A Magical Staycation in St. Jacobs, Ontario

Everybody needs a mini staycation every once in awhile, so when the opportunity arose for me to visit St. Jacobs during St. Jacobs Sparkle and to spend the night at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites, naturally I jumped at the opportunity.  Besides, St. Jacobs has always been one of my favorite Ontario small town destinations.  It is this opportunity that introduced me to the Holiday Inn Express & Suites and I am now hooked!


About St. Jacobs

St. Jacobs is a small town located in Southwestern Ontario approximately 1.5 hours from Toronto in the Region of Waterloo.  This small town is a well known tourist destination and is popular for its Mennonite Heritage, boutique shops, restaurants, and coffee shops (you won’t be finding any chain stores here), and of course the famous St. Jacobs Farmer’s Market.  You can’t visit St. Jacobs without visiting the Farmer’s Market!

Map Showing Location of St. Jacobs

Map from Toronto, Ontario to Holiday Inn Express & Suites Waterloo - St. Jacobs Area, 14 Benjamin Rd, Waterloo, ON N2V 2J9


Location of Hotel in St. Jacobs

The Holiday Inn Express & Suites is located at 14 Benjamin Road, St. Jacobs and is in close proximity to the St. Jacobs Market, Shopping Outlet Mall, and the St. Jacobs Country Playhouse and it is the location that makes the Holiday Inn Express & Suites the ideal place to stay when visiting St. Jacobs.

Rooms and Room Amenities

The Holiday Inn Express & Suites offers several different types of rooms,

  • Double Room
  • King Room
  • Suite
  • Adjoining Room
  • Accessible Room

all of which provide an abundance of space, even if travelling with children.  If you are travelling with older children or friends, it might be wise to consider booking adjoining rooms to allow for more privacy.

Regardless of the type of room you book, all rooms offer plenty of amenities:

  • Keurig coffee maker
  • complimentary coffee and tea
  • large flat screen television
  • large work area
  • microwave
  • small refrigerator
  • free wifi
  • shampoo, conditioner, body wash
  • hair dryer
  • large bath towels
  • extra large shower
  • comfy bed and extra bedding
  • iron and ironing board

Whether you are travelling solo (like I did), looking to have a romantic getaway or just want to take your family on a mini staycation, the Holiday Inn Express & Suites has a room with amenities that will satisfy all of your needs.

Hotel Amenities

There are times when it is just necessary to get away and relax with no people to see and no places to go. The Holiday Inn Express & Suites is the perfect place to do just that. Bring along a good book, a bottle of wine and a bathing suit for a perfect night of relaxation. If you are travelling with little ones, there is a whole host of hotel amenities to keep them occupied without having to leave the hotel, while mom and dad relax.

  • on demand entertainment, including video games
  • complimentary shuttle service from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • ice machine
  • wake up calls
  • complimentary wifi throughout the hotel
  • complimentary breakfast
  • business center
  • pool and splashpad
  • complimentary fully equipped fitness facility
  • self-laundry facilities

COVID Precautions

I have been brave enough to stay in several hotels during this pandemic, but I can say without a doubt that the Holiday Inn Express & Suites has been the most COVID ready hotel that I have stayed at to date.  Throughout my stay, I never felt unsafe, nor did I find it difficult to social distance from other guests, as the hotel has large open areas which makes it easy to avoid close contact with others.

Final Thoughts On the Holiday Inn Express & Suites

Whether your staycation is for one night or several nights, you will be welcomed to the Holiday Inn Express & Suites by smiling and friendly front desk personnel.  They will make you feel right at home while you lounge in the lobby area with your morning coffee or while sipping on a glass of wine after a day full of adventures.

The Holiday Inn & Suites, St. Jacobs is the perfect place to relax when visiting St. Jacobs, Ontario
Relax in the Lobby Lounge with your morning coffee or an evening cocktail

The Holiday Inn Express & Suites in St. Jacobs is the perfect spot to do as little as you want or as much as you want, but be for-warned one night is not near long enough. 

I will definitely be returning to the Holiday Inn Express & Suites the next time I am in need of a Staycation!

Activities in St. Jacobs

There are plenty of boutique shops to explore while visiting St. Jacobs, but it is not only about the shopping. If you are more of the adventurous type don’t despair, there are plenty of other activities in St. Jacobs occupy men, women, and children of all ages (although I have to warn you, it will be difficult to leave the hotel).

St. Jacobs Sparkle 2021

I was fortunate enough to visit St. Jacobs during St. Jacobs Sparkle in 2020 which was a truly magical experience. While wandering the streets of St. Jacobs during St. Jacobs Sparkle you will feel like you have been transported into a fairytale. Even if you aren’t much of a shopper, this is an experience that shouldn’t be missed. You can’t help but get an uplifting feeling as you wander amid the twinkle lights of town.

Visit St. Jacobs, Ontario during St. Jacobs Sparkles to get yourself ready for Christmas


November 12, 2021 – November 28, 2021. Select shops are open until 8:00 p.m. on Thursday’s and Friday’s


Visit St. Jacobs Village to see the discounts and promotions offered at each store

Discounts and promotions are offered at the stores during St. Jacobs Sparkles


If you haven’t visited St. Jacob’s during St. Jacobs Sparkles, then I highly recommend that you put it on your list of must do’s this holiday season. But don’t say that I didn’t warn you that you will be tired, your feet will be sore, and a night at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites and a refreshing dip in the pool will be in order.


Believe in the magic of Christmas when visiting St. Jacobs during St. Jacobs Sparkles

Things To Do In St. Jacobs For The Non-Shopper

Although I highly recommend visiting St. Jacobs during St. Jacobs Sparkles, I realize that it is a busy time of the year and shopping is not for everyone. For those of you who are more of the adventurous type, there are plenty of activities and adventures in St. Jacobs other than shopping.

  • St. Jacobs Market
  • St. Jacobs Outlet Mall
  • St. Jacobs Country Playhouse
  • St. Jacobs Schoolhouse Theatre
  • Hot Air Balloon Ride
  • Beer Tasting
  • Maple Syrup Museum of Ontario
  • Hiking
  • Visit the West Montrose Kissing Bridge
  • Carriage Rides
  • Horse Drawn Tours
  • St. Jacobs and Aberfoyle Model Railway
Visit the Farmer's Market when in St. Jacobs, Ontario



Thursdays and Saturdays 7:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. Most buggy rides depart from the St. Jacobs Farmers Market.

For more information on buggy rides and tours, contact St. Jacobs Horse Drawn Tours

Enjoy Your Staycation

Whatever your interests, and whatever time of the year you visit, I know that you will have an amazing staycation as you travel back in time throughout your stay in St. Jacobs!

Enjoy a stay at the Holiday Inn & Suites when visiting Waterloo Region


Kelly xoxo


39 thoughts on “A Magical Staycation in St. Jacobs, Ontario

  1. bethann56

    St Jacob sounds amazingly magical and in fact has prompted me to go ahead and send in my application for a passport . It’s been on my list of things to do for about a year.
    While I tend to stay away from hotels I appreciated all the information about the Holiday inn Express. Sounds really perfect if you’re traveling with children.
    I also want to let you know that a couple links in the email are not working.
    Thanks Kelly for continuing to share and find workarounds during this time of pandemic

    Liked by 1 person

  2. josypheen

    Oooh nice! A staycation in St Jacobs looks fabulous. It’s so nice that you visiting when the St. Jacobs Sparkle 2020 was happening too.

    p.s. It is really good to see they are being so careful with the covid-19 precautions. It is still a bit scary to travel right now!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Kay

    Like a lot of people, staycations have become my go-to for 2020, and truly, the HOTEL makes it or breaks it for these kind of trips! It’s good to hear that the Holiday Inns are taking COVID precautions to heart. It definitely makes me want to book with them in the future; I really appreciate hotels and brands that want to protect both their staff and their guests.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. bye:myself

    This does look like a wonderful stay! I’d love the food’n’shopping opportunities. Unfortunately, we cannot do staycations in Germany, at least not at hotels. Only business travellers are allowed to stay at hotels. I think they do it to discourage people from travelling too much – and sadly, it works. So enjoy your stay to the max – you never know with what they come up tomorrow….;-)

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Sage Scott

    I am a big fan of the Holiday Inn Express chain. When I travel, I want to experience the destination, not hang out in the hotel, and they are a consistently safe, clean, quiet, and comfortable accommodation option!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Agnieszka

    Such a great review of Holiday Inn Express & Suite in St. Jacobs. I will consider it for staying for a night when I will visit this charming town. St. Jacobs Sparkle seems to be a magical experience.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Just One Passport

      I have stayed in 2 or 3 hotels since the beginning of COVID and I was SUPER impressed with the precautions taken at this hotel as well as all of the stores in St. Jacobs. They have really made it safe for people to do their holiday shopping.


  7. Krista

    I’ve driven through St Jacobs a number of times as I live nearby, but never thought to stay there. It looks like the Holiday Inn is a great place to stay, and it’s good to know they’ve got all the necessary precautions in place with the virus. I’ve heard that the farmers market is nice to visit too, so next time I’m in the area I’ll be sure to stop by.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Just One Passport

      Same with me. I live in kitchener and have been to St Jacob’s tonnes of time but had never stayed over. I loved the hotel! Its right across the street from the market which wasn’t too busy. I highly recommend visiting in the winter


  8. backpackandsnorkel

    Holiday In Express are my preferred hotels for business and private travels. I am real happy about the major renovations most HIE and HI hotels have undergone over the last 10-15 years to bring them out of their 1970s looks.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Mijia

    I lived in Toronto for a couple of years and had also a day trip there. the article brought my memory back to the time. It seems that Holiday Inn Express still has its presence in Canada. I say so because I like the hotel chain but its market get downsized over the years in Europe where I am living now.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Sarah

    Love reading about places I’ve never heard of. It sounds a really cute place. I love the fog off sign. We stayed in a lot of the holiday inn express places when we were last in Canada, I love knowing what to expect in a hotel after a long day travelling.

    Liked by 1 person

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