Where to Stay in Muskoka: Accommodation and Area Guide

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Wondering Where To Stay In Muskoka? Here’s Our Detailed Guide!

Ah, Muskoka. Known as “cottage country”, Muskoka is a famous region of Ontario and one of the best areas to visit in Canada due to the stunning lakes, pristine forests, and small towns. It is among the best places to explore in Ontario with lots of things to do. As a result, there is a healthy mix of Muskoka accommodations to choose from like resorts in Muskoka, as well as hotels, cottages, and more.

We really love Muskoka. Between visiting family cottages on weekend getaways and working in the area (Huntsville) for many years, Eric is pretty familiar with the region. He’s driven up and down Highway 400 and Highway 11 more times than he can count listening to MooseFM (an actual, amazing radio station).

In this guide, we’ll walk you through Muskoka accommodations by type and then different areas to stay in Muskoka with top accommodation examples in each. From popular Muskoka resorts like the JW Marriott Rosseau Muskoka Resort & Spa to Muskoka waterfront hotels like Residence Inn Gravenhurst Muskoka Wharf, you’ll find accommodations to suit different travellers – from couples on a getaway and big friend groups to families and more.

If you’re looking for more posts about visiting Muskoka, have a loot at some of our other articles:

**Friendly Disclosure: We paid for the accommodations we stayed at ourselves and were not told to include them in this article.

Where To Stay In Muskoka – Accommodation Options

Before we dive in, we want to talk a little about the Muskoka region. Muskoka is located north of Toronto. Depending on where you are heading, it takes between 2 to 3 hours driving (without traffic). You could visit on a day trip from Toronto but the area is made for staying over to escape city life!

Due to its popularity among visitors, there is a healthy offering of Muskoka accommodation types to choose from all over the region. Resorts in Muskoka are a popular option but there are also hotels, B&Bs, cottages, and even motels across the region. Whichever type of accommodation you choose, the summer months tend to book up fast and in advance. So be sure to book early!

For this top section, let’s dive into the accommodation options in Muskoka by type. This way, if you know the type of accommodation you’re looking for, you can narrow down your search right away and find one of the best places to stay in Muskoka that works for you. If you want to search for Muskoka accommodations by area/town/lake, you can do that in the lower section of this post!

This is also a good time to mention that you shouldn’t worry too much about what category an accommodation is in versus its name. Some “inns” are more like resorts, while some motels function like hotels, etc. Bottom line: Focus on what the accommodation offers you and its rating – if it fulfils your needs, that’s what you should focus on.

Popular Muskoka Accommodations By Type

Motel Top Pick: Dwight Village Motel

Inn Top Pick: Sherwood Inn

Bed and Breakfast Top Pick: Bear & Butterfly Bed and Breakfast

Cottages Top Pick: Lakewoods Cottage

Resorts in Muskoka

blue muskoka resort entrance with green trees in front where to stay in muskoka
Deerhurst Resort is a popular Muskoka resort in Huntsville!

Without question, resorts in Muskoka, Ontario are a popular accommodation option. People have been vacationing in the region for well over a century. Many of the resorts today have founding dates from before the year 1900! As a result, the best resorts in Muskoka are often among the top resorts in all of Ontario.

The nice thing about resorts in the Muskoka area is that they often cater to all seasons. This means that you can stay at a Muskoka resort to relax in the summer sun or spend a weekend getaway at a Muskoka spa resort in winter. There is also a wide variety of resorts in Muskoka by style and type – from couples resorts to family resorts and even luxury resorts.

Aside from the traditional Muskoka summer resorts, there are also Muskoka cottage resorts (where you rent a rustic cottage). Some of them we have listed in the “Cottages in Muskoka” section down below. It also should come as no surprise that most resorts in Muskoka are located by a lake making for beautiful lakefront access.

Check here for resorts in Muskoka

Resorts in Muskoka are a great option for those who want an easier getaway with a variety of amenities at their disposal like restaurants, barbecues, pools, fire pits, playgrounds, complimentary water toys (kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, etc), and more. These amenities are also great for families with kids who want their own space but have the option of activities for a perfect Muskoka experience.

There are lots of resorts around so check out these top resorts in Muskoka for a classic experience:

Hotels In Muskoka

large hotel by the waterfront in gravenhurst muskoka
The Residence Inn at the Muskoka Wharf in Gravenhurst gives you plenty of Lake Muskoka beauty!

While the Muskoka area is dominated by resorts, there are also a number of hotels in Muskoka, Ontario that you may choose to stay at. There are two main kinds of Muskoka hotels: those used for travelling through an area (usually close to a highway) and those at a lakefront area which make for a nice, longer stay. We’ve chosen to cover a mix of both types.

The best hotels in Muskoka aren’t necessarily the ones right on a lake – but these ones do usually draw the summer crowds. There are hotels in some town centres which you could use as a base for a few nights. At the same time, there are both chain brand and non-chain brand hotels that are great for a night stay if you are passing through on the way to Algonquin Park, for example.

Hotels in Muskoka usually offer a mix of amenities, such as onsite bars/restaurants, pools, parking, and more. Eric has stayed in a few for work and play and they have always made for a nice stay. Those looking for a hotel might also be lucky to find Muskoka hotel deals. However, we wouldn’t recommend waiting until the last minute since places can and do book up.

Check here for hotels in Muskoka

While there are a number of hotels across Muskoka, a handful stand out as a top choice for those visiting the region. Consider these nice hotels in Muskoka in different areas across the region catering to different styles and budgets!

Motels in Muskoka

If you are searching for Muskoka accommodation deals, you might want to look into Muskoka motels. Contrary to popular belief, most motels in Muskoka are actually really highly-rated by other travellers. This makes sense: If you can provide a cheaper, clean, and safe place to stay, why wouldn’t people choose it as their base?

There are a number of decent roadside motels across Muskoka from Gravenhurst out towards Dwight (bonus points if you know where that is). These top motels have made a point of providing a nice place to stay in a good area for different kinds of travellers – from couples to families to those passing through who just need a rest.

If you’re looking for a motel in Muskoka, you can check out some of these great places to stay. Some are even right downtown in their respective location which makes for easy exploring!

Inns in Muskoka

For those that are looking for a nice accommodation in Muskoka without some of the extra bells and whistles you might find as a full-blown Muskoka resort, an Muskoka inn might be for you.

Generally, inns are in a funny category between bed and breakfasts and resort hotels. The main difference (to us) is that inns are usually larger than a B&B but smaller than a resort and they often serve food like lunch and dinner.

Depending on the inn, there may be simple amenities on the grounds for you to use such as a fire pit. Ontario is full of great inns and we have had the pleasure of staying at a few of them – like Sherwood Inn! Eric stayed here years ago for a family wedding and the Inn made for a fantastic weekend stay!

Having said that, our rule for inns isn’t perfect – and you’ll find cozy accommodations with more or fewer amenities which call themselves inns, too! You can check below for great inns in the Muskoka region:

  • Sherwood Inn – A charming inn with lakefront grounds (Lake Joseph) outside Port Carling (Our Pick)
  • Muskoka Lakes Hotel – A bright waterfront inn also in Port Carling on Lake Rosseau
  • Windermere House A historic, charming inn with amenities and lake views also on Lake Rosseau

Bed and Breakfasts in Muskoka

Since Muskoka is centered around finding relaxation and enjoying the beautiful nature, there are a number of bed and breakfasts in Muskoka to choose from. Scattered across the region (with a surprising number in or near Gravenhurst), B&Bs can offer you a pleasant stay at a relatively slower pace. We have a number of bed and breakfasts in Ontario that we have loved and cannot wait to check out more in Muskoka!

Muskoka bed and breakfasts are generally exactly that – a nice bed in a cozy home and a delicious breakfast freshly prepared by a host. Muskoka B&Bs are also very popular in the fall season since the fall colours make for a super stunning and charming atmosphere to escape to.

In any case, there are a number of nice bed and breakfasts in Muskoka so here are a variety of the top-rated ones to get you started:

Cottage Rentals/Airbnbs in Muskoka

For a classic Muskoka experience, you might want to look into a cottage rental in Muskoka. Cottage rentals are a great way to spend time with friends or family in a private space for a weekend or for longer. In fact, some cottages are reserved for week-long rentals only. We actually have a whole long post on renting a cottage in Ontario with a specific Muskoka section if you want to learn more about this.

You might find that some cottages in Muskoka are also called holiday homes. Generally, these cottages (or holiday homes) for rent are the whole property/house and have access to water – but not always. There are a number of ways to rent a cottage in Ontario. You can look on Airbnb or on VRBO for rentals set up between you and a host, for example.

Another popular way to rent a cottage in Muskoka is to book at a Muskoka cottage resort. These are large – usually lakefront – resorts properties where you rent a single cottage to use. The difference is that you don’t have to worry about coordinating with a host and onsite cleaning/maintenance is usually included in your rental fee. These cottage resorts in Muskoka also usually have amenities like easy parking, beaches, and fire pits for guests to use as part of their rental fee.

Whichever way works best for you, there are a ton of cottages for rent in Muskoka (and across Ontario) in any given summer – but they do book up fast. So, if you know you want to rent a cottage be sure to act relatively fast (but still do your homework). Specifically, check out these top cottage rentals that make a great holiday in Muskoka:

Where To Stay In Muskoka – By Town/Area

Now that we have gone over Muskoka accommodations by type, it’s time to go over some of the different areas within the Muskoka region. You should remember that Muskoka is a large region. There are well over 1000 lakes with three of the largest – Lake Muskoka, Lake Rosseau, and Lake Joseph – forming the heart of Muskoka.

As far as towns go, there are a number of great towns in Muskoka to explore: Huntsville, Gravenhurst, Bala, Bracebridge, and Port Carling. The popularity of Muskoka as an all-season escape means that these towns boom in summer but also see visitors (like snowmobilers) in the winter season. For those wondering, Huntsville is the largest centre north on Highway 11 (closest to Algonquin Park).

In any case, there are plenty of great areas to stay in Muskoka. There are other even smaller Muskoka destinations like Port Severn or Baysville which are also worth exploring. However, we have chosen to focus on the areas that have the highest concentrations of accommodations and places that have lots of amenities and things to do.

We’ll start by telling you the area, its location, and things to do close by. Then, we’ll dive into a number of great accommodation choices in that area. If you aren’t too picky about style and budget but know you want to stay in a particular place, have a look at our top accommodation picks in each of the areas listed below!

Top Pick By Muskoka Town/Area/Lake

Bracebridge Great for Muskoka River/Waterfalls. Top Pick: Touchstone Resort

Gravenhurst Great for Muskoka Wharf. Top Pick: The Inn on Bay

Huntsville/Dwight Great for Algonquin Park/Nature. Top Pick: Morgan House B&B

Rosseau (Lake) Great for Tranquil Relaxation. Top Pick: JW Marriott The Rosseau Muskoka Resort & Spa

A final note about seasonality: While many accommodations operate in both summer and winter, some do close up for the colder, winter months. Be sure to check if the place is taking bookings for your dates before you make any travel arrangements.

Bracebridge – For Muskoka River/Waterfalls

red muskoka sign on rock cliff high above highway
Once you see the sign, you know you are in Muskoka!

One of the most popular towns to check out in Muskoka is Bracebridge. Located just a short drive north of Gravenhurst but south of Huntsville on Highway 11, Bracebridge has become a popular hub for travellers for many reasons. The only thing Bracebridge lacks is access to one of the big lakes but it has the Muskoka river running through the town which is a great feature.

There are a number of things to do in Bracebridge – or very close by. You can hop on a Muskoka River cruise on the Lady Muskoka or head to Santa’s Village which is a famous Muskoka theme park. Downtown Bracebridge is also quite lively with many colourful shop fronts similar to Huntsville and Muskoka Brewery is just a short drive away.

Also close to downtown is Bracebridge Falls which is a waterfall viewable from various bridges/viewpoints. In fact, the area is known for having many other waterfalls that you can hike to and explore. When it comes to amenities, Bracebridge has everything you’d need in terms of groceries, gas, and much more.

Check Here For Accommodations in Bracebridge

There are lots of great places to stay in Bracebridge many of which are right in the heart of town. You can find a top Bracebridge resort just a short drive from town. There are Bracebridge hotels and motels right by the river and around the general town centre. Below you’ll find some great accommodations in/near Bracebridge:

Touchstone Resort – Check Now

  • Style: An Upscale yet Comfortable Resort
  • Price Range: Upper Mid-range
  • Location: A short drive west of Bracebridge right on Lake Muskoka
  • Featured Amenities: Bar/restaurant onsite, outdoor infinity pool, waterfront amenities

Wellington Inn – Check Now

  • Style: A Clean, Simple Motel
  • Price Range: Budget
  • Location: In the heart of Bracebridge, walkable to downtown with lots of restaurants around
  • Featured Amenities: Coffee maker in room, free easy parking

Inn at the Falls – Check Now

  • Style: A Cozy Guesthouse Hotel
  • Price Range: Upper Budget
  • Location: Overlooking the river, very close to downtown Bracebridge
  • Featured Amenities: Air conditioning, rooms with terraces

Quality Inn Bracebridge – Check Now

  • Style: A Simple, Reliable Hotel
  • Price Range: Upper Budget
  • Location: Right on the Muskoka River close to where the river cruises leave from
  • Featured Amenities: Bracebridge hotel with pool and gym, free parking

Gravenhurst – For Muskoka Wharf

large sign with map at muskoka wharf in gravenhurst ontario
Exploring the Wharf is just one draw to Gravenhurst!

If you are looking for one of the easiest places to get to in the Muskoka region, head for Gravenhurst. Located the farthest south of all the places in this post, Gravenhurst is a nice little town that sits at the very southern point of Lake Muskoka.

Gravenhurst is known for a few things like the famous Muskoka Wharf – a waterfront boardwalk with restaurants, patios, and shops. This is where you can also find the Muskoka Steamships to head out on a cruise. The town itself has a nice little main strip with cafes, an art gallery, and other places to check out like Sawdust City Brewery.

There are also a number of nice green parks in town, the odd beach to relax at (Gull Lake Rotary Park), and longer, more secluded hikes at Hardy Lake Provincial Park just a short drive away. We list other things to do in Gravenhurst here.

As for accommodations in Gravenhurst, there are only a few resorts in Gravenhurst (there are many in other areas around the region, though). There is a surprisingly high number of bed and breakfasts close to downtown and the waterfront. There is also a number of hotels either right on Lake Muskoka or near Gravenhurst if you want it to be your base but don’t want to stay right in town.

Check Here For Accommodations in Gravenhurst

Of course, Gravenhurst has all the essentials you might need in terms of groceries and other supplies. Below you’ll find some great accommodations in/near Gravenhurst.

The Inn on Bay – Check Now

  • Style: A Bright and Cozy B and B
  • Price Range: Upper Budget
  • Location: Right in Gravenhurst, walkable to downtown and the Muskoka Wharf
  • Featured Amenities: Great breakfast, garden onsite, parking available

Residence Inn by Marriott Gravenhurst Muskoka Wharf – Check Now

  • Style: A Bright, Cozy Hotel
  • Price Range: Mid-range
  • Location: Right on the Muskoka Wharf with lake views, museum, and restaurants nearby
  • Featured Amenities: Breakfast available, pool and hot tub, free parking

Four Ninety Muskoka B & B – Check Now

  • Style: A Quirky, Cozy B&B
  • Price Range: Mid-Range
  • Location: Close to downtown Gravenhurst, steps from Gull Lake Park/Beach
  • Featured Amenities: Nice breakfast, outdoor garden space with fire pits

Bear & Butterfly Bed and Breakfast – Check Now

  • Style: A Charming, Secluded B&B
  • Price Range: Mid-Range
  • Location: Just north of Gravenhurst on the way to Bracebridge in lovely forested area
  • Featured Amenities: Great breakfast, a super nice host, seasonal hot tub

Huntsville/Dwight – For Algonquin Park

waterfront restaurant in huntsville ontario across river with docks in front
The river is a popular place to hang out in downtown Huntsville!

If you want to stay in the northernmost area on this list or you are planning on heading for Algonquin Park, a stay in or near Huntsville is for you! Huntsville is actually the largest town in the region and there are numerous lakes (Fairy Lake, Peninsula Lake) in the surrounding area which can be explored. Historic downtown Huntsville is loaded with unique shops, restaurants, and river view pubs which are worth a visit.

There are a number of things to do in Huntsville like visiting small museums and hiking/driving up to Lions Head Lookout for amazing views of the area. You can also find Arrowhead Provincial Park just up the highway. Eric used to work up around Huntsville so he’s rather fond of the area.

As a visitor, Huntsville also has everything you’d need from gas to groceries. It’s the last major town before you take Highway 60 to Algonquin Park making it a popular supply stop for those heading camping or to cottages. The next place to grab supplies before the park would be Dwight which is to the east of Huntsville but there are lots of places to stay here so we grouped them together.

Check Here For Accommodations in Huntsville

Speaking of accommodations, Huntsville is farther north so there are great Muskoka lodges up there for a more rugged, cottage-type stay. As a large centre, there are a number of other places to stay in Huntsville. There are popular Huntsville hotels (both downtown and also out near Highway 11) and very popular resorts in Huntsville (one of which you can find below). Have a look at these great accommodations in/near to Huntsville:

Morgan House B&BCheck Now

  • Style: A Cozy, Cottagey B&B
  • Price Range: Upper Budget
  • Location: Just off Highway 60 outside of Huntsville in a secluded, natural area
  • Featured Amenities: Lovely hosts, great breakfast, charming outdoor space

Deerhurst Resort – Check Now

  • Style: A Popular All-Season Resort
  • Price Range: Mid-Range
  • Location: On Peninsula Lake, a short drive east from Huntsville on Highway 60
  • Featured Amenities: Onsite bars/restaurants, great waterfront area, golf, escape room

Rodeway Inn King William Huntsville – Check Now

  • Style: A Bright and Clean Motel
  • Price Range: Budget
  • Location: Right on a main street in Huntsville, a short walk to downtown and the river
  • Featured Amenities: Breakfast available, free parking

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Huntsville – Check Now

  • Style: A Simple and Reliable Hotel
  • Price Range: Mid-range
  • Location: Right off Highway 60 in Huntsville with restaurants and grocery stores close by
  • Featured Amenities: Gym and small pool, breakfast included, free parking, pet-friendly

Rosseau (Lake) – For Tranquil Relaxation

Last – but certainly not least – we have the area surrounding Lake Rosseau. To be clear, Rosseau is the name of an actual place but also the name of one of the three large lakes in the region. The town of Rosseau sits at the northern tip of the lake. The lake is known in the area for having a popular summer camp for kids as well as one of the (if not the) most popular resort in the whole region: the JW Marriott.

As you will see, there are a number of resorts around Lake Rosseau (many with golf courses) that have been welcoming visitors to enjoy the beautiful water, many islands, and surrounding trails for decades. At the very south end of the lake, you can find the small, lovely town of Port Carling which is basically the “hub” of the area where you can grab supplies, groceries, ice cream, etc.

As far as accommodations go, Lake Rosseau is known for cottage rentals and many resorts but there a handful of Lake Rosseau hotels scattered along the shoreline in different areas. Below you’ll find some great accommodations near Lake Rosseau:

JW Marriott The Rosseau Muskoka Resort & Spa – Check Now

  • Style: An Upscale, Popular Resort and Spa
  • Price Range: Upper Range
  • Location: Technically in Minett, overlooking Lake Rosseau in the heart of the region
  • Featured Amenities: Onsite restaurants/bar, lake views, luxury amenities like spa service, pools, games for kids, activities in all seasons

Muskoka Lakes Hotel – Check Now

  • Style: A Bright Waterfront Inn
  • Price Range: Mid-Range
  • Location: Right on Lake Rosseau a short drive from the heart of Port Carling
  • Featured Amenities: Rooms fridges, lake views, and terraces, parking available

Windermere House – Check Now

  • Style: A Historic, Charming Inn/Hotel
  • Price Range: Mid-Range
  • Location: Right on Lake Rosseau with great waterfront, in the small town of Windermere
  • Featured Amenities: Bar/restaurant onsite, spa, golf nearby, nice breakfast

And there you have it – a rundown of where to stay in Muskoka. Of course, there are a few other areas to look into with other Muskoka resorts and cottages scattered throughout. Muskoka is a large, beautiful region. That said, we believe that this is a pretty good guide to help you understand the best options and get you on your way. Enjoy Muskoka!

As always, Keep Exploring, eh?
-E&L

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