Photo courtesy Port Cunnington Lodge
Travel writer and long-time Muskoka-resident Kim Kerr shares this list of the best cottage resorts in Huntsville and Lake of Bays for a truly authentic Ontario vacation experience.
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When it comes to defining luxury, we at Riley like to judge the places we stay by an equal measure of authenticity, the uniqueness of the resort experience, and, of course, the overall quality of the accommodations. If we didn’t, we’d undoubtedly miss out on some truly memorable Ontario vacation experiences.
The many traditional resorts sprinkled across Muskoka, and Huntsville in particular, illustrate just how much can be gained by broadening our views of luxury to include this category of accommodations on our prospect lists.
Does this mean you’ll have to lower your standards and expectations? Certainly not. The quality of everything from the locally sourced food to the fun activities on offer at the best cottage country resorts, many of them family-run, will more than make up for the lack of that 4- or 5-star rating.
To learn more about this rustic and authentic “alternative” luxury travel option, be sure to read through our list of the best cottage resorts in Huntsville, Ontario, for ideas and inspiration.
The Best Cottage Resorts in Huntsville
Port Cunnington Lodge
Nestled on the shores of beautiful Lake of Bays, Port Cunnington Lodge is an historic resort that has been welcoming guests for over a century. Along with its well-deserved reputation for providing outstanding hospitality, this family-friendly Muskoka resort offers a variety of accommodations including traditional cottages, suites, and even a boathouse.
The cottages come in a variety of configurations, including large multi-bedroom units capable of accommodating large family groups. All are tastefully decorated and well-equipped with modern amenities, providing the perfect balance between rustic charm and contemporary comfort.
Fun things to do include water-based activities such as kayaking, canoeing, paddleboarding, and fishing, or simply relaxing by the sandy beach. Port Cunnington Lodge also offers a fine dining experience at their on-site restaurant where you can savor delicious meals prepared with fresh, locally sourced ingredients.
Riley Recommends: For the latest reviews, rates, and to make reservations, visit Port Cunnington Lodge
Trillium Resort & Spa
Although considered one of the best luxury hotels in Huntsville, the adults only Trillium Resort & Spa does offer a number of traditional rustic cottages among its accommodation options. Located on Devine Lake just a short drive away from downtown Huntsville, the resort features 17 individual cottages and a main lodge, all designed with a charming blend of rustic elegance and modern amenities.
The highlight of the resort is undoubtedly the spa, which offers a range of indulgent treatments, including massages, facials, and body wraps. The resort’s saltwater pool, hot tub, and infrared sauna provide additional opportunities for relaxation and well-being. You can also enjoy a romantic dinner at the on-site restaurant which features seasonal, locally sourced cuisine.
Set on 86 acres of pristine woodland, there’s plenty to do outside, too. Outdoor enthusiasts will appreciate the extensive network of hiking trails that meander through the grounds, as well as the variety of water sports available including canoeing, paddleboarding, and kayaking.
Riley Recommends: For the latest reviews, rates, and to make reservations, visit Trillium Resort & Spa
Walker Lake Resort
For those who prefer a more intimate, small-scale cottage resort escape, Walker Lake Resort is a great choice. This family-run resort features just seven charming and well-appointed cottages set on the shores of peaceful Walker Lake, a body of water that’s devoid of noisy boat traffic.
The resort offers a range of accommodation options, including cozy studio cottages for couples and larger two-bedroom cottages suitable for families or groups.
You’ll have access to an array of fun activities, too, including swimming, fishing, and canoeing on the crystal-clear waters of the lake, or exploring the surrounding trails on foot or mountain bike. Other notable amenities include a children’s playground, a sandy beach area, and a shared fire pit where you can enjoy an evening under the stars.
Riley Recommends: For the latest reviews, rates, and to make reservations, visit Walker Lake Resort
Blue Water Acres
Located on the shores of Lake of Bays, Blue Water Acres is a sprawling resort that offers a diverse range of accommodation options, from traditional cottages to spacious vacation homes.
There’s plenty to do on-site as well. Topping the list of amenities are an indoor pool and hot tub, a fitness center, as well as a games room, tennis courts, and a playground. The resort also has its own sandy beach, while the lake is an ideal spot for swimming, boating, and fishing.
Blue Water Acres also offers organized activities such as guided nature walks, arts and crafts workshops, and evening campfires. It’s also one of the closest Huntsville resorts to Algonquin Provincial Park, a popular wilderness area for hiking and biking adventures.
Riley Recommends: For the latest reviews, rates, and to make reservations, visit Blue Water Acres
The family-friendly Tally-Ho Inn is located on the shores of Peninsula Lake midway between Huntsville and the small community of Dwight. This fun family run cottage resort offers a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere with a choice of 30 well-equipped housekeeping cottages. A number of motel rooms are also available.
There’s much to do here, including relaxing on the private sandy beach, bouncing around on the water trampoline, or enjoying a paddle aboard one of the resort’s complimentary canoes, kayaks, or paddleboats. Interested in sports? Then check out the tennis, basketball, and volleyball courts.
Tally-Ho also boasts a great on-site restaurant that serves up a diverse menu featuring fresh, local ingredients along with a lovely lake view. It’s also perfectly located for those wanting to explore nearby Algonquin and Arrowhead parks, or for those wanting to sample the many great restaurants in Huntsville.
Riley Recommends: For the latest reviews, rates, and to make reservations at one of the best cottage resorts in Huntsville, visit Tally-Ho Inn
Colonial Bay Cottage Resort
Colonial Bay Cottage Resort ais another great vacation property located on picturesque Pen Lake. This quaint resort offers a quintessential Muskoka experience complete with cozy pine cottages, beautiful lake views, and that oh-so welcoming atmosphere.
Family-run and family-oriented, Colonial Bay features 12 fully equipped cottages. Ranging in size from one- to three-bedrooms, they come with full-kitchens and plenty of living space for the whole family.
On-site amenities include a large beach area, a playground, and a variety of water sports equipment. Fun things to do on the lake include swimming, fishing, or exploring by canoe or kayak. Come evening, the focus of your fun centers around the communal fire pit where you can roast marshmallows and share stories.
The resort is also located close to several popular attractions including Algonquin Park, Huntsville’s downtown area with its great shopping and entertainment options, as well as some of Muskoka’s best golf courses.
Riley Recommends: For the latest reviews, rates, and to make reservations, visit Colonial Bay Cottage Resort
Logging Chain Lodge Cottages
Logging Chain Lodge in Dwight has been in operation since 1947, making it one of the oldest traditional family-run resorts in the area. Situated on Lake of Bays, this cottage resort’s housekeeping cottages are a popular accommodation choice and come in a variety of configurations, each with its own kitchen and living areas.
On-site fun includes swimming and sunbathing on nearby Dwight Beach, which the resort overlooks, as well as having free access to canoes and kayaks to explore the lake. Other activities include archery, fishing for bass, or biking and hiking in nearby Algonquin Park. Golf enthusiasts can also enjoy a round of golf at a number of nearby courses.
Planning on visiting Muskoka in winter? The lodge offers weekly or nightly rentals year-round, with winter activities such as snowmobiling, ice fishing, and snowshoeing being available once the snow flies.
For further details, visit the Logging Chain website.
Kim Kerr is a travel and lifestyles writer and Co-Founder of Riley International Media. She’s also a long-time resident of the beautiful Muskoka Region of Ontario.
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