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Millcroft Inn and Spa
Travel & Leisure Lifestyle

Millcroft Inn and Spa: An unforgettable, luxurious getaway

February 8, 2024

Treat yourself to an exceptional food, wine and spa experience in Ontario’s Caledon countryside

The road is long and winding. The trees have been dipped in snow, and the sun is casting a sparkle throughout the forest. It’s a winter masterpiece. Turning the corner, the limestone building comes into focus. It’s the Millcroft Inn and Spa, housed in the Alton Knitting Mill set on a small lake in an enchanting forest in the hills of Caledon, Ontario.

The scenery all throughout the Caledon countryside is breathtaking – farms, small towns, rolling hills, forests – tucked away waiting for visitors to discover the quietness, the peace, the beauty. The property the Millcroft Inn and Spa sits on is 100 acres of serene nature in the quaint town of Alton. Built by prominent citizen Benjamin Ward in 1881, the Millcroft was eloquently restored with its original beauty and architectural charm preserved. Inside the Inn you’ll find rustic and original limestone rock, original beams, beautiful wood, and a warm cozy feeling.

Read Also: Thermëa Spa Village: The ultimate wine and wellness experience

The Millcroft is a delicate balance of old-English quaint charm and luxury pampering with exceptional touches that make the Millcroft experience one-of-a-kind, just like any of the Vintage Hotel properties. That exceptional experience begins with the accommodations. While there are various options in the Old Inn and in the Original Farmhouse on the property (these are intimate and cozy, some with stunning waterfall views, and have a special charm all their own), I booked a weekend at The Crofts – a row of townhomes set in the forest and right along the river.

These are excellent accommodations, as they offer stunning forest views, privacy, a cozy living space and upstairs loft, heated floors, wood-burning fireplaces and some even have private outdoor hot tubs. The Crofts are also conveniently located right near the hot springs and the spa.

Millcroft Inn and Spa

A peek inside the cozy interior of the accommodations at The Crofts.

After getting settled in, it’s time to head out and explore the property. It’s a cool winter’s day, but the sun is shining. Small snowflakes begin to fall whilst hiking a trail that leads through the forested area and ancient limestone structures from the original property. Along the river, there’s a jaw-dropping view of the crashing waterfalls that the Inn sits upon. There are Muskoka chairs set in perfectly chosen spots that provide the ideal place to take a deep breath and enjoy the scenery in privacy.

Further along the trail, discover multiple firepits, outdoor skating, and various other hiking trails (one that leads into the town of Alton and right to the beautiful Alton Mill Arts Centre – a stunning historical mill that houses multiple art galleries and shops – a must-stop on your visit.) Specialty coffee at the Inn Lounge is a treat upon finishing up outdoors. Warm and relaxed, guests are feeling very removed from their hectic day-to-day lives.

The next stop is the outdoor hot springs. On the walk over to the spa, I pass by a couple enjoying an outdoor fire and the scent of burning wood fills the air, the snow is ever so softly falling and it’s a dreamy ambiance to enjoy a hot dip. Located in the spa area of the property, the hot springs are a collection of stunning hot and warm pools and a cold plunge. There’s also a steam room, and dry sauna as well as an indoor pool and hot tub inside the spa. It’s a spectacular sight – with steam rising in the air, various levels of pools set among rock gardens and the forest all around.

Millcroft Inn and Spa

A view of the multi-leveled outdoor hot springs at Millcroft Inn and Spa.

From the top pool one can gain a tremendous view of the rolling hills of the region, as well as the forest we are all tucked away in. I spend the afternoon here alternating between hot and cold and rest, before heading to my spa appointment.

The Millcroft Spa is a full-service luxury spa offering everything from customized facials to hot stone massages to pedicures. A few of their signature services include the Indian Head Massage and Scalp Treatment, Stress Fix Body Massage, Swiss Hydrotherapy Wrap, as well as massages, facials, pedicures and so much more. It’s a vast spa service menu using only the best products and designed for optimal relaxation.

There’s also a restaurant here that one can enjoy before or after a massage/spa treatment, or while simply visiting the hot springs. The menu here is light, fresh and gourmet, offering charcuterie, roasted root vegetable pureé, wraps and salads to name a few. The wine and cocktail list here is also impressive. It’s not as robust as the Inn offers, but has a few standouts including the Peach Sangria, Millcroft Caesar, a riesling from Cave Spring and a lovely Prosecco.

After multiple hours of relaxation and pampering, I lazily head back to my room in my robe and warm slippers. The room’s floors are warm, and there’s a fire burning in the fireplace. It’s time to open a bottle of wine and enjoy a few moments of serenity before heading to dinner. The evening sun is setting, casting a beautiful glow through the forest. This the kind of place you dream of spending a wintery weekend.

Millcroft Inn and Spa

Headwaters Restaurant overlooks the surrounding scenery, and is the fine dining restaurant at the Millcroft Inn and Spa.

It’s time to head up to the main Inn, to Headwaters Restaurant. I’m seated directly in front of the cascading waterfalls and treated to award-winning cuisine while overlooking the Mill Pond and Shaw’s Creek Falls. There’s fine art all around, including paintings and photography from local artists. It’s a warm, elegant, yet rustic décor, not to mention stunning views out of every window.

The service here is exceptional, with every need taken care of; every detail explained. The executive chef has carefully crafted menus using locally sourced ingredients to serve the bounty of Ontario with each meal, resulting in a perfectly crafted menu including dishes like rack of lamb, pan seared diver scallops, and spinach pappardelle pasta. The evening’s special, surf and turf is what’s decided on.

When the meal arrives, a visit from the chef, himself, to explain exactly what’s being served is a nice touch. Of course, a dining experience to this calibre must also have an exceptional wine list. Here, the list offers variety from all major wine regions, including a Château Cos D’Estournel, Grand Cru Classé from St. Estephe, Bordeaux; an Argiano Brunello di Montalcino from Tuscany; Château Montelena Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley; plus an enchanting selection of Champagne to choose from, including a 2003 vintage of Dom Perignon. Canadian wines are also well represented here.

Wine and Wellness

Millcroft Inn and Spa offers carefully crafted menus that use locally sourced ingredients to serve the bounty of Ontario with each meal.

The next couple of days are spent taking in the property, enjoying an outdoor fire, the hot springs and venturing into town to have a coffee and explore the shops. There’s also a few breweries, art galleries, and skiing options nearby, as well as golf in the summer.

The Millcroft Inn and Spa is a place to truly revel in. It’s somewhere you’ll never forget visiting and will return again and again for the breathtaking views and scenery, the delicious food and wine, and the peaceful spa and hot springs. It’s truly a place of country luxury and an Ontario gem.

Quick tips:
  • If you go in the winter, bring cozy slippers and a toque for the hot springs.
  • If you’re celebrating an occasion on your visit, be sure to tell management in advance, they usually provide a complimentary bottle of wine!
  • Be sure to take the trail that leads to the Alton Mill Arts Centre – it’s a stunning place you won’t want to miss.
  • For the ultimate in relaxation and romance, book The Croft with the personal outdoor hot tub. There’s nothing more romantic than looking out at a forest covered in snow.

This feature is part of VineRoutes’ VINE AND WELLNESS series – a special VineRoutes editorial series exploring select spas and retreats that have mastered the unique art of combining wine with wellness, resulting in a luxury food, wine and spa experience.


– A former restaurant and spa reviewer, and luxury travel writer, Shannon Mastaler is the lifestyle editor with VineRoutes 


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