Longing for a rustic, laid-back retreat in cottage country with the family? Viamede, a historic resort situated on the beautiful Stoney Lake in the Kawartha Lakes, should be on your radar.

A two-hour drive from Toronto, this century-old resort sits on a long shoreline lined with cottages, docks and boats. There are deluxe rooms in the main building, and cottages with 1 to 3 bedrooms, which are suitable for larger families around the property.

If you’re seeking an upscale luxury resort getaway, Viamede is not it; this resort prides itself on being laid-back, rustic and as staying as close to nature as possible.

Viamede is boldly different in that you are welcome to enjoy the facilities at your own leisure. If you’d like to take out a canoe or kayak, you borrow one from the small beach area. Want to go swimming in the indoor or outdoor pool? Go right ahead. There aren’t any forms to fill out, or sign-out sheets, or permission to obtain – you are free to enjoy the amenities anytime.

My boys spent most of the day swimming in the outdoor pool, playing on the water trampoline, and going out on the kayaks. Off the water, guests can hike Viamede’s 6 km of private nature trails, go out to the field for a game of soccer, or borrow a bicycle. You can also enjoy spa treatments at the full service spa, or sneak in a workout in the fitness centre. The lobby offers books and movies to take back to your room or cottage too.

Even though there is Wi-Fi in the main building, you can’t help but unplug and fully immerse yourself in the serene lake and fun water activities, sit by the outdoor pool, or cozy up on a Muskoka chair lakeside with a good book and cup of herbal tea. On a rainy day, there is foosball, ping pong, board games, and a kids’ play zone in the main inn.

 Rustic Cottage Resort on the Lake - Viamede

Church/Chapel at Viamede Resort

Rustic Cottage Resort on the Lake - Viamede - amotherworld.com

Stoney Lake Viamede Resort Ontario

Cottages at Viamede Resort Woodview Ontario

Stoney Lake Viamede Resort Kawartha Lakes Ontario

Indoor Pool at Viamede Reort

Fitness centre at ViamedeStoney Lake Viamede Resort Ontario

Viamede Resort Stoney Lake Ontario

Viamede Resort Stoney Lake Ontario

Viamede Resort Kawartha Lakes Ontario Stoney Lake Ontario Cottage Country

Stoney Lake Viamede Resort Ontario

Viamede Resort Stoney Lake Ontario

Stoney Lake Viamede Resort Ontario

Wild flowers at Viamede Resort Ontario

What also makes Viamede boldly different is the emphasis on food and the farm-to-table dining experience. Mount Julian is Viamede’s fine dining restaurant, dating to 1874, where there are 5, 7 or 9 course tasting menus with wine and beer pairings.  The menu is all complemented by the Viamede farm – free range ducks, pigs, turkeys and a vegetable garden. For those seeking a romantic adult-only option, no kids are allowed here. Sadly we weren’t able to leave the kids and dine here alone on this visit.

But we did enjoy dining at The Boathouse, the resort’s casual restaurant which is in an actual former boathouse. The Boathouse dockside menu is guided by Viamede’s locavore philosophy, with a menu featuring local Ontario meats, seafood, and produce balanced with ingredients from theirfarm and forest. We enjoyed every meal, and I was thrilled with the various gluten-free options.

Club 1885 offers complimentary breakfast buffet with traditional fare; pancakes, bacon and eggs, cereals, yogurt and fruit.

Brisket Sandwich at The Boathouse Viamede Resort
Brisket Sandwich
BFC - warm cookie with vanilla ice cream at Viamede
BFC – warm cookie with vanilla ice cream
Gluten-Free Pasta with Chorizo and Roasted Red Peppers
Gluten-Free Pasta with Chorizo and Roasted Red Peppers
Chicken on a Gluten-Free Bun with With Potato Fries at The Boathouse
Chicken on a Gluten-Free Bun with With Potato Fries
Chicken Wings at The Boathouse at Viamede Resort
Chicken Wings at The Boathouse
Burger on a Gluten-Free Bun with Sweet Potato Fries at The Boathouse
Burger on a Gluten-Free Bun with Sweet Potato Fries

The Boathouse at Viamede Resort Dinner at Viamede's The Boathouse Stoney Lake

Breakfast Buffet at Club 1885 at Viamede Resort
Breakfast Buffet at Club 1885

Some other cool features?

  • Viamede Resort is completely tip-free. They believe in paying staff fair wages, and don’t believe in burdening guests with extra fees.
  • The General Manager happily takes guests out at 6:00 a.m. to go fishing.
  • The resort also offers a campfire for guests to roast marshmallows and make s’mores.
  • Staff is well-mannered and mostly teenagers.
  • Pet lovers will be happy to know that the cottages are pet friendly.

Viamede has a laid-back, rustic atmosphere – it truly is a place to slow down, relax, and soak up Ontario’s cottage country.

Boys on the dock at Viamede

Sunset over Stoney Lake at Viamede Resort Views of the Pool and Stoney Lake at Viamede

Boats on Stoney Lake at dusk

Laid-Back Cottage on the Lake at Viamede

Rustic Laid-Back Cottage by the Lake - Viamede, Stoney Lake Ontario

Disclosure: My family and I were invited by the lovely people at Viamede Resort to enjoy a complimentary weekend getaway.

 

Author

Maria Lianos-Carbone is the author of “Oh Baby! A Mom’s Self-Care Survival Guide for the First Year”, and publisher of amotherworld.com, a leading lifestyle blog for women.

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