Your Home Away from Home on Manitoulin Island
By Ashley Rae – shelovestofish.com
Located in the westernmost village on Manitoulin Island in beautiful Northeastern Ontario, Meldrum Bay Inn & Restaurant overlooks the breathtaking and vast North Channel of Lake Huron. Gazing at this massive body of water will make you feel small and there’s just something in the air that’s cleansing. The Inn has hosted visitors for nearly 150 years from all around the world, all drawn to the unique old-fashioned charm and atmosphere that it offers. Located at the end of the road, no one ends up here by mistake. But guests return time and time again to their ‘home away from home’ at the Inn and upon visiting you’ll find out why!
A Special Place for Travellers
Wanting to get away from the hustle & bustle and a busy life in California, Shirin and Bob Grover purchased the Inn 10 years ago. Realizing just how special this part of the world is, they bought the Inn sight unseen without any regrets. They have done an incredible job maintaining the character and old charm yet bringing their own personal touch as well. Upon meeting Shirin and Bob (along with their staff), it’s as if they are longtime friends.
Guests of Meldrum Bay Inn travel from near and far to hang their hats, explore Manitoulin Island, and enjoy delicious meals from the restaurant. And delicious is an understatement – the food is simply amazing! The restaurant draws in boaters, islanders, and island tourists as well as those staying at the Inn. During the summer, hummingbirds gather at the feeders lining the porch and can be seen buzzing and chattering throughout the day. It’s quite an experience and a highlight while enjoying a meal.
Hotel guests arrive from all over Canada and beyond: Nova Scotia, Vancouver, Ontario, Quebec, Australia, Austria, the Netherlands, Germany, and Holland – just to name a few. With such a wide range of travellers, it’s easy to see that this truly is a special place and there’s a reason guests from all ends of the earth find themselves at the Inn. According to Shirin, guests from Europe are especially fascinated by Lake Huron, the North Channel and our Great Lakes, something we often take for granted here.
There are seven guest rooms located on the second floor, each with it’s own unique furnishings and décor. Each room offers views overlooking the vast North Channel or the beautiful property and gardens at the Inn. There are also two large full bathrooms located on the second floor that have been recently renovated, along with other updates to the Inn.
What to Do on the Island
There’s always an activity to take part in on the island, especially for outdoor enthusiasts and those who love being on or around the water. During the warm open water months, the harbour lights up with anglers in pursuit of the mighty Chinook salmon. Salmon are highly sought after in these parts, although there’s also a large population of lake trout and whitefish. According to the owners at Meldrum Bay Marina (just across the road along the waterfront), anglers young and old also enjoy catching bass and perch from shore at Breakwater Park at certain times of the year.
If you’re looking to get out on the water, you can venture out in your own boat as the launch is located directly across the road from Meldrum Bay Inn at Breakwater Park. There’s a small fee for the boat launch, which you can pay at the Marina office. Local charter guides are also available if you’d like to get out and learn more about salmon fishing from an expert. This area truly has a fishing town vibe, but it extends past the open water season.
During the cooler months, each of Meldrum Bay Inn’s guest rooms has their own electric fireplace to make for an even cozier stay. Ice fishing is a popular local activity along with skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling. The main floor parlour at the Inn is beautifully decorated (as with each and every corner of the place), and is a great place to relax, read a book, watch television, or meet new friends. Wi-Fi is also available. Restaurant guests can enjoy delectable dining on the front porch overlooking the harbour and garden-side patio during the warm months, or enjoy indoor dining to warm up after a day of fresh cool air during the cooler months.
Take the trip to Manitoulin Island and check-in at Meldrum Bay Inn. You’ll find out what brings visitors to the end of the island time and time again!