Delawana Inn Resort
Honey Harbour, Ontario, Canada
My son, Jonah, was in a mood all the way up to the Delawana Inn Resort. “Why do we have to go away again,” he whined during the whole trip. However, by the end of our three day stay at Delawana, not only had he cheered up considerably, but he freely admitted that this had been the best family vacation that we had ever taken. My husband and I had a fantastic time and we’d love to return to this beautiful Midland area resort. But the things that make kids happy are the best reasons for me to recommend Delawana Inn.
So, here’s why the pickiest kid in the world had a great time at ‘the Del’.
We all loved the dining room which was nice enough to please the adults but relaxed enough to make the kids comfortable. There were two buffets for kids and one for adults, which made my job of trying to feed an extremely picky eater so much easier. The kid’s buffet served things like pizza, fries, macaroni and the usual kids fare but they made sure to include veggies and salad as well (not that my boys would partake, but perhaps your kids are more open to healthy foods).
The hubby and I thoroughly enjoyed our meals as well. There was lots of variety so you could eat healthy or not so healthy. Favourites included BBQ night when you could wander outside to pick up steaks, ribs and chicken breasts all lovingly cooked by expert Delawana chefs and the wonderful choice of salads and desserts. There were tons of kids around so spilled food or screaming babies did not net the usual glares that we normally get at most restaurants.
Our room was family friendly and down-to-earth like this resort. Who wants a really fancy room at a place where you’re tracking in sand from the beach, or carrying fishing tackle, or a frog in a bucket? Jonah and Brandon felt right at home and I didn’t panic when the carpet got a bit torn after a maintenance man had to cut out the hook that Jonah snagged in the broadloom while practicing his casting indoors. There was a TV and we rented a VCR. The fact that the room had two doors, one leading to the pool and dining hall, the other to the Beachfront, was also very handy.
The staff at Delewana helped make it fun. The know how to act goofy and down-to-earth like kids. No request was too small. We loved spending time at the pool where the social co-coordinators would have us playing poolside bingo, or getting into the water to do one of their wild group dances to tunes like The Macarena or Twist and Shout.
Next to the pool was a splash pad to work off even more excess energy. There was also a playground and a nice dock area where kids, including my own, got really excited about fishing off the dock. My son actually caught a small rock bass with his brand new Scooby-doo fishing rod that was purchased in the well stocked gift shop. We started out using lures, and then graduated to worms which we were both afraid to touch. A nice boy of about 9 years of age came by and showed us how to rip them in half to make them last longer. Jonah would have none of that but he somehow managed to get his to stay on long enough to catch his fish and boy, was he proud. Our new companion threw the catch back before we could show it off and it was interesting how the fish got bigger and heavier each time Jonah described it.
Delawana Inn has a rich history which it proudly shares with the guests. It is going into its 106th year as a tourist destination and the owners continuously improve and upgrade the resort, while retaining a “classic Muskoka resort” atmosphere. It was interesting to look at the ads and original photos from various eras, which were hung along the wall. Originally there had been a grand hotel on one of the nearby islands and although it’s in ruins now, it was very posh in its heyday. There are some unique ecological programs offered by Delawana through its partnership with the nearby Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre, such as nature photography, evening kayaking, orienteering and nature at night.
King of the Rocks
The main reason that my family was so happy at Delawana was the combination of programs and activities offered for all age groups. There is child care for toddlers as well as a children’s camp; however, if families want to play together, there are all kinds of family activities, such as kite making, scavenger hunts and pontoon boat rides. Adult fitness classes and spa treatments are also available. Jonah spent half his time just climbing the natural rock that was right behind our room and looking out over the property. He felt like a real mountain climber. To each his own: as long as they’re happy, I’m happy.