This past weekend I headed up to Casino Rama, near Orillia, with three of my most favourite people: my momma (Julie), my sister (Trina) and my BFF (Crystal). We were going up to experience the Girlz Getaway Package and to see Alanis live in concert. To say that the four of us were excited would be an understatement — we were ecstatic and couldn’t wait to get away for the weekend!
For those of you who are curious, the Girlz Getaway Package includes:
- Deluxe suite with two double beds
- $100 spa credit per person
- $65 resort dining credit per person
- In-room movies and munchies
- Complimentary valet parking
- $10 Free Slot Play per person for members of the Players Passport Club (membership is FREE)
It was SUCH a fun way to spend the weekend and the best part is that from Ottawa (and especially for those of you in Toronto), it’s not that far to go but far enough that you truly feel like it’s a getaway.
Away We Go
We headed out on a Friday morning and, after stopping at Starbucks, hit the road with tunes, snacks and a trunk filled with all of the required girl’s weekend necessities.
The drive took approximately four hours and, from Ottawa, is a nice road trip through mountains and highly wooded areas. Our drive took us through Bancroft, which meant that we could stop at the drug store there for last minute purchases, and through small little towns with cute shops, dairies with fresh cheese and ice cream and lastly, the World’s Smallest Book Store.
With live karaoke, and lots of conversations that will never leave the inside of those four car walls, the drive went by in the blink of an eye and we arrived at Casino Rama at approximately 3:30pm.
Casino Rama is located in Rama, Ontario. Rama is a first nations community on the Chippewas of Rama First Nation reserve. The resort is located in the perfect spot to truly feel like you are getting away for the weekend. It’s far enough from any major city that you don’t feel like you have to go off resort to explore but close enough to shopping, etc. that you can wander off resort if you choose to.
Casino Rama has eight unique restaurants and an all-suite hotel with full-service spa. They also have a 5,000 seat concert hall and conference facilities. And, of course, they also have an incredible gaming floor that features a multitude of game styles – everything from slots to cards to games that I’ll never understand like craps (seriously… we watched it for a bit and I still have no idea what happens in that game!)
It truly is an all-purpose spot whether you are going for a weekend away or planning an event.
Suites at Casino Rama
After we checked in to the resort, we headed up to our room on the third floor. The third floor also houses the pool and spa facilities. The rooms at Casino Rama are spacious and well decorated. There was more than enough room for all four of us to share a room and trust me, we had a lot of stuff (mostly shoes) to fit into a hotel room.
Our room had two double beds but you can choose a king-sized bed if you are coming with a romantic partner. There’s a full living area in each room, a 42″ flat screen TV and most (ours included) include a gas fireplace. The bathroom is incredible and features all marble floors and counter tops. Ours also had a stand up shower that was big enough to fit all of us in it (and no, we didn’t actually try it!) 😉
The last time that I was at Casino Rama I stayed in one of their Club Premium Suites, which had even more room and a jacuzzi tub, so if you can splurge on one of those rooms, do it! The Deluxe suites are also an option and those rooms have access to the exclusive concierge lounge and have a private elevator.
Since we were there on the Girlz Getaway Package, our room featured this adorable little goodie basket that was filled with popcorn, licorice and chocolate. Let’s just say that it wasn’t long into our stay that this basket got raided…!
What Four Girls in One Hotel Suite Looks Like
The first thing we all did was unpack our bags. The suite ended up being perfect for four girls – the dresser had four big, deep drawers, the closet had extra hangers (thank you for thinking of that!) and the bathroom had more than enough counter space for our large amount of beauty products and makeup. The best part was just how many pairs of shoes we had lined up for our two night stay… ha!
It isn’t a girl’s weekend without my most favourite wine of all… Thank you Flat Rock Cellars for making such an amazing wine!
(Side note: I visited this winery a few summers ago and had the opportunity to meet the wine maker. He was SO passionate that I haven’t purchased another brand of wine since. He really showed me what it means to pour your heart and soul into your work and trust me, the wine shows that. You can check out that post and the photos from that experience here.)
Wandering the Hotel Pre-Dinner
Once we were all checked in, we decided to wander the hotel and pick up our tickets at the box office for the Alanis concert that evening. The resort has a few little shops down the main hall section, which we went into and I bought a really cute pair of sunglasses for only $10!
In the lounge area, near the lobby, there is a grand piano and a few times throughout the weekend there was someone playing the piano. It was awesome to have live music in the space.
The beautifully decorated lobby is the perfect place to snap some photos. This was the first trip in a long time that my mom, sister and I were on together so we grabbed a photo of all of us by the waterfall. And of course, I needed a photo with my BFF. One of my most favourite things in life is getting the chance to share these experiences with the people I love and this weekend didn’t disappoint.
Dinner, Alanis Concert & Memories Made
After grabbing our tickets, we headed back to the room and Crystal and I decided to check out the hot tub while my mom and sister went down to the gaming floor. It was the perfect way to unwind before dinner. The pool area also has a eucalyptus steam room and a sauna. More on that in a minute (because the funniest thing happened in the steam room…).
I’ll spare you the details about what four girls in one hotel room looks like getting ready but it was a flurry of perfume mist, face powder, lip gloss and hair dryers. In short: it was awesome.
We had reservations at St. Germain’s Steakhouse for dinner. It’s one of my favourite restaurants on the property and if you go, you MUST request one of their new curved booths and you also MUST have the Parmesan chips. The food and service did not disappoint. Trina, Crystal and I all had the lobster tails and my mom had the striploin. We also had the Parmesan chips and we shared the calamari. Everything was amazing.
After dinner, we headed over to the Entertainment Centre for the Alanis concert. Alanis was doing an “intimate and acoustic” show and we were seven rows from the stage. Alanis was my second concert ever so it brought back a flood of memories. It was truly an amazing show and it was SO much fun singing along to every song with my girls.
A Morning at the Balance in Life Spa
Saturday morning we awoke around 9am and got ready for our spa appointments at The Balance in Life Spa. Trina and my momma had appointments for 75-minute pedicures and Crystal and I had the Essence Package, which included both a pedicure and a manicure. The spa was just down the hall from our room, which was incredible as we literally slid on some flipflops and wandered down to reception.
The spa is a full-service spa that offers all of the usual spa treatments plus access to the resort’s saltwater pool, steam room and sauna. It’s the perfect place to unwind while on vacation and the staff are friendly and highly skilled at their job.
Lunch at The Weirs
After the spa, we headed downstairs to The Weirs, one of the resort’s more casual restaurants. While at breakfast, we chatted about how we wanted to spend the day – the choices were to stay and relax pool side or to head out to nearby Barrie to take in some shopping. Since the weather was terrible (rainy and overcast), we decided to head out to the Tanger Outlets in Cookstown, which was about an hour drive from the resort.
Let me just go ahead and save you the drive – avoid this outlet mall for now. They are in the midst of renovations and only half of their listed stores are open. However, we did find the Georgian Mall (Barrie) after a quick Google search, which offered a much larger variety of stores and some must-needed amenities such as Starbucks (let’s just say that my sister was very, very happy about this…) The best part is that it’s only about 35 minutes from the resort as opposed to the hour that it takes to get to the outlets.
After the day of shopping, we headed to the Couchiching Court Buffet for dinner. This buffet is casual and affordable and offers a wide variety of foods that anyone can enjoy. The buffet sections are set up in sections according to the type of food offered and there is also a separate dessert section, which I know my sister enjoyed (ahem, six desserts please…)
After dinner, Crystal and I hit up the pool and hot tub again before getting ready for our second night out.
The funniest thing happened while Crystal and I were at the spa the second time… We decided to try out the steam room, as neither of us have done a steam room before, so we put our stuff into a locker, grabbed some towels and headed over to the door. We could hear a noise inside the room that made it sound like there were already people inside so Crystal pulled open the door quickly enough to let them know we were on our way inside.
Well, there was no one inside and the noise we heard was the faucet producing more steam than we knew what to do with. When Crystal opened the door, the steam billowed out of the room causing her to jump back and her glasses fogged up instantly. It was one of the funniest things to see as both of us were standing there terrified of the escaping steam and neither of us wanted to venture into the room as the steam was so thick that you couldn’t see your hand in front of your face.
Needless to say, once we stopped laughing enough to go inside it was actually really nice. The steam died down a bit and we were able to just enjoy the room until we were both warm enough to shower off and enjoy the pool / hot tub instead.
Last Night Out at Casino Rama
On our last night at Casino Rama, we wanted to get all dressed up so that’s exactly what we did. Even though the casino floor does not have a dress code, sometimes it is really nice to get dressed up anyway and I always have a philosophy that I follow: you can never be overdressed for an occasion. We spent some time getting ready and then we headed downstairs to the casino floor.
The Simcoe Yard House, a sports bar and live music venue at Casino Rama, is a great place to grab a few drinks right off the casino floor. Crystal and I spent some time there listening to the band, watching people dance and sipping on cocktails and… we may have helped shut the place down at 2AM. 😉
All in all, we had a FABULOUS girl’s weekend away and I am so, so, so glad that Casino Rama was able to help us achieve everything we needed: rest, relaxation and rejuvenation.
If you are looking to pick a venue for a girl’s weekend away that isn’t too far from Ottawa (or Toronto!) but far enough for you to feel like it’s an adventure, I’d highly recommend choosing Casino Rama. Take a look at their upcoming concert schedule and plan it around a favourite artist of yours or simply go up and enjoy the amenities. It really is a fantastic place and the staff, the food, the spa services, etc. all make the entire experience an amazing one.
Thank you, thank you, thank you to Jenna and the entire staff at Casino Rama for hosting us and allowing us to have such a fantastic experience. We’ll never forget it or the memories we made during the weekend.