Raising Memories: When Parents Need a Getaway! (Sterling Inn & Spa, Niagara Falls)
  

Thursday, April 16, 2015

When Parents Need a Getaway! (Sterling Inn & Spa, Niagara Falls)

Sometimes, as a parent, you need a break from parenting.  Whether it's a couple of hours while your baby naps, a date night with a babysitter at home, or a weekend away with your spouse- there are times when getting some time away to focus on other things can help you to "recharge your parenting batteries"!

Ken and I decided we wanted to get away for a night to celebrate our birthdays and Valentine's Day. We have turned to Niagara Falls several times during our marriage, to get away on anniversaries.  It's a great area to visit with not only the fabulous falls, but lots of fun attractions and things to do.  So, we started looking for a hotel.  We have often found little package deals in the past but this year we just weren't coming across anything that we were excited about.  I was talking to my siblings about it one night while visiting my parents and my brother told us about the Sterling Inn & Spa in Niagara Falls.  We pulled their website up on my tablet and pretty soon I was excited about the possibility of a little getaway there!

We booked a night at the Sterling Inn on Ken's birthday and when the day came, we said goodbye to our girls when they got on the school bus in the morning and the two of us headed for Niagara Falls!  On our way, we stopped at IKEA for a few things (and for lunch), and then at the Outlet Collection in Niagara.

Finally, we arrived to check-in at the Sterling Inn.  The Inn is quite close to the falls, but is just a block or two away from the hustle and bustle of the busier streets.  It was originally built as a Creamery in 1928 (hence the milk bottle-shaped entranceway!) In 2006, the owners of the hotel began major renovations but purposely maintained some elements of the original building (like the 3 story milk bottle, and beautiful exposed ceiling beams which you'll see in some of my photos).  I love that it's "off the beaten path" because it's in a quiet area and it really is a peaceful getaway, just removed from the busyness of the tourist areas.

photo courtesy of Sterling Inn & Spa



I'll show you my own personal photos of our room and our experience, but I wanted to share these photos (courtesy of the Sterling Inn) of what some of their different room types look like (as well as that photo on the bottom, right corner, that gives you a glimpse of their spa!)


We checked into our two-room suite to find a sitting room with a large, full-length mirror and flat screen TV.  I loved the wood floors and high ceilings in the room!


There was also a large bedroom area with a desk, a little sitting area, and a fireplace with another flat screen TV.  I loved the exposed ceiling beams and the large windows in the room.


Here's the bed, set up with robes...


..and some complimentary "welcome cookies" from their restaurant (I will tell you all about the restaurant in a minute!)


The cookies were delicious (a sign of things to come)!


Here are a few photos of some of the details in our room:  The sink and vanity in the bathroom, the gorgeous rainfall shower with side jets, the provided robes on the bed, towels and bath salts with the jacuzzi, and toiletries (I was a little bit obsessed with the lemon-grass scent!)


The jacuzzi was in the bedroom area, with the fireplace and TV, etc. and there was a mini fridge and sink with coffee maker in the room as well.


After settling in, we got ready for our evening (we had reservations at AG Inspired Cuisine for dinner). Just before leaving, Ken surprised me with a gift- a new necklace! We used my camera's self-timer to grab a shot of us dressed up before heading downstairs for dinner.  We walked through the lobby to get to the elevator. Below, you can see a photo of the lobby when you walk in from the front door (with the staircase in front of you) and another of the lobby from another angle- it's beautiful! So, we went through the lobby and took the elevator down to the basement level where the restaurant is.

Photos of Lobby provided by Sterling Inn

As soon as the doors of the elevator opened, we were impressed- the decor from the elevator, leading in to the restaurant sets the mood for an elegant experience. The restaurant can also be accessed from outside for visitors who are not staying at the Sterling Inn.

I wasn't about to whip out my camera and photograph the guests eating, but I wanted to show you how beautiful it is inside, so here are a couple of photos that the restaurant provided.  Upon entering the restaurant, we were greeted warmly and brought to one of those beautiful red corner booths.  Our server introduced himself and told us about the restaurant and its field to table philosophy, using local ingredients with an ever-changing seasonal menu.


Our server was very kind and knowledgeable about all of the dishes and drinks available that day, having tasted them himself.  When we told him that we don't drink alcohol, he was quick to suggest a virgin version of their peach crumble drink which was amazing.  Ken said it was like drinking a peach! He ordered some 100% pure, Niagara Red Grape Juice which was also delicious.

Ken and I have been watching Top Chef lately and we couldn't help but feel a little like guest judges on the show as we tasted each part of our dinner.  Everything was unique and beautifully presented.
Their menu had one prix fixe option as well as a la carte options.  Our meal began with an amuse bouche of veal tartare on a rosemary cracker, followed by some delicious bread and butter.

For our appetizers, Ken had a delicious braised (unbelievably tender) elk shoulder with saffron risotto, garlic chips, and chia seed tuile (that's the fancy looking one in the bottom, right corner). My appetizer (and favourite part of the whole meal) was their incredible Spring Carrot and Cardamom Soup with McIntosh apple pie ravioli.  I cannot tell you how much I loved that soup- I would come back just for that!


For our entrées, we had their famous Sterling Silver Tenderloin of Beef (a dish that is always on their menu) with almond brie crust, lemon garlic greens, cranberry and foie gras jus (I'm sharing their photo of this dish, on the left) and Bee Pollen Crusted Sea Scallops with five spice cider braised pork belly, pear and thyme purée, sunchoke and shallot hash (the top, right photo).  Both of these dishes were lovely and it seemed that everything was seasoned and cooked to perfection.

For dessert we had the Old Time Sugar Dusted Lemon Bar with hazelnut crust, cointreau chocolate ice cream and wild hibiscus flowers (they even put a candle in the ice cream for Ken's birthday), and my favourite, the "White Meadows" Maple and RosemarCrème Brûlée with burnt maple sugar. That crème brûlée was absolutely incredible! 


We thoroughly enjoyed dining at AG.  We kept looking at each other and commenting on how delicious everything was and how happy we were to be there!

Next time we want to go out for a special occasion and have a high quality dinner with beautiful, unique dishes, we know where to go!  This restaurant is actually on several lists of Top restaurants in Canada and we are not surprised!

After enjoying a beautiful dinner we had a romantic evening together in our beautiful room (not without checking in on social media to see that Auntie Amber had picked the girls up from the bus after school and stopped for hot chocolate with them on the way to Grandma & Grandpa's house for their sleepover).  What would a parent's getaway be without checking in on their children? The whole thing wouldn't have been possible without family helping out with the girls- and they had their own little "getaway" from mom & dad and lots of fun!



We had a great night's sleep (without any little early risers to wake us up in the morning!) and were greeted with breakfast in bed (something that is included with every stay at the Sterling Inn).


We had a slow and relaxing morning (check-out isn't until noon) and upon check-out, we were kindly informed that our free parking would extend throughout the rest of the day, so we were welcome to leave our car in their parking lot while we walked to the Falls and around the area (which is exactly what we did).

We walked to the Falls along Clifton Hill (where most of the attractions are) and stopped a couple of times for photos we knew our girls would like to see (we may have been on a getaway, but we were still thinking of them!)


You can see by the way we're dressed that it was really cold- I'm so glad I thought to bring my snow pants! We stopped in at an arcade to warm up and play a game and then finished our walk to the falls. It wasn't a very long walk to get there, and there were plenty of things to see along the way.

I've heard that the falls actually froze this year, but we were too late in the year to see that.  However, we were amazed by the amount of snow and ice that had built up at the bottom of the american side of the falls- you can see that in this panoramic photo we took:


It was, as always, a breathtaking sight.  We took a few photos and a selfie before heading for some hot chocolate and to the Hershey's store for some treats to bring home for the girls and to thank my parents for watching them.


As we drove home, Ken and I agreed that, perhaps next to our 10th Anniversary trip to Mexico, this was the best getaway we have ever been on together.  We will never forget it!  We're so glad we heard about the Sterling Inn and had the opportunity to go and experience it, along with AG Inspired Cuisine.

My experience has always been that when we take an occasional romantic getaway, to relax and recharge, we're able to renew motivation and energy which allows us to be better parents. If you're ever wondering what gift you could give to a couple with kids- let me tell you! Go in on a couple's getaway and you'll be giving them an unforgettable experience... and let me suggest the Sterling Inn! :)


Thank you to Sterling Inn & Spa and AG Inspired Cuisine for hosting us for our getaway.

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12 comments:

  1. Beautiful photos! Looks like you had an amazing time!

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  2. Wow, this place looks so beautiful; I love the pictures so much and I would so go there myself!

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    1. It really is gorgeous :) Thank you- and I'm pretty sure you would love it!

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  3. OMG I need a weekend away with my Hubs and this looks fabulous! Niagara is one of our favourite places to go, we used to go yearly when we were dating. Now.... well not as often :)

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    1. It is really fun to go there. We always seem to go when the weather is freezing (that's what we get for a late November anniversary ;) but it's even better during the warmer weather!

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  4. looks like such a fabulous weekend getaway, that hotel is gorgeous and my tummy is grumbling looking at that amazing food!

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    1. It really was so nice- and the restaurant was unbelievable!

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  5. Oh, that looks Anniversary worthy. Thank you for sharing, will add the Sterling Inn to my wish list! :-)

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  6. Wow what a gorgeous hotel and amazing place to spend some time with your hubby! I am planning a family trip there this summer but maybe I need a night away with my husband now too!

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  7. that looks like an awesome place to visit

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Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment- I love reading them! :)
~Heather Lynne

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