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Then and Now: Rawley Luxury Resort, Spa and Marina celebrates centennial

Port Severn business opened shortly after the Spanish Flu pandemic and is now operating through another global pandemic

Rawley Resort embraces tradition and celebrates a century of success this year. 

Opening shortly after the Spanish Flu pandemic ended, one could say they have had their fair share of pandemic recovery efforts. Since those early beginnings, it has since embraced the core values it holds dear: Relaxation, family and unity.

“Our vision is to give you an unprecedented experience in unprecedented times, safely and seamlessly,” says Karen Tilley-Kelley, general manager of the Port Severn resort.

The Rawley has gone through a few different owners, but has been able to connect the past and the present in order to maintain a connection to its roots, while also evolving through these unprecedented times.

Rawley Resort takes its foundations from Christie’s Lumber Mill, which in the nineteenth century created white pine lumber.  In 1922, civil engineer Edgar Otto Rawson and his wife Mabel, along with her brother James Gawley built a three-storey fishing lodge on the property of the Mill.

Camp Rawley, the name originating from a mix of the two last names of the men who built it, was visited by many boaters and travelers through the decades. It was in 2005 that Camp Rawley was restored, however the tradition remains. 

Located on the Trent-Severn Waterway, a gateway to Georgian Bay, they now offer spa services, golfing, a marina, and even pet friendly rooms for those with furry companions.

With unprecedented times comes unprecedented celebrations. The team at Rawley Resort Spa and Marina is putting forward many steps for celebrations this year, despite the pandemic putting a halt in many social events and festivities.

“We are launching a series of retreat collections in the fall which will include either golf or spa, and afternoon tea,” says Tilley-Kelly. “We have also for the very first time created a series of BESPOKE Experiences with local partners, including a boat cruise (partnered with docksnlocks) through the Trent Severn from Orillia with a picnic lunch prepared by our chef.

Having joined the team only three days before the pandemic struck the world, Tilley-Kelley reflected on the anniversary of the resort and how they have worked hard to ensure guests understand the commitment they have made to the safety of their guests, not only for the past year but also reflecting on how to keep the history of the resort alive. 

They have taken into account all provincial guidelines and public health orders, and with the first phase of Ontario’s ‘Roadmap to Reopen’ having begun, they offer contactless in-room dining and take-out, as well as patio dining. Their LakeHouse Spa, Pool and Hot Tub however, remain closed.

As advocates for relaxation and creating an escape away from the stressors of daily life; they have taken it upon themselves to build a safe environment that promotes and protects the health and wellness of the Rawley Resort community.

Tilley-Kelly adds: “When you are ready, we will be here waiting for you.”