By James Grainger, Special to The Star
The Elora Gorge, a two-kilometre strip of natural beauty along the Grand River, is one of those landscapes that exhausts superlatives. Rapids speckle the shallow black water and trees seem to float atop the towering limestone cliffs like bright green balloons.
Not to be outdone by Nature, the village of Elora, with its stunning clifftop views and 19th–century architecture, makes its own claim on the eyes.
Exterior view of The Elora Mill Hotel and Spa.
The hub of that thriving village is the gorgeous (forgive the pun) Elora Mill Hotel and Spa, a luxury getaway spot that opened in 2019 in the lovingly restored and renovated 175-year-old mill.
Even Jocelyn Maurice, The Mill’s managing partner, can’t say enough about the scenic views that surround the hotels. “You can sit the second-floor café and look out over the gorge or have a manicure-pedicure while overlooking the gorge,” she explains. “Everyone gets prime view.”
"Everyone gets a prime view," says Jocelyn Maurice, The Elora Mill Hotel and Spa's managing partner.
The rooftop hot tub and pool also overlook the gorge — as do, of course, the The Mill’s two restaurants, which are overseen by chef Jonathan Gushue, formerly of Fogo Island Inn, who choreographs a constantly evolving menu sourced from local ingredients and artisanal food producers.
But, as Maurice stresses, the panoramas are just an entry point to the full Elora experience.
“You’re not just coming to the hotel to lie back and relax,” she says. “You need to fully experience the surrounding nature.”
The scenary around the Elora Mill Hotel and Spa is also gorgeous during the winter.
Guests are welcome to use the on-site bicycles (or snowshoes in the winter) to tour the 100-acre conservation area and nearby trails, while local outfitters provide all you need for tubing, paddleboarding, and canoeing adventures on the Grand River — you can even zip-line through the abundant foliage.