Located at the crossroads of the historic landmark town of Port Severn, The Rawley Resort & Spa is almost like a secret spot that no one talks about – less than 75 min away from Toronto. This cottage-country-style resort & spa is quite known amongst boaters, however. As part of the famous Trent-Severn Waterway, this intersection of converging waters is one of the last stops before ‘Lock 45’ takes you out to the open lakes, to embark on your Georgian Bay adventure.
The Rawley Resort, Spa & Marina truly embodies the “Canadian cottage” lifestyle with its boutique 20-suite property in the heart of Severn. It genuinely is a great place to visit for couples, friends and families alike, especially with the abundance of fresh water bodies connecting to the Great Lakes, beautiful lush forests and clean beaches.
The Food at The Rawley Resort
I typically start by sharing the overall vibe at a hotel, but because the food & chef is what originally brought me here, let’s begin with this. Their flagship farm-to-table restaurant, Lighthouse45, has recently been joined by the renowned Chris Locke, former Chef of Marben, to curate the perfect menu – which also happens to be on the year of their 100 year anniversary.
I got mixed reviews from locals as they had become accustom to the old menu, but we didn’t have any complaints on our side! Almost immediately upon arrival, we had to start with the chef’s infamous burger – and to get the full experience, we indulged in it by the pool. And let me tell you – it did not disappoint. Juicy grass-fed beef, melted cheddar, soft brioche bun and a garlic relish sauce to bring it all together. It was the perfect start.
“I’ve had an amazing 6-year run at Marben in Toronto, but there’s something about getting out of the city and breathing in that fresh Georgian Bay air that you just can’t beat,” said Chef Chris Locke.
After spending the day exploring the resort and hanging by the pool, it was time to head back to the room to unwind and freshen up for dinner.
As dusk approached, we made our way to their spacious patio that combined outdoor comfort with a sense of rustic elegance. Here is where we were lucky enough to take in the serene glow of a classic Ontario cottage-country sunset.
To open up our appetites, we started with the “Cheese & Charcuterie”, which featured an array of local Ontario cheeses, followed by the “Potato Sour Cream & Onion”, which was beautifully presented.
A good overall start to the experience, however the next time I’m there, I’ll probably opt for the “Grilled Asparagus” dish which also looked quite appetizing.
Moving on to the mains, we opted for the “Chicken & Tabbouleh” alongside the “Organic Spelt & Beet Risotto”.
The chicken was fantastic, but I personally made a mistake with the beet risotto. Although it was an interesting and refreshing dish, I wouldn’t order it as my main again. A couple bites is all I needed, however if you are on a vegan & gluten-free diet, it’s defintely your best bet. We decided to skip desert (which I ended up regretting later), but if were you, I’d highly suggest trying the “White Pine Creme Caramel.”
Although it was a quick 2-day trip, I was able to sneak in a quick breakfast before hitting the spa! Being from the middle east, I, of course, had to try the Shakshuka, which really hit the spot.
As you can see, there’s a “mediterranean meets Ontario” theme happening here. And even if you’re not staying at the hotel, this is a great destination spot to enjoy delicious, farm-to-table local ingredients, a beautiful view of the sunset as well as a Piano Bar & Lounge offering up live entertainment!
The Suites at The Rawley Resort
Rather than telling you too much about this, I’ll just show you. We were lucky to have one of their newly renovated 2-storey “cottage-style” suites, right next to the pool and overlooking the lake.
The main floor had a modern, spacious living room, a small kitchen area, guest bathroom and access to the back porch that adorns the backyard grass area overlooking the calm, quiet waters.
The master bedroom & ensuite bathroom take up the entire second floor which was quite large and comfortable. The terrace was also very comfortable offering even better lakeviews then the back porch.
The Spa Experience at The Rawley Hotel
At first, I didn’t think much of the Rawley Hotel Spa, as we walked by it plenty of times going back and forth from the room. Afterall, it’s right in the middle of the property with an oversized hottub nestled right on the front deck.
A little deceiving from the outside, when you walk in, it’s beautiful, clean, calm and aromatic as you would expect from any high-end spa.
I personally tried the massage and, honestly, this was one of the best massage experiences I’ve ever had. I’m not sure how to explain it, but because the Masseuse was also a Reiki Master. She incorporated some of this “healing energy” into the massage – which I’m still not sure if it was just a “mental thing” for me or if this is how it typically is with Reiki. Either way, I highly recommend trying it out for yourself!
Can’t forget to mention the barrel sauna located right next to the hot tub overlooking the lakeside resort. Like the restaurant, you don’t have to be staying at the Rawley Hotel to enjoy this – if you are planning to be anywhere in the area, book yourself a lunch + spa day! Or better yet, grab your significant other and enjoy a couples experience together at this under-rated holistic spa.
The Overall vibe at The Rawley Resort, Spa & Marina
Rawley is the epitome of what you seek when trying to escape the city. Had I discovered it sooner, it would be a place I could easily escape to for a few days to unwind and relax “cottage-style”, while still getting all the service of a hotel.
Great for couples, groups or just some alone time to take a break from the city to get that energy and serenity that comes from being in nature.
I wasn’t able to get into it much, but there’s plenty of trails, forests, parks and beaches around Port Severn so you’ll never run out of things to do in the area! They also have a delicious ice cream parlour next door adjacent to Lock 45 where you can watch boats go up and down through it (I had no idea what a “lock” was or that it was even a thing, but it was cool to learn about it).
They still have some special packages for their 100-year anniversary available which you can check out on their website. I hope you get the chance to check it out for yourself – as always, feel free to share your experience with me on social media.
Happy Ontario travels!