It’s no secret: Canadians love to travel. Whether a short trip south of the border, a chartered flight to a sandy Caribbean island or a longer trip overseas, Canadian passports are constantly collecting stamps from country to country.
But what could be more shameful for a Torontonian than never having been out to B.C.? A Manitoban who has yet to feast on an Atlantic lobster caught that very morning? A Newfoundlander who has never crunched the Athabasca Glacier?
These Canadian Bucket List Hotels are a primer in covering the bases of the Dominion’s best in hotel design, hospitality and natural beauty. From jailhouse stays to infinity pools with vanishing edges, the trivago magazine Canada team cover accommodation from the price of a 2-4 and others that are worth saving up all year for.
#14 Fairmont Queen Elizabeth
The Historic Downtown Montreal Hotel
Give Peace a Chance (in Montreal!) Beatles fans don’t need to travel over to Liverpool to get an authentic and immersive look into the unprecedented life and times of John and Yoko. Over at the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth, Room 174 (aka the John Lennon and Yoko Ono Suite) has been re-updated with memorabilia pertaining to the couple’s “bed-in for peace“.
Large enough to now accommodate up to four, the bedroom-living room suite includes two oversized bathrooms and a soaking tub. Outside of the famous suite’s walls, the Queen E has gone through a full $140 million reno with a retro-chic spin on the décor, new coworking spaces and in-house spa New Moment.This one's for me! »
#13 Drake Devonshire
The Hippest Prince Edward County Hotel
Prince Edward County, ON
Whoever said the countryside is unsophisticated has never explored Prince Edward County. Case and point: the Drake Devonshire. Just under a two-hour drive from Downtown Toronto, this Lake Ontario outpost of the Drake Hotel is no less flirty with smile-inducing details around every corner.
The Owners Suite is the ultimate indulgence with a vaulted roof, fireplace, picnic table-style desk and an expansive private deck stretching out towards the water. Dining at the Drake Devonshire brings in surprises with locally-sourced produce like a Rhubarb & Strawberry Tart and the renowned Drake Blueberry Scones.This one's for me! »
#12 Chateau Lake Louise
The Most Famous of Banff Hotels
Lake Louise, AB
Glistening emerald waters to canoe by summer and a rock-hard plain by winter, Lake Louise embraces the seasons itothe fullest. Found in the heart of Banff National Park, the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is the luxury complement to any outdoor body. Hiking, skiing and fishing are just a sample of the activities on-hand to make the most of Alberta’s wilderness.
With the glaciers and the Lake as your backdrop, what more could you really want from your night’s accommodation? For good measure, premium linens, detox facials at the spa and an afternoon alpine social stretch this stay into “bucket list” territory.This one's for me! »
Love the outdoors but hate cold showers?
#11 Auberge Saint-Antoine
The Quebec City Hotel that Spans Five Centuries
Quebec City, QC
Consistently scoring top marks with trivago users, the Auberge Saint-Antoine in Basse-Ville of Quebec City is a must-stay for anyone seeking the Old World charms of one of North America’s last fortified cities. Housed in three buildings, with the oldest dating back to the 17th-century, the Auberge matches rustic exposed masonry, beams and floorboards with warm and friendly décor that can put any visitor at ease straight away.
Suites with separate bedrooms and living rooms are also furnished with heated floors and deep-soaking tubs to warm you back up after a winter stroll around town. Standard amenities come courtesy of names like Bose and Nespresso. Diners at Chez Muffy are treated to a parade of farm-to-fork plates with tables looking onto the St. Lawrence.This one's for me! »
#10 Sparkling Hill Resort
The Hotel Infinity Pool in the Okanagan
Crowning the top of an escarpment between Lake Country and Vernon, this 149-room wellness resort is the kind of place that brings the outdoors in. Forty-thousand square feet of health facilities at KurSpa, including a hard-to-not-snap infinity pool and over 3.5 million Swarovski crystals shimmering around the resort property are sure to leave a lasting impression on you.
Surrounded yourself with Lake Okanagan or the Monashee Mountains at the Sparkling Hill Resort thanks to see-all floor-to-ceiling windows. Two-person soak tubs right in your room are sure to send any spa weekend in a more romantic direction. Toast to your weekend at PeakFine which pairs lunch and dinner dishes with wine varietals from the Okanagan Valley.This one's for me! »
#9 Sheraton on the Falls
The Quintessential Niagara Falls Hotel
Niagara Falls, ON
Now it’s no secret that the Canadian side of Niagara Falls is best for viewing this natural wonder of the world. But to have a room in Niagara Falls, Ontario that puts you face-to-face with these thousands of cubic feet of rushing water is something altogether different.
Make sure to reserve a Fallsview room at the Sheraton on the Falls which boasts views of either the American Falls, Horseshoe Falls or both! Wake up to the crystalline mist of the Falls as you open the doors to your room’s Juliette balcony. The Christienne Fallsview Spa is not to be missed either, where else can you get a mani-pedi done with a view like that?This one's for me! »
#8 Trout Point Lodge
The Nova Scotia Resort Experience
East Kemptville, NS
Rising from Eastern Spruce trunks in the form of a log cabin, the Trout Point Lodge is a temple to Nova Scotia’s wilderness. A retreat in the fullest, this adult-only property finds itself in a cell phone coverage-free swath south of Digby — digital detoxers, prepare to unplug.
Special features of this five-star inn include a wood-fired riverside hot tub for two and local lobster cooking classes. As the world’s first certified Starlight Hotel, don’t forget to look up at night for a mesmerizing nightly light show, or better yet go on a stargazing excursion with a staff astronomer.This one's for me! »
#7 Hotel Saskatchewan
The Regina Hotel with Extra Poise
Of the same lineage as Banff Springs and the Royal York in Toronto, the Hotel Saskatchewan was originally constructed by the Canadian Pacific Railways as a luxurious stopover in Regina and has since passed from a social heart of the city to a local institution.
Now under the direction of Marriott’s Autograph Collection, the Hotel Sask has been revived to its original splendour with the addition of white marble bathrooms, sumptuous lounge chairs and embroidered bathrobes. Keep an eye on the hotel’s event calendar for happenings like their Jazz Brunch and another eye on the menu at Circa 27 for their seasonal menu.This one's for me! »
#6 The Explorer Hotel
The Full-Service Yellowknife Hotel
Some of Canada’s best natural assets aren’t even anchored to land. Time to head northbound, and we’re talking specifically about the capital of the Northwest Territories and the continent’s diamond capital, Yellowknife to watch the Northern Lights.
Do the Aurora Borealis in full comfort with a stay at The Explorer Hotel. Billed as the largest hotel in Northern Canada, the staff at the Explorer are happy to help arrange your nighttime excursions. Best yet, the hotel continues to give back to local charities supporting health and youth causes in the North.This one's for me! »
You might be able to find the Aurora Borealis even closer to home…
#5 HI Ottawa Jail
The Ottawa Hotel with a Haunted Past
A bucket list hostel? Definitely the case when we heard about the HI Ottawa Jail. Spend the night locked behind bars for all the right reasons on Nicholas Street just south of Byward Market. Updated for the modern traveller, free breakfast (a tradition of the establishment?) and free WiFi are provided.
For the most authentic treatment, Bonnie & Clyde wannabes will want to go for the Historic Double Cell or for lone bandits, the Authentic Jail Cell where you can sleep in solitary confinement in a 3-foot by 9-foot room.This one's for me! »
#4 Skwachàys Lodge
The Vancouver Hotel that Honours Indigneous Arts
The lovechild of six indigenous artists and six Vancouver-based hotel designers, the Skwachàys Lodge could not be left off the bucket list. Walking distance to Gastown, the Lodge is Canada’s first Aboriginal arts hotel with 100% of the profits going directly to the Vancouver Housing Society.
Each of the hotel’s suites has an artist’s tale and a nation’s story behind it. Clifton Fred’s Poem Suite is wallpapered with writing excerpts and pencil drawings of Tlingit mythology while guests in the Sea Kingdom Suite sleep under a protective Salmon motif by Lou-Ann Neel. Yet another story to tell from your time in Vancouver!This one's for me! »
#3 Hôtel de Glace
The World-Famous Ice Hotel
It’s all about timing (of your arrival and advance reservation) when it comes to Quebec’s Hôtel de Glace. Open from January through the end of March, this magical ice palace has been a dazzling must-stay for visitors enamoured by its frozen architecture and sculptures.
It’s not all sub-zero at the Hôtel, the Nordic Relaxation Area is open all night for those looking to sweat it out in the sauna meanwhile, those reserved into the premium suites will no doubt make use of the ensuite fireplaces and hot tubs.This one's for me! »
#2 Bruce Bay Cottages & Lighthouse
The Easy-to-Spot Country Retreat
Bruce Mines, ON
By now, you’re probably acquainted with the fact that not all of Canada’s bucket list hotels are bent on luxury. Sometimes what makes a memorable stay is a wacky building in an unmatched location. Meet the Bruce Bay Cottages & Lighthouse.
Closer to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan than Toronto, the three-bedroom unit in this island lighthouse is the perfect disconnect from the stresses of everyday life. Soak up the encompassing view of the North Channel in this open living-style unit. Owners Larry and Pat suggest you pack some binoculars for birdwatching and fishing gear for some Lake Huron trout.This one's for me! »
#1 Le Monastère des Augustines
The Quebec City Hotel in Deep Contemplation
Quebec City, QC
Self-care and a hotel stay naturally go hand-in-hand and at the Hôtel-Dieu de Québec monastery, you can experience both in the beautiful preserved grounds dating back to 17th-century New France.
A host of massages as well as holistic health and nutrition consultations come highly recommended at Le Monastère des Augustines. Guests can elect to stay in an Authentic Room (dressed in antique furniture and Iberican tilework) or a Contemporary Room (with a calming minimalist demeanour) where in either case, you’ll wake up to the Monastery’s signature vitality breakfast.This one's for me! »
Do you have your own hotel bucket list? We want to hear where you’re dying to stay.