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The Dorchester Hotel is exactly what Collingwood needed. A year-round playground — for skiing, hiking, shuttling between beach towel and cooling waves — the only thing the town was missing was a boutique hotel made to order for vacationers pursuing peak relaxation. Rooms here are outfitted with the type of modern essentials guests crave, while detailed finishings and delightful surprises create the type of spot we all dream of inhabiting. Equal parts snug and spectacular, The Dorchester Hotel affords guests the exquisite pleasure of slipping into ultimate comfort after a day of adventure. As Collingwood’s newest must-stop spot, The Dorchester Hotel is a stunner you’ll want to enjoy all year long.
A smooth two-hour drive from Toronto, Collingwood ranks high as a weekend destination for drained urbanites longing for a breath of fresh country air. Ideally situated, the town boasts proximity to Blue Mountain Resort, Wasaga Beach, scenic caves, and other points of interest that beckon to adventurous types and those who love them. Happily, it’s also an area peppered with intriguing restaurants, winsome shops, wineries, breweries, and a legion of innovative, entrepreneurial people determined to show off the bounty of their environs.
One such couple, Tammy and Chris Millsap, found an outlet for their enterprising ways in an ordinary apartment complex containing little of note save for its stellar location — smack-dab in the middle of Simcoe County’s most popular town. Constructed in the 1890s as The Dominion Hotel, the business was renamed The Dorchester Hotel in the 1960s. Later converted into apartments, the building’s reputation as a hospitality hub seemed a thing of the past. Until, that is, the Millsaps purchased the structure with the goal of giving it the ultimate glow up and converting it into Collingwood’s preeminent boutique hotel.
Opened to the public in December, 2022, the transformed Dorchester Hotel boasts 30 spacious guest rooms, each outfitted with convenience, comfort and style in mind. The first hint you’ve left the crammed city behind for more inviting pastures? Casually pulling into the hotel’s parking lot, where a number of complimentary spots are reserved for guests. A small detail, sure, but one that anyone who has ever parked a car in the city — and paid for doing so — is certain to adore. From there, the warm welcome continues, with a stylish lobby, and friendly front-desk staff. Featuring a decor scheme found throughout the hotel, the lobby’s blond floors anchor dark walls, with grand light fixtures and gold accents driving home the luxe look.
During the hotel’s extensive, 18-month renovation, the building was completely gutted, allowing the team to create rooms that stand out for their décor, size and layout. Owner of Collingwood’s At Home Interiors, Tammy Millsap brought her own expertise to the design table, working alongside Amy Harris, of AG Designs. “We are very fortunate to have a talented group working with us to restore the building to its original glory, with all the modern luxuries and amenities of an upscale hotel,” says Chris Millsap. A penchant for whimsy (monkey wallpaper, anyone?) and appreciation for life’s finer things abound, with nods to the area’s history evident in the property’s considerable collection of vintage pics. “Each room is unique, with custom furnishings, beautiful wallpaper and tiling, as well as hand-picked accent décor,” adds Millsap.
From classic studios to one-bedroom suites, each and every room at The Dorchester Hotel feels large enough to accommodate notorious over-packers and those who accumulate belongings with every outing. With an open-concept plan, queen or king beds, and elegant bathrooms, studios comfortably accommodate two to four people. While suites offer the advantage of a full kitchen and dining space, smaller rooms include a kitchenette that also makes in-room snacking as effortless as can be. In prepping each room, the team has thoughtfully considered every moment, from morning through to a nightcap. Waking up from a bed that swallows you beneath pillowy layers of immaculate linens, you’ll praise the Nespresso machine and the frothy cups of coffee it produces. Prefer tea? A retro Frigidaire kettle efficiently brews a perfect cup. Later in the day, a selection of glasses awaits your tipple of choice, while a record player lends the room the smooth ambiance of the happiest hour.
Should they choose, guests in the hotel’s deluxe rooms may spend that happy hour soothing limbs exhausted from exploring in their bathroom’s free-standing tub. Nearly big enough for swimming laps, these tubs and the adjacent walk-in stalls with rainfall shower heads ensure the serenity of a spa in the glorious privacy of your room.
Despite the comfort of each of The Dorchester's beautifully appointed rooms, the hotel’s newest additions will soon encourage visitors to venture beyond their walls. Available this summer, South Georgian Bay’s newest conference space promises to make every meeting memorable. Appropriately named The Dominion Room, the space was designed with corporate groups and special events in mind, and can comfortably accommodate up to 30. With modern amenities, advanced technology, and the added bonus of an on-site team to help with coordination, the conference room boosts the hotel’s status for anyone hoping to mix business with pleasure. Later in the year, the hotel will also open the doors to its new restaurant. As-yet-unnamed, the eatery will offer all-day dining, meaning guests can take the short trek down for a hearty breakfast, or dine deliciously before retiring upstairs.
A place rooted in the town’s history, remodelled for a cosmopolitan audience, The Dorchester Hotel is a destination in and of itself. Claim that you’re visiting Collingwood to snowboard, to visit its award-winning restaurants, to fish in the harbour, or to barrel through Blue Mountain’s Adventure Park. If the real draw is an escape to your favourite new boutique property, only you will be the wiser.