No one wants to admit to being high maintenance, but that doesn’t change the fact that even the thriftiest among us love a bit of indulgence once in a while. Trust me, being a diva in debt doesn’t make for a good vacation. You need to find a way to balance champagne tastes with a mac and cheese budget.
In general, travelling outside of peak season makes hotel rates much more affordable. A beautiful hotel I had my eye on in a popular summer vacation destination climbed from $180 a night (end of February, off-season rates) to $520 in July. That’s an extreme example, but if you have some flexibility in when you can travel, a quiet summer getaway to a ski resort or a sizzling summer Southern escape can give you the chance to stay in upscale digs at a bargain price.
If affordable luxury sounds like an oxymoron, read on for a change in perspective. Each of these accommodation options offer luxurious touches at prices that won’t leave your credit card gasping for relief.
11 Affordable Luxury Hotels in Canada
Delta Hotels by Marriott Whistler Village Suites
Finding a deal in the swanky enclave of Whistler is a little like finding a unicorn. But rest assured, it can be done.
The Delta Hotels by Marriott Whistler Village Suites is a little North of the main village—a short walk from the action that puts it in a quieter spot than hotels that are on the main thoroughfare. Thoughtful touches like robes and nice toiletries help up the luxury game.
If you’re travelling with kids or in a group, suites make your stay a little more lux, plus having separate rooms helps with the juggling of different bedtimes. I’m a big fan of a nice soak at the end of the day, and the hot tubs at the Delta are perfect for this. There’s also a fun indoor/outdoor heated pool to go for a splash.Check availability >>
Sun Peaks Grand Hotel — British Columbia
Smaller resorts and under the radar locations can be ripe for deals. The sumptuous Sun Peaks Grand Hotel in unsung Sun Peaks B.C. just outside Kamloops wraps you in its upscale ski lodge atmosphere. I just love the imposing staircase in the two-story lobby, and the river rock fireplace — splendid for warming up après-ski or a relaxing evening following a day of hiking or mountain biking on the summer slopes. Sitting poolside at the base of the mountain surrounded by picture-perfect peaks is an experience you might think is priceless but, happy surprise, the price is within reach.
Dine at Mantles Restaurant (the lavish breakfast buffet is a favourite) or take in the live music at the Morrisey’s Public House to round out your indulgent/affordable alpine stay.Check availability >>
Grey Eagle Resort & Casino — Calgary
Clean lines and contemporary style is the name of the game at the Grey Eagle Resort just south of Calgary. Guests can enjoy a touch of the Las Vegas VIP experience at this resort and casino without the price tag. Although be warned, just like the big Vegas hotels, they do charge a resort fee on top of the room rate. From the coffee and fresh juice station in the lobby to the slippers and turndown service, the Grey Eagle is full of little touches that take the hotel experience up a notch.
Don’t worry if you aren’t much of a gambler, there are other things to do at the resort. The onsite venue hosts numerous concerts, comedy shows and dance parties. There is a pool and gym, and the hotel provides helmets and mountain bikes if you want to go for a ride in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies.Check availability >>
Bear Claw Casino & Hotel — Carlyle, Saskatchewan
Small town Carlyle, Saskatchewan surprises with the Bear Claw Resort and Casino — an often overlooked destination in the southeast corner of the province. A resort in rural Saskatchewan may not be at the top of your “must visit” list, but a few nights at the Bear Claw will change your mind.
The resort is close to the White Bear and Golf Kenosee golf courses, White Bear Lake, and Moose Mountain Provincial Park (which is home to an extensive multi-use trail system). A big draw at the hotel is the on-site casino for a little “farm town meets Monte Carlo.” The rooms have an airy, spacious feel to give a little extravagance to your budget-friendly stay.
After a day of golf, hiking, or playing the slots you’ll want a hearty meal. The on-site Growlers Restaurant is a cut above regular small-town fare— the steaks, in particular, get glowing reviews.Check availability >>
The Grand Winnipeg Airport Hotel by Lakeview
An airport hotel and affordable luxury don’t have to be mutually exclusive. The Grand Winnipeg Airport Hotel by Lakeview shows how lodging that is convenient to the airport can also be an indulgent spot to lay your head. A comfy sleep is pretty much guaranteed thanks to the extensive soundproofing in the rooms — important when your neighbours are 747s!
The tall, sleek glass bottles of designer Vivreau water are a nice high-end touch, as are the in-room iPads–preloaded with Netflix. And as any luxury traveller knows, the bathroom is an important part of the hotel experience. At the Grand, the bathrooms are “inspired by a day at the spa.” Spa features like walk-in rain showers in the king rooms and La Source toiletries bump the bathrooms up into extravagant territory.Check availability >>
Visitor’s Inn — Hamilton, Ontario
A lively arts scene, burgeoning foodie culture, and over 100 waterfalls in the city: Hamilton is full of charming surprises, and one of them is the affordable luxury at Visitor’s Inn. The unassuming exterior belies the gem inside. The interior has been fully renovated with a modern update for all the rooms. One of the upgrades is the luxuriously soft pillow top mattresses. After a few nights of blissful sleep, you’ll be ordering your own set to take home.
If you are looking to upgrade your room, family suites with separate bedrooms and kitchenettes are available, or really up the opulence and book a jacuzzi suite.Check availability >>
Andaz Ottawa Byward Market — Ottawa, Ontario
The Andaz Ottawa Byward Market is located near the popular ByWard Market in downtown Ottawa, and easy walking distance from most of the city’s top tourist destinations, including the Parliament Buildings. The location means most everything is accessible by foot, so you can ditch the car and save on expensive downtown parking.
The Andaz is a high-rise hotel with a boutique heart. It stands out because of the thoughtful attention to design featuring Canadian artists and themes throughout the hotel. The 16th-floor rooftop patio affords sweeping views of the capital and is worth reserving some time to have a meal or a drink.Check availability >>
OTL Gouverneur Sherbrooke — Sherbrooke, Québec
Opulent design choices and thoughtful amenities will make you fall in love with the OTL Gouverneur Sherbrooke. You’ll especially appreciate the masterful blend of reasonable price tags and luxury touches, like the memory foam mattresses covered in high thread count sheets and fluffy down duvets, the in-room iPads, bathrooms that are complete with walk-in rain showers, and heated floors. You may not want to leave the splendid comfort of your room, but the chef-prepared hot breakfast, adjacent Paus Spa, and Boefish restaurant are all tempting reasons to venture out.
Speaking of temptation, the OTL Gouverneur features an amenity that, in my humble opinion, belongs in all hotels — self-serve wines by the glass. The wines are dispensed from a special cooler you activate with your key card. Vending machines have grown up!Check availability >>
Escale du Nord — Mont-Tremblant, Québec
This homey B&B gets top marks for its attention to detail and personalized service. A secluded little retreat in the woods of Mont-Tremblant, the Escale du Nord has just five rooms. Each of them is decorated in a cozy, thoughtful way — making you feel like you have lucked into a stay at a private luxury vacation home. After your delicious breakfast, you can spend some quiet time walking through the forest (you’ll probably spot a deer or two), swimming in the pool, or relaxing in the hot tub.
Although it might be difficult to leave, both the Casino de Mont-Tremblant and Le Petit Géant Miniature Golf Course are approximately a 15-minute drive away if you’re looking for some activity outside of your serene enclave.Check availability >>
Rodd Miramichi River — Miramichi, New Brunswick
Some hotels boast river views, but the Rodd Miramichi is a charming getaway that offers “step-out” access to the river. Some of the rooms have patios so you can spend some quiet time relaxing outside with the million-dollar view. Aside from the stunning view and affordable prices, this hotel makes the list thanks to the welcoming staff, great swimming pool (with huge windows overlooking the river), and proximity to the beaches and outdoor fun at Kouchibouguac National Park and Escuminac Beach.
Sporting types who value a bit of luxury comfort with their outdoor endeavours are also fans of the Rodd Miramichi River hotel. Fishing expeditions can be arranged through the front desk during the summer, and in the winter, snowmobile enthusiasts love the convenience of being able to pull right up to the hotel.Check availability >>
Bannerman Park Suites — St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador
I’d say the Bannerman Park Suites offer a home away from home, but chances are pretty high your home isn’t as lovely as this. Situated ideally on the edge of Bannerman Park, close to the shops and restaurants of downtown St. John’s, this hotel has all the trappings of luxury accommodations without the sticker shock. Spacious queen or king suites feature beautifully classic furnishings which fit the upscale comfort of the place perfectly. Bonus marks for the heated marble floors in the bathroom and the conveniences offered to busy travellers like the self-check-in/check-out.Check availability >>