When the Prime Minster of Canada is given the responsibility of hosting the G8 Summit in which eight of the world’s greatest leaders will be in attendance, it is no easy task to decide upon the perfect location. Deerhurst Resort and Conference Centre, with its picturesque scenery and state of the art amenities, was chosen as the location of the 2010 G8 Summit and it is easy to see why.
Sandra and I arrived at Deerhurst on June 24th, 2011, one year to the day in which President Obama landed his helicopter on the property. Laura Kennedy from the Marketing Department greeted us. She showed us the lay of the land and explained to Sandra and I why DeerHurst is renowned for its attractions and conference hosting capabilities. Deerhurst is nestled on 800 acres in the Muskokas and can accommodate over 1000 guests at any given time. The resort can play host to executive retreats, large scale events like the G8 Summit as well as weddings and conferences.
Sandra and I began our Deerhurst adventure by touring the property. Our inner fashionistas came out as we styled outfits in the golf pro shop and tried our hand at some of the arcade games in the indoor activity area which is also equipped with tennis courts, squash courts and a pool (one of three pools on the property).
After a good laugh and a quick dip in the pool, we returned to our room to get ready for dinner where we discovered that the General Manager Joseph and Restaurant Manager Linda had arranged to have a sweet little gift delivered to us. The honey roasted nuts, fresh fudge and Deerhurst made maple syrup were a kind gesture and incredibly delicious!
Eclipse is Deerhurst’s picturesque Savor Muskoka restaurant. Overlooking the water and comprised of stunning hardwood floors and solid stone pillars, the dining room is relaxing and refined. Kevin and Brian, the sous chefs at the resort, joined Sandra and I at our table for a moment. They told us about their experience cooking for the world leaders during last years G8 Summit and recommended some of their favorite dishes on the menu. Sandra decided upon the pan-seared Quebec rougie duck foie gras and the coast-to-coast seafood platter as her main. I had a fantastic selection of seafood including the apple-grilled halibut and Georgian Bay freshwater pickerel. After a tasting of one of the 300 bottles of wine from the Eclipse wine cellar, Sandra and I enjoyed fondue and a fantastic melody of flavors found in our ice cream from Belly Ice Cream Company, made in Deerhurst’s Lodge kitchen.
Sandra and I retreated to our room to respond to e-mails and relax in the Executive Suite in the Main Building at Deerhurst. The room had two queen size beds, a ten person dining table, two couches and washrooms in each room.
Brush strokes of the G8 Summit Leaders
The next day we started our morning by meeting Nicole, the Deerhurst Spa Director for a relaxing facial using 100% natural products and a hot stone massage. We were also treated to pedicures in the newly renovated couples treatment room.
Despite the uncooperative weather, Deerhurst’s Director of Sports and Leisure, Mark O’Dell met Sandra and I at the sports desk to accompany us to Ontario’s largest inflatable water park on the lake. The water was surprisingly warm and the obstacle course and standup paddleboards offered a great deal of laughs. Mark endured the rain and got soaked from head to toe in dress pants and all. Thank you for the enjoyable time Mark!
I will never forget the look on Sandra’s face as Titan, the largest horse used for guided tours at Deerhurst, was brought out of his stable for her to ride. After a slight struggle to mount the mammoth of an animal, Sandra rode like a champ, even controlling the reigns as Titan veered to eat the fresh greenery. We took a guided tour to the lookout, which overlooks the resort. It was breathtaking and the best way to see the entire Deerhurst Resort grounds.
Lunch at Maple, Deerhurst's modern yet classy eatery.
Era Tours is owned and operated by two brothers who grew up building machines in their father’s shop. They have developed custom-made all terrain rock buggies for the more adventurous at heart. Sandra and I jumped at the opportunity to go off-roading and experience something unlike anything we have tried before. I jumped the behind the wheel, and although my heart was beating out of my chest (I would never admit that to Sandra), I navigated the slippery, rocky terrain with expertise and ease. Okay, so our guide Eric had to jump out a few times to help us get over some boulders but that is all in the fun of the experience. The guides will take you through the toughest terrain and help you accomplish any obstacle. And the best part is, the buggies run on bio fuel so they are environmentally friendly.
Sandra and I ended our day by taking a relaxing zip around the stunning Highlands Golf Course (one of two courses at Deerhurst). The first hole offers a beautiful view of the lake and each hole has its very own unique beauty. It was Friday evening at 5:00pm by this time so Sandra and I strolled into the Highland Pro Shop for a glass of wine. It was there that we met the Executive Chef Rory, Executive Engineer Brian and the Director of Golf Daniel. The staff at Deerhurst were remarkably friendly and the hospitality was incredible. We were even invited to the local pub, Pub on the Dock for a few drinks after our packed day of adventures.
Sandra and I would like to thank the generosity and hospitality of Deerhurst Resort. Our stay was enjoyable, relaxing and exciting. Thank you to Clea and Laura in the Marketing Department for organizing our stay. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and cannot wait to come back to document the Live Performance where celebrities like Shania Twain got their big breaks.
Can-Am was hosting a convention at Deerhurst Resort. The morning we were leaving the resort we ran into Mike Holmes from Holmes on Homes who was staying at Deerhurst to attend the convention. Sandra regrets not having her photo taken with him however, it was cute to see her starstruck. I haven't seen her like that since she found out she was going to meet Hugh Hefner.