Flew to Toronto this morning with our associate publisher, Stacey McLoughlin. After visiting several spas in Canada we will be attending the Leading Spas of Canada conference in Toronto next week. I am really excited to learn more about the Canadian spa scene.
The Hillcrest, A Valenova Inn & Spa, was first on our itinerary. We drove about an hour out of Toronto to Port Hope, which is located right on Lake Ontario. Following the GPS instructions from our handy Neverlost guide (something we don’t need when traveling with the husbands – yeah, right) it was an easy drive.
Nice surprise to see this stately Victorian mansion which is to be our home for a few days. It’s a great house from 1874 which, we found out later, was restored by Robin Dines after purchasing it 2 ½ years ago. This destination inn and spa is her vision and together with a very impressive staff, they have created an elegant, non pretentious hospitality and spa experience, rivaling most destination spas all over the world. I had no idea.
Cozy rooms, five star healthy gourmet food by a genius young chef Jonathan Hosick, and one of the best Dr. Hauschka facials I have experienced which was given to me by Simone, the spa director. It doesn’t get much better than that.
I was also touched by how dedicated the staff is to nurturing and caring for those who have gone through transitions or illness, and caregivers themselves. They have carved out a very special niche…giving special rates to nurses, sponsoring a Nightingale Award, and being generally thoughtful as to how important caring for caregivers is.
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