Luxury Camping at its Finest
Written by: Brandon Sousa
About an hour and a half from the heart of Toronto is a hidden gem, sitting on 150 acres in Northumberland, Ontario. This gem, Whispering Springs, is family-owned luxury camping resort that offers luxurious safari-tent accommodations on their beautiful, natural grounds with all the amenities you crave for your vacation away from chaos.
I began my stay by venturing out on the nature trails that showcase the beauty of the property. Be sure to ask Nancy, Jon or Jenna Corcoran at the Guest Reception inside the Watering Hole Guest Lounge and Bar of the trail that leads to the Forest Chapel.
After a solid hike, I opted for a change of pace and jumped into the outdoor pool which overlooked the Instagram-worthy pond and landscape. The pool is sandwiched between the outdoor hot tub and the communal fire pit; no doubt, I made a mental note for both once the sun went down.
Whispering Springs opened in Fall 2017 with 4 elegantly furnished log-framed safari tents with private decks and ensuite washrooms, and will be reopening in Spring 2018 with another 6 more. After chatting with the Corcoran family, they explained that each tent set up on the property to ensure the guests’ privacy while still being a short walk to the communal amenities.
No detail is overlooked at Whispering Springs. Each room is equipped with a mini-fridge, utensils, cutlery, plates, coffee maker and convection oven. By the bedside are mini flashlights, while outside is a barbecue, fire pit, bistro table, Muskoka chairs and battery-powered lanterns. There are extra blankets at the foot of the bed, bathrobes in the ensuite and an electric heater just in case the temperature gets a bit chilly at night.
At 4pm each day, the Watering Hole Guest Lounge and Bar hosts a Magic Hour, where guests can enjoy a complimentary glass of wine from some of Prince Edward County’s finest wineries. I found this a great way to interact with all the other guests and chat more with members of the Corcoran family.
Guests are encouraged to bring their own food to barbecue for dinner or can sample of the local restaurants a drive away. I opted to stay onsite and cook up a feast, while enjoying an apple crumble I grabbed from The Big Apple, 5 minutes away from Whispering Springs.
As the sun began to set, I could hear rustlings behind my safari tent. No, it was not a bear, but guests beginning to gather at the fire pit, enjoy the last little bit of the sun and ready to spark a new light with a camp fire. After a little while, almost everyone retreated back to their tents to call it a night. I, however, had different plans in mind.
With the hot tub still warm and the night sky filled with stars, I decided to change into my swimmers, grab a robe and towel from my bathroom and head into the hot tub to cap off my day. Literally, F. Scott Fitzgerald could not find the right words to describe the moment’s surreal beauty, so therefore I won’t even begin to try.
The next morning, I began to hear rumblings again, but this time just outside the front of my tent. I assumed, ‘This is it. This is how I die. A bear has come to eat me for breakfast’, but instead it was actually the Corcoran family dropping off a picnic basket continental breakfast that would’ve made Yogi Bear jealous, filled with freshly baked goods, yogurt, berries, granola and juice.
Before check-out, I decided to indulge my competitive spirit and play a game of cornhole which naturally required a “best two out of three” to revive my bruised ego from losing the first game.
For the perfect luxury escape in the midst of nature’s beauty, Whispering Springs is the most authentic and accessible option for Ontarians. Traveller’s tip: be sure to book well in advance for 2018 to secure your reservation and get ready for the relaxing vacation you’ve been promising yourself for ages.