Travel Guide to Canada - - Ontario - BY JOSEPHINE MATYAS

It’s im­pos­si­ble to find some­one who re­mem­bers the first day they opened the doors at Port Cunnington Lodge—in 2017 the Muskoka prop­erty cel­e­brates 127 years—a unique spot where old world charm and a peace­ful lake­side set­ting keeps gen­er­a­tions of va­ca­tion­ers com­ing back.

Port Cunnington is a gath­er­ing place; a small, fam­ily-owned re­sort prop­erty where staff pride them­selves on pro­vid­ing at­ten­tive ser­vice and build­ing re­la­tion­ships with their guests. As one of the Muskoka’s old­est re­sorts, the fo­cus is on the qual­ity of sur­round­ings and time spent by guests, cre­at­ing a calm­ness and re­lax­ation by trim­ming the dis­trac­tions and stresses of the out­side world. Tak­ing time and de­vel­op­ing con­nec­tions is at the heart of the lodge phi­los­o­phy: con­nec­tions with fam­ily and con­nec­tions with na­ture.

Just 20 min­utes out­side Al­go­nquin Park, Port Cunnington Lodge aims to cre­ate a spe­cial space where guests can step away from the noise and the hus­tle and bus­tle of ev­ery­day life. Whether a guest is from the next town over, from a big city or from over­seas, a stay at the lodge cre­ates the quin­tes­sen­tial Cana­dian ex­pe­ri­ence. It’s more of a time-hon­oured, tra­di­tional style of hos­pi­tal­ity, en­cour­ag­ing peo­ple to re­con­nect with friends and fam­ily, to slow the pace down. There is no tele­vi­sion in the units, WiFi ac­cess may be lim­ited and, of­ten, by the end of a week’s stay, guests find they have hap­pily dis­en­gaged from the “wired world” and have man­aged to re­unify with the peo­ple im­por­tant to them.

That’s not to say there is noth­ing to do at Port Cunnington. While the lodge doesn’t of­fer a ded­i­cated chil­dren’s pro­gram, the fo­cus is on en­cour­ag­ing a fam­ily plat­form with low key ac­tiv­i­ties that help peo­ple to re­lax and re­new re­la­tion­ships: paint­ing classes, wildlife shows, evening hikes, yoga and camp­fire sto­ry­telling. It’s also an op­por­tu­nity to try new things. Imag­ine moth­ers and daugh­ters de­vel­op­ing a new, shared hobby at the easels dur­ing paint night.

Or, if pro­gram­ming is not in the cards, it is pos­si­ble to just curl up in front of the fire­place with a good book or a board game. Recre­ational op­tions are all in­cluded in a stay. On the wa­ter there are ca­noes, kayaks or pad­dle­boards, and nearby mari­nas of­fer power­boat rentals. The Lake of Bays wa­ter­front is fam­ily-friendly with ex­cel­lent swim­ming along two sand bot­tom beaches. Wa­ter tram­po­lines and a dive plat­form chal­lenge the more ad­ven­tur­ous. Land­side there is a small putting green, vol­ley­ball, shuf­fle­board, ping pong, ten­nis courts and hik­ing trails, with the wilder­ness of Al­go­nquin Park just a short drive away.

Open for three sea­sons—spring through fall—the re­sort’s per­son­al­ity changes with the time of year. Spring­time is pop­u­lar for wed­dings, cor­po­rate func­tions and golf get­aways, when groups can rent the en­tire prop­erty if needed (the suites and chalets can ac­com­mo­date up to 134 peo­ple). Sum­mer­time is ded­i­cated to fam­i­lies, the most pop­u­lar time for week-long stays. Al­though meals are not in­cluded in daily/ weekly rates, din­ing room meal plan op­tions are avail­able in the his­toric main lodge. Self-ca­ter­ing is pop­u­lar; cook­ing to­gether can be an­other way fam­i­lies re­con­nect.


Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.