Not to shock anyone, but we all know I’m not exactly a “winter” person.
But this year, I’ve been making an honest attempt to enjoy winter in New Brunswick with my husband more than ever before.
We went skiing at Poley Mountain, which was a total blast, as always. We discovered new snowshoeing trails at the Rotary St-Anselme Park in Dieppe AND hit the ice for a little skating at the Ville de Dieppe’s rink downtown.
And, of course, I’m squeezing in some winter beachcombing every time we sail over to Grand Manan Island for the weekend too!
Last month, I got to experience my very first “glamping” dome.
Yes, you read that right. Despite their rise in popularity, I still had yet to set foot in a dome. Crazy right?
But all that changed last month when I joined my fellow Take it Outside and the Trail Shop ambassadors for two amazing nights at the newly opened Balsam Ridge Forest Domes in Portage Vale, New Brunswick.
And oh em gee – it was magical.
Balsam Ridge Forest Domes is located 20-30 minutes from Dieppe/Moncton, and it’s the kind of city escape anyone could love.
There are six domes to choose from, with a seventh coming this spring/summer. Rumour on the shell phone is that it will have a nautical theme, so obviously, I am already planning my return to experience that.
Each dome has its own theme and vibe – one has a Pac-Man arcade, while another has a super cool slide from the top loft, making it perfect for anyone travelling with kiddos.
My dome was Dome 4, called the Mossy Log, and it’s considered the “Moodiest, Coziest And Most Private” of all of the domes. It was my favourite of all of the domes I saw, and I would absolutely book this exact dome again next time.
It was so beautiful and cozy, especially on the second night when it started snowing. Again, you know that I’m not a big fan of winter or snow, but there was just something so dreamy about waking up to the freshly fallen snow all around you in the forest.
Here are a few of the features I absolutely LOVED about Balsam Ridge Forest Domes:
I LOVE any accommodation that features a hot tub. It’s not something we have any plans to invest in at home, so whenever we travel and where we’re staying has a hot tub, it’s such a treat! Balsam Ridge Forest Domes each come with your very own hot tub for you to enjoy on your deck, as well as cozy bathrobes and knitted slippers to get you from your dome to the hot tub in any season.
We’re spoiled and have a king-size bed at home, so when we travel, I always appreciate a king-size bed at night. Even if I travel solo, I will starfish and cover every inch by sunrise. But what I REALLY loved about the extra cozy king-size bed at Balsam Ridge was that it came with a heated mattress pad. It made it extra hard to get out of bed each morning – it was heavenly.
Perhaps one of the COOLEST features about Balsam Ridge is its Tree Mail feature. And I don’t want to give TOO much away because I want you to have your own surprise when you go (because you’re totally going to book after reading this, aren’t you?) – but tree mail is a little hook outside your dome where you can text the office and request top ups on things like coffee pods, towels, anything you might need to make your stay cozier. And there might be some surprises, too, but I’ll take that to Davey’s Locker and let you experience those for yourself! *wink*
I’m a sucker for a great bathroom, and Balsam Ridge Forest Domes deliver. It was large and cozy and included a TOWEL WARMER – yes, I’ve seriously considered investing in my own since – that you can pre-heat your towels for your post-hot tub shower. When you think of a dome, you don’t immediately assume it will have a luxurious bathroom, but this one caught me off guard, and I loved it.
Not only is your deck home to a fabulous six-person hot tub, but it also comes with a gorgeous fire table and Adirondack chairs for you to enjoy during your stay. Again, you know me and winter, so I didn’t spend much time outside, not in the hot tub. It was also pretty frigid temperatures when I stayed, but I can only imagine in the spring and summer, I’d be on that deck all evening enjoying the stars and sipping some coastal caesars.
I could go and on about all of the little details and surprises are hidden throughout the first for you to discover, but I don’t want to spoil ALL of your fun.
One of the best parts about my whole experience staying at Balsam Ridge was discovering the attention to detail throughout my stay and the surprises in the woods.
After following Balsam Ridge on Instagram, one of the features I was most looking forward to was meeting their team member and employee of the month, Alvin the Squirrel. Imagine my delight when I checked-in at the office and was given my very own bag of Alvin snacks which I carried with me EVERYWHERE during my stay.
Of course, it seemed everyone else BUT ME saw Alvin – I guess I’ll just have to go back again soon so we can finally meet. But I didn’t leave empty handed, Alvin made sure to send me on my way with a love note and gift, because he knew I was his kind of people – squirrel people!
PS: Love my squirrel courting outfit? The whole outfit is available at Take it Outside, the Trail Shop, and Adventure is Life. Brands featured are Blundstones, Kuhl, and Stanfield’s. Not pictured: a cozy warm, Merino Wool Stanfield’s base layers.
If I can be honest, one of the reasons I’ve never booked a dome before is that I really didn’t know what to expect. We’re not “camping” people and don’t often stay in the woods. We’re a couple that likes nice things, soft sheets, hot showers, being able to cook delicious meals and to be cozy and comfortable when travelling.
So when Balsam Ridge Forest Domes says it offers a luxury dome experience – THEY ARE SPEAKING THE TRUTH!
My whole stay felt as luxurious as staying in a hotel, and the customer service and, above and beyond delight around every corner surpassed even some of the best customer service experiences at five-star hotels. From check-in to check-out – I was blown away.
The kitchen had EVERYTHING we would have needed (including extra virgin olive oil, yes please) for hubs to cook some delicious meals for the two of us. And if you’re not into cooking for yourself, they offer a number of food delivery items from Breakfast Boxes to renting an Ooni Pizza oven for delicious pizzas.
In short – Balsam Ridge Forest Domes is an absolute splash and I’ll be talking about it for a long time to come.
So my only question is – when are you booking your trip?
Disclaimer: This experience was sponsored by Take it Outside, the Trail Shop, Balsam Ridge Forest Domes, Adventure is Life, and Subaru Moncton; however, all opinions are my own, and my opinion is – this place is a total New Brunswick GEM.