Where to Stay: Winter Retreats

  • Accommodations
January 09, 2024

8 winter stays to find your “hygge” in Hastings County

Over the past few years, you might have come across the Danish word hygge, especially in the winter. Pronounced “hoo-guh”, it encompasses that cozy feeling of contentment you get when sipping a hot chocolate on a snowy day or reading a good book beside a roaring fire. No doubt you’ll also get it at these eight winter getaways in Hastings County. From an award-winning wellness spa to a small forest yurt, each brings all the warm and peaceful feels at the heart of hygge.

Black River Retreat Aerial View

Black River Retreat

Tweed, Ontario

This private luxury retreat sits on six acres of forest along the Black River near Tweed. It caters to just one couple at a time, so you’ll have the cedar hot tub, games room, trails, and private chef serving four-course meals all to yourself. The suite features a fireplace, queen log bed, kitchenette, and ensuite with an oversized shower finished in travertine and stone. Before you leave, find your love lock. Legend has it that if you lock it in the forest and throw the key in the Wishing Pond, your love will last a lifetime.  


From $550/night

Learn more and explore: brrtweed.com 

Grail Springs

Grail Springs Retreat for Wellbeing
Bancroft, Ontario

Winter is always one of the best times to visit this award-winning spa on Chalice Lake. Not only are the sauna, hot tubs, and massages just what the body needs, but all of February is Winter Spa Fest. That means discounts on all spa treatments, snowshoe excursions around the lake, hot chocolate around the outdoor fire, and more. You’ll also find yoga and meditation here, as well as plant-based meals, immune-boosting therapies, salt room breath therapy, energy work, and about a dozen cozy accommodation options.  

See the website for package prices

Jeffrey Lake Cabin

Jeffrey Lake Cabin
Harcourt, Ontario

Although it’s just 900 square feet, this snug lakefront cottage has three bedrooms, and two lofts, and can sleep seven people. It has been completely renovated from top to bottom with a contemporary rustic interior, a fully equipped kitchen, and a simple, clean bathroom. The big draws are the open-hearth fireplace, the large deck with a hot tub overlooking the lake, and the serene Jeffrey Lake itself. Nearby is Silent Lake Provincial Park for skiing and ice fishing, the Hastings Heritage Trail for snowmobiling, and Bancroft for supplies and good eats. And if you get snowed in, there are plenty of books, games, and DVDs.    

From $350/night
Learn more and explore: Airbnb Listing

Cozy Lakeside Cottage

Cozy Lakeside Cottage
Gilmour, Ontario

Go for this two-bedroom plus loft cottage south of Coe Hill if you’re looking for the peace and quiet that can only come from being surrounded by the woods in the winter. The hygge here also comes from an outdoor sauna and hot tub, interior pine finishes, comfy couches, and mattresses that provide the deepest sleep. Outside, you’ll find a wraparound covered porch, deck, and firepit with chairs and benches. Although the cottage isn’t right on the water, nearby Thanet Lake is just a five-minute walk away. 

From $298/night

Learn more and explore: Airbnb Listing 

Forest Yurt

Forest Yurt
Madoc, Ontario

Unless you’re in a tent, you won’t get closer to nature than in this secluded yurt on 20 acres just south of Madoc. Unlike camping, though, this unique stay comes fully equipped with electricity, a comfy double bed, a wood-burning fireplace, an indoor half bathroom with a compost toilet, and a kitchen with a stovetop. The outside area has a barbecue, covered seating area, chairs, and a firepit. There isn’t Wi-Fi or a shower here, but if you’re staying more than two days, you can use the owner’s house shower on the property.

From $110/night
Learn more and explore: Airbnb Listing

Marmora Open Sky Glamping Dome

Open Sky Glamping
Marmora, Ontario

This unique glamping dome will also get you up close to nature — and reduce your ecological footprint. The 500-square-foot dome is entirely off-grid, running on solar and sustainable heating, but it comes with many of the comforts of the cottages on this list, including a fully-equipped kitchenette with fridge and freezer, queen bed, wood-burning stove, pull-out couch, and bathroom with a compost toilet. Outside, take a dip in the wood-burning hot tub under the stars, then cool off under the outdoor shower and chill on the sprawling deck.

From $309/night
Learn more and explore: Airbnb Listing

Waterfall Retreat

Waterfall Retreat
Marysville, Ontario

Continuing the eclectic theme, this studio apartment is found in a 200-year-old converted limestone mill on the Salmon River. You’ll feel that history in touches like the 1930s porcelain sink in the full kitchen, the original doors, and the hand-hewn beamed ceilings. But the space also brings the modern through features like a memory foam queen bed, a fully updated bathroom, a smart TV, and an outdoor hot tub and shower. You’ll also have your own private patio here to sit back and relax to the rush of the river’s waterfalls.    

From $199/night
Learn more and explore: Airbnb Listing

Rose Door Cottage

Rose Door Cottage
Mont, Ontario

As one recent guest described this quaint, fully renovated one-bedroom cottage: “Nothing to complain about and everything to write home about.” It’s found on a small, quiet lake about one kilometre from snowmobile trails and 15 minutes north of Bancroft. You can see the lake from most areas inside, but the best vantage is from a two-person hot tub on the big deck outside. The décor is inspired by the owners’ grandma, and you can feel that warmth in everything from the woodstove in the living room to the feather duvet on the queen bed to the heated floors in the bathroom.   

From $100/night
Learn more and explore: Airbnb Listing

Story by Jordan Whitehouse
Visit his website jordanwhitehouse.com

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