The sunrise floats over the horizon as I take that final sip of a perfectly brewed latte in Seagulls Restaurant. Breakfast was delicious—eggs Benedict with home style hash brown—but now it’s time to get outside. There’s a fresh dusting of snow on this boreal landscape that’s just too beautiful to miss.

A quick stop at the front desk of Hecla Lakeview Resort and we’re outfitted with snowshoes. The trail starts just outside the front doors of the resort and makes a loop at North Point. We opt to add a little more distance by visiting the west shore at Sunset Beach. It’s a solid six kilometres but we hardly notice thanks to gorgeous scenery along the way. But it’s time to get back. My Salka Spa appointment awaits.

sunset beach winter

Yes, there’s a spa!

The Unwind Lounge is the first stop in your Salka Spa experience at Hecla Lakeview Resort.

The Unwind Lounge is the first stop in your Salka Spa experience at Hecla Lakeview Resort.

My visit begins with some time in the Unwind Lounge. I a cup of tea, stretch out on the white lounger and pull the blanket over my lap while I think about just how wonderful my Massage in the Rain is going to be (I was not disappointed).

It’s hard not to doze off in the lush pedicure room at Salka Spa.

It’s hard not to doze off in the lush pedicure room at Salka Spa.

While wilderness and wildlife abound outdoors on Hecla Island, it’s pure luxury here at the spa inside the resort. There’s a modern feel to the mostly white space with twinkling chandeliers to guide your way to treatment rooms. Perhaps a lavender and milk hydrotherapy session awaits you in that welcoming soaker tub.

And if you love water, Salka is for you. Every visit includes unlimited time in the spa’s dedicated pools. In the Nordic tradition, there are five stops including a warm mineral bath, jetted hot tub, icy plunge pool, aromatherapy steam room and a sprawling, hydrokinetic warm jetted pool with a natural pebble bottom. It’s adults only in this space. You may never want to leave.

Rooms to roam

The spacious rooms provide touches of luxury along with microwaves and refrigerators.

The spacious rooms provide touches of luxury along with microwaves and refrigerators.

Beyond the spa, Hecla Lakeview Resort is a gem in Manitoba’s boreal forest for getaways—and while it’s lush in summer, it’s no less welcoming in winter. There are 65 spacious guestrooms with ultra-comfy beds, luxurious bathrooms, microwaves, refrigerators and plenty of open cupboards for tucking away backpacks and extra footwear.

One of the big attractions of Hecla Lakeview Resort is its affordability. Prices hover around $89 in the low season and $130 in high season. And until February 11, there’s a sweet deal. Stay three nights for only $210. As a bonus, all kids meals are $6, making it the perfect family getaway this winter.

Water parks and good eats

The Fish Taco Trio includes pan-fried pickerel fillets, lettuce, Roma tomato, green onion and a housemade chipotle sauce folded into lightly grilled flour tortillas.

The Fish Taco Trio includes pan-fried pickerel fillets, lettuce, Roma tomato, green onion and a housemade chipotle sauce folded into lightly grilled flour tortillas.

And speaking of kids (and the young at heart), they won’t be able to contain their excitement over the three-storey waterslide in the family-friendly pool area, complete with a hot tub and swirl pool.

Seagull’s Restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night snacks. Pickerel is prominent on the menu—you can have it nine different ways! A family favourite is the pizza—cooked on the ultra-hot oven just off the dining room. Adults shouldn’t miss the Caesar, possibly Manitoba’s best. Let me rephrase that—it IS Manitoba’s best.

There’s free wireless Internet throughout the resort and DVD movie rentals are also free. Pet-friendly rooms are available.

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A visit to Hecla Island in any season must include significant outdoor time. In winter, there’s skating on the pond in front of the resort, ice fishing, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing on groomed trails and tobogganing on the big hill just a short walk from the resort.

Hecla Island is roughly a two-hour drive north of Winnipeg. In winter, your last stop for gas is Riverton. It’s also a good idea to bring your own snacks. There’s a small store at the resort, but no other amenities on the island in low season.