How many of you have you gone on “vacation” because you need to relax, and that “vacation” makes you return home even more exhausted than you were before you left? Me. Like… Every. Single. Time. I usually try to get the most out of everywhere I go. I never take time to just get pampered, eat good food, and sit in front of a fire.
At least, I never did until just recently. My husband and I are proud new parents of a beautiful, smiley, healthy baby boy. As much as I love every tiny little inch of that chubby little baby, he’s exhausting. I don’t even know when the last time I got a full night’s sleep was. I wouldn’t trade it for the world, but a girl needs a break every now and then!
My amazing in-laws treated us to our first 2 nights away from our little man over Valentine’s Day. They suggested we make the 5.5 hour drive North to “Elkhorn Resort and Spa” in Riding Mountain National Park in Manitoba, Canada, and I’m SO glad they did!
Before I go into details about the resort, I want to give a shout-out to their fantastic staff, especially Meghan from the reception desk at Solstice Spa. Immediately after checking in with the hotel front desk, I realized that my luggage was left on the bed… At our house… 5.5 hours away… Seriously?! I didn’t know if I should laugh or cry. Well, now we can laugh about it, but that wasn’t how I felt at the time. Long story short, my husband ran into Meghan while he was trying to round up some toiletries for me at the hotel. She told him to quickly go to the nearby town before things started to close and pick up things I thought I needed like some clothes. The spa was open until 8, so we had plenty of time to come back and find a swimsuit for me to wear for the Mineral Pools at the spa the next day. When we got to the Spa later that night to shop, she says, “Be right back!” and comes back with a handful of samples for me. Moisturizer, lotion, cleanser, etc. I could have kissed her! To top it all off, she even gave me her cell # and told me to text her with anything I needed and she would bring it from home. Can you say sweetest person ever?!
We stayed right in the hotel in one of their Deluxe King Rooms with a Fireplace (pictured below), but there are quite a range of accommodations.
You can stay in a few different types of rooms in the hotel, or if you don’t mind a short little walk, or want to be with friends or family, you can stay on property in an adorable Chalet that are at all sorts of price points. I think next time, we might grab some friends or family and rent out a Chalet (pictured below) with a few bedrooms!
Now that we’ve covered the lodging, let’s talk about my favorite part of every vacation — the FOOD! There are 2 restaurants on site, and it is delicious. The first night, we sat in the bar side of the restaurant, Buffalo Bar. Since we were there over Valentine’s Day, they had a special 6 course meal on the evening of the 14th, which was on the restaurant side, 10 Steakhouse.
Night #1 we kept pretty casual (especially since my wardrobe was limited) and sat at the bar side where we could watch the Winter Olympics on one of the many large televisions. We ordered a bunch of random things off of the menus, including wings, mussels, soup, and the wanton nachos that my new friend, Meghan recommended. If you know me, you know I can’t turn down a good bowl of French Onion Soup. It was perfectly cheesy and delicious.
The second night, we wined and dined at the 10 Steakhouse. Oh. My. Word. YUM! We were started off with a Veggie Dumpling with a zesty peanut sauce, then a Strawberry Mesclun Salad, which had pickled red onions?? Strange, but delicious.
We both chose the Pan-Seared Scallops for our appetizers, however the Baked Brie sounded amazing as well! The menu had all sorts of fancy descriptions like this…”Pan Seared Scallops topped with Quebec foie gras glazed with balsamic vinegar and served with an apricot & fig jam with fine herbs.” I don’t know about you, but I had no idea what “foi gras” was. I knew I liked scallops, and it sounded good… so I went for it. We ate every bite of food on our plates, including this odd little thing that kind of had the texture of a mushroom. Well… we asked the waiter what it was, and he had to go ask the chef who informed him that it was duck liver!! Good thing I asked after-the-fact!
I’ve never had an “ice course” before, but I wish this was more common! Our Strawberry and Lime Sorbet came out in a bowl literally made of ice. It was the cutest thing!
I’m a little weird and don’t like ordering the same thing as someone else. I like to try something different. I ordered the Beef Tenderloin, and hubs got the Elk Striploin (pictured below) so we could share. Both were great choices, but it was nice to try each other’s dish.
For dessert, I went with the Red Velvet Cake, which came with some chocolate truffles and had this cool homemade hard candy on the top. Hubs went for the Triffle.
Ok, but enough about the food. Let’s talk about the main attraction… The Spa!
Mmmm. As I write this blog post, I’m coming off two full days of volleyball tournaments. Every muscle in my body is screaming and the spa sounds nothing short of wonderful right now. They had a Relaxation Package that we took advantage of. It included 2 nights lodging, $75 in meal vouchers and some Spa Credit. So our 2nd day there, we did a full out spa day. There is a no camera and cell-phone policy, so I apologize for not having pictures for you!
They ask you to come early enough to check-in and fill out their new customer forms. Both the men’s and women’s locker rooms have relaxing steam showers, and a couple of showers with multiple shower heads. Once we were in our swimsuits (required for the mineral pool pictured below) and our fluffy spa towels, we were ready to be pampered.
We started off with a couple’s massage, which was good- but not life altering. We had arranged for our lunch to be ready for us when we were done with those. So after we finished our light, but delightful lunch, we were ready to soak in the mineral pool and jacuzzi. Ok- so we did not realize how hard it would be to get a lounger. If you want one, go there right away in the morning. We waited around for 2 to open up all afternoon, and of course they only opened up right before our second spa treatments were ready to start. These were our favorite treatments. I had a body scrub, and hubs went for the reflexology (which he loved).
This body scrub?? Wow. That’s all I have to say about it. My esthetician, Trina, was AMAZING. It basically involved her scrubbing off my dead skin first, and then rubbing a product in that nourished and tightened my skin. Everything she used was made with fresh fruits and veggies and smelled SO good. Mango, coconut, pear… delicious. Then she wrapped my body up like a cocoon made of warm towels, and gave me the most amazing facial. The product she had applied all over my body was really sticky, so once the facial is done and you have your robe back on, she walks you to the locker room, where you sit in the steam shower for 10 minutes or so and then can shower it off. It was the most perfect way to end the day, and I went home with my skin literally glowing.
Overall, I would definitely go back again. Going in the summer would be fun because of the hiking opportunities, but it’s like the perfect winter getaway. I mean, who doesn’t want to snuggle up next to the fire (that is in your hotel room!!) with a loved one after a good ol’ day at the spa?! So pack a bag, and don’t forget to put it in the car! Then head North to the Elkhorn Resort and Solstice Spa!
I would be more than happy to help you arrange this fun little getaway! Get in touch with me today, and we can start working on the perfect package for you!