4 Spectacular Wellness Retreats Near Toronto To Visit Right Now
Wellness travel is having a major moment – and one that shows no sign of stopping. As fun as booze, comfort food and lounge-around-the-pool vacations are, they normally leave you feeling hazy, lazy and a few pounds heavier before you even unpack your suitcase. Wellness travel can include anything from yoga and meditation retreats to sport-filled resorts and spa vacations. If you’re in the market for one, here are four wellness retreats within 2.5 hours from Toronto.
Located in Bancroft, Ontario, Grail Springs Retreat Centre for Wellbeing is designed to leave guests with wellness tools, insight and inspiration to take home with them thanks to its holistic approach. Here, you can pamper yourself with spa treatments, get your daily yoga fix, learn to meditate, hike or horseback ride through the pristine wilderness, become better at managing stress, try a juice cleanse, decompress in one of three saunas or canoe through a crystal clear Canadian lake. Grail Springs offers a variety of retreat options to choose from – some more intense than others – and guests can stay for two to 21 days. The spot just won the title of “Canada’s Best Wellness Retreat” at the annual World Spa Awards.
Just an hour and a half from the Toronto craziness, you can get up close and personal with nature at Ontario’s newest glamping spot – and one that cuts no corners when it comes to both luxury and wellness. While the sprawling property – which opened for business in late August – is not specifically a wellness retreat all the time, Whispering Springs Wilderness Retreat will offer retreats throughout the warmer season. In addition to calling a deluxe safari tent – complete with bathrooms with soaker tubs – home for a few days, the retreats include a full spectrum health analysis and rejuvenating body reset, with things like diet and health consultations and seminars, a plant-based vegan diet, live and dry blood analysis, Thai and Lomi Lomi massage, meditative forest walks and group therapy sessions around the campfire.
If you want to go hardcore into the retreat zone, Ontario Vipassana Centre is the place to do so (as in, you’ll have to part with your cell phone, laptop, and writing materials). Located in Egbert, Ontario, the ten-day silent retreat is rooted in the ancient Buddhist meditation technique of Vipassana – something that is designed to purify the mind and can be intense and transformative. Here, the days begin at 4:30 am (we told you it was intense) and includes both group and individual meditation. Don’t expect the frills of a spa vacation here; everything is pretty bare bones as not to distract from the meditation. The courses are free of charge (not even for food or accommodation), but guests – who have to pass an application process to attend – are asked to make a donation upon completion.
In Midland, Ontario, the family-run Sugar Ridge Retreat Centre offers a bit more of a lenient retreat option than the Ontario Vipassana Centre, with a variety of retreats to choose from, from silent meditative options to detoxifying, juice cleanse-filled ones that are designed for weight loss. The pet-friendly, year-round spot features a casual, Canadian outdoors atmosphere, where guests stay in heated cabins with comfortable beds. The facility prides itself on its vegetarian food program, and meals play a large role in the experience (and, in the spring, are complete with maple syrup fresh from their maple tree forest.) Cellphone use is permitted at this spot, but guests are encouraged to keep use to a minimum (and the lack of Wi-Fi helps this cause.)
Which wellness retreat centre catches your interest? Share with us in the comments.
Featured image: Grail Springs
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Erin is a Toronto-based writer, actor and queen of the side hustle. When she’s not writing the day away in a face mask, she’s taking in the city’s vibrant arts scene, doing a red carpet interview or brunching with her leading ladies. Follow me: @erinnicoledavis