History Meets Luxury at Winterholme Heritage Inn & Spa
Nestled comfortably in the Heritage District of St. John’s is Winterholme Heritage Inn & Spa. Built between 1905-1907 for Sir Marmaduke Winter, the house is bold and handsome and, at the time of its completion, was one of the most expensive private dwellings ever built in Newfoundland. In 1993 this magnificent property was restored to a single family home and today is a 4-star Heritage Inn with 8 well-appointed suites, an in-house spa and a large main floor that is often used for special functions. I had the absolute pleasure of spending an evening in this expansive property that is an absolute must see for any self-respecting traveller.
The property is one of the finest examples of the Queen Anne Revival style. This style is marked by an exterior comprised of a prominent circular bay, well-executed trim and a picturesque roof lined with windows and gables. Stepping inside is akin to stepping back in time. Rich, dark wood is evident throughout while the rooms are large and scream of luxury. Beautiful stained glass windows, brought over from London (packed in barrels of molasses!), complete the look. Each room is equipped with a deep Jacuzzi tub and large beds with linens so comfortable it’s nearly impossible to crawl out of them in the morning. Winterholme has been recognized as a National Historic Site and became a Registered Heritage Structure in December 1986. It was also awarded the Southcott Award for heritage restoration and most recently, was named Best B&B in The Overcast‘s 2014 readers’ poll.
To say I was spoiled during my stay at Winterholme is an understatement. Upon my arrival I was introduced to Hollie, my esthetician for the day. A vivacious young girl with an evident passion for her work, she immediately put me at ease, coming directly to my room to describe how my day would unfold. I was given a lush robe to wrap myself in and it was off to the spa for one of the most relaxing afternoons of my life.
I was there to experience the “Head To Toe” package and was tasked with choosing three services – easier said than done. After perusing the tantalizing list of options, I settled on a body buff, a 60 minute massage, and finally a pedicure. I lay face down on the massage table and we got started. Hollie began the buff by applying a warm blend of natural orange peel, argan oil, vitamin E, avocado and other rejuvenating oils to my skin, and I was instantly warm and happy, sinking into the table as my skin was buffed and polished until it gleamed. One of only three spas carrying the MorrocanOil body line, the treatment was finished with the Body Soufflé that drenched my skin with moisture – I’v never felt so soft and new.
Once I was all scrubbed down, Hollie transitioned seamlessly into my massage, which was 60 minutes of pure bliss. Beginning with the soles of my feet, right to the top of my head, she applied the perfect amount of pressure to send my mind and body into pure relaxation, relieving any stress and tension along the way. Once we were done she left me covered in warm towels to fully savour the experience and get up at my own speed.
I wrapped myself in my robe and glided out of the treatment room feeling brand new. My skin was glowing, I smelled delicious and thoughts of work deadlines and grocery lists were things of the past. Hollie led me into another beautiful room where chocolate and a cold glass of water were waiting for me. As she filled a tub with warm, soapy water for my feet, she offered me a list of complimentary hot beverages. Like I said, “spoiled” is an understatement at Winterholme. I sat, browsing polish colours as Hollie prepared me a chai latte. I chose a beautiful shade of pink and as Hollie got to work our conversation flowed effortlessly. She was a wealth of knowledge that I gleefully mined – asking all about the various treatments and how soon I could book her for another appointment.
My afternoon of pampering complete, it was off to my suite to enjoy the rest of the evening. The Oak Suite is located on the main floor originally used as the games room. Sales Manager Frances Ransom informed me it was her favourite room, and I could certainly see why. The walls were a delicious English Oak with intricate detailing around the mouldings – all original. The king size bed just begged to be curled up in and I had my very own fireplace complete with firewood waiting to be lit. The Jacuzzi was in the bedroom so I could watch the fire as I soaked. Needless to say, a bottle of wine was opened and the rest of the evening was spent in absolute comfort.
As if a world-class spa and luxurious accommodations weren’t enough, Winterholme can be booked for weddings, meetings and corporate events. The main floor boasts an opulent interior, perfect for just about any gathering. The main foyer and two adjoining living rooms serve beautifully as a dining room for a private sit-down dinner of up to 24 people or a standing reception for up to 60 people. Dazzle your delegates and host your next meeting or event in a room that would have traditionally been used to host extravagant festivities by the Winter Family in the early 1900’s – it really doesn’t get much better than that.
The next morning, as I sat sipping my coffee and eating homemade vanilla pancakes, I thought of how perfect my experience had been. Winterholme is offering something very special to its guests – a chance to live luxuriously in one of St. John’s grandest historical homes. They cater to any type of traveller, whether it be leisure or business. Planning your next conference in St. John’s? Imagine putting your guest speakers up here – it would be an experience they would never forget. I knew I wouldn’t – I was already planning my next visit.
For more information and to make a booking, visit Winterholme here.
Stay tuned as Winterholme will soon be revealing a new “build your own romance package”! Featuring chocolate covered strawberry platters, flower arrangements and a few other exciting new surprises, it’s definitely not to be missed.