The Pearle Hotel & Spa, a Luxurious “Lakehouse” on Lake Ontario

The Pearle Hotel & Spa recently opened in Burlington, Ontario. Travel to Wellness contributor Lynn Burshtein visited for the following story. 

The Pearle Hotel & Spa, located in the Burlington, Ontario, Canada (a 45-minute drive or Go Train ride from Toronto, the city was historically considered a bedroom community) may just be the most lavish lake house you visit this year. The property, selected as the first location in Canada to mark entry of the esteemed Autograph Hotel Marriott collection into the country, is situated immediately adjacent to the city’s boardwalk on the shores of Lake Ontario.

Upon entering the glamourous lobby (designed by award-winning architects, Studio Munge), which includes a massive but elegant spiral staircase, there is an immense sense of grandeur, but the staff were the friendliest I have been greeted by in a long time, perhaps an unexpected perk of being a guest at a property based in a smaller community.  

Pearle Hotel & Spa
Lobby at The Pearl Hotel & Spa. Photo courtesy of The Pearl Hotel & Spa

My overnight stay at this urban retreat was top-notch at every turn, from the way the beautifully appointed hotel suite provided unobstructed views of the serene Lake Ontario waters, to the memorable meal on the outdoor terrace of the hotel’s Isabelle Restaurant, a menu that features, among other cuisines, Moroccan- and Mediterranean-inspired dishes, such as the Za’atar Focaccia and Halloumi with roasted grapes and hazelnut starters, or the Charred Cauliflower or fresh Salmon with Mustard Greens made with locally-sourced ingredients, as well as a selection of wellness mocktails. The Earth to Table Bread Bar found in the hotel is a wonderful place for a quick and tasty breakfast.

But the main purpose of my visit was to check out the Pearle Spa which definitely did not disappoint. Before settling into my facial appointment, I spent some time at the Hammam steam room and the fitness centre and relaxed beside the indoor infinity pool after swimming a few laps. There are also quiet spa lounge waiting rooms where I snacked on biscuits, fresh fruit and sipped on a cup from a choice of teas. The tension and stress of the last few years started to fall by the wayside, if only momentarily. 

Spa Lounge at The Pearl Hotel & Spa. Photo courtesy of The Pearl Hotel & Spa

To be sure, the prospect of having a facial after an unplanned, two-and-a-half-year hiatus from any spa appointments, combined with the daily use of a face mask during that timeframe, was not something I was looking forward to. My facialist tactfully agreed that my skin needed some TLC. She made sure I was relaxed throughout, though, and provided me with some information about the science- and plant-based products used by the spa. The green Bioeffect line, features an innovative plant based EGF (Epidermal Growth Factor), which is a signaling protein in the skin. EGF plays a vital role in the production of collagen, elastic and hyaluronic acid, all of which help keep a healthy and dense appearance of the skin. Bioeffect’s plant-based barley (grown in inert volcanic pumice and pure Icelandic water enriched with nutrients) protein EGF acts as a cellular activator and was created by scientists who received a Nobel Peace Prize for this invention in 1986. 

Admittedly I got a little lost during the detailed explanation of the science, but post-facial, even with my untrained eye, I could tell my skin was a lot more hydrated and smoother than it had been in a long time and I made a commitment to myself to maintain a regular skincare routine.

The best part of the trip to Pearle Hotel and Spa was that I felt like I had the best of both worlds: top-notch amenities at a five-star luxury boutique hotel and spa, built within a serene lake house setting in a low-key city that was accessible to get to, but sufficiently removed so one could truly escape the hustle-and-bustle of the big city. 

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A long-time contributor to Travel to Wellness, Lynn was a guest of the Pearle Hotel in June 2022.