Canada is an enormous country (the world’s second largest), with no shortage of beautiful places. With spectacular waterfalls, glorious beaches, exceptional wildlife adventures, breathtaking train journeys, stunning scenery, amazing islands, and vibrant cities, it is no wonder that a holiday in Canada will often be a trip of a lifetime. Highlights include – amongst others – the dizzying mountains in the Rockies, the rugged coast of the West, the French culture in the East, the vast wilderness of the Yukon Territory, and cosmopolitan Toronto. It’s daunting to single out one destination in this vast country, let alone a hotel. With so many options from British Columbia to Quebec, I simplify your search with my top 10 of the best hotels, resorts & lodges in Canada, that will make your trip.
There is more information below the slide show. Think I missed one? Share your favorite Canadian hotel, resort or lodge in the comments section, or take my poll below!
10. THE FAIRMONT BANFF SPRINGS HOTEL, ALBERTA
Located in the heart of Banff National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the world-famous Fairmont Banff Springs hotel stands as a landmark in the picturesque alpine town of Banff, Alberta. Canada’s “Castle in the Rockies” has been providing legendary hospitality to its guests for more than 125 years. With 768 guest rooms and suites, this is a massive resort, but the superbly appointed accommodations and the attentive, personalized service guarantee an intimate experience. And you have a choice, from cozy rooms tucked away in quiet corners of the castle to spacious suites with sweeping Alberta mountain views. Don’t forget visit the Willow Stream Spa to sooth sore muscles in the mineral bath, the perfect end to an enchanting day.
9. FOUR SEASONS RESORT WHISTLER, BRITISH COLUMBIA
The Four Seasons Resort Whistler is located in the heart of what is by far the largest ski resort in all of North America. The pedestrian village of Whistler has itself won numerous design awards and was the site of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Beyond its famed slopes are the championship golf courses, hundreds of boutiques, museums and galleries and endless year-round happenings. The hotel’s 273 guest rooms are appointed richly in wood, each with their own gas fireplace. After the rigors of skiing, golf, or shopping, you can avail yourself of Four Seasons Resort Whistler’s many relaxation options, and inhale alpine air while you’re massaged with the clay from a nearby lake or survey the snow-capped peaks while soaking in the outdoor whirlpools.
8. LONG BEACH LODGE RESORT, VANCOUVER ISLAND, BRITISH COLUMBIA
With the wild Pacific surf before you, and lush rainforest behind, you’ll experience Canada’s untouched, rugged West Coast while savoring all the comforts of five-star luxury at Long Beach Lodge Resort. The Resort has 41 rooms and 20 cottages and is located on Cox Bay beach, just 7km south of Tofino in the heart of the Pacific Rim National Park. It’s mesmerizing to light a fire and cozy up under your duvet as the ocean offers its entertainment: bald eagles soar from treetop to treetop, ravens comb the beach, and harbor seals and whales surface while the churning Pacific pounds the beach. The chef’s innovative cuisine mirrors the unique character of the lodge, and you can enjoy fine dining while watching a magnificent sunset.
7. FOX HARB’R GOLF RESORT & SPA, WALLACE, NOVA SCOTIA
The 106 room Fox Harb’r Golf Resort & Spa enjoys a spectacular location, where the Atlantic Ocean meets the rugged Northumberland shoreline of Nova Scotia. The vibrant colours of sea, sky, shore and fairways are complemented by the fresh and salty scent of the sea and the sounds of waves washing upon shoreline rocks. The Resort is famous for its incomparable round of Championship golf – an ideal blend of Scottish links and traditional parkland play, which seamlessly hugs the coast. Other activities such as port shooting, boating, hiking, tennis, and guilt-free lounging in a scenic environment will be an experience to remember. Dining in The Great Room is always a fantastic affair, while The Willard Room offers a more relaxed experience.
6. ROSEWOOD HOTEL GEORGIA, VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA
Following its grand debut in the roaring ‘20s, Hotel Georgia came to be known as a Vancouver legend for bringing unheard-of luxuries to the young city and Canada’s West Coast. After undergoing a full renovation and reopening in 2011 as Rosewood Hotel Georgia, the hotel has been returned to its former grandeur with the additional elegance of extensive amenities and the impeccable service of Rosewood, one of the world’s most exclusive hotel brands. With 156 rooms and suites embellished with stylish elegance equal to its landmark location, guests uncover an exclusive residential ambience. Featuring a palette of light blues, ivory and chocolate, guestroom décor is completed with sleek furnishings and spa-inspired bathrooms for ultimate luxury.
5. NIMMO BAY, GREAT BEAR RAINFOREST, BRITISH COLUMBIA
Remote coastal rainforests stretching as far as the eye can see, and a ring of snow-capped mountains meeting the shoreline of a wide, calm bay will be your first sight when arriving by helicopter at the exclusive Nimmo Bay Resort. The main lodge actually floats on the bay, with two cedar hot tubs steaming away at the foot of a cascading waterfall. Nimmo Bay Resort offers plenty of adventure varying from heli-fishing and grizzly bear spotting in a quiet valley, to river rafting, whale watching, or heli-hiking atop some of those sparkling mountain peaks. At Nimmo Bay Resort, food is also a big part of the adventures, with fresh, local, coastal, homemade fare, such as fresh salmon and Dungeness crab.
4. TRUMP INTERNATIONAL HOTEL & TOWER, TORONTO, ONTARIO
Crowned by an articulated spire 900-feet above downtown Toronto’s financial and entertainment district, 261 luxurious accommodations, exclusive amenities and the signature Trump Attaché services unite along the city’s unmistakable skyline. Located on the south-east corner of Bay and Adelaide, Trump Toronto places guests moments from the city’s finest attractions including the CN Tower, Rogers Centre, Air Canada Centre, Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Toronto Stock Exchange. Rooms within the 65-story building are all immaculately designed in a contrasting colour palette inspired by champagne and caviar. Two levels of the opulent hotel are devoted to Toronto’s most luxurious spa and wellness facility.
3. SONORA RESORT, DESOLATION SOUND, BRITISH COLUMBIA
This luxury wilderness resort is an absolute jewel amid one of Canada’s most alluring, pristine environments, being British Columbia’s stunning Desolation Sound, home to fascinating wildlife and some of the best salmon fishing in the world. Sonora Resort is where uncompromising eco adventure travel meets luxurious accommodations, unparalleled service and five-star facilities. Enjoy thrilling eco-tours along the coast, where you’ll get close-up views of grizzly bears, orcas, sea lions, and dolphins. You can take hikes through the towering old-growth firs and cedars of the coastal temperate rainforest. Or experience a mind-blowing helicopter ride to a glistening glacier where you can enjoy a private picnic prepared by the chef.
2. THE FAIRMONT PACIFIC RIM, VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA
This downtown Vancouver hotel, the new flagship hotel of the Fairmont Hotel Group, combines the best of the Pacific Rim in its plan, décor, and culinary offerings. It is conveniently situated along the shore in a vibrant new waterfront area. Designed with five-star standards and amenities, the 377-room hotel features spacious guestrooms with lavish appointments, naturally inspired materials, comfortable furnishings and state-of-the-art technology. The higher floors enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of Coal Harbour, Stanley Park and the North Shore Mountains. The hotel’s spectacular outdoor rooftop pool with private cabanas brings a little South Beach ambiance to the heart of downtown Vancouver.
1. CLAYOQUOT WILDERNESS RESORT, VANCOUVER ISLAND, BRITISH COLUMBIA
The Clayoquot Wilderness Resort, open from May to September, is an exotic paradox of indulgent luxury and remote, untamed wilderness in the Clayoquot Sound World Biosphere Reserve (within the Pacific Rim National Park). This unique 21st-century-safari-style enclave of great white canvas suite tents, dining, lounge, and spa tents, offers exquisite cuisine and breathtaking adventures, giving visitors a rare taste of how the fortunate spent their summers ‘roughing it’ some 100 years ago. Twenty guest and family suite tents showcase antique furnishings, opulent rugs, down duvets, remote-controlled propane powered woodstoves and luxurious amenities. Watch out for bears and whales.