Wellness in the Wilderness – The Rosseau Resort & Spa, Minett, Ontario

Lynn Burshtein


How do you like to spend your weekend getaways, being cocooned in luxury or by getting back to nature? The J.W. Marriott Rosseau Resort & Spa offers the best of both worlds: all the amenities of a world-class spa resort and access to wilderness adventures in Muskoka cottage country.

For those whose idea of unwinding includes breathing in fresh country air and partaking in athletic pursuits, there is plenty here to go around. Outdoor activities include hiking (the resort is adjacent to a 700-acre nature reserve), mountain bike rentals and canoeing (all priced a la carte). Guests can either venture off on their own, or with the help of one of the activities staff. (The $20/hr guided hike is well worth it if you are accompanied by Meredith, one of the resort’s guides. With a formal education in ecotourism, Meredith is able to rhyme off countless species of trees and explain the details surrounding the development of the large beaver dam we see). Since the resort is open all year round, during the winter season there are outdoor activities such as snow mobiling, snow-shoeing and cross-country skiing.

For those looking to achieve a slightly more Zen-like experience at the Rosseau, they only need to look inward during a yoga class at the resort’s “Mind & Body” centre, or perhaps by participating in the artist-in-residence program, or by unwinding with one of the many spa services offered (try the Rosseau Signature Massage or the Red Leaves Ritual).

Rosseau Pool

The interior of the Rosseau resort pays homage to its Canadian roots – the suites with their cottage-like décor (complete with comfortable beds, kitchenettes and fireplaces), a chalet-like lobby, and walls adorned with paintings done by local artists.  The spa itself is large, 13,000 square feet in total and occupying two floors of the resort.  Modern with clean lines and a calm environment, the spa also boasts a private outdoor swimming pool (there are four other pools elsewhere at the resort) a Jacuzzi, three relaxation lounges, and an up-to-date fitness centre.

The resort has two spacious restaurants, Cottages, serving continental cuisine breakfast, lunch and dinner, and Teca, open for dinner only, serving Italian cuisine and an extensive wine list.

With its majestic view overlooking Lake Rosseau and attentive staff, Cottages is an excellent place to start your day. The Muskoka Buffet which includes made-to-order omelets and waffles (with maple syrup, of course) is your best bet. Lunch includes comfort foods such as club sandwiches, fish ‘n’ chips and mac ‘n’ cheese. The dinner menu features linguine with wild mushrooms, artichokes, black olive tapenade, grilled Atlantic salmon served over corn & sweet potato succotash, and the “Grill Signatures” – natural Rowe Farm beef, served with potatoes, roasted vegetables, Pinot Noir jus, roasted garlic & lemon butter. For desert, grown-up versions of “S’mores” and “PB&J” are available. (Curiously, there is no dedicated “spa” cuisine section on the lunch or dinner menus, although they do promote Ontario-grown ”farm to fork” cuisine, and dishes are made with local, sustainable ingredients).

But for all the splendor that is the Rosseau Resort & Spa, the true beauty here lies in the outdoors (still, the high thread count in the sheets don’t exactly hurt).

Several deals & packages available, including the Escape! Spa packages for two. More information can be found on their website.