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Honeymoons close to home

This article appeared in the 2011 edition of Sudbury Weddings.

There are hundreds of romantic reasons to honeymoon in Ontario. From resorts in the honeymoon capital of the world, Niagara Falls, to a log cabin resort in the heart of Algonquin Park, resorts and inns close to home know how to spoil newlyweds with luxurious packages. Many offer wedding services and make a great place for an intimate ceremony and celebration.

At one time newlyweds left the reception early but modern couples now stay to party long after midnight. For this reason, couples want a special place in the neighbourhood for their first night of wedded life. Since 1998, Carmel Girouard, owner of the Auberge-sur-lac on MacFarlane Lake in Sudbury’s South End, has being treating honeymooners royally.

Newlyweds enjoy the B&B’s Sunset Suite in the west wing that overlooks the lake and features a large private ensuite bathroom and double Jacuzzi.

“I had my first wedding couple 12 years ago,” says Girouard. “I remember how excited I felt. I was so honoured to host a couple for their first wedded night that I polished the mirror for an hour in addition to adding the candles, the chocolate-covered strawberries, and having the Jacuzzi ready with the music playing for their time of arrival…I realized I was onto something and created three romantic packages to help future guests create and complete their special evening…”

The romantic packages include a one-night stay in the Sunset Suite followed by a delicious candlelit breakfast in the breakfast nook by the fireplace, on the deck with the warm sun, or on the hilltop swing to fully appreciate the live concert given by the Canadian loons, says Girouard. Upgrades include special snacks, pampering products and roses.

“I find men, especially, appreciate the details being done for them to surprise their girlfriend or wife. One guy, for example, had his girlfriend blindfolded upon arriving and overwhelmed her to tears,” says Girouard.

“Most recently we hosted a couple from England. They got married in Niagara Falls, and then toured Tobermory, Manitoulin Island, and stayed with us in Sudbury.”
It is not usual for couples to get engaged at Auberge-sur-lac.

“We have had some great stories about proposals. The best one was a Scottish couple who spent a week at our B&B. We found out after the first night that the previous evening, the reason he asked for a couple of glasses to sit at the lower terrace to watch the sunset, is that he had a bottle of champagne, and in his pocket for the past two weeks, a ring. He was waiting for just the right moment.”
Many honeymoon couples come back Auberge-sur-lac for their anniversary or to celebrate other special occasions.

“We had a one-year wedding anniversary return couple staying in our Sunset Suite with their baby, while another couple was in the Morning Sun room.(He proposed to her that night.) And a newlywed couple arriving after their reception to stay in the only room left, the Blueberry room. They were late in making their reservation after getting the recommendation from his brother who had stayed here for his wedding night. They did, by the way, come back for their turn in the Sunset Suite,” says Girouard.

Many hotels, such as Sudbury’s Holiday Inn, offer couples a complementary wedding night in an executive suite following the reception held at their special event rooms.

Cottage country is only a short drive from Sudbury, and the options for romantic honeymoons are endless. For example, The Briars Country Inn & Spa on Lake Simcoe in Jackson’s Point is a popular honeymoon and wedding location.

The resort has a magnificent view of Lake Simcoe, an 18-hole championship golf course, and a spa. Indoor resort activities include a solarium pool, sauna, whirlpool, exercise studio, yoga classes and billiards. Honeymoon packages include deluxe guest rooms with complimentary champagne and bath petals. Some rooms have fireplaces.

Couples Only five-star resort in (Whitney) Algonquin Park offers a Hot Honeymoon Special now until Easter 2011. Book three nights and get one night free. The junior suites and cabins are luxurious. Each has a big heavenly king bed in view of a romantic wood burning fireplace. Alongside the bed is a double Jacuzzi tub. The resort has an award-winning dining room and deluxe spa facilities. In the warmer months, couples can enjoy fishing, waterskiing, horseback-riding, hiking and biking. In winter, there is dogsledding, horseback riding, snowmobiling, ice fishing, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing available.

Sudbury Living asks readers to tell us about other honeymoon spots close to home.

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