Are you looking for a place that’s packed with great food, energetic vibes, adventure and romance all in one? Look no further than Winnipeg, Manitoba, a short 2.5 flight from Toronto. We stayed at the luxurious castle-style hotel, The Fort Gary Hotel and Spa. I highly recommend this as a place for a couples getaway. This former Grand Trunk Railway hotel and National Historic Site in the heart of downtown Winnipeg is minutes away from all of the major attractions.
While everyone’s idea of romance is different if you are looking for a traditional honeymoon or anniversary getaway which includes lots of relaxation this place has got you covered. Their romance package includes champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries in the room when you arrive. Dinner & drinks at the Oval Room is a must; the Oval Room Brasserie opened its doors after going through a year-long restoration to bring the 108-year-old lounge back to its original look from 1913. The Oval Room Brasserie is not only Winnipeg’s only brasserie, but the only hotel with a wine list curated by world-renowned Sommelier Christopher Sprague.
If you don’t want to leave the hotel you don’t need to – with the newly renovated and absolutely stunning Oval Room on site, your taste buds will not be disappointed. Indulge in relaxation by spending the day at Ten Spa directly on the top floor of the hotel where you can experience a Hamman ritual for two or any of their other restorative treatments.
A perfect “ten” is what Ten Spa strives to deliver to each customer with every treatment. Their treatments have been developed after years of research around the world. They train their staff to provide the treatment with a focus on the traditional techniques of the treatment. The Hamman experience is delivered with the original Turkish elements, and for me, it had a sense of spirituality to it.
The Hammam experience is a must-try for relaxing the mind and body. Be aware that water will be poured over your hair and scalp; if you prefer for your head not to get wet, I suggest wearing a swim cap for the bathing portion.
Does your idea of romance include exploring new places and activities? Head to The Forks where you can try out a fat biking adventure along the river or, depending on ice conditions, you can skate along the waterway. We rented our fat bikes from Kendrick’s Outdoor Aventures right along the waterfront at the beginning of the trail along the river. They started their fat bike rental during the pandemic when it was easier to get a bulk order of bikes than one single one and they decided to give it a shot. They started out with fat bikes but also rent snowshoes and are right beside the skate rental where they team up in winter to make the skating experience on the river more fun. Whether you are a fat bike enthusiast like my hubby or you are new to the sport like me, they’ve got you covered.
Did you know Winnipeg is known for it’s culinary delights? I highly recommend checking out The Forks and Hargrave Food Market.
Hargrave Food Market is the newest and most exciting addition to Winnipeg’s food scene and is inspired by cutting-edge food halls across North America and Europe. Local favourites are gathered together in one place with top chefs, innovative new menus, and fresh ingredients. It’s also the place that everyone gathers before a game or event at the MTS centre so if the Jets are in town that night you’ll need to get there very early to secure a spot.
The Forks is Manitoba’s number one tourist destination, attracting more than four million visitors annually and steeped in 6,000 years of history. The 56-acre site offers year-round shopping at The Forks Market and Johnston Terminal, along with a variety of dining experiences including organic bakery goods, ethnic cuisine, casual restaurants, fine dining, and a food hall that includes craft beer and wine.
I know the food scene is amazing in Winnipeg because of how many places were available for me, someone with food sensitivities, to eat. There are lots of vegan options available and many of the restaurants have gluten-free options on the menu. Both hubby and I loved Modern Electric Lunch, a Locally owned shop on Treaty 1 Territory. They have amazing food and coffee (emphasis on the food).
I highly recommend stopping at Corrientes where you can indulge in a taste of Argentina. From Empanadas and unique pizza toppings like shaved angus rib eye, corn, and smoked salmon. Surprisingly it was here that I had the best gluten-free / dairy-free dessert of the whole trip. The staff treats you like family and I hope to go back one day for the food, the music, and the hospitality.
Spend the day at the spa, seriously from sunrise to sunset, and you’ll experience a different feel to the day. With lunch right on property, you can relax and recharge at Thermea. Enjoy a unique relaxation experience in nature! Located only 8 km from downtown Winnipeg, Thermëa by Nordik Spa-Nature features world-class thermotherapy facilities inspired by some of the best Scandinavian traditions. Take the time to unwind and reenergize in their baths, saunas, exfoliation room, and indoor and outdoor relaxation areas. The best part is there is no time limit on the visit, and they have a restaurant on site so you can relax all day long.
Up for a walk? FortWhyte Alive is a good spot to get a glimpse of prairie wildlife. They have seven kilometres of forest trails, a marsh boardwalk, an interactive museum, an aquarium, and the Buffalo Stone Café.
To learn and reflect together, two places I think everyone in Canada should visit are the Canadian Museum of Human Rights & Qaumajuq at Winnipeg Art Gallery The Winnipeg Art Gallery is one of Canada’s leading art museums and here you can find the world’s largest public collection of contemporary Inuit art and extensive collections of fine art, decorative art and photography. The Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) is the world’s only museum dedicated to human rights education and awareness.
Whether you want to eat your way through the town, relax at the spa, take in a Jet’s game, or stay in a hotel that is also a national historic site, you’ll find it all in Winnipeg.