Impress that special someone with carefree, intimate Getaways
Winnipeg Free Press
Saturday, February 26th, 2005
By RoseAnna Schick
BEAUSEJOUR — Romance is alive and well at Getaways, a brand new couples’ retreat now open for business.
Located on a family farm southeast of Beausejour and only 30 minutes from Winnipeg, Getaways Romantic Retreat offers luxurious cabins along the Brokenhead River, developed with the couples-only market in mind.
It’s a prime example of thinking outside the box — or in this case, thinking inside the farm.
When Neil and Susan Peitsch took over the farmland where Neil grew up, they recognized the many modern-day challenges of making a living from traditional farming. They knew they would have to diversify — but how could this farm, interrupted by too many trees and a winding waterway, provide a livelihood for a young family?
The answer was to identify what they had to work with, and make the most of the landscape. The biggest advantage of their 146-hectare farm is that almost half of it is woodland, covered with native vegetation and home to an array of wildlife. Factor in the meandering Brokenhead River, and the couple realized they had an ideal setting for romantic retreats.
“We took a look at our property, knowing we needed a viable way of using it as a means to make a living. Not necessarily by farming, but possibly in some other way,” says Neil Peitsch. “It has lots of wooded acres and a nice river flowing through it, so we thought about how we might use that to our benefit.
“For years our family — aunts, uncles, cousins — have come out and used the wooded areas for family outings, so we began to think about ways we could market that idea and make a living from it. We decided to focus on making a couples-only retreat.”
They began building cabins in 2003, with the first one completed this winter. The second is scheduled to open this spring, with plans underway to begin building a third cabin in the fall.
Situated at the edge of the family farm, privately nestled among the trees along the river and well-equipped for a quiet, secluded getaway from fast-paced living, Getaways is the perfect place for honeymoons, anniversaries, birthdays, special holidays, or to just slow down and take a break for a few days with your significant other.
The newly-opened cabin provides all the class and comforts of a luxury urban hotel (except telephone, which is a great exclusion) while maintaining its rustic rural warmth and charm. From the finest fixtures and furnishings, to complimentary coffee and tea in the kitchen, to the fluffy white towels, soap, shampoo, mouthwash and hand lotion in the bathroom, to chocolates left on the bedroom pillows, it’s all the little details and personal touches that make Getaways stand out from the rest.
On the outside, the covered deck has a barbecue for four-season outdoor cooking, and offers views of the river, woods and wildlife, and wide-open prairie spaces just beyond the driveway. The natural setting provides ample opportunities for bird-watching, walking in the forest, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing — the latter of which we tried for the very first time.
While it took some getting used to having big oval floppy things strapped to your feet and learning how to move around most efficiently so as to avoid sinking too far into snowbanks, snowshoeing is a fun way to roam through the woods on any given winter’s afternoon.
On the inside of the cabin, the spacious open design is lined with clean bright pine throughout and an abundance of windows makes it seem much larger than its 70-square metre layout.
At the entrance is a four-season sunroom that provides a naturally-lit seating area surrounded on three sides by large picture windows and the see-through door. The two recliner chairs in the sunroom happen to be the best seats in the house to watch the sun rise over the forested riverbank while enjoying a freshly-brewed cup of coffee.
The living room offers a home theatre system with satellite service available on the 36-inch flat-screen television, as well as DVD player (with a handful of popular movies available in the cabin), CD player and VCR. The stereo-sound completely surrounds through a number of built-in speakers, including one in the bedroom ceiling. The soft double recliner loveseat is situated beside the electric fireplace, so you can watch the captivating glow of the gigantic television in cosy comfort.
The living room opens to the kitchen, with a large island in the middle providing ample workspace for preparing your own meals. However, if you don’t want to cook, the town of Beausejour is less than 10 minutes away. At Pappy’s on Park Avenue you can get a delicious homemade dinner-for-two with desert and bottle of wine for under $45.
Meanwhile, back at the cabin, the kitchen contains dishes, pots and pans, utensils, cleaning supplies and drinking water. Appliances include fridge with large freezer, stove, microwave and dishwasher. The dining table beside the kitchen overlooks the forest and the farm. By the way, these are the best seats in the house to witness the sunset as it sinks away below the prairie horizon.
Double French doors lead from the dining area into the large bedroom, containing king-sized bed, classic oak furniture and a second television that works on the same single remote control as the home theatre system. In the corner of the bedroom is the “jewel in the crown” of all couples’ cabins — of course, I’m talking about the jet-tub-for-two. This one is particularly spacious, beautifully-tiled around the outside and holding red heart-shaped tub grips on the inside.
Off the bedroom is a big bathroom boasting a steam shower built for two — a great place to unwind and steam your cares away before soaking in the soothing hot-tub. A relaxing and romantic ambiance can be created with dimming light switches in every room, while the satellite radio offers the full range of musical styles for whatever intimate interludes your hearts’ desire.
If you really want to impress your partner with something special, you can pre-order gift baskets that will be left in the cabin, containing items such as champagne and glasses, candles, cheese and crackers, nuts and chocolates, bubble bath and whatever else you may want. Getaways will customize the baskets to your preferences.
They will also make other special arrangements for you, like limousine service to and from the city, fresh bouquets of flowers in the cabin, or even rose petals strewn on the bed. They are happy to take care of all the details, so you, of course, can happily take credit for planning the romantic retreat.
After all, romance is in the eye of the beholder.
Things to bring
- Warm outdoor clothing for frolicking through the forest.
- Comfy clothing for lounging around by the fireplace.
- CDs and movies.
- Food, snacks and beverages.
- Playing cards and/or board games.
- Books or magazines.
- Camera to capture those special moments.
- Journal to write about and remember the experience.
Things to leave home
- Your kids, if you have them (remember — couples only!).
- Your pets and your smokes (Getaways is a pet-free and smoke-free environment).
- Cell phone (okay, if you must bring it, at least turn it off!)
- Laptop computer, palm pilot and anything work-related.