10 Muskoka Cottages That Are Great Airbnb Alternatives

10 Muskoka Cottages That Are Great Airbnb Alternatives

With AirBnBs getting more expensive than ever, having hidden cameras, and making the guests clean up, do laundry, and still charge a cleaning fee, their popularity is declining. If you’re looking for a vacation in a beautiful country setting, with lush forests, shimmering lakes, and lots of year round activities suitable for everyone, Muskoka is the destination for you. If you’re fed up with AirBnBs, we’ve curated a list of 10 Muskoka cottages that are great airbnb alternatives.

  1. 1. Island Property on Skeleton Lake
  2. 2. Labour of Love on Muldrew Lake
  3. 3. “Six Mile Smiles”
  4. 4. Gravenhurst Cottage and Boathouse
  5. 5. “Coldwater” at Gibson Lake
  6. 6. Cottage on the Bedrock
  7. 7. “Parkinson Lake House”
  8. 8. Moonstone Log and Timber Frame Cottage
  9. 9. “The Green Room”
  10. 10. Indian River Retreat


Island Property on Skeleton Lake

This extremely private waterfront property on Marlatt Island, just off the shores of Skeleton Lake and a 10 minute boat ride from the public dock at Skeleton Lake Marina, is surrounded by undeveloped Crown Land. There’s a fully loaded kitchen, adjacent Muskoka room that leads onto the deck, vaulted ceilings, floor to ceiling windows, a rec room, gaming space, movie theatre and popcorn maker, a large lawn with badminton, bocce, and cornhole, two fire pits, and a sauna. The waterfront 750 feet of shoreline with a private dock, sandy beach, water crafts, and nearby forest trails.

Rent from $1286/night




Labour of Love on Muldrew Lake

This two bedroom cottage and garage loft with an additional bedroom sits on the peaceful shores of Muldrew Lake. The lake is small compared to the “Big Three”, (Muskoka, Joseph, and Rosseau) but is still 16 Kilometers (10 Miles) long.The water is warmer than the big lakes, and there is great fishing, especially for Bass and Pike. Muldrew Lake is also a part of the original Native Canoe Route from the Trent-Severn River System (Lake Ontario and Georgian Bay) to the Muskoka’s. The cottage was built by the owners and their two sons over six months in 2013 with an open concept design, post and beam structure, soaring pine cathedral ceilings, beautiful hand scraped hickory floors, floor to ceiling windows and fireplace, a loft office/sitting room, and a screened-in Muskoka room. Some amenities include a hot tub, a private dock with boat launch, stand up paddle boards, canoes, and kayaks.

Rent from $857/night


“Six Mile Smiles”

This charming three bedroom, two bathroom lakeside cottage, located near Mactier, has a wraparound deck and Muskoka room that faces the spring-fed Six Mile Lake to the southeast. You can watch the morning sun from the wrap-around deck or in the Muskoka room. Some amenities include a barbeque, outdoor fire pit, stand up paddle boards, canoes, and kayaks, the last three of which can be launched from the private dock. Nearby Gibson River Provincial Park has plenty of beautiful hikes, and the towns of Bala, home to a collection of local artisans and the infamous Kee to Bala concert area, and Port Severn are close by.

Rent from $657/night

Explore Muskoka:

Why Muskoka Is Such A Popular Destination

Things to Do in Muskoka: A Year-Round Guide to Vacation Activities

Muskoka Golf Guide

Muskoka Boat Rentals: How to Rent a Boat in Muskoka


Gravenhurst Cottage and Boathouse

This two storey, five bedroom cottage on Lake Muskoka is just a few minutes from downtown Gravenhurst, but is still private. The main level features the primary bedroom and four piece ensuite, a powder room, kitchen, living, dining, designated work space, and secondary sitting room, overlooking the lake. The second level offers one bathroom and four bedrooms, cathedral ceilings and classic architecture with an open concept landing that features lake views and a birds eye view of the living room below. Down by the water is a boathouse with a rooftop patio, complete with hot tub, reclining lounge chairs, and outdoor dining for 12. There’s deep water off the end of both docks, floating rafts in the lake, and paddleboards, kayaks, or canoes out to enjoy. The beautiful landscaping and gently sloping grounds, complete with children’s play area, oversized outdoor chess board, and a meandering stone pathway to the lake are the foreground to sunset views.

Rent from $1290/night




“Coldwater” at Gibson Lake

This upscale four bedroom, three bathroom cottage on Gibson Lake was newly renovated in 2020. It features an open concept design, with a great room that has soaring two story ceilings and matching fireplace. The master bedroom also has a wall of windows facing the lake, and both have direct stunning lake views, designed to be filled with light throughout the day. On the lower level there is a games room and another substantial guest suite with lake views that sleeps four. Other amenities include a sauna, barbeque, firepit, boat launch, paddleboards, kayaks, and canoes.

Rent from $971/night


Cottage on the Bedrock

This newly renovated three bedroom, two bathroom cottage sits on a quiet sheltered bay in the Lake Of Bays, with south exposure and very little boat traffic. A four season cottage, it features an open concept living space with a wood burning fireplace and lake views through a wall of windows. The master bedroom has heated floors and a private direct walk-out to its own deck. Lake of Bays is the second largest lake in the Muskokas with over 165 km of shoreline, with many bays and islands. The villages of Dorset, Dwight and Baysville are accessible by boat, and it is a 20 minute drive from Huntsville and a half hour from Bracebridge

Rent from $886/night




“Parkinson Lake House”

Parkinson Lake House is on Sparrow Lake by Gravenhurst. With 3 bedrooms, a wood-burning fireplace, floor to ceiling windows with a view of the lake, a wrap-around porch, hot tub, boat launch, and fire pit by the water, this four season cottage makes for an amazing getaway, whatever the time of year. Some amenities include a barbeque, outdoor fire pit, stand up paddle boards, canoes, and kayaks, the last three of which can be launched from the private dock. 

Rent from $715/night



Moonstone Log and Timber Frame Cottage

Located on Sparrow Lake by Orillia, the grandeur of this cottage is immediately noticeable. All the logs are hand-selected Northern Ontario white pine, and the interior features a granite floor foyer that leads to the expansive open concept kitchen/dining/living room, lake views from large picture windows, and soaring cathedral ceilings throughout. The screened-in Muskoka room has a large comfy sectional couch, and on quiet evenings, you can clearly hear the song of the Whippoorwill. The water’s edge has a large stretch of sand with a shallow entry, and there is a dock, a fire pit, and the chance to see the wildlife that lives nearby, including deer, minks, chipmunks, beavers and birds. 

Rent from $1085/night

Vacation Planning:

The Ultimate Cottage Packing List

What to Do When it’s Raining on Vacation at the Cottage

Dog Safety Tips for Cottage Country


“The Green Room”

The Green Room is a classic two bedroom, one bathroom cottage on the top floor, with a gorgeous Muskoka room overlooking Lake Muskoka, and a private lower level suite with another bathroom. With the cottage being in close proximity to the towns of Bala and Port Carling, guests are able to experience lakeside dining, luxurious shopping, and local businesses. Outside, you’ll find a trail leading down to the fire pit area and dock, where you can spend your days swimming, fishing, or simply soaking up the sun. 

Rent from $1071/night





Indian River Retreat

This cottage and boathouse are located by Port Carling on the Indian River. This 3 bedroom cottage has a fully equipped kitchen, screen in patio with a barbeque, and a wood fireplace. The waterfront has a shallow entry beach access, a boathouse with a large rooftop porch, hammocks, lounge chairs, and kayaks to enjoy. With these features and many other amenities, it is a great place for family and friends to enjoy a Muskokan cottage vacation. 

Rent from $643/night


Booking a cottage is the first step in planning your Muskoka vacation. Next is planning your itinerary and activities. With so much to do, see, and experience, Muskoka has something for everyone. Our cottage country site has lots of information that can help you plan your perfect cottage vacation, and if we can help in any way, please send us an email or give us a call.