I love weekend getaways, I love travelling anywhere at any time, but sometimes my bank account doesn’t. I always try to find the best deals, track flight prices or look for promotions to ease my travel itch!
This is why one of my very favourite sites is TravelZoo.ca. I’ve signed up for their newsletter that I receive every Wednesday and I always really look forward to it. I’ve gotten a little more into wine recently and a Niagara on the Lake stay deal caught my eye. It was at the Pillar and Post Inn which is owned by Vintage Hotels. If you’re a frequent reader, you saw a few posts back that I had high tea at the Prince of Wales hotel which is also owned by Vintage Hotels, so I knew the quality would be great.
I booked the deal for a Saturday night ($289, and you pay a resort fee of $15 per night at checkout. If you stay on a weeknight its $219). The nightly rate seems like a deal enough but this package included a 3 course meal for two at the CAA 4 diamond award winner Cannery restaurant attached to the Inn, winery passes and chocolate tasting at Reif Estate, two passes for an ice wine tasting at The Ice House winery, and some culinary samplings and product discounts at the NEOB lavender farm. Wow, right?
We checked into our beautiful Deluxe Queen room complete with a fireplace (my favourite!). It was quaint and romantic and there was even a white rose left on our pillow at turndown service. The fireplace made the perfect setting to enjoy a glass of wine or two that you’ve brought back from your favorite local winery.
The beds were comfortable and the bathroom was a bit on the small side but had luxury toiletries and a great vanity mirror.
e property was really beautiful and was still decorated to the nines with a Christmas theme. There were wicker deer’s in the courtyard wearing red bows, a giant Christmas tree in the lobby and a Santa in a sleigh to greet you at the front door.
What really impressed me about the property was just how big the spa was. One of the main factors in making this weekend getaway purchase was the fact that they had an outdoor hot spring spa and I thought it would be great to relax in the chilly weather. I was surprised to see a large indoor pool and hot tub, sauna, massage rooms, mani/pedi chairs and a beautifully decorated lounge with roaring fireplace and plenty of comfortable seating all on the way to the hot springs!
I made use of the pool, hot springs and lounge and it was incredibly relaxing. I could feel the stress melt away. In the lounge warming up and drying off by the fire you were welcome to help yourself to complimentary coffee and tea. I found the chamomile tea a great way to end the already relaxing night, it was a nice touch.
For dinner in the Cannery our package included a 3 course meal from their Winter Feature menu. (Some of the choices were soups and salads to start, pork medallions, roasted chicken and salmon and their dessert of the day). I chose the salad and pork medallions which were wonderful. Great size portions and really delicious. The dessert of the day was a pecan cheesecake which was to die for, probably my favourite part. If the menu doesn’t spark your interest, there was an upgrade available for $15 to a sort of Sunday Roast style dinner. My fiancé took advantage of this offer and was brought a very generous serving of prime rib, Yorkshire pudding, a baked potato and roasted veggies. He was happy with his choice.
Drinks were not included in this package and were extra cost. We both treated ourselves to an Icewine Cocktail (highly recommended from myself) and a Manhattan at $11 each.
The restaurant itself is beautiful and has a really great atmosphere. It was decorated with Christmas trees, snow covered cardinals, candles and flowers and really sets the scene for a romantic date. Service was a bit on the slow side (it took us a close to 2 hours to finish our meals and settle up) but the staff were pleasant and attentive.
When we made use of our winery and sample passes, I think Reif Estates really took the cake. It was founded in 1982 and produces wines from its vineyard first planted in 1977. We sampled their Pinot Noir and Late Harvest Vidal with dark and milk chocolate. I enjoyed the Vidal but what caught my eye was the fact that they made their own cider called River Road. It’s made on site with locally grown apples. It was very smooth and crisp and I ended up walking away with a 4 pack.
The property was lavish and the staff were so friendly and helpful. I would love to visit again in the summer to see the full beauty of their 125 acre property.
Close by was The Ice House, where their speciality was (you guessed it) ice wine. Now, I’m just getting into wine thanks to my fiancé, but ice wine is one of my go-to’s when I can get it. I love its sweet taste and appreciate just how difficult it is to make. The Ice House claim’s they can make you an ‘ice wine expert’ with their ice wine experience ($24 per couple). Their ice wine maker, Jamie MacFarlane has produced countless award winning wines during his 25 years as a senior Canadian winemaker and opened up The Ice House in 2005.
I sampled the vidal ice wine slushie (pretty unique way to serve it in the bitter Canadian winter if you ask me) and found it to be just lovely. I enjoyed the casual local bar type feel of The Ice House, with patrons enjoying a drink and playing chess on a table made out of a wine barrel, the wooden interior and the country music blaring over the speakers. It was cozy and I felt at home.
Last stop was NEOB lavender farm. My fiancé is a big lavender fan so I knew we would be making some purchases. Included with the package is 20% off purchases, a free travel size item (we chose body lotion), cookies and lavender popcorn (yum!) and a tour of the lavender farm, but please keep in mind, since it’s winter the lavender isn’t in bloom so we unfortunately could not get a tour, but if you keep the card provided to you from the Inn you could come back anytime and claim your tour in the spring or summer.
We didn’t need a tour to fully enjoy their shop. There was everything from cookies, tea, lotions, sparkling water, shampoos, and pillow spray. We bought some pillow spray which we ended up using at the Inn that night (did we mention just how relaxing this getaway was for us!?) and loved it. If this sounds up your alley they have an online shop as well, check them out online at www.neoblavender.com
We visited a few more wineries and some really great restaurants over the course of the weekend but I’ll be covering that in part 2. I wanted to focus more on how the package deal with TravelZoo and Vintage Hotels was and if I would recommend it to others. 100% yes. We had a great time; I felt relaxed and had a lot of fun checking out not only the beautiful Inn but the wineries and lavender farm. I don’t see how anyone wouldn’t be able to find enjoyment with this package. It had something for everyone. I would happily book another Vintage Hotels weekend getaway with them and good news for you, the deal is STILL on!
It’s available for $219 per night, Sunday-Friday arrivals, Jan 2nd to March 30th, 2018. Weekend stays are $289. Please remember there is a resort fee of $15 per night, and this deal is NOT available on the following dates: Jan 8-10, 22, Feb 11-14,18, 27-28.
Hey! I'm Sarah! A 30 something living in downtown Toronto with a great guy and an OK dog. I love seeing what my city has to offer and try to hit up as many fun events or attractions as I can! I haven't slept since 2004.