Ste Anne's Spa Overview
Voted by British Vogue Magazine as one of the world's top 10 destination spas, Ste Anne's is in Grafton, Ontario - about 75 minutes east of Toronto, or 3-1/2 hours from Niagara Falls.
Originally a farmhouse, the property has grown to include several buildings that provide retreat in the way of spa treatments, meditation, exercise, and healthful food in an atmosphere of relaxation and acceptance that is free of pretense.
Ste Anne's is a breath of fresh air in many ways. First, the spa's heritage stone buildings are perched on 570 acres of rolling countryside overlooking Lake Ontario; so, quite literally, the air you're breathing is fresh.
Second, the owner, Jim Corcoran, is unwavering in his vision for Ste Anne's. He has made choices for Ste Anne's that are true to his vision of wellness rather than to commerce: another breath of fresh air.
Ste Anne's Website
Who Visits Ste Anne's Spa?
- Girlfriends on a getaway
- Moms and daughters
- Anyone seeking retreat from a busy life
Ste Anne's Spa Accommodation - Choose from Suites and Private Cottages
Visitors may stay in one of the lovely suites in the main lodge - each with its own homey character and antique furnishings - or in one of the cottages on premise.
Particularly appealing for groups of 6 - 8 people seeking a little privacy is the Sentosa Cottage, a lovely home perched on a hill next door to the main lodge. Sentosa guests may choose to have a chef come in and prepare dinner for them in the Sentosa kitchen.
Suites do not have TVs or telephones in keeping with the spirit of peace and relaxation; however, these items are provided upon request.
Ste Anne's Spa Dining - Healthy Never Tasted So Good
Three meals a day plus afternoon tea are included in the price of staying over at Ste Anne's.
The food is healthy and wholesome, but you won't walk away unsatisfied. Ste. Anne's award-winning Chef Ennew has developed menu items at Ste. Anne's to support The Specific Carbohydrate Diet™ (flourless orange cake and almond-flour-based pizza, as examples). And don't worry - it's not all fish and vegetables. I had exquisite French toast at breakfast and outstanding lamb chops for dinner.
Ste Anne's is not licensed but guests are welcome to bring their own wine or beer; no corking charge applies.
Check out the dinner menu ahead of time and treat yourself to a nice bottle of wine to accompany your meal.
The lack of liquor license is an example of Ste Anne's foregoing potential profit to focus on people's enjoyment of the facilities and relaxation.
Ste Anne's Spa Activities - Lounge or Stay Active
What do you do all day at Ste Anne's? Certainly, many people don't indulge in any activity that requires changing out of their robes (plush, white terry robes are de rigeur fashion at Ste Anne's. Even the dining room is a sea of white). Yet, for those of you who worry you may get bored lounging around all day - fear not. Aside from the spa treatments, visitors can
- participate in group classes like yoga, core strength, and meditation;
- head to the gym, complete with indoor pool;
- lounge by the outdoor pool;
- hike the property's trails;
- take a eucalyptus steam; or
- lounge in the outdoor hot tub.
Emotional Wellness: Ste Anne's also has a reverend on hand to provide non-denominational counseling to guests.
Ste Anne's Spa Treatments (prices as of 2015)
Ste Anne's offers a variety of bodywork and aesthetic treatments that take an holistic approach, emphasizing natural ingredients and human touch.
I had a glorious Ste. Anne's Express Facial ($90). It began with a foot scrub and was followed by herbal facial treatments, arm and hand massage and overall relaxation for an hour in total.
The Reflexology Treatment was relaxing, but at $120 is pretty expensive. As the spa's philosophy is based on holistic treatments, no polish is applied. The treatment is supposed to last an hour.
I had a superb Thai Massage(1 hr ~ $125, 1-1/2 hr ~ $180) by a petite but powerful massage therapist. The Thai Massage is almost like exercise in that you are stretched and challenged. So if you are looking for pure relaxation, you may want to consider the Swedish Massage.
My companion had the Moor Mud Bath and Aroma-Hydro Massage (1-1/2 hr. ~ $180), during which she was submerged in a hydrotherapy tub filled with therapeutic mud with pine oil. I thought a mud bath sounded appealing but my friend found the process laborious and the setting in a small tiled room with no windows unpleasant.
Getting to Ste Anne's Spa
Ste Anne's is in Grafton, Ontario, about 75 minutes from Toronto, 4 hours from Montreal and 3 and a half hours from Niagara Falls. Visitors can fly into Toronto Pearson International Airport and then drive or take Via Rail to nearby Cobourg station. Ste Anne's will gladly arrange transportation on your behalf.
Ste Anne's Spa Cost
Overnight packages start at $299 to more than $500 per person and include accommodation, all meals, afternoon tea, $100 daily spa allowance, your choice of group fitness classes and use of the facilities.
Day spa rates are also available and vary. Generally the days spa rates include spa credit, use of all facilities, and at least one meal.