Cathryn had dropped a few hints that we were over due for a mystery date (an overnight at an undisclosed destination), the comments directed in my direction for her birthday month. It had been a whole two months since our return from Egypt and Africa so I almost felt sorry for her and decided to surf the web for an idea to satisfy her wanderlust itch.
One of my cousins posted on Facebook that she was at the spa in the Elora Mill. The last time Cathryn and I dropped by the village of Elora the Mill was closed, fenced in and under construction. We tried to peek through the fence but couldn’t see what was in the works. I messaged my cousin who said the Mill was newly renovated and open for business.
I browsed the internet and checked the web site, balking at the listed price for spending one night in a hotel room. Reading on I was able to get into the last night of an off-season promotion that made the cost more palatable. Just because I thought my wife deserved a treat I shelled out $350 banana peels for a room in the mill. The clincher for me was a complimentary bottle of premium wine in the room and a hundred bucks off our food and beverage bill in either the lounge or restaurant.
Check-in time was 4pm but we arrived at 2pm with the intention of walking around town. When I went into the Mill to ask permission to park our car the front desk said the room was available. Immediately, a valet was at my side and helped to remove our luggage from the car. He escorted us to our room, explaining the complete makeover of the mill on our way. They kept the old character of the heritage building by using the existing stone walls and exposed timber beams.
Every room in the mill is decorated and laid out differently. Ours had a brand-spanking new appearance but it incorporated the old mill charm. Windows in the bedroom and bathroom overlooked the river and gorge. Motion detectors turned on lights when you opened a closet or got out of bed in the middle of the night. The bathroom floor and towel racks were heated.
The built-in flat screen TV is mounted above a real wood-burning fireplace that staff is more than happy to light for you while you’re out for dinner or when they come to turn down the bed linen. Real (not plastic) glasses come with a free and refillable mini-fridge – more pop and chips are only a phone call away. And the valet told us he’d happily deliver ‘red wine’ glasses (crystal) instead of the smaller white wine glasses that would have sufficed.
The bathroom was about the same size of the bedroom, with two sinks, separate bathtub, shower and toilet room. The hair dryer was a high-end Dyson. The usual bathroom goodies were available along with bath salts, and of course personal robes and slippers.
Enough about the room. The lounge offered the best view of the river gorge, through a three-story glass enclosure on the side of the stone wall. The restaurant is up one level and has similar views. Menu items were pricey, but palatable when I considered the hundred dollar discount. In reality a choice cut of meat was comparable in price to the Keg.
Cathryn had the petite filet and I had the veal chop – both two of the best meals we’ve ever had anywhere. The service was excellent. We didn’t make it over to the spa building (the old stables) which has also been totally redone and includes a hot tub and pool on the top level. As impressive as all the renovations are I was blown away at the Mill’s plans for phase two – they want to add another building on the other side of the river and connect the two with a glass-enclosed bridge.
After spending the night and dining at the Mill we rate the whole experience a 10 out of 10.