BED OF ROSES: ROMANTIC GETAWAYS IN HEART OF MANITOBA
(Story previously published in Winnipeg Free Press)
When the thermostat dips far below zero, you might wish you were heading south. But here in Manitoba, you’ll find many great locales right in our own backyard, just waiting for you to spark up the fireplace, turn on the hot tub, and turn up the heat.
It can be said that short winter days and long winter nights encourage closeness. Combine that with Valentine’s Day, freshly falling snow, and a few special extras, and the recipe is ripe for romance. Fortunately, couples have plenty of options for places to go for romantic getaways – including four resorts that cater exclusively to couples.
Barrier Bay Resort is Whiteshell Provincial Park’s must-visit spot for sweethearts. Located east of Seven Sisters Falls on PR 307, Barrier Bay has been a vacation destination for more than 50 years. For the past 25 of those, Kevin and Gail Nally have been “romancing the Whiteshell” and believe winter to be the most magical time for couples.
They pay special attention to details in every one of their gorgeous lakefront cabins, from the birdfeeder hanging outside the window, to the bird-watching guide on the coffee tables, to the coffee grinder in the kitchen. Each of the nine cabins are unique in set up and style, with choice of open floor plan, master bedroom, or the two-story ‘Whiskey Jack’ with upper level master bedroom, and lower level living room, whirlpool room, and gourmet kitchen.
One of the nicest touches is supplying wicker baskets for a winter picnic, complete with thermos, red-checked tablecloth, and birdseed for the chickadees. A scenic picnic spot is Pine Point Rapids, which never freeze and make for stunning winter wilderness photography. Enjoy complementary use of snowshoes, or try a kick sled and ice fishing. At the end of the day, witness the sunset from screened-in private porch, before settling into the fireside whirlpool.
You can’t think of romantic resorts in Manitoba without Tallpine Lodges being on the list. The originator of the ‘exclusively couples’ concept, Tallpine has been offering year-round romantic getaways for nearly two decades.
You’ll find Tallpine at West Hawk Lake, just minutes off the Trans-Canada Highway. Nestled away amongst the towering evergreens of Canadian Shield country, the setting is private and serene, and prime for watching deer, rabbits and foxes roaming about, especially in winter.
Each of Tallpine’s lodges is designed to offer guests a quality sanctuary meant for quality alone time. They are cozy and intimate with private entrance, Jacuzzi, sauna-for-two, fireplace, kitchenette, barbeque, and beautiful views of the wintery woods from the large picture windows. The surroundings are romantic indeed, and the setting is certain to awaken the romantic heart in just about anyone.
Tallpines is walking distance to a convenience store, restaurant and lounge. The location also provides easy access to West Hawk Lake’s extensive network of groomed trails. Bring your own cross country skis, or use the complimentary equipment provided by the resort. Back at your individual lodge, come in from the cold and enjoy the relaxation as you soak up the warmth of the Jacuzzi and sauna.
Country Charm Romantic Resort near Ste Anne is designed to rejuvenate your spirit while kindling the romance. Celebrating their ten-year anniversary in 2011, Country Charm is all about the ambiance. Each of the ten tastefully decorated cabins boasts a rich romantic atmosphere with Roman-style pillars, plush carpeting, and warm fireplace glow.
The fun thing about the Country Charm experience is that each cabin offers a unique amenity, whether gourmet kitchen, solid oak pool table, two-sided fireplace, or 3-D theatre room. You’ll find large Jacuzzi tubs in every cabin, and steam showers in most. The Ultra Luxury cabin is the most elegant of all, with a number of amenities including stand up bar and special lighting.
If you can tear yourself away from the gorgeous interiors, outside you can enjoy cross country skiing and ice skating. Snowmobiles are also available at nearby Ste Anne Rentals for half or full days.
Getaways Romantic Retreat is the newest option exclusively for couples, located on a farm southeast of Beausejour. When Neil and Susan Peitsch took over the farmland where Neil grew up, they knew it would be a challenge to make a living from traditional farming. So they decided to diversify, and take advantage of the wooded landscape and winding Brokenhead River – the ideal setting for rest, relaxation, and romance.
Now five years old, Getaways has two luxurious and secluded riverside cabins that provide all the class and comfort of an upscale hotel, while maintaining a rustic warmth and charm. You’ll find complimentary coffee and tea in the kitchen, and fluffy white towels, soap, shampoo, mouthwash and hand lotion in the bathroom.
The four-season sunroom provides a naturally-lit seating area surrounded on three sides by large picture windows. Two recliner chairs happen to be the best seats in the house to watch the sun rise over the forested riverbank. Outdoors, enjoy complimentary snowshoes for roaming about the woods and wide-open prairie spaces.
Back inside, French doors lead from the dining area into the large bedroom, containing king-sized bed, classic oak furniture, second television, and jet-tub-for-two. Off the bedroom is your bathroom complete with steam shower – a great place to unwind and steam away the winter chills and worldly cares.
RESORTS EXCLUSIVELY FOR COUPLES:
Barrier Bay Resort www.barrierbay.com
Sparkling bottle, keepsake Barrier Bay wine glasses, chocolates – $38
Country Charm Romantic Resort www.countrycharmresort.com
Breakfast for two – $15
Etched keepsake champagne flutes, bottle of wine, chocolates – $40
Embroidered bath robe – $45
Dozen Roses – $47
Dinner for two delivered to your cabin door – $49
Limousine service – $179
Getaways Romantic Retreat www.getawaysromanticretreat.com
Every stay offers complimentary romance package with soft music and dimmed lights when you enter cabin, rose petals on bed, complimentary candles.
Customized gift baskets can be purchased.
Limousine service can be arranged.
Tall Pine Lodges www.tallpinelodges.com
Bath oils, soaps, candles, chocolates – $50
Wine, wine glasses, chocolates – $65
Massage by appointment – $95 for one-hour / $155 for 2 people, one-hour each
RESORTS FOR COUPLES OR FAMILIES:
Elkhorn Resort www.elkhornresort.mb.ca
Full menu of spa treatments at Solstice Spa – prices vary depending on service
Valentine’s package of one night accommodation, two mineral pool passes, champagne, chocolates – $210
Falcon Trails Resort www.falcontrails.mb.ca
Keepsake wine glasses, red or white wine, candle with holder, edible treats – $45
Two keepsake champagne flutes, champagne, candle holder, edible treats – $50
Champagne romance basket, two white velour robes to keep – $250
Spa basket with bamboo robes, beeswax candles, handmade soup, spa kit, one-hour session of either aromatherapy, massage, yoga, reflexology or Reiki – $225 for one person / $400 for two
Misty Lake Lodge www.mistylake.com
Romantic Getaway package of deluxe room, three-course dinner for two, breakfast for two, candle-lit room with fireplace, bottle of wine – $235
Pinewood Lodge www.mypinewood.com
Rose petals on bed, one longstem rose – $15
Chocolate fondue, seasonal fruit – $25
Red or white wine, cheese and fruit tray, crackers, chocolates – $30
Bed of roses, evening appetizer, two desserts, use of robes – $30
Customized package with choice of items – $30
Romantic dinner for two – $50
Massage by appointment – $70 for one-hour