When you arrive at the front doors of Northumberland Heights, your body immediately feels more relaxed. The air is crisp and fresh; the noisy traffic of daily life is muffled out by the vast forest surrounding the property and replaced with the peaceful sound of the wind blowing through the trees. As you enter through the front doors, stunning vaulted ceilings with solid wood trusses invite you into the welcome reception. Complete with classy yet comfortable furniture and warm wood flooring and accents that continue through the building.
As you travel through the spa and reception areas, it is evident that every piece of furniture and décor was carefully selected with a thoughtful eye. Enter Nitin and Arti Joshi, the dynamic President and Vice-President of Northumberland Heights Wellness Retreat & Spa and our gracious hosts for the day. The two, with 45 years of managing and developing hotels, high-end gyms and spas between them, were brought on to breathe new life into the property two years ago.
Dating back over 100 years, Northumberland Heights has exceptional bones but was in desperate need of some caring reconstruction. “When we first arrived, the property felt completely detached from the outside,” says Arti. No windows were looking out to the stunning 80-acre property. “With so much nature around you, the landscape helps people connect with their inner self; therefore, we needed the interior to do the same.” Arti, a meticulously detailed individual and thoughtful customer service expert, gives themes to each of her projects to help direct her design and inspirations. The idea for Northumberland Heights was EARTH. Apparent in every detail, starting with the logo, created to incorporate all five elements and continued into the colour of the fabrics, the stone finishes, and wood and metal accents. All pieces continue this theme throughout the property, creating a stunning interior design with a warm and grounded feeling. The team also opened up the walls and added large picture windows throughout the hallways and gathering spaces. In doing so, it helped to bring in natural light while adding a spectacular view from almost any room in the building.
As we explore further, I learn that the re-design of the property is not only aesthetically pleasing but also thoughtful. Located at the front of the property is a suite that is completely accessible for persons in wheelchairs or who have mobility issues. The large bedrooms provide space for single or couples massage treatments in the comfort of your room and the shower and washrooms are wheelchair accessible. Others, equipped with hot tubs located on private patios, making them the perfect spot for a couples retreat or a getaway with friends.
Unique to Northumberland Heights, their spa treatments include signature experiences that focus on wellness, inner balance, revitalization and rejuvenation. They also offer exclusive international face, body and massage treatments. A mother and daughter pair could enjoy the Caviar Indulgence, a luxurious anti-ageing treatment that lavishes your skin with pure Caviar and a revolutionary blend of Phytoextracts. The daughter could enjoy the Luminous C & Sea, which combines the high potency of Vitamin “C” with a stimulating freeze-dried seaweed. A treatment rendering skin firmer, brighter, more rejuvenated and velvety-soft. Guests can appreciate a truly personalized relaxation experience and savour their time with a tailored signature experience. Each program can be further customized to meet individual needs.
After a satisfying day at the spa, our favourite place to unwind at Northumberland Heights is the sleek sitting room with stylish furniture and a stunning stone fireplace, original to the building. As we sit and chat, my body soaks into the comfortable chairs while I enjoy one of the best coffee I have had in a while. Yes, coffee. As Arti continues to explain the spa treatments and wellness packages, she expresses that wellness is about doing everything in balance. They even licenced the pedicure room for serving alcohol, so guests looking to have a relaxing getaway can enjoy a drink with friends while being cared for by talented staff. “Don’t stress if you are not vegan, or if you didn’t get up at 4 am to work out. Balance is important.” So when I ask what a weekend at Northumberland Heights looks like, she explains that it can be as busy or relaxed as each individual chooses. Your morning could start with a nice walk on the property, followed by a luxurious buffet breakfast prepared right in front of you, using fresh, local eggs. They also offer smoothies and other healthy options. Yoga and meditation classes are available daily from 10 am to 11 am, then most guests enjoy a treatment. Lunch is served À la carte from 12 pm – 2 pm. Guests can then fill their afternoon with healthy outdoor exercise, additional spa treatments, a relaxing hot tub, or relax and read a book. You can also sit on the patio or the sitting room and listen quietly to music while taking in the stunning view of Lake Ontario in the distance. At 3 pm, the Chef does a live cooking class for all guests, followed by high tea. Dinner is served from 6 pm to 8 pm, and then guests can enjoy a glass of wine or cocktail while sitting in comfortable patio chairs with a warm fire at their feet. Commenting on how peaceful and relaxed I feel, Arti mentions that they made it a policy never to overbook the property, so there is never a crowd.
Our experience at Northumberland Heights was both relaxing and jaw-dropping. The property is breathtaking, the interior décor is stunning, the treatments are exceptional, and the team is friendly and attentive. Nitin, Arti and their team have succeeded at breathing new life into this historic property and have introduced a new gem to Northumberland County. Whether you are going for the weekend, the day or just for dinner, a trip to Northumberland Heights is an #Experience you will not soon forget.
Northumberland Heights Wellness Retreat & Spa is located 15 minutes from downtown Cobourg. People looking to enjoy lunch or dinner at the property do not need to be guests of the spa. Guests of the Cobourg Marina or arriving by train? Call, and Northumberland Heights will arrange a ride!