By the time we pull up at The June Motel Sauble Beach, the sky is deep navy, crumpled Superburger wrappers line the floor of our crossover — evidence of eaten feelings after Raptors lost by three en route — and it’s past 10 p.m. We’re six hours late for check-in (how uncharacteristic!), which wouldn’t matter if:
1. This wasn’t a press trip;
2. Today wasn’t slated to be the only good-weather day during our stay; and
3. We hadn’t missed cocktail hour.
In summary: we’re grumpy.
But then twinkle lights and retro signage and stragglers sipping the dregs of their rosé between majesty palms on the patio of the on-site diner usher us in. Armed with a lockbox key code for a COVID (and introvert) friendly check-in, we make our way to our room—no lobby bag-drag required. Before we can slip off our sneakers, we pop the sparkling wine (labelled “This Calls For Bubbly,” of course) we find tucked in the minifridge.
I take a sip and start to feel the condensation beading on the cold shell of my bad mood. Faint laughter and a glimpse of the moonlit pool seep through our patio doors. A neon Cocktails & Dreams sign bathes the room in Hotel California-esque pinks and blues. Rattan pendant lamps frame a sepia-toned Westfalia parked in the frame above our bed.
Welcome to Califontario. Welcome to The June Sauble Beach.
THE NITTY GRITTY
- 24 rooms
- Weekdays start at $250/night; weekends start at $330/night
- Open year-round (seasonal programming to come)
Eyes blink open. It’s 9 a.m. We’ve slept in (how uncharacteristic!). We shuffle down to the airy, wood-clad lobby for almond croissants and coffee — served in rose-coloured “This Might Be Wine” cups with your milk of choice, of course — and wander the motel grounds, fresh off its proverbial ribbon-cut.
The courtyard pool is the centrepiece: a ‘gram-worthy gathering place adorned with fringed Business & Pleasure umbrellas and painterly pool floats that make me want to grab a morning frosé (I blame COVID). I feel a wave of pride that this is in Canada, in Ontario no less; it reminds me of a fresher, more feminine Ace Hotel Palm Springs with hints of Hamptons beach club, branded with the June Prince Edward County’s signature good-vibes-only, vino-loving wink.
The long white-sand Sauble Beach is a four-minute stroll away, perfect for morning yoga sessions (the June offers ‘em, dontcha know) or sunset dips. Nearby, you can sip a leisurely latte on the patio at Sauble Beach mainstay Amicis, grab tacos at the kitschy-yet-delish Casero Taco Bus (the double-decker just off main street — you can’t miss it), and nurse your hangover with green juice, pastel smoothies and avo toast Wellness Refinery.
Speaking of munchies, our favourite June feature? Heydays, the aforementioned motel diner. The lobster roll. The music. The wine list. The menu is a tad pricey (most mains fall in the $20-$40 range) but if I close my eyes I can pretend the borders aren’t closed and that I’m seaside in Montauk or Maine, circa 1975.
As a frequent preacher of “the stay makes the vacay,” The June Sauble Beach is one of those special spots that gives you FOMO every time you wander off the property. Moteliers Sarah and April are pros at cultivating a vibe through everything from the bathroom tiles (coral or minty turquoise, depending on your room) to the cheeky slogans (hang a “Not Ready to Adult Yet” sign off your doorknob to eschew a knock from the cleaning staff).
While lakeside cottages and off-grid cabins are awesome, sometimes you just want a stay that feels like a vacation — and that’s exactly what The June gets right. A weekend spent in rosé-coloured glasses could be just what the doctor ordered.
- Pack shower slides to slip on and off between trips to the pool.
- Staying for two-plus nights? Drive up to gorgeous-year-round Tobermory for a day trip.
- If your route takes you through Shelburne (if you’re coming from Toronto, it will), you’re gonna pass a battle-of-the-burgers intersection: Super Burger on one side, Champ Burger on the other. Split one from each for a taste test en route.
- Heading Sauble way? Here's what you're gonna wanna do while you're there.