ste annes spa

This heated stone grotto is an epic winter retreat near Toronto

Winter in Toronto can sometimes feel like a toss-up between walking headlong into a snowstorm, and being cooped up inside for six months. 

A weekend getaway to a steamy, outdoor grotto could, however, achieve some kind of happy medium between the pleasures of cozying up in the warmth and embracing the frigid air.

The Fieldstone Grotto is one of the key features at the beautiful Ste. Anne's Spa in Grafton, Ontario, which is about two hours from Toronto in normal traffic.

The year-round outdoor facility includes a hot tub, heated lap pool, and a cooling pool, all of which are surrounded by quaint stone that looks particularly nice covered in snow. There's also a host of spa and wellness services offered inside.

The grotto is nestled among a picturesque collection of cottages set amid acres of rolling hills. There's even a stable of horses to ride once you're done your water therapy.

This historic country estate (established by Samuel Massey in 1858) feels like a completely different world than salt-stained Toronto in the midst of winter.

Unlike the highly popular Scandinave Spa near Collingwood, Ste. Anne's features overnight accommodations, which allow visitors to make the most of the grotto and spa facilities over the course of a weekend. 

You can, however, also take advantage of day packages if you're tight on time. They start at $195 per person and include spa services, lunch and tea, plus access to all facilities. 

If you'd like to wear both a toque and bikini this winter, but aren't sure where that would be acceptable, Ste. Anne's grotto is might be the place for you.

Lead photo by

Ste. Anne's Spa. Written by April Barrett.


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