Travelling with my family is one of my favourite things to do. We love visiting new places and trying new things. When I think about travel, I normally associate it with getting on a plane or getting in a car and heading out for a destination far from home. What I often forget is Ontario is a beautiful province, rich with lakes, beaches and amazing tourist destinations. This past weekend, my family and I had the opportunity to experience the beauty, fun and summer adventure that Ontario has to offer. This past weekend, we had the luxury of staying at Ontario’s all inclusive FERN RESORT.
Fern Resort is a historic resort located on Lake Couchiching. It is a spacious all inclusive resort that began in the 1800s. Originally a shack, then family home, Fern Resort opened its doors to a broken down stage coach and officially became a resort in 1894. Each of the 105 rooms offer unique characteristics, varied layouts and views of the lake, make this resort the ultimate place to relax and enjoy some good old family fun. The resorts features a 4 course dinning room, pool side bar and BBQ, 3 pools (2 outdoor and 1 indoor), 9 Hole Mini Putt Course, 5 Hole Fern Special Golf course, a climbing wall, a zip line, Spa services, kids club, low and high rope courses, tennis courts, basketball courts, boating and a variety of trails for hiking, biking and exploring. Located only 1.5 hours North of the GTA, it was the ideal place to sneak way for a quickly family weekend of fun.
Fern Resorts offers a wide variety of accommodation options to cater to every family type from couples to single families to family reunions. There are hotel style rooms with one or two double beds and a pull out couch or cottage style rooms facing the lake with 1 to 2 rooms. When we visited Fern Resort in the winter, we stayed in a hotel style room (see winter review here). For our summer escape, we were treated to a gorgeous lakeside cottage. It featured a master bedroom, 2 double beds, a small kitchenette, 3 piece bath and a small sitting area. The decor in the room was clean and tasteful, but outdated the entertainment system was a flash from the past (Tube television and VHS). Although it may not be they type of electronics we are accustom to, we were there for the many other great outdoor experiences had to offer, not its technology. Check out my walk through video!
The best part of staying at an all inclusive is not having to worry about cooking! All of your meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) are included in your accommodation package. The restaurant is well maintained and provided with an elegant 4 course meal (a starter, a salad, an entree and dessert). The first night you arrive, you are greeted by a hostess who guides you to your table. From there you are greeted by your server and you stay with the same server and table for the course of your stay. After that you simply arrive at your table during the designated meal time and your server is ready to treat you to a hardy meal. You had the choice of approximated 4+ different entrees ranging from fish to pasta to beef tenderloin and each day was different set of choices. The kids favourite part was the signature Fern Resort sweet buns and honey on the table to munch on while you waited for your food.
In the summer, kids are a plenty and Fern Resort caters to this! They provide a well stocked kids buffet for breakfast, lunch and dinner providing them with ample choices and selection. To keep all their guests happy, they also offer an earlier dinner time, allowing kids to eat first. Another difference in the summer is their outdoor BBQ luncheon. Whereas you ate all your meals in the dinning room in the winter, summer you are provided with the options to stay outdoors and continue your fun poolside, while devouring a delicious meal.
In the summer, there are so many activities at Fern Resort that your family will be hopping from breakfast until dinner. Upon arrival for the weekend, we were given a itinerary of all the activities taking place at the resort so we could plan our day. The activities were broken down into adults, families and children activities so you could decided which category best fit your situation. They had sunny day activities for when it was nice outside rainy day activities if was miserable. You could easily tell which activities were running by the denotation of a yellow (sunny) or blue (rainy) flag hung at three locations around around the resort.
One of our favourite areas to hang out in the summer is the boat dock!! There are two amazing Fern Staff members situated at the docks and they are ready to help you have fun on lake. They provide worms for fishing (and help the kids put them on the hooks, Thank Goodness!), life jackets for free use of Fern’s paddle boards, peddle boats, canoes and kayaks, and the opportunity to sign up for a motorized boat tour of the lake.
If the lake isn’t your thing, there is a diving board pool and a pool with a water slide to help cool you off on hot summer days!
When you are tired of water sports, Fern Resort offers a host of dry land activities to participate in. From games like giant chess and shuffle board, to covered trampolines and mini golf.