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An Ontario Finest Inn ~ Elm Hurst Inn & Spa

Cozy, comfortable, intimate luxury

Sometimes the places that inspire our passion are the ones we least expect. Elm Hurst Inn, almost equal distance between Toronto and Detroit, is GoGirlfriend’s newest discovery. You’ll find it perched on the edge of the sleepy town of Ingersoll, a cozy, country retreat perfect for a gab-filled girlfriend getaway or a relaxing lover’s retreat.

Elm Hurst Inn and SpaA recent visit to Elm Hurst reinforced my belief that luxurious getaways exist far away from big cities – yes, Toronto, I’m talking about you. Oversized stone gates mark the entrance to the resort, along with a winding path that opens to a cluster of buildings (some more than a century old) perched on the edge of a forest and ravine. From the moment you step into the arched entranceway, you’ll feel at ease in this wholesome, country retreat, unhampered by pretense and overflowing with warm welcomes.

Welcome to your weekend home

upgrade to a jacuzzi suiteEven though the accommodation portion of the inn is in the new addition (built in the 1980’s), the 46 rooms are homey and well-appointed. Choose between a standard room or upgrade to one with a fireplace. Rooms on the third floor feature cathedral ceilings, which overlook gardens and a fountain to the front or the ravine and forest to the rear. If you’re feeling particularly decadent, upgrade to a suite (there are only 3 suites), which feature a bedside Jacuzzi, separate dining and living area and fireplace.

All rooms feature marble-tiled bathrooms with glass-enclosed showers. A Keurig coffee maker, iPod docking station and feather duvets remind you that an old fashioned country welcome can be even better a nod to technology.

Dining at Elm Hurst

intimate diningThe dining area of Elmhurst is housed in the original home, whose first owners were cheese makers. The front and side dining rooms on the main floor are in what was once the living room, den and study – quaint, intimate rooms that house a handful of tables. The main dining room is much larger and can accommodate larger groups (up to 60). Included with your night’s accommodation is hot buffet breakfast with handmade biscuits, eggs and a bounty of fresh fruit and breakfast meats. On Sunday mornings, splurge on a glorious brunch that includes a full dessert table featuring a chocolate fountain.

Climb the stairs to the second floor and you’ll see the original bedrooms transformed into snug spaces that hold only a table or two. The smaller bedrooms provide a private dining experience, for wedding proposals and anniversaries. The delightful buffet treatslarger dining rooms accommodate plank-style tables, perfect for family get-togethers or corporate functions.

Whichever dining experience you choose, you’ll enjoy the elegance and luxury of an 18th century, well-to-do homestead. Chef Michael Davis features a locavore menu, food sourced from within 100 miles of the inn. The menus change quarterly (on average) and each feature at least one (yummy) vegetarian dish – but the chef is happy to accommodate any food restrictions you can throw at him.

The spa at Elm Hurst

Elm Hurst characterI’m always intrigued at spas tucked into inns that were built before the advent of self-pampering and Elm Hurst is no exception. The Aveda spa, on the lower level of the inn, is as intimate as you’d expect without feeling cramped. There’s a whirlpool big enough for 6 at the entrance (curtains are drawn when it’s in use) as well as a sauna and steam room for use at any time during your stay.

Spa-goers are encouraged to arrive in robes (swimsuit underneath) and use the amenities prior to your treatment – it speeds the relaxation process. Feel free to bring your favorite beer or wine to sip while soaking.

Mr. GoGirlfriend and I experienced two treatments each during our weekend getaway. I enjoyed:

Aveda Spa at Elm Hurst

  • Botanical Skin Resurfacing Facial – The indicator of a great facial? Falling asleep during the treatment – achieved! What’s more, my skin felt deeply hydrated and glowed for days afterward.

Mr. GoGirlfriend enjoyed:

  • Hand and foot reflexology – A soothing manipulation of pressure points in the hands and feet left Stacy noodle-fied and ready for his next treatment.
  • Indian head massage – Through the use of oils and deep relaxation techniques, Stacy sunk into this treatment with glee. His therapist told him he over-thinks things (apparently your scalp tells stories) but she cured him of that – for one night at least.

Meetings and weddings at Elm Hurst

Elm Hurst grounds to relax Elmhurst is a favorite wedding spot. Just google Elm Hurst + Weddings and you’ll find a smorgasbord of photographers who adore everything about this inn. Drawing folks from both Toronto and Detroit, it’s easily accessible because of its proximity to Highway 401. It’s rural setting and stunning century-old buildings offer a completely unique experience. It’s large enough to hold weddings and groups of up to 200 per event but charming enough to remind people that this is the country, far away from big city noise and traffic.

Because of its location, cost of a wedding (or a corporate event) at Elm Hurst are signifigantly lower than you’ll find in larger centers. Overnight room rates start at about $189 per night – including breakfast and access to spa and fitness center.

We visited Elm Hurst in the winter, but we’d love to return in the spring or summer and explore the grounds surrounding the inn. We’re told the trails are perfect for strolling hand in hand in with your lover…

If your travel curiosity's peaked, visit Elm Hurst on their website or at OntariosFinestInns.com. You can also find them on Facebook and Twitter.

Have you been to the Elm Hurst Inn & Spa? I'd love hear what you love about them! Connect with us on Twitter and Facebook - and let's continue the conversation!

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