We often try to maintain the breakneck pace of modern life year-round, but we should take our cues from the animals and birds that hunker down in dens and nests for the colder months. Winter is for slowing down — it’s the optimum time to restore your physical vitality and recalibrate your mood and mindset.
In that spirit, Dimensions Algonquin Highlands has created a new Winter Wellness Series, so that guests can leave behind the hustle and bustle of their daily lives and reset in nature. But it’s not about roughing it: Retreat guests get cozy in luxury cabin accommodations and lead the spa life on a lakeside, winter wonderland property, less than three hours north-west of Toronto.
The 2–3 day experience will feature a variety of special guest experts, including sound healer Tiffany Heon (January 3 and 4); chef Matthew Ravenscroft (January 6); meditative photography instructor Kristopher Grunert (January 7 and 8); chef Doris Fin (February 17–19); and members of the Unbounded team, who will lead a Cold Plunge Weekend (March 30 – April 1).
Since these Winter Wellness retreats are all-inclusive, there’s nothing to worry about from the moment you arrive — aside from making choices like whether to relax in your en-suite soaker tub or go forest bathing on the trails. Dimensions provides guests with snowshoes and cross-country skis for outdoor winter activities that get the heart pumping and cheeks glowing. Guided cold-plunge sessions offer the many wellness benefits of cold-water therapy, which has grown in popularity as an antidote to stress and emotional burdens.
Experienced registered wellness professionals offer a variety of signature treatments, from stress-relieving sound baths and guided meditations to breath work. Other healing and wellness activities are also offered to help guests turn inward and find a sense of calm. These include a BioSound table session and a cocoon-like floatation tank that allows you to feel a sense of weightlessness as you float in epsom-salt-loaded warm water.
All of the meals served at Winter Wellness retreats are chef-prepared, plant-forward and made with organic, seasonal and locally sourced ingredients. Menus are carefully planned with gut and brain health in mind. Executive chef Miriam Echeverria runs a zero-waste kitchen, and is happy to share tips and techniques, so you can shop, cook and eat more mindfully long after you’ve returned home.
Those reluctant to leave home without their canine companion can rest assured that Dimensions Algonquin Highlands is dog-friendly. Well-behaved pups are welcome, so guests can enjoy the fresh air, frozen lake and woodland trails with their adventure-loving best friend. An on-site therapy dog, Honey also willingly avails herself for nature walks, games of fetch and free snuggles.
The back-country property is cannabis-friendly, in designated outdoor areas. It provides seating and a bonfire area for quiet reflection or engaging conversations with fellow guests.
The 17 modern luxury cabins at Dimensions Algonquin Highlands were designed by internationally renowned creative studio DesignAgency. Each one has a deep soaker tub, window seat and private deck, as well as black-out blinds and lighting that can be operated from your bed, at the touch of a button. Cabins are stocked with locally roasted coffees, soothing teas, kombucha and other cold refreshments customized to each guest’s tastes.
When you’re not out exploring glittery landscapes or partaking in wellness activities, you can look out from the comfort of your cabin onto the frozen waters of Maple Lake or into the snow-dusted forest and observe wildlife like white-tailed deer, colourful winter finches, foxes, chipmunks and chickadees.
Dimensions Algonquin Highlands’ five-star environment has all of the elements you need to leave the everyday behind — to pause, reflect and connect to a deeper sense of purpose this winter.