I’m decidedly not a spa kind of person. But my wife, Jackie, is. Me, I’d much rather go fishing and spend my time outdoors than get pampered with lotions and steam and such. So when we were invited to spend this past weekend at the brand new cottage-themed Rosseau Resort and Spa in Muskoka, Ontario, Jackie was naturally all over it.
Having grown up in Muskoka, I was admittedly somewhat intrigued to check out the first J.W. Marriott property in Canada, built on the site of one of Lake Rosseau’s historic old resorts, Paignton House. It’s also the flagship property of the Red Leaves resort complex, which also encompasses grand old Cleveland’s House and the new 18-hole Rock Golf Course, designed by six-time PGA champ Nick Faldo. But what sealed the deal for me was the promise of getting out on Rosseau and neighbouring Lake Muskoka for the local walleye and pike openers.
So, on Saturday while Jackie was enjoying the resort’s signature massage and otherwise lounging about in a fluffy white robe and sipping chilled white wine (see photographic evidence), I was exploring the labyrinth of islands and channels at the Rosseau’s doorstep (the great folks at Wallace Marina’s Muskoka Sports and Recreation, who run Red Leaves’ outdoors programs, teed me up with a boat for a day). The weather was crap, unfortunately, and as the old saw goes, the fishing was great, but the catching—not so much. No mind. I was out on the water and that’s all that mattered. Plus, Jackie was happy to be left on her own (our three kids were happily spending a sugar-fuelled weekend with their grandparents in nearby Bracebridge). How perfect is that?
And it got better—and that’s not even including the great food, wicked room (we scored a spacious one-bedroom suite, one of the resort’s 221 suites and studios), live evening entertainment and fun bar. No, the best part is I got out on Lake Muskoka yesterday with fishing guide Mike Bertelsen and two of his longtime clients, Toronto lawyer David Dempster and his 12-year-old son, Matt (the Rosseau wisely plans to make good use of Mike’s Captain Action Charters for its fishing guests). Again, the weather wasn’t so hot, and the water was far too cold yet for the pike to be in the mood for playing, but still Mike put us on some nice fish. Plus, we had plenty of good laughs whipping across the white caps from hot spot to hot spot. Meanwhile, Jackie was once again treated like a queen back at the resort, complete with something called an aroma stone facial (which she loved). All-in-all, the Victoria Day weekend was the perfect hers-mine-ours scenario.
And in the end, it would seem I’m a spa kind of guy after all. As long as I get to go fishing.