As we find ourselves in February, we can finally see that light at the end of that tunnel known as winter. The sun holds fast to the evening horizon as the days grow longer if ever so slightly, and yes, love is in the air.
This year, instead of the typical box of truffles, or Netflix and chill; why not drop the kids at grandma’s and whisk yourselves away for a romantic getaway here in beautiful South Eastern Ontario? Don’t have kids? Then my friend, your planning phase just got way easier.
For your consideration, I present this lovely list of amorous escapes that will make this year’s Valentine’s one for the history books.
Cornwall & SDG Counties
Auberge Chesley’s Inn, Cornwall
Auberge Chesley’s Inn is a beautiful Georgian style house and B&B that has quite an interesting history. First built in 1814, it has been host to many famous guests over the centuries including famed writer Charles Dickens himself!
The decor of the Chesley’s suites are akin to stepping into a long lost and romanticized era, but with all the modern amenities one would expect, including ensuite baths and rainforest showers.In the morning, be prepared for some epic breakfast choices at Chesley’s Inn, ranging from lighter fare to a full-fledged French Canadian breakfast spread.
Russell Manor Bed & Breakfast, Morrisburg
Russell Manor is a glorious manse, first built in the early 1870s. The house is a striking tribute to French Second Empire architecture, with a warm and authentic Victorian-inspired decor.
Today, this elegant bed and breakfast is still going strong and has received nothing but positive reviews over the years. The owners; Michael and Ron are excellent hosts and serve what is, in my opinion, the best omelettes I’ve ever had, using herbs grown in their gardens. Don’t wait to seize your chance to experience this one of a kind b&b in Morrisburg.
Sir Isaac Brock Bed & Breakfast
The Sir Isaac Brock B&B is a painstakingly restored 1824 limestone Georgian-style house that today, offers luxurious suites in a unique and heritage styled atmosphere in Brockville’s charming downtown area. This captivating B&B is only steps away from Brockville’s premiere attractions, shopping and dining venues making it a novel choice for a fun-filled escape for two.
For dinner, I’d recommend a short five-minute stroll down John Street for a decadent meal at The Mill Restaurant. This piece of Canada’s history is a real labour of love that was brought back from the brink when it was purchased and renovated into the charming restaurant it is today.
The Colonel’s Inn, Prescott
Situated in the beautiful riverside town of Prescott, The Colonel’s Inn is a breathtaking example of 19th-century construction. In 1835 it was the home of Colonel Alexander McDonnell and has close military ties. At one point, the basement was a temporary barracks for soldiers stationed at Fort Wellington National Historic Site. Today, the Colonel’s former residence offers guests an incredible opportunity for a romantic getaway in true Victorian style and decadence. The rooms are classically decorated and feature a fabulous fusion of lavish furnishings and modern conveniences.
The most romantic, and eye-catching of the suites would have to be The Loft, which is located in a separate building that was once the carriage house. A full hot breakfast is served each morning with free-flowing coffee and tea available throughout the day, and on-site parking is free.
Abbott Road Suites, Kemptville
Abbott Road Suites is a private venue comprised of magnificent suites in a modern and refined atmosphere. Take a look at the luxurious West Suite, which has a fireplace, heated tile washroom complete with a separate walk-in shower, and a Jacuzzi.
For dinner, it’s certainly worth the short drive to experience Kemptville’s iconic and storied fine dining venue: The Brigadoon; for a mouthwatering Filet Mignon.
The Baldachin Inn, Merrickville
Standing proudly in Merrickville since 1860, the stunning Baldachin Inn features a heritage designated interior with original stained glass windows, stonework, and other brilliant features. It’s large stone fireplace, and arched windows are beautiful and certainly help enhance an already unforgettable experience. One night here, and you’ll know why many refer to Merrickville as the Jewel of The Rideau.
The on-site restaurant & pub offers traditional old world inspired cuisine along with the warm hospitality and atmosphere associated with the timeline.
Gananoque Inn & Spa
The fabled Gananoque Inn has a special place in my heart, not only for it’s rich and significant local history; but also because my wife and I spent our first anniversary there. This visually striking building that was once a carriage-works became a famous inn prior to the turn of the century.
The suites and interior of the building proper, boast an accurate and welcoming Victorian charm, with one of the most picturesque dining rooms I’ve ever visited: The Watermark. The atmosphere and accommodations are a living example of 19th-century luxury and service.
The Rosemount Inn & Spa
Kingston’s Rosemount Inn & Spa is a lovely Tuscan-inspired mansion, and namesake of the Limestone City’s Old Stones District. This divine utopia of relaxation and luxurious accommodation is an all-in-one destination for couples looking to melt the stress away and unwind in style.
Secret Garden Inn
Another historical gem located in Kingston’s Sydenham Ward is the Secret Garden Inn, a majestic red-bricked beauty that you’d swear was magically taken from the Francis Hodgson Burnett novel.
The inn’s mesmerizing interior features a grand parlour with turret window seating, ‘fainting couches’ and furnishings made popular in the 1830s set around an ornate fireplace. The lovingly decorated suites are evocative of an era when comfort and luxury were more of an art form.
The Hochelaga Inn
Among Kingston’s most recognizable overnight options is the famous Hochelaga Inn. This arresting French Victorian Mansion features 21 rooms each different in their own way but sharing in the Hochelaga’s vexing Victorian theme.
The most famous suite is the Tower Room for obvious reasons. It’s almost mystical in a way with its tiny staircase that leads to a stain glass illuminated turret room that also has a ladder that leads to the tower proper, and a meditative room.
Frontenac Club Inn
Please note: The Frontenac Club Inn is currently closed for renovations.
The Frontenac Club Inn is an acclaimed bed and breakfast located in the heart of Kingston’s historic downtown area. Originally built in 1845 as a bank, this charming limestone building later became a gentlemen’s club in 1903. Their suites are bright, lively in decor, and perfect for weekend retreats and exemplary comfort. Breakfast the next day will be an experience in itself comprising of locally sourced ingredients.
The Green Acres Inn
Hidden in plain sight on Kingston’s West end is the Green Acres Inn. Positioned a short drive from downtown, and surrounded by prime shopping and dining options, this quaint Inn has plenty in store. One look at the suites is all you need. The Tulip Suite has a jacuzzi, and not one but two fireplaces; one of which is in the bathroom along with a television.
Bay of Quinte
St. John’s Inn and B&B, Belleville
Belleville’s St. John’s Inn and B&B is in a prime location that places this lovely stone house in proximity to several local attractions including the Empire Theatre, Spa 237 and the Pinnacle Playhouse.
Montrose Inn and Tea Room, Belleville
Reminiscent of the grand plantations of the American South, the Montrose Inn & Tea Room is an enchanting example of antebellum architecture, right here in South Eastern Ontario. The mansion was built in 1916 and still has several original features; over a century later.
The elegance of the suites only serve to enhance the overall experience with their authentic furnishings and extravagant decor. The room that caught my eye is the Adelina which boasts an en-suite ‘two-person thermal masseuse tub’, gas fireplace, spa robes and splendid furniture.
Prince Edward County
The Waring House, Picton
Prince Edward County is regarded as one of South Eastern Ontario’s most famous destinations for romantic escapes, fantastic food, and arresting scenery. The Waring House is no exception to those claims, as you will soon discover. This astonishing Inn is a memorable choice for couples seeking an unforgettable retreat. Among their splendid choice of suites, I have my heart set on the Vineyard View Cottage, because, that’s how I roll.
You won’t have to go far to find a delicious dinner at Amelia’s Garden which is located in-house. One glimpse at one of their sample dinner menus will have you scrambling to make a reservation.
The Merrill House, Picton
Nestled away in Picton, at the heart of the County is the elegant and historic: Merrill House. Host to 14 wonderfully appointed suites, the Merrill’s accommodations feature original local art, pillow-top bedding and (depending on which room) jacuzzi’s and cozy fireplaces. Enjoy a sumptuous meal consisting of County bistro cuisine, in The Merrill’s intimate on-site restaurant.
Angeline’s Inn, Bloomfield
Angeline’s Inn is a grand Victorian edification to the history and mesmerizing charm of Prince Edward County. The building dates back to the prosperous Barley Days era between 1860 and 1890 and has a rather extensive story of its own. Angeline’s has an impressive selection of accommodation options that are simply darling.
Drake Devonshire, Wellington
Last but certainly not least is the Drake Devonshire. This destination takes ownership of its own unique blend of culture, community, and enriched hospitality. The Devonshire combines the best elements of entertainment, fascinating venues, and vivid art; but it doesn’t end there. The rooms feature a stunningly modernized design that clearly differentiates from more vintage themed inns throughout the region. Of most interest is undoubtedly the Stargazer Crash Pad which features a huge skylight above the bed; or the immense Owner’s Suite – which is self-explanatory.
Dining at the Devonshire is always a treat, with a mouthwatering menu catering to brunch, lunch, or dinner. The only difficult aspect of staying at the Drake Devonshire is leaving.
You Deserve This
While we’re still a couple of weeks away from Valentine’s, there are still plenty of opportunities to plan for and arrange a much-needed escape. With our proximity to Montreal, Ottawa or Toronto, South Eastern Ontario offers a bounty of options that are only a short drive away.
I hope that this collection of ideas inspires you and that special someone to treat yourselves to a truly memorable and refreshing retreat. This year, do something spontaneous and enjoy a romantic experience you won’t soon forget.