Here are just a few of the Great Places to Eat and Stay in Ontario’s Lake Country!
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Just about 2 weeks ago now, I went on a bloggers winter retreat in the heart of Ontario’s Lake Country. My #LetsGoMaple Winter getaway began on an early morning in March, as I boarded a flight from Calgary, Alberta to Toronto, Ontario. From there I took a shuttle from the Toronto Pearson Airport to Casino Rama Resort, where I stayed for the next 3 nights.
Staying at Casino Rama Resort
Casino Rama Resort is located on Rama First Nation, just outside of Orillia, Ontario (about 1 and 1/2 hours from Toronto Pearson Airport). This resort is right in the heart of Ontario’s Lake Country, so it is a great location for many different activities. You could spend your entire vacation right at the resort and take in the casino, book a spa, and eat in delicious restaurants. But because this resort is centrally located, you can also take in a number of different outdoor activities, and shop and eat in the nearby towns. While I was there, our group of 16 bloggers did a little of everything. In my first blog post I spoke to all the outdoor winter activities we took part in, and in this post I’m going to talk about the Casino Rama Resort where I stayed, and about all the delicious food I was lucky enough to eat!
As I entered Casino Rama Resort I was greeted by a beautiful rustic lobby, with blazing fireplaces, comfy seating areas, ceilings made up of large tinder beams and gorgeous light fixtures…it all had the feel of a perfect spot to kick off a winter getaway!
After a long travel day, I just wanted to get up to my room, put all my gear down and shower and change before dinner. I was so relieved when I opened the door to my room and saw a king sized bed, a beautiful big bathroom with a shower and separate tub, and these delicious treats waiting for me! After I got my self together, it was time to meet up with the other bloggers, for a tour of the resort, which I was so thankful for because the resort is huge, and I wanted to see it all.
When I take tours of places I visit, I tend to go off the beaten path just a little bit and try to capture some of the sights that might get missed or that really catch my eye. I found myself doing this many times during our resort tour…this resort is located on the Rama First Nation, so the design pays homage to the culture and proud heritage of the Rama First Nation people, and there are many beautiful features such as the this fish artwork on the ceiling. Look up, look waaaaaay up.
Just one of the many art pieces located in the resort.
Then it was time to take a tour of the casino. I found the tour of the gaming floor SO interesting. I learned so much about casinos, how they operate, gaming etiquette, and Ontario’s commitment to responsible gaming. I really had no idea there was so much involved behind the scenes with casinos. My new friend Sandy of Canadian Blog House wrote a really great blog post with all kinds of fascinating casino facts from our tour!
Image courtesy of Casino Rama Resort. Picture taking is not allowed on the casino floor!
I think one of the most amazing features of the Casino Rama Resort is The Great Indoors venue where they host some of the biggest acts in the world! This state of the art venue seats 5000 people, and I was surprised to learn that they have hosted big names such as Faith Hill, The Tragically Hip, KISS, Chris Rock, Jerry Seinfeld, Carrie Underwood, Alicia Keyes, Johnny Depp, John Legend and SO many more!
Just a snippet of their Wall of Fame!
My favourite part of Casino Rama (besides the super comfy king sized bed) was their pool and steam room. I’m a spa kind of gal. I admit it. I could easily spend a day just at the pool, in the spa and steam rooms. So every chance I got I took the time for a swim and steam. After a busy and cold winter day, there’s nothing that can warm you up like a hot tub and a steam room. Ahhhhhh
I went for a steam every day while I was there!
Suggestions for Dining in Ontario’s Lake Country
And of course, the food! There are so many places to dine in Ontario’s Lake Country, but with only 3 days to fill my belly, I was only able to try a few delicious restaurants!
After our tour of the resort, we went for dinner at St. Germain’s Steakhouse, located right in Casino Rama, where we were treated to a delicious dinner. The Triple Chocolate Pyramid was out-of-this-world-delicious!
On day two, after a busy day of outdoor sports, we headed into Orillia for dinner at Rustica Pizza Vino. This was my most favourite dining experience on our trip! When we first arrived, we were treated to a beer sampling of the Organic Cold Water Clear Lager from Horseshoe Valley Brewing Company (it was very tasty!). Then we had a live demonstration on how the restaurant makes their delicious Neapolitan-style pizzas! They make all of their own dough, use locally sourced ingredients combined with specialty meats, cheeses, olive oils and tomatoes imported from Italy. There is a deep love of pizza involved in the running of this pizza place, and it shows…the pizzas are SO SO delicious. My favourite was the ‘Prosciutto’, with San Marzano tomato, prosciutto, arugula, shaved grana padano. Oh my. My mouth is watering at the thought of it. And if that wasn’t enough, they brought out Pizza Doughnuts for dessert, which are deep fried pieces of pizza dough rolled in sugar and placed on a bed of Nutella. I can’t even. They were amazing, and probably the reason my pants were tighter when I left. 😉
On our last night, we again headed into Orillia for dinner at The Grape & Olive Wine & Martini Bistro. I ordered the Tender Beef Sirloin with Mashed Potatoes and it came served in a giant Yorkshire Pudding Puff! I mean just look at that dish! I need to recreate this at home for my family…they will LOVE it.
Don’t Miss All The Outdoor Winter Fun!
While you’re in Ontario’s Lake Country don’t forget to take in all the outdoor winter fun it has to offer! You can see more of that in this earlier blog post I wrote about the ski hills, nordic trails and more!
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I really enjoyed my time in Ontario’s Lake Country! There is so much to see, do and eat! And my stay at Casino Rama Resort was restful and peaceful. I really had a great time! A BIG thank you to SJ Consulting (Julie and Stacey), and Ontario Lake Country and Casino Rama Resort (Lisa, Jenna, Natasha, and Jenn) for making this trip so fantastic for all of us! Your hard work made our visit amazing! #LetsGOMaple!