Photo: Cottages by Marlene
In this exclusive guide to luxury Muskoka cottage rentals, Contributor Gina Baksa shares our pick of the top places to stay in cottage country in 2021
Just a two-hour drive north of Toronto, you’ll find the famed Muskoka cottage vacation area. Imagine 1,600 lakes, hundreds of acres of pristine forest wilderness, and a collection of charming towns like Huntsville, Bracebridge, and Gravenhurst.
Celebrities and the cognoscenti have been flocking to Ontario’s most popular cottage country region for more than a century, attracted by its abundant natural beauty as well as its classy hotels and traditional family lodges, award-wining restaurants – check out 3 Guys and a Stove in Huntsville – and the many incredible luxury Muskoka cottage rentals.
Imagine coffee on the deck of your own waterfront cottage, watching the sun rise across the lake, greeting you for a day’s adventure canoeing, biking or hiking. Or simply hunkering down on a lakeside hammock with a good book.
Here are some of the very best luxury Muskoka cottage rentals to consider when planning your great escape to cottage country Ontario.
Top Luxury Muskoka Cottage Rentals for 2021
Luxury Waterfront Cottage Rental in Huntsville
If you’re looking for luxury cottages for rent in Huntsville, we’ve found the perfect waterfront accommodation for you. Best suited for families with children, this stunning lakeside residence in Huntsville is your perfect home-from-home.
Available through Airbnb, the property is just steps from the water where guests can use the SUP boards and other equipment. After a hard day’s skiing, skating, or hiking, relax by the firepit. The nearest skiing is just five minutes away, as is skating at Arrowhead Park’s forest trail. But you may not want to leave this six-bedroom, luxury Muskoka retreat.
South-facing, the grounds overlook the lake… perfect for an aperitif before supper. The main-floor bedroom has a private deck area, while the double height windows overlook the garden and the lake. When it gets cold outside, head to the theatre room and hunker down for a movie or two with popcorn, while you watch the snow fall.
For more information visit https://www.airbnb.ca/rooms/21666757
Bellevue Estate – One of the Last Great Muskoka Estates
The best luxury Muskoka cottage rentals are in a league of their own, and that includes the stunning Belleview Estate. This 11-bedroom, nine-bathroom waterfront mansion stands sentinel just above a sandy beach on this grand 48-acre estate overlooking Lake Rosseau.
Imagine aperitifs on the expansive decking followed by dinner in the Great Room with its 35 ft cathedral ceilings, followed by marshmallows by the fire. There’s a cinema room here and guests have their own dance studio, massage room, and even a spa with a fully equipped gym. The bedrooms here are divine with jaw-dropping lake views and there’s a games room and music room.
Keep fit on the tennis and basketball courts, while your private boat awaits at the two-slip boathouse. Windermere House or the JW Marriott The Rosseau Muskoka Resort & Spa are minutes away on the water, and golfers can head to the nearby Lake Joseph Golf Club.
For more information, visit this VRBO cottage rental web page.
Find Your ‘Muskoka Soul’ in Gravenhurst
Plan your Muskoka cottage vacation with a relaxing stay at Muskoka Soul Cliff Bay. Ideal for two families, this luxury 3,200 sq ft Muskoka rental offers guests six spacious bedrooms with calm, neutral interiors, and three full bathrooms. Enjoy floor-to-ceiling views over Lake Muskoka from the two-storey Great Room with its timber beams and Douglas Fir panelling.
Muskoka Soul is an ideal retreat space for yoga holidays and corporate stays, with a welcoming fireplace and fully equipped kitchen. The spacious decking area with its BBQ and fire pit grotto is a must any time of the year – especially in winter. The owners can arrange boat rentals or bring your own craft and enjoy the spacious swimming dock attached to the cottage’s 85 ft of shoreline.
For more information visit http://muskokasoul.com.
Driftwood on ‘Lake Joe’
If you and your family are considering renting vacation cottages in Muskoka, then we recommend checking out this beautiful architect-designed Lake Joseph holiday home, just 10 minutes from Port Carling. Expansive dreamy views over the lake, gardens and woods from the floor-to-ceiling windows are accompanied by the latest in technology and luxurious hand-crafted touches.
Tastefully decorated, most bedrooms have en suite bathrooms, while the main-area rooms have their own private balcony. With a south-east exposure, you and your guests will enjoy sun all day, and the most beautiful sunsets from the expansive stone patio at night.
Whether you are here for a romantic retreat or planning to share with colleagues or another family, there is plenty of space to hunker down with a book, or relax in front of the fire. The family room leads directly to the patio and there’s a well-stocked games room. A wooden walkway leads to the covered boathouse with two slips.
For more information, visit this VRBO cottage rental’s web page.
Lake Muskoka Getaway
One of the top Muskoka cottage rentals has to be this stunning nine-bedroom, seven-bathroom Lake Muskoka getaway. Located directly on the lake with 425 ft frontage, the master bedroom features an en-suite bathroom with relaxing hot tub, a balcony to watch the sunsets, and dual rain shower.
Relax in the dedicated spa area with its granite steam room, a fabulous Himalayan salt brick sauna, and a hot tub that will comfortably fit eight adults. Dinners here are a sumptuous affair – the dining table seats 14 – and there’s a capacious gas fireplace.
As you’d expect, the state-of-the-art boathouse comes well equipped with three slips as well as a sundeck and generous swim area. On warmer evenings, you and your guests can dine here on the heated dock.
For more information visit this luxury cottage’s web page.
Old Woman Island
Imagine staying on your own private island on Lake Muskoka. Well, here’s your chance, with a stay on this breathtaking luxury island estate boasting 16 acres of private land with miles of walking trails, six beaches, and even a yoga pavilion.
Among the seven accommodation buildings, the main cottage on Old Woman Island offers six bedrooms, mostly ensuites and all with superb views over the forest and lake. Relax in the Great Room with its high ceilings and beautiful stone fireplace. The spacious veranda encompasses an outdoor kitchen replete with BBQ for dining al fresco and warming fire pits.
Add to the mix a tennis court, kayaks, and SUPs, and you have one of the very best Lake Muskoka cottage rentals. For more information on this luxury cottage rental from Jaynes Cottages, visit https://jaynescottages.com/vacation-rentals/old-woman-island/.
Ideal for young families, we love this idyllic Lake Joseph retreat near Woodroffe Bay that’s only two hours by car from Toronto. Enjoy sunset evenings from the lakefront stone patio or roast marshmallows together on the fire pit. There are plenty of private relaxing spaces to eat, read and sunbathe, while more active guests will enjoy the SUP, paddle boat and kayak – as well as the trampoline.
The boathouse has an inside dock as well as cooking facilities. The cottage interiors are sophisticated and beautifully decorated: imagine cathedral-style ceilings, double-height windows with superb lakeside views, and authentic wooden flooring. After dinner, head to the Great Room for drinks by the fireplace before stepping outside to the deck to watch another stunning Muskoka sunset. Fine-dining restaurants and shopping are nearby in Port Carling.
For more information, visit https://muskokacottagesbymarlene.ca/properties/la-timonerie/.
‘Fabulous’ Lake Muskoka Cottage
Looking for a smaller, more traditional Lake Muskoka cottage rental? Then Fabulous Lake Muskoka could be just the ticket for your next lakeside vacation. Offering 4,000 sq. ft of luxury accommodation on prestigious Acton Island, the cottage feels hidden away but is just a short drive to Port Carling’s restaurants and shops.
The main house boasts four bedrooms and four bathrooms and is elegantly furnished with well-kept grounds of around four acres. Head to the Great Room and bed down on the sofa by the massive fireplace, or if you prefer movie entertainment there’s a dedicate media den.
Enjoy a soak in the hot tub outside the Muskoka room before preparing dinner in the well-equipped kitchen. Extra guests can stay in the 650 sq ft apartment above the two-slip boathouse.
For more information visit https://mdr.myvr.com/cottages/fabulous-lake-muskoka.
Lake of Bays Luxury Estate Cottage
This super-luxe Muskoka cottage rental enjoys a commanding position above the Lake of Bays and offers guests its own beach. Bring family or friends (total max is 18 guests) for a vacation to remember among 47 acres of walking trails and even your own private lake.
This eight-bedroom Muskoka cottage has all the water toys you’d want, including canoes, kayaks, SUPs, and an aluminium boat. Sink into one of the Muskoka chairs around the outdoor fire pit and savour a bottle of superb wine before heading inside to the movie theatre for a Netflix binge.
A perfect year-round luxury Muskoka cottage rental destination, the Lake of Bays boasts over 300 km of shoreline and is home to fascinating local wildlife: you may well see ducks and loons, deer, and even moose.
For more information visit https://www.airbnb.ca/rooms/16098925
Contributor Gina Baksa has a passion for lakes and forests, and writes about luxury travel, hospitality and lifestyle for international publications. See her work at: https://ginabaksa.journoportfolio.com.