9 Trips for High Rollers
Sometimes you’ve just got to splash out and indulge in the finer things life has to offer, and motorcycle road trips are no different. Sure, it's fun to strap a tent and sleeping back to the rear seat and go where the wind blows—but staying at five-star resorts and eating at high-end restaurants makes for a completely different kind of trip.
We’ve rounded up the top places to stay and eat on some of Northern Ontario’s more famous routes that show off the best we have to offer.
1. JW Marriott Rosseau - Minett, ON
Easily the most luxurious resort on this list, the JW Marriott Rosseau takes comfort to a new level. The entire resort is decorated in high-end cottage chic, with three great restaurants, a bar, an indoor-outdoor pool and outdoor hot tub, as well as games rooms, a massive fireplace in the lobby and, of course, an incredible spa with saunas and hot tubs overlooking Lake Rosseau. Located on the spectacular Explorers’ Edge Small Loop, it’s definitely motorcycle-friendly.
Motorcycle Route: Explorers' Edge Small Loop
2. The Café Meteor Bistro - Haileybury, ON
A recent addition to “Millionaire’s Row” in the beautiful lakefront town of Haileybury (part of the larger Temiskaming Shores area), the Café Meteor Bistro is named after a historic steamship that serviced the area. Owned and operated by Nicole and Joselyn, who also own the opulent President’s Suites in town, the food here is unparalleled in the North. Using mostly local ingredients, they even roast their own coffee and serve the best Americano north of North Bay.
Motorcycle Route: The Temiskaming Loop
3. The Water Tower Inn - Sault Ste. Marie, ON
The Water Tower Inn makes motorcycling easy. As part of the Ride Lake Superior loop, it offers special rooms with lots of rack space for helmets, jackets, and other gear that usually end up on the floor in lesser accommodations. Their pool has a waterfall, and they have a massive indoor storage unit for groups of bikes. Consider View Restaurant at the Delta for fine dining with the best view of St. Marys River.
4. The Haven Hostel - Thunder Bay, ON
While not the most luxurious on the list, the Haven Hostel might be the hippest. Newly built, with some incredible touches of design throughout, you can rest assured that everyone in the know is stopping and staying at the Haven. Aside from meeting the coolest people stopping in Thunder Bay, you’ll get a good night’s sleep knowing the owners are fellow riders, and have a garage full of tools and safe place to stash your bike while you explore downtown.
5. Calabogie Peaks Resort - Calabogie, ON
A ski resort in summer, the Calabogie Peaks plays hosts to all manner of motorheads who frequent Calabogie Motorsports Park just down the road. Don’t be surprised to show up and find row after row of Porsches, Mustangs and supercars lining the parking lot. The resort itself is complete with a pretty stellar restaurant (and a cheese plate that doesn’t disappoint) as well as some options for more spacious and accommodating rooms. We had the pleasure of staying in one of their “condo” units on our last ride on the Deep Valley Run, and we recommend them to everyone we meet.
6. Uptown Cut - Thunder Bay, ON
The New York Times food critic said he had the best steak of his life here. After dining here myself, I can understand where he’s coming from. We did the tasting menu, complete with every cutting-edge culinary delight, and were not disappointed. Beef comes from an amazing ranch just over the hill in Manitoba. Cocktails are killer, and one of the saunas that Thunder Bay is known for is right around the corner if you want to induce meat sweats from one of their bovine entrees.
7. Lake of the Woods Brewing Company - Thunder Bay, ON
While not super luxurious, Lake of the Wood Brewing Company is one of the hippest places in the North. The design here is unmistakably Northern, and you know that all the most fun people in town drink here. If you’re looking to sample amazing craft beer, this is the spot, but if you’re really just looking to make fun new friends with the locals, this is definitely the spot.
8. Best Western Swan Castle Inn - Cochrane, ON
General Manager Rene Vezbeau puts a ton of effort into this incredible retreat in the far reaches of pavement in Northeastern Ontario. Newly renovated rooms, fresh breakfast with local food options, and dedicated motorcycle storage make the Best Western Swan Castle Inn an oasis in an area that is mostly serviced by more basic levels of accommodation. The new party room in the basement has a small gym, sauna, and two meeting area for groups.
Motorcycle Route: The Great Legends Tour
9. Killarney Mountain Lodge - Killarney, ON
An Ontario institution recently acquired by new owners who undertook and completed a massive renovation, Killarney Mountain Lodge is a Northern success story. Combining the authentic Canadiana of a place that has been open since before there was a road to Killarney, and the luxury of a no-expense-spared renovation, the result is an experience that just cannot be missed. While technically not directly on The Georgian Bay Coast Route, it’s worth the detour.
Also consider the Sportsman’s Inn, just across the road. Their wine cellar can’t be beat (I know from direct experience—I discovered a California Cabernet here that haunts my dreams!).
Motorcycle Route: The Georgian Bay Coast Route
Know of a place we’ve overlooked? Let us know on the What A Ride Facebook Page!