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Time is of the essence. Are you up to the challenge of travelling back in time to 1982 to help unravel a mystery with clues left behind by a retired ecologist who has gone missing?
Bayview Wildwood Resort, a family-friendly Muskoka resort on the shore of Sparrow Lake, has turned the concept of an escape room up a notch by debuting a wilderness-themed escape cabin. Visitors have one hour to decode a series of riddles and clues on a quest to save the day — and the lake — before it’s too late.
“We thought it would be a great idea to have an escape room and it’s been really successful. All kinds of groups have been doing it — corporate groups for conferences and team building,” explains Jeff Sonnenberg, assistant general manager for the property. “One of our employees is a Queen’s student and she rigged it all together.”
Over the years, the resort has garnered a reputation for having an in-depth series of programming and activities on offer, many of which are included in the price of a stay, along with amenities like pools and a variety of water activities.
Memorable options include outdoor morning yoga and a cocktail making class where participants get to drink the three cocktails created during the session.
“Everyday there’s a different program. There might be a magic show or a family bonfire with a singer after dinner or band in the lounge. When they’re here, they’re not just getting a room, it’s the experience and the facilities we provide,” says Sonnenberg. “There’s a lot of tradition here. A lot of families come back year after year and stay at the same cottage or suite. One family comes to mind that has spent 60 summers here.”
With a location 90 minutes north of Toronto, he says many guests are from the GTA but they also have a large American following. While the resort is close to capacity during the summer months, he says winter is also a special time to visit for an authentic Muskoka experience in the great outdoors.
“We have a skating rink with lights out on the lake and our hiking trails are used for snowshoeing and cross country skiing in the winter. At night we have bonfires,” he says. “We also have our indoor facilities, an indoor pool, game room, kid’s playground. Very much like the summer, we have fun programming for kids, entertainment at night, and fun activities like a cocktail class or an artist might come in and teach a painting class.”
Notably, packages including meal plans are also available for guests featuring multi-course menus for lunch and dinner, along with an elaborate breakfast buffet in Echo’s Lounge.
Bayview Wildwood Resort is a member of Choice Hotels Canada’s Ascend Hotel Collection, a network of upscale resorts, historic properties and boutique hotels around the world.