Located 30 minutes outside of Ottawa, Strathmere is the perfect weekend retreat to renew and recharge. Strathmere is a 200-acre country retreat with 36 guest rooms, a spa, and a fantastic restaurant. As it is so close to Ottawa, it is perfect for a relaxing day at the spa or an overnight stay. There are several packages to pick from, with the most affordable being the Stretch, Soak and Savor package which includes a yoga class, access to the nature trails, soaking in the hot tubs, relaxing by the outdoor fire, and a $20 credit for the Retreat Cafe.
For my visit to Strathmere, I opted for the luxurious Celebrate, Renew and Grow package. This package includes an overnight stay in their guest room which will have chilled sparkling wine and chocolate covered strawberries for you to enjoy upon arrival. It also includes a $75 spa credit, a 3-course dinner along with your choice of wine, beer or cocktail, a yoga class, breakfast at the cafe, robe and locker rental at the spa, and access to the hot tub and pools. The price for this package is $240 a person on weekdays and $265 a person on weekends.
The Spa At Strathmere
At the spa, you can treat yourself to a variety of treatments suitable for men or women. Popular choices are a mani & pedi, facial, couples massage or hot stone massage but there is a extensive list of other treatments to select from. For my stay at Strathmere, I went for a girls weekend to enjoy a break from work so we treated our feet to a pedicure which was included in our overnight stay package.
What I loved about the spa at Strathmere is the design of the space which feels open and airy. No matter where you are in the spa you can enjoy the view of the surrounding nature around you and the seats are designed in long rows which are perfect for groups going together and want to be able to chat with one another.
The best part of the spa had to be the exterior hot tubs. There are two hot tubs and several lounge chairs nearby. The tubs are the perfect spot to ease your sore muscles. Soaking in the hot tubs makes for a great relaxing afternoon, and if you can’t spend the night I highly suggest visiting the hot tubs and treating yourself to lunch at the cafe.
No visit to Strathmere would be complete without visiting their on-site restaurant called the Cafe. Focusing on clean eating and locally grown produce (some of which comes from Strathmere’s very own garden) you can enjoy delicious field to plate meals.
For breakfast, the Cafe offers a variety of healthy breakfast options such as protein smoothie bowls, stuffed grapefruit, or organic egg breakfast sandwiches. There also was a variety of pastries to select from if you are looking for a smaller snack, and there were several gluten-free options including cookies and date squares. For breakfast, we tried the berry banana protein smoothie bowl which had strawberries, bananas, coconut chips, chia seeds, hemp seeds, vegan protein powder and Strathmere’s very own honey drizzled on top. If you are looking for a hearty breakfast the waffles were also outstanding and were topped with grilled peaches, strawberries, wildflower honey ricotta, balsamic syrup, lemon balm and toasted almonds.
For dinner there was a 3-course meal, so to start the appetizer was a bowl of spicy edamame beans and a braised pork taco. The taco was outstanding, and a burst of flavor and texture. I highly recommend trying the tacos, you won’t regret it!
For my entree, I enjoyed a beautiful plate of salmon with assorted roasted vegetables.
Finally, for dessert, I had a decadent chocolate cake. For all the dishes I was not only impressed by the taste of the food, but the presentation of the food was just stunning. Most of the dishes came with fresh flowers on the dishes and were elaborately plated that you can’t help by marvel over the beautiful food.
If you aren’t staying overnight at Strathmere like I did, you can still visit the restaurant for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Some of the set meals like the wine, cheese, and chocolate sound perfect for a romantic afternoon. For $25 a person you get a sample of artisan cheeses, chocolates and a glass of wine!
For my stay, I was in The Guesthouse in one of the rooms with two beds.
The best part of the room had to be the welcome bottle of sparkling wine and the delicious chocolate covered strawberries which were included as part of Celebrate, Renew and Grow package! The luxurious addition always makes any trip feel more special.
My other favorite part of the room would have to be we had our own patio table outside our room which was perfect to relax outside and soak up the sun.
What To Do
There is plenty to do at Strathmere to keep you entertained. You can sign up for one of the many yoga classes they offer, hike along the trails, pamper yourself to a massage or pedicure at the spa, soak in the hot tubs, swim in the pool, explore all the buildings on the massive grounds, enjoy the gourmet food at the cafe, stroll through the gardens, and relax by the fire at night. Honestly, because there is so much to do, you will need to spend two nights or return, as there is no way to try everything in one visit.