Blue waters at the pool at Ste. Anne's — Photo courtesy of Sherel Purcell
No one understands relaxation like Jim Corcoran, who, since 1985, has owned the venerable Ste. Anne’s Spa that doubles as a popular country inn.
Ste. Anne's offers popular, all-inclusive overnight packages in Grafton – located a few hours west of Montreal by car or a more relaxing trip on VIA Rail. Canada's largest inn/spa combination includes 15 rooms and eight cottages, plus a wide range of activities and treatments that make excellent use of this 400-acre pastoral property that's set in the Northumberland hills amidst sheep farms.
And while day visits are an option, the real value is found in multi-night, all-inclusive getaways - with optional spa treatments and wellness classes.
The Blue Room at Ste. Anne's — Photo courtesy of Sherel Purcell
The cozy inn and retreat at Ste. Anne's offers an array of gardens – from whence come the ingredients for the tasty and healthy meals. (These same ingredients will soon appear in their new skin care product line, too.)
Walking trails, a large outdoor pool, a horse barn, a stocked fishing pond and exercise equipment including free bicycles are all here for guests to enjoy along with saunas, steam rooms and hot and cold plunge pools.
Wifi is complimentary throughout the main lodge, and desktop computers, located on the second floor of the main lodge, are available for guest use.
In the spirit of true relaxation, you won't find a television nor a telephone in your room. And while electronic devices are tolerated, they are discouraged – so that guests may focus on unplugging from the stresses of the modern world.
Silence, though not enforced, is encouraged, and certain areas of the property both inside and out are designated as quiet zones.
Although you will be assigned meal times, they are quite flexible, and they've been set to accommodate your spa treatments and /or wellness classes.
Ste. Anne's fish pond — Photo courtesy of Sherel Purcell
At each meal, you can inform staff of your dietary restrictions, if you have not already done so when confirming your reservations.
Specially blended teas are popular at the afternoon tea, and all meals offer plenty of choice to accommodate a variety of diets.
If you're traveling alone, you won't be seated with others at meals. Since no alcohol is served, you are welcome to bring your own wine, which can be stored at the proper temperature near the dining room at no additional charge.
Outside seating for breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea is on a first-come, first-served basis. Dinner is served indoors.
If visiting in the summer, request a lighter weight robe, as these are worn almost exclusively around the property – even at meal times like dinner. Guests will be more comfortable (and safer) abandoning the robe while cycling and taking part in the complimentary guided walks.
While wellness classes at Ste. Anne's focus primarily on yoga and relaxation techniques, the spa treatments offer a wider variety of choice to encompass everything from eucalyptus wraps to shiatsu.
There are facials employing Ste. Anne's own skin nourishment preparations. Traditional Swedish and deep-tissue massage appear on the spa menu, as well as treatments including resurfacing facials, hand therapies and plant peels, along with exfoliations and body masques.
In order to encourage a deeper sleep, guests can do an alternating hot tub/cool plunge pool ritual before bed, perhaps starting with a stint in the eucalyptus steam room.
While Ste. Anne's is perfect for singles, couples, mothers and daughters and girlfriend getaways, it's also an excellent venue for weddings and business meetings.