My wife and I were recently invited to Blue Mountain to spend a weekend of relaxation and adventure as a couple. Having experienced Blue Mountain in the winter, skiing and snowboarding, I knew that Blue was a choice destination for families seeking thrills and adventure, but I hadn’t yet experienced the more couple-friendly side of Blue.
While our son was away for a week at summer camp, we packed our bags, asked one of our 6 year old daughter’s friends to join us and set off for the mountain. While the weekend was about us having experiences as a couple, there was still plenty for our daughter and her friend to do.
The family portion of our adventure (which my wife will cover in detail on her blog) began as soon as we arrived. Almost immediately after parking the car in the underground lot of the Westin Trillium House, we headed out onto the low ropes course, took a ride on the Ridgerunner and then dove into Plunge! This boathouse styled aquatic centre provides a connected indoor-outdoor pool, hot tub, waterslide, diving board (designed to resemble a cottage dock) and rope swing. While relaxing in the outdoor hot tub while the children played in the pool, we excitedly discussed the itinerary for our trip.
After leaving Plunge!, we headed to the room to change for dinner. This would be the first of several excellent means which we would enjoy in Blue Mountain Village’s extensive and varied selection of restaurants. For tonight’s meal, we had reservations at Tholos. This Greek-Mediterranean restaurant features an exceptional menu, comprised of traditional. “home-style” Greek dishes. As a starter, we shared a Caesar salad (which features an outstanding home-made dressing) and grilled octopus. I opted for the 10oz Black Angus Striploin for my entrée, while my wife chose the more traditionally Greek Thalassina. As a starter, we shared a Caesar salad (which features an outstanding home-made dressing) and grilled octopus.
Our bellies full of delicious food, we returned to the Westin Trillium House and our beautiful, two bedroom suite. After the children were asleep, we sat on the balcony and watched as dusk settled over the mountain. Now free from the possibility of human interruption, several kit foxes came out to play midway up the mountain. We watched them playing and tumbling down the hill until it became too dark to make them out anymore, at which point we headed inside and into the tremendously comfortable king-size bed.
As the sun dawned on our second day, the girls were up early. They were eager to spend the day at Plunge! aquatic camp and we were eager to get started on our couples day. After an amazing breakfast at the Oliver and Bonacini Café & Grill, we headed off to the base of the mountain to drop the girls at camp. As soon as the girls had been dropped off at the camp, we drove to Scandinave (pronounced “skan-din-ah-v”, I mistakenly pronounced it with the final “e” sound initially) Spa. This spa is one of several Scandinave Spas located across Canada and a member of the Spas Initiative list (a list created by the Canadian Tourism Commission to highlight the best spas in Canada). Home to both Registered Massage Therapists and traditional Scandinavian baths, there are many ways to relax here. We hadn’t booked a massage (next time!) so we put on our bathing suits and headed out into the baths area. There is a system at work with these baths and, for optimal relaxation, one must follow a certain order:
- Warm the body
- Cool the body
- Relax and dry
The Scandinave Spa at Blue Mountain offers several options for warming the body. There is the Finnish Sauna, where eucalyptus oil and water are poured over hot rocks to sooth the muscles and calm the mind. You might also choose the Norwegian steam bath, where the hot steam, mixed with eucalyptus provides natural detoxification of the body while relaxing the spirit. For those who prefer to warm up in water, there are a number of warm baths (large, well-heated hot tubs) which can also be used to relax the muscles while listening to the sounds of nature from the forest which encircles the property.
Once your muscles are relaxed and your mind is at peace, it’s time to enter the cool baths. When we were there, the cold baths ranged from 16-18c. That may sound warm, but trust me, it is not. These cool baths are meant to refresh your energy, flush the body of toxins and promote circulation. While my wife found that her optimal time in the cool bath was about thirty seconds, I took a seat and let the cool water refresh me, finishing up by standing under the Nordic waterfall and feeling my stress and troubles wash away as the water cascaded over my head.
Having finished with the warming and cooling, it was time to relax, dry off and bask in the beauty of nature. Here again, there are many options to choose from. There are hammocks nestled among the trees, Muskoka chairs on the lawn and around the pools, or, if you’re feeling a bit chilly or yearning for the campfire experience, fire pits circled by more Muskoka chairs.
During our 2.5 hours there, we tried each warming method, each bath and each relaxation area. An ideal “circuit” of the spa is 15 minutes of heat, 20 seconds to 2 minutes of cold and then 15 minutes relaxation. An ideal day would begin with a massage, followed by roughly 4 hours in the baths.
Sadly, we were unable to spend a full day there, as we had lunch reservations at The Pottery Restaurant which is located in the original Blue Mountain Inn. Here, we enjoyed a starter of Caesar salad, again with a house-made dressing and followed with entrees of a Hobbs Burger (a house specialty) for me and fish taco for my wife. Both came with excellent home-cut fries and tasted remarkable.
After lunch, it was back to Blue Mountain Village and up the gondola to the top of the mountain. Once there, we were greeted by Robo, our guide and instructor for the Segway tour we’d be taking across the top of the mountain. Initially, I must admit, I wasn’t 100% confident in my ability to ride a Segway. I’m not always the most coordinated person, as the number of scars and broken bones on my body can attest to, and I knew that the Segway was a machine built based on balance and precision. Robo quickly put my fears to rest. Within 5 minutes of stepping onto the machine, everything became intuitive. This was as easy as standing up. After a 25 minute lesson on how to navigate through obstacles like uneven hillsides, tree stumps, roots and loose gravel, we were off into the beautiful forest which covers the upper slopes of the mountain. Along the way, we stopped to take in a breath-taking view of Georgian Bay, an almost magical looking waterfall which runs down the mountain’s slope and Ontario’s first chairlift, the South Chair. When we weren’t taking in the panoramic views from look-out points, we were weaving our way back and forth down the rugged but well-maintained forest trails. After an hour, we found ourselves back at the gondola and reluctantly handed our Segways back over to the staff.
After picking the girls up from camp and changing, we made our way to the Firehall Pizza Co. for some gourmet pizza. While the girls chose to keep it simple and ordered cheese and Hawaiian pizzas, I opted for the Roman pizza (tomato sauce, cheese, chicken, goat cheese, eggplant, roasted red pepper, sun-dried tomato) and my wife ordered the Spanakopizza (Basil pesto, spinach, feta, goat cheese, garlic, caramelized cream). Again, bellies full, we retreated to our rooms to watch the sun set and enjoy some beverages on the balcony. Tonight, I’d picked up a few local selections from the LCBO in Collingwood. Side Launch Brewing Co. make an excellent pale ale and a Belgian wheat that has just the slightest hint of banana. Pick one up next time you see it, you won’t be disappointed.
As we slowly got up on our final day at Blue and packed our bags, my wife and I reminisced about how relaxing the Scandinave Spa was and how much we now both wanted Segways. Even though we had the children with us, we’d still managed to get a solid 8 hour date in, relax in a spa, enjoy a new activity and eat some of the most delicious food we’d ever tasted. Our couple’s weekend had been a great success. Have you booked yours yet?