The Beach Motel is a winter beachside getaway must in Ontario’s Hamptons
The Beach Motel is a chic boutique motel located in the small port and beach community of Southampton in Southwestern Ontario's Bruce County.
Nestled between Sauble Beach and Port Elgin, the property is about a 3-hour drive from Toronto. It's also steps away from the historic Southampton Board Walk and Southampton's Main Beach. The latter is known for its unspoilt white sand beach that stretches for four kilometres along the shores of Lake Huron.
Lovingly referred to as Ontario's Hamptons, the maritime feeling destination bills itself as being like you're "in the Hamptons (without breaking the bank)." It's also a long-time summer destination for those looking for a more relaxed vibe than its busy neighbouring towns.
But summers in the bedroom community buzzes with crowds. With it, increased accommodation needs that naturally surge in price due to the demand.
For a wintertime getaway during its low season, I escaped the city and checked into The Beach Motel. With not a lot on the docket, it was a weekend girls' trip with the only objective being to wind down and chill.
The recently revamped property has transformed the two-story building's 17 suites into a beach resort that's not only luxurious in feel but offers a guest-focused experience complete with concierge service.
The latter doesn't only help with restaurant recommendations but can assist with setting up unique activities from boozy s'mores to a scavenger hunt-type itinerary exploring the town's shops and art studios.
Pulling up to the building, we were greeted by The Beach Motel's clean and bright illuminated sign, and fresh looking exterior. A picture window on the main floor offers a glimpse of the motel's kitchen.
Just past it is the Guest Reception area that's filled with a smattering of contemporary furnishings that follow a soothing spa-like colour scheme that's a mix of beech wood, wicker, cork, and driftwood. This is also where you'll find the concierge team.
Checking in was quick and seamless. Both my friend and I were welcomed with cups of Malagasy tea and warm hand towels to refresh with.
We were also given room-access wristbands, a thoughtful detail that permits keyless room entry but also eliminates the hassle of carrying a room card or key, especially for those heading to the beach.
(Despite that, I did manage to lose mine while taking off my jacket the next day at a cafe two blocks away. But the thing about being in a community of nice people is that someone did find and returned it soon after.)
Designed with comfort in mind, the rooms at The Beach Motel aren't only thoughtfully laid out with beach house decor but are also outfitted with plush finishes including fresh and crisp Manchester Mills 300-count sateen weave linens to the fluffy Monarch Cypress towels.
Lined with soft cork flooring and shiplap walls, my king suite was a haven for relaxation. It was very easy to shelter myself in the room, curled up in the cozy sitting area with a book and a hot cup of tea. (Each room is equipped with a Nespresso coffee maker and Nunshen loose-leaf teas.)
Although it was a bit chilly outside, I did take the time to admire the view seen through the window leading to my room's private exterior patio. If I looked beyond the trees shielding the neighbouring property, I could almost see Lake Huron less than a quarter kilometre away.
When I had to get up to do a little work, I tapped into the complimentary Wi-Fi and saddled up to the writing desk before returning to recline on the firm and incredibly comfortable European-plush Sealy mattress to binge on another show from the room's streaming-enabled LG 4K UHD television.
I never made use of the suite's iron or ironing board, but it was nice to know I didn't have to call the front desk to ask for one had I needed it. I also enjoyed having a mini-fridge, plus proper glassware including a teapot and a wine cooler for in-room beverage service.
Filled with all-natural toiletries from local natural refillery Re:mind Wellness, the focal point of my spa-inspired bathroom was the freestanding deep soaking tub. I also loved the heated bathroom floors.
For wellness seekers, the resort has an outdoor red cedar barrel sauna, and a professional spa, The Spahhh.
The latter is located on the second floor just beside The Lounge and offers massage treatments (Swedish, hot stone, deep tissue, head and scalp, and foot massages) in two climate-controlled treatment rooms and has a relaxing waiting area with eco-friendly wellness products and complimentary chlorophyll water.
Since both required pre-booking, my friend and I chose to partake in the Sip S'more Package that's hosted on the beach resort's Instagram-worthy SandBar rooftop deck.
Although the restaurant is closed during the winter (we were kindly directed to dine at both Highview Food & Drink, and Room 797 where Toronto fine-dining alumnus, David Small runs the show), the same space is converted to a beautiful outdoor apres dinner hangout spot.
Draped in romantic string lights with two natural-gas fire bowls warming up the deck's dimly lit corners, we take a seat next to the wood-burning fireplace.
Each huddled under our own thick fleece blanket, we sip on boozy coffees – I choose the barrel-aged Panama rum and Kahlua containing Panama coffee; my friend goes with a sugarless DIY option – while roasting marshmallows to build s'mores.
Roasting marshmallows proves to be a hilarious time that tests my friend's patience. In contrast to the golden pair I eventually churn out, her pile of charred lumps lay abandoned on the emptied dessert board.
Warm and full of sugar, we retire to our respective rooms for the rest of the night, making plans to reconvene for the continental breakfast that's included with the stay.
The most challenging part of my two-night stay was to avoid sleeping in past breakfast which operates in The Lounge from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. I would have missed it if it wasn't for the wake-up alert set in the alarm clock app on the room's interactive tablet.
Open from morning until late night, the second-floor Lounge is a welcoming space that looks straight out of a catalogue. Washed in a soft natural palette, it was like an inviting home away from home.
Lined with banquette seating and wood-covered tables on one side, it also has a super comfortable living room set up in front of a fireplace. A great gathering place for reunions or intimate parties, its shelves are stocked with board games and books that guests can borrow.
(One evening we encountered a group of friends vacationing in the area together, while one morning we shared the space with a family who used the living room space to catch up, meet new family members and exchange gifts. It was sweet.)
The reward for not sleeping in is an ample and delightful continental breakfast spread that features a cold breakfast station full of cereals, fresh fruit, hard-boiled eggs, homemade granola and yogurt.
The pastry and bread station features excellent fresh baked goods from local haunt, Offshore Bakery. The latter could be eaten straight or toasted in a super cool smart touchscreen toaster. Wash everything down with self-serve coffee, tea, and/or fresh juice.
We take our time enjoying the spread in the warm, sun-soaked room before heading out for one last stroll along the serene boardwalk and the trek back home.
Rooms at The Beach Motel start at $129 in low season (i.e., now), and start at $359 in high season. Book directly from their website for your next local getaway.
The Beach Motel is located at 21 Huron St. S., Southampton.
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