Lifestyle

Winter Staycation

Author: Katrina Manzocco
8 months ago
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Get away without going too far—’tis the season for local travel

This year has been, well, a lot.
Many of us are more than ready for a change of scenery after months of limited outings —stay-at-home orders and an unfortunate two-week travel quarantine have largely put out-of-country vacations on hold this year.
It’s the perfect time to take a wander into our own backyards and Windsor-Essex’s surrounding regions offer a wealth of things to do and places to see—an ideal setting for your next winter staycation.
Venture out this season to some of our favourite cozy local places to stay.

14TH COFFEE CO—ESSEX

Espresso and cold brew lovers will get a kick from a visit to 14th Coffee Co’s Coffee House.
Located ten minutes away from Windsor, 14th Coffee Co. was founded in June 2017 with the goal to source and roast quality single-origin beans that are then artfully blended—all right in Essex, Ontario. 14th Coffee Co’s Coffee Roasting Experience allows guests to see the entire coffee-roasting process, receive a detailed tour of the property, enjoy a seasonally inspired meal, and a part with a gift basket filled with coffee-focused goodies.
14th Coffee Co offers a host of places to stay, both on-site and within the surrounding area, each with supremely unique charms—one of which is Langford Suites, available through Airbnb. Inquire within to see which of these quirky properties are ready for overnight guests!

Photography by Kerry Trepanier

THE GROVE—KINGSVILLE

If you’re searching for a stay that’s both chic and uniquely memorable, look no farther than The Grove Hotel, located in Canada’s most southern town—Kingsville.
Built in 1854, The Grove is proud of its history that has earned it a place as a fixture in the town of Kingsville and shaped its identity. The hotel takes an unexpectedly funny and irreverent approach to sharing its colourful past on its website in a quick summary—giving would-be guests a good sense of the boutique hotel’s quirky spirit:
“Samuel Rose. Two-story Commercial Hotel. Fire. Walter Pastorius. Three-story Pastorius House. Fire. The King’s Hotel. Fire. Start of Prohibition. Fire. The Moore Hotel. Fire. End of prohibition. Fire. The Kingsville Hotel. Fire. Police and prostitutes. The Fogcutter Dining Lounge. Drunken brawl. Police come back. Fire. The King’s Inn & Suites. Prostitutes come back. Another drunken brawl. SOLD. Renovations. The Grove Hotel. Renovations. The Grove Brew House.”
The boutique hotel is small in size, but big on personality. Its 18 rooms each feature different distinct styles—offering a new experience for guests every time they make their return. Next door to The Grove Hotel is The Grow Brewhouse, an award-winning craft brewery and taproom offering an inspired list of in-house brews and delicious bites.
Shop their host of fun add-on options for your stay, including a birthday bundle, hair of the dog kit (part of which includes a pair of sunglasses and late check-out), and sip-sip hooray package (where champagne flutes and a bottle of bubbly await you).

RETRO SUITES—CHATHAM

For a stunning display of classic architecture, pay a visit to Chatham and the Retro Suites Hotel. Retro Suites is the area’s first upscale hotel and has become quickly renowned for its supremely Instagram-worthy design—beyond its historic exterior, the staircase in the hotel’s lobby dates back to 1895, when it was a part of the Merrill Hotel. The terrazzo floors and tin ceilings, along with the contemporary art and furnishings, give the Retro Suites Hotel its old-meets-new feel.
Originally built at the turn of the century, it’s been since transformed into a modern, luxury boutique hotel that’s perfect for a weekend getaway. Retro Suites is equal parts quirky and comfortable—offering unique stays with special services, upscale amenities and 45 individually styled guest rooms (some of which include Log Cabin, Cottage, King William, and the Presidential Suite).
During your stay, be sure to admire the area’s impressive array of historic churches, and venture the quick three-minute walk to Sons of Kent—a classic movie-theatre-turned-brewery with cozy, string-lit ambiance, a rotating menu of seasonal snacks and an exceptional line-up of brews.

THE WALNUT GROVE BED AND BREAKFAST—Harrow

For country charm and tranquility, spend the night at The Walnut Grove Bed and Breakfast.
Winter is the perfect time to head into the woods for a crisp walk before cozying up by a fire with a hot beverage—an experience that The Walnut Grove is only too happy to offer guests.The spa-like B&B is a beautifully restored 120-year-old farmhouse situated on a 10-acre property that includes serene wooded trails and a firepit. The house itself is home to two spacious and well-appointed guest rooms that feature custom designer bedding, ensuites, and sitting areas. True to form, the breakfast component of this B&B also delivers—guests can expect a decadent morning spread that includes fresh farmhouse scones, fresh fruit, and a host of other hot options.
Ahead of your stay, be sure to book an aromatherapy session with the B&B’s registered massage therapists and take advantage of the in-room charcuterie and local wine offerings.
Conveniently located on a quiet country road near the Chrysler Canada Greenway, (part of the Trans Canada Trail), the B&B is within 30 kilometres of Harrow, Kingsville, Amherstberg, Point Pelee and Windsor, making it a great central spot to explore all there is to see locally. It’s a short drive to Essex County’s incredible 14 wineries, craft breweries and distilleries.
Looking for more staycation inspiration? Be sure to check out Tourism Windsor-Essex Pelee Island (TWEPI)’s website for the latest and greatest guides to all things local.