standard that he quickly Fowler sold all of the condo units. Unfortunately, he had overspent his budget went  into receivership which resulted in several condo purchasers cancelling or reneging  on their agreements. Canadian Niagara Hotels stepped in and purchased the development sorted out all the legal, ownership and condo issues and kept the hotel running turning it into a huge success and helped to realize Fowler’s vision. Today, the hotel is lively and full of life and  almost fully booked during  the summer months. It has achieved top 10 status in the Conde Nast ranking of Canadian resort hotels for the past three years — the only hotel east of the Rockies on the list.

Michael Sneyd, COO of Rosseau Developments  is the person who really understood  Fowler's vision and is the tour de force behind the Rousseau’s current success. An accomplished hotelier,  Sneyd, has done it all from developing  resorts  in the Caribbean, to  golf courses in  communities in the U.S. sunbelt, including a Marriott in Tucson, Arizona. He’s been President and CEO of  Skyline International Development. An  outside the box thinker,  his ideas and implementation have been key to the  success of the JW Marriott brand.  After establishing the

The Rosseau Muskoka Resort & Spa as a top hotel, Snyed has set his sights on selling the remaining suites, called Rosseau Residences. They range in size from 496-square-foot studios to two-bedroom units at 1,120 square feet. Pricing starts in the low 200s, or $450 to $500 per square foot, "well below the original cost," notes Sneyd. Once the existing units are sold, Snyed  will develop townhouse-style cottages on the Lake Rousseau, with prices starting at $1.75 million for 1,200 square feet.

 The resort is a dream. It is close to home and far from ordinary.

JW Marriott The Rosseau Muskoka Resort & Spa
1050 Paignton House Rd, P.O. Box 31
Minett, Ontario P0B 1G0 Canada
(705) 765-1900