Some of our facilities are now open to pre-registered guests.
On March 17, 2020 the province declared a state of emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19. At that time, Crieff Hills closed all operations and ceased on-site work that was not essential. We are closely following the province’s re-opening plan and will slowly resume our work. As we move through the stages of re-opening our Director Rev. Kristine and the Maclean Estate Committee (the Board) are working to ensure guest and community safety. Updates will be posted here as they develop.
Hospitality is at the core of our mission, and we regret that some of our overnight facilities are closed for regular use. Here is our current availability:
- Individual suites in the Pines and Hermitage are open.
- Conference facilities are now available for booking, but are limited to single occupancy only.
- Retreat houses are closed to all groups (except single households) until at least January 2021.
- The Pines Common Room, previously available for day guests, is closed. Instead, individuals or groups can register for a picnic space which will provide ample space and a private, clean bathroom for the day. The board and the Director are currently reassessing the future use of this part of our facility to ensure everyone's safety.
We have adopted new procedures to keep everyone safe:
- Each guest who visits our property must be registered with contact information for tracing purposes, and assigned a private restroom.
- Our housekeeping staff have new cleaning protocols in place to thoroughly disinfect and air-out each room in between guests.
- All registration is completed online or on the phone.
- Key pickup and drop off is contactless.
We know that these new protocols may be inconvenient and quite different than in the past, but we respect the provincial directives and are keeping everyone’s safety as our top priority.
Services offered during COVID-19
The physical distancing measures in place right now mean that we cannot gather in our dining room, but we can still provide you with supper! Chef Damien creates a delicious dinner menu each Sunday night that will be ready for a clean and easy pickup starting at 4:45pm. Take your meal to one of our picnic tables and enjoy access to our tranquil grounds after supper!
We have beautiful picnic areas for you to enjoy! Each private area includes plenty of outdoor green space equipped with picnic tables, sun/rain shelter, and a clean bathroom for your exclusive use. Chef Damien is also preparing two seasonal picnic menus, plus a children's menu, that you can order and pick up as you arrive.
If you have a future retreat reservation, you have three options:
Many groups and individuals have cancelled their reservations for this summer and fall already. If you still have a reservation but need to cancel, please contact us at [email protected] or 1-800-884-1525.
1. Refund: We know that many are struggling through this financial crisis. If you require a refund, this will be provided via your original method of payment.
2. Credit: You can carry your deposit forward for any future event.
3. Donation: If you are able, some or all of your deposit may be redirected as a donation to help ensure our future ministry. Tax receipts are issued for every contribution over $20.
Crieff Hills continues to be a place of refuge and renewal.
Our director has lived onsite since September 2019. During COVID, however, others have found temporary housing on our property. Michelle, our first-ever summer sabbatical resident, moved in this spring for a time of deep rest. She has not only been offered the gift of healing but continues to serve by caring for our many perennial and herb gardens every day. When the family of Presbyterian missionary the Rev. Dr. Blair Bertrand were evacuated from Malawi, they moved into Shepherd House for a time of transition. This has been a gift, especially for the children, as they adjust to life in Canada and make plans for the future. Several other individuals who were in need of a short-term accommodations also moved in, sharing their gifts with us during their time here.
Our site remains well cared for.
We work hard to be good stewards of the land and buildings entrusted to us. On-site residents and staff have all contributed to upkeep and security during the closure. Our gardens are well tended and the grass is cut. While we have in some cases disconnected unneeded utilities, all of our buildings have been kept clean and in good repair.
We are making financial decisions that will ensure the future of our shared mission.
The sudden lack of income was frightening, but we moved quickly to prepare for what has proven to be a long-term closure. We were forced to say goodbye to some of our beloved staff, reduced the salaries of remaining staff and curtailed almost all spending. Despite these measures, we are still in need of support for our ongoing fixed costs and your gifts would be gratefully received.
We have increased our sanitation practices.
We are committed to enhancing safety measures based on the latest available information. This includes using cleaning products in accordance with health guidelines and posting hygiene instructions provided by our local health unit. Staff are provided with ample personal protective equipment (PPE) including masks and gloves.
We are finding new ways to serve.
Takeout dinners are offered each weekend, and picnic lunches are available on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. You can enjoy seasonal favourites that include fresh produce from our gardens, plus add-ons like honey, farm fresh eggs, produce boxes and specialty baked items. Chef Damien prepares and packs every meal with the assistance of our kitchen assistants Emily and Luke, and several on-site volunteers. They follow stringent safety protocols including handwashing, wearing face masks, and regularly sterilizing all surfaces and cooking equipment. Payment is received by e-transfer and pickup is easy and touchless in our schoolhouse driveway.
We can’t wait to welcome you!
Plans are in place to continue gradually reopening in the weeks and months to come. Please visit this page often to see how we are finding ways to share this beautiful place in ways that are safe and healthy for everyone!