29 March 2021

Our Babymoon at The Elora Mill

We wanted to get a babymoon in before I get too big to walk and sleep comfortably in another space (a little late, I haven't slept well in months!). The Elora Mill Hotel and Spa seemed like the perfect place for a winter getaway -- but we were pleasantly surprised with amazing weather that felt more like late spring - early summer. The Elora Mill checked all of our boxes; It's pet-friendly, walking distance to so many great shops and restaurants, there are amazing views of the Elora Gorge, hiking trails nearby, and an incredible spa and rooftop pool. What more could we ask for? Actually, their restaurant is also phenomenal, so there really isn't anything missing from this destination.

The Elora Mill dates back to the 1800s when mills were used for industrial purposes. But in 2018, after a massive overhaul, the Elora Mill opened as a modern hotel situated in one of the cutest towns in Ontario. In fact, Chevrolet named Elora the most road trippable town in Canada! I'd agree since it resembles an old European town, and has something for everyone!

In the summer you can enjoy a tube down the gorge, swim in the quarry or hike the many trails nearby (see photos from our hike below!). In the winter, enjoy the heated rooftop pool, spend some time at the spa, do a brewery tour or snuggle up beside the wood burning fireplace in your room!

Speaking of rooms, we stayed in a pet-friendly Coachhouse room. There are three of these rooms available to book, and each has it's own enclosed back patio where dogs can safely roam and get fresh air. When we arrived there were pet bowls, a pet bed, treats and the cutest little stuffed toy for Colby. It's safe to say he was thrilled to try some new treats and have a new little dinosaur toy! Don't quote me on this, but the gentleman at the front gate even offered to walk our dog if needed, but we planned each day around getting Colby some fresh air and exercise, and even took him on a hike along the gorge with us.

If you're lucky enough to get to eat in one of the outdoor heated igloos you can even dine with your doggy! We didn't because Colby is a big bigger and we wanted to enjoy our meal without having him growl and chuff at us for a bit! We always look for pet-friendly places when travelling locally because we don't like to leave our fluffy buddy behind.

Besides being pet-friendly, our room had a propane fireplace on the patio and a wood burning fireplace in the room. It had a king-size bed and beautiful walk-in shower. The bathroom really was stunning and gave me so much design inspo. for a future bathroom we want to add in our basement at home. We loved our room so much, but I will say that if you go sans-pets you are able to get a room with a stunning view of the river and falls!

We were okay without the view if it meant bringing Colby along, because there are so many other opportunities to see the Elora Gorge. From our igloo at dinner, our table at breakfast, the spa and the pool, you are able to see the ridiculously beautiful river and falls that the Elora Mill is built above.

Here is our view from breakfast.

The breakfast menu was hands down our favourite. We booked the "awake" package which included breakfast. We both tried something different each day so we were able to samples a few different menu items. Shown below is the crepe, quiche, french toast and the slow cooked lamb belly. All of it was amazing, but I think the quiche was my absolute favourite. I also recommend one of their croissants as a side. Yum!

For dinner, the first night we were there we had dinner in one of the outdoor heated igloos. The igloos are such a great way to extend dining during COVID since restrictions have really limited how many people can eat in the restaurant at one time. When we booked the hotel a month prior, I called immediately to book our dinner and request an igloo. We were lucky enough to snag one! It was so cozy, and had a little fireplace, speaker and blankets. We shared an app (gnocchi, shown below) and enjoyed two delicious plates. Tyler's burger looked unreal but I didn't try it since it wasn't cooked well-done and I am a paranoid preggo. One of my favourite features was that their drink menu offers spiritless cocktails. I had a spiritless Apple Collins (also shown below) and it was absolutely delicious. So delicious I had another one by the pool the next day!

Speaking of the pool, it's the perfect place to hang out on a snowy or sunny afternoon. It's also a great place to relax after a massage at the spa. Our first day there I enjoyed a prenatal massage at the spa before hanging out in the pool. The spa is gorgeous, and with the windows open you can hear the natural sound of the falls outside. Our second day there was 19 degrees so after spending some time in town we hung out by the pool and actually got a little tan!

The spa lounge has one of my favourite teas, Tea Forte which I enjoyed warm before my massage, and after my massage I poured over ice and drank it poolside!

The town of Elora has so many great shops and restaurants. There is something for everyone, but we love to eat and try new restaurants so most of the places we went were for food and drinks. What we loved most about Elora is how everything is walkable. We valeted our car when we arrive and didn't need it during our entire stay!

Here are a few of the local spots we hit up:

The Elora Brewing Co. - We’ve been a fan of their sour beer for a while now so we were sure to stop in and enjoy a snack and a flight (well, Tyler had a flight!). Their charcuterie board was delicious and their in-house beer jam is to die for!

Elora Distilling Company - They distill their own spirits on-site and offer tours of their distillery as well as cocktail making classes. Tyler tried a flight of cocktails while I had a virgin Moscow Mule!

La Fontana - Their Instagram definitely drew me in. I was starving the evening we went so I didn’t snap a photo of any of their food, but our pizzas were delicious and I highly recommend the arugula salad and warm olives to start. How cute is their covered patio, situated along the river?

The Wild Tart - I love macarons, so any place we go where I can find a shop selling macarons I will definitely hit up! This little cafe offers the cutest high tea dining experience, but all I did was stop in for a sleeve of macarons, which did not disappoint!

Scoop - Not even ten steps from the Coachhouse is the yummiest little ice cream shop in town. I had pegged them as a place to go before even arriving in Elora. We tried their two dairy-free options and were so impressed with the flavours and consistency. Sometimes dairy-free can be iffy, but they nailed both flavours!

We had the best time at the Elora Mill and can’t wait to return, hopefully this fall, with our little baby in tow! I imagine the autumn colours are absolutely stunning. If you go or have been, comment below with what your favourite part of Elora is, or what you hope to do when you do go!

xo, S.

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