Hockley Valley Resort is just an hour outside of the city, but it truly feels like a world away. There is nothing like a change of scenery to lift your end of winter mood, so my partner and I packed our bags and headed up to Orangeville for a much needed staycation. I have to tell you; I already can’t wait to go back!
Right now Hockley Valley Resort is a winter wonderland with its very own ski resort, but I can imagine it is also beautiful in the summer. An outdoor pool, sprawling grounds and a golf course as well as access to nearby nature trails and Island Lake have already piqued my interest for a warmer weather trip. Right now, though, it is snow covered and stunning.
Hockley Valley Resort has all the fun you could possibly want right there at your doorstep. My weekend lineup involved snowshoeing, skiing, a massage at the spa, a dip in the heated indoor pool, a trip to the sister property, the Adamo Estate Winery (oh, yes, you heard me!) and a sublime five-course tasting menu!
Plenty of people visit Hockley Valley Resort for the winter sports alone; the ski slopes were popular with all ages and there are over 10 different ski runs for a range of abilities. The resort is the perfect size for beginners and day-trippers; my partner had never skied before and by the end of our one day on the slopes he was confidently taking the chairlift and skiing down the beginner tracks (okay, sure, he fell the first time but he did it!) while I had a great time finding my ski legs again on the intermediate runs. If you get hungry there is a canteen style eatery which serves up burgers, fries and the like, as well as a grill that will pour you a cold one when it is time for the après ski to begin!
We also had a blast snowshoeing around the resort trail! This is a pretty budget friendly option for those who want a bit of outdoor action but aren’t so into skiing; rental is just $20. It was also a much quieter experience too; we were the only two out for a winter walk and it was a lovely experience to walk by snowy trees and little streams together.
Okay, so let’s talk spa. We booked a couple’s massage and it was DIVINE (even if my partner did get the giggles when his feet were touched!). The massage therapists were wonderful and delivered an expert experience. My insider suggestion would be to definitely make use of the Whisper Room before and after your treatment; there is a roaring fire, comfy chairs and a calm atmosphere to decompress in. Spa and hotel guests also get access to the indoor pool, jacuzzi and sauna, which were quiet and relaxing from around 6pm.
It may not come as a surprise to you that my favourite part of the whole experience was the food. I love food. That is pretty much the understatement of the century, but whatever, let’s let it slide. I was actually surprised at just how great the food at onsite restaurant Cabin was! The menu did look promising, but I didn’t expect high end gastronomy, however that is what we got!
I started my meal with the Hockley Valley Resort signature cocktail; the Smoking Red Head, which came delivered in a smoke chamber and was made with a red wine from the estate! We also tried the less flashy but equally delicious Penicillin, made with Scotch, Honey and Ginger.
We were keen to drink more wine from Adamo Estate Winery, so our server recommended a beautiful unfiltered Chardonnay that was oaked but not too oaky, and was definitely buttery and bold. It was an absolute joy!
There really was no joy greater than the meal itself, though. We sat at the Chef’s table, which was essentially the best front row seats a gourmand could ask for! We enjoyed a five-course tasting menu, highlights of which were the confit portobello mushroom carpaccio with truffle mascarpone (not to get morbid, but this could be my new death row meal pick!), a beautiful charred leek soup with another lashing of rich truffle flavours, a light but decadent serving of handmade ricotta gnocchi and a rich, flavour packed and gorgeous seafood risotto. I am literally going to dream of this meal for decades to come. What did I have for dessert? Errrr…I tried three. So sue me. My favourite was the tiramisu, but the gluten free chocolate cake and Italian style dipping donuts were fabulous. I wish I had three stomachs so I could eat it all again! Honestly I cannot stress how good the dining experience was! I noticed some diners had come specifically to eat at Cabin and I don’t blame them!
Okay, so the room. We were staying in an executive suite, which is elaborately spread across two floors! There are two bathrooms, which I now think might actually be the key to a happy relationship! Ladies, you’ll want to nab the upstairs bathroom because it has a multi jet shower you can sit down in and just…you know…collect your thoughts! The bed was giant, which reminded me of the days before my partner and I lived together and I could sleep like a starfish with no shame or gentle nudging back over to “my side”. All hail the super king size bed, it was a delight to sleep in.
Our room came with a balcony which we didn’t use, but I did imagine myself sitting there in the summer with an Adamo Estate Winery vintage in hand. Speaking of, after we had a hearty and delicious buffet breakfast (yeah, I know, I was surprised I could eat again, too!) We visited the winery for a tasting. Tours and tastings run at the weekends, but you can visit and order a glass of wine and snacks in the week. We bought a 2019 Gamay Nouveau to take home to remind us of our lovely trip. Thank goodness memories last longer than bottles of wine in our house!
To make your own memories at Hockley Valley Resort, check their website for rates and availability.