First, you must dispel your notions of a stereotypical Great Northern Canadian Fishing Lodge. That image of the low-slung, dark and dank log cabin that smells of decades-old woodsmoke and home to an old trapper frying up bacon in a cast-iron pan is so last century. At North Haven Resort, nothing could be further from the truth.
This is luxury fishing at its finest.
Breakfast is an organic egg omelette with spinach and feta served by smiling servers and placed upon white-linen tablecloths. Inside the dining room at the main lodge, sun streams in through floor-to-ceiling windows. Take in the view of black spruce trees and the expansive lake.
The main lodge is also home to a bar, games room, workout room, sauna, conference room, gift shop and massage studio. Located on an island 700 kilometres north of Winnipeg, Manitoba and only accessible by air, North Haven has many creature comforts including wireless Internet.
Comfy beds and luxurious linens in the guest cabins give any boutique hotel a run for its money. The only drawback? The beds are far too comfortable making it difficult for even the most ardent angler to rise before the sun's up.
At daybreak, hot coffee is delivered to your door by a fishing guide. When it's chilly outside, he'll light the fireplace. Take your morning coffee on the deck while wearing your fluffy robe and slippers. See if you can spot loons as the sun rises.
And then get set for some fantastic fishing.
At the end of the day, gather on the sprawling veranda of the main lodge to share fish tales and photos of the day's adventures. After bragging is done, ease into the outdoor hot tub and nibble on appetizers like bruschetta loaded with basil or steak and lobster kabobs, all served deckside.
Guests come from all walks of life but they all share one thing-a passion for fishing and the good life.
The luxury fishing camp impresses even the most seasoned travellers. One guest, an insurance big wig from southern California, has been to his fair share of posh corporate retreats at exclusive golf courses including Pebble Beach and Torrey Pines.
North Haven Resort stacks up among the best, he says.
At the resort, chocolate is placed on his pillow every night. He's had a massage at 6 a.m. every morning and chilled chardonnay with shorelunch.
"It's better than the Hyatt Regency," he says.
A host of exclusive, fly-in fishing lodges dot central and northern Manitoba. They all share the promise of landing a Manitoba Monster. Start your research here.