Staycations are the way to a happier and healthier lifestyle

Sometimes you need a change in scenery – especially in the winter months. There are days I’d love to just pack up and get on a flight to somewhere warm for a mini vacation. But when you just can’t get away due to work and life in general, you plan a little staycation. They switch up your daily routine and put you in the mood for something new and adventurous! Something different to spice up your life. You know?

So last weekend, my friend Rosalyn, a.ka. Kingston blogger The Staycationer, planned an overnight stay to the charming town of Kemptville located in the Municipality of North Grenville. If you’re looking for an overnight stay this winter, you can totally find it! Plus, an itinerary in Old Kemptville is easy enough to follow that you can wake up and go!

Aphroditi Escape Spa & Salon

To start off our girl’s trip, we first stopped at Aphroditi Escape Spa and Salon for a much needed afternoon of pampering! This boutique spa keeps its heritage look with exposed brick to accompany the modern design. Owner, Sherry-Lynn greeted us when we first arrived and answered all of our questions regarding the services and products.

The harsh winter weather can take a toll on your hands, so a manicure is a must service to have! I also enjoyed the luxurious spa pedicure that included a sugar scrub to exfoliate dry skin.  The experience was truly serene as my esthetician Ashley paid close attention to detail during my time there.

Aphroditi Escape Spa & Salon is the spa treat that you deserve! With rooms large enough to host couple massages, you bet I will be returning with my partner to indulge in some serious R&R therapy!


After the spa, we made our way across the street for Linner (lunch and dinner) at Salamanders. This is a Cajun-Canadian style restaurant that I’ve been wanting to try! People from out of town make special trips for Salamanders for not only the best lunch and dessert but for the patio that overlooks the waterway in downtown Kemptville. 

Calories don’t count when you’re on vacation (even if it’s only a staycation.) We started our meal with deep-fried ravioli stuffed with jalapeno mozzarella. WOAH, was this ever good!

For my main, I had the Pork Po’ Boy sandwich. This is a traditional New Orleans sandwich, served on a specialty bun from Grahame’s bakery. It did not disappoint coming with ample amounts of pulled pork, shredded cabbage, cheese, onion, and aioli. Having this transported me back to the summer eating countless street hot dogs in Portugal. All that was missing was the added Chip Stix on top. Rosalyn had the burger special – three-cheese onion garlic burger served on a sourdough bun from again, Grahame’s Bakery. 

Now for the dessert that will have Rosalyn and I reminiscing about it for years to come. We shared a slice of the peanut butter pie – smooth and velvety with a layer of chocolate fudge. This is a peanut butter lover’s dream!

Rob Thompsons Hotels, Kemptville Suites

Located above Aphroditi Spa, is Rob Thompsons Boutique Hotel, Kemptville Suites. Besides a killer location, Kemptville Suites has all of the makings of a beautiful boutique hotel. The seven suites mix a contemporary style within the 1847 historical stone building. Recently named in Trip Advisors Top 25 Hotels in Canada, it’s no surprise that Rob Thompson opened up a second location in Brockville!

As we stepped into our lavish room, the fireplace was turned on to provide us with a much-needed coziness from the cold weather.  Besides the lavish room, the personalized welcome note and complimentary snacks alone are worth bragging about! Our suite included a queen size bed, luxurious linens, a kitchenette, teas, a Nespresso machine and more. Whether you want a weekend getaway for two, or some much needed “me time,” relax and unwind at Rob Thompson Hotels.

Geronimo Coffee Shop

The next morning, we made our way out to Geronimo Coffee Shop. While some people like to recharge with sleep, others like to recharge with coffee. Either way, a visit to Geronimo is a no brainer when visiting Kemptville. This beautiful cafe with mismatched furniture and featured artwork from the local artist will make you want to stay a while! I can honestly say that the veggie biscuit (with bacon) was the best breakfast sandwich I’ve ever had! The biscuits were homemade and incredibly fresh. The owners not only take pride in the food but were friendly too.

Ferguson Forest Trails

For every cup of coffee I had during this trip, a sweet treat was added. The number of sweets I devoured added up quickly! Luckily, I had on the itinerary a walk along the trails at Ferguson Forest. We did a short loop around the Beech trail which let us view the snow in the gorgeous late afternoon sun. Even though it was just a short walk, I’ve made it a New Years’ resolution to be out in nature at least once every weekend.

The next time you’re thinking of doing a staycation, be sure to check out Kemptville! Old Town Kemptville is the perfect location for a variety of offerings. Listed below are some more places we checked out and some that we were not able to visit. Rosalyn also wrote a blog on her website highlighting her trip as well. I’ve included a link below!

Extra Places To Check Out

Brewed Awakenings

On your way out of Kemptville, stopover at Brewed Awakenings for coffee and sweets for the road home. At the ordering counter, you’ll be faced with a mouthwatering selection of baked goods. Based on recommendations from Em at Aphroditi, I got the peanut butter square and the small Toblerone cookie. You need to get your hands on these squares when you visit Kemptville!

Crusty Baker

This artisan bakery specializes in rustic and European bread and sweets. I’ve been told that their focaccia is flawless! I opted for the sweet and salty Maple Bacon Butter Tart. The bacon adds a nice hint of smokiness to the tart making it delicious and oh-so Canadian. A debate in a coffee shop can easily be started with the simple question of whether or not there should be raisins in butter tarts. The answer? No. Never.

Grahame’s Bakery 

This is a special bakery to the Kemptville community and has been operating since 1885! Grahame’s Bakery sells old fashioned plain donuts, bread, pies, and cookies, made from a heritage wood-burning oven! If you plan to visit, come early otherwise, they run out quickly.

Mr. Mozzarella Pizza

For lunch, head over to Mr. Mozzarella for a slice (or two). The staff are super friendly and they have an outrageous selection of specialty pizzas. We enjoyed the house special which had sliced mushrooms, pepperoni, green peppers, red onions, green olives and bacon. Yum!

MM Books

Every small town has a place just like this. You know the ones where there are towers of stocked books on hard to find books? Mervin, the owner is quite the character and will happily help you find your next read. He helped me locate a copy of Stephen Kings IT for $6.00!

Big Sky Ranch Animal Sanctuary

One place I wanted to visit but unfortunately ran out of time is Big Sky Ranch Animal Sanctuary. From what I’ve read online, this is a safe place, without a time limit, to animals that don’t have another place to go. This sanctuary offers the opportunity for unwanted or injured animals to recover from their past lives and find loving homes when possible. Animal lovers need to visit this non-profit farm for a chance to pet alpacas, goats, horses, and more!