Our Favourite Canadian Hotel Stays
Where to check in across the country, from a chic stay at Four Seasons Montreal to a luxury getaway at the Malcolm Hotel amidst the mountains of Canmore, Alberta.
The Royal Kelowna, Kelowna, B.C.
This former Delta Hotels property, situated on Waterfront Park in downtown Kelowna, is now home to 71 private-rental suites. Fully equipped kitchens (including B.C. roasted Oughtred coffee) make these units a laid-back home base for family reunions or golfing-buddy shindigs, where you can relax over home-cooked dinners and crack open some of your Okanagan wine bounty. Spacious laundry rooms and fireplaces cover both your housekeeping and nesting needs; the six guest slips in the marina widen your transportation options. While most suites are configured as two bedrooms plus a den, a group of eight can comfortably sprawl out in the 2,900-square-foot, three-bedroom suite with a full dining room. To supplement the rooftop infinity pool and fitness centre, guests have easy access to the spa and Oak + Cru restaurant (with its 300-label wine list) at the adjacent Delta Grand Okanagan Resort. The latest round of lobby and room facelifts will be completed by fall 2020.
The Josie Hotel, Rossland, B.C.
The first stop along the Powder Highway that winds its way through the Kootenay Rockies, the Josie Hotel is a boutique hotel/ski-in ski-out resort at the base of RED Mountain in Rossland, British Columbia. With 106 guest rooms, the hotel is all soothing earth tones and recycled wood, and perks include dining at the on-site restaurant, the Velvet, and a ski concierge who will store your snow gear while you lunch or après-ski. Take a break from the slopes and head to Rossland to snowshoe or fat-tire bike along the Seven Summits Trail (also open during the summer months).
The Malcolm Hotel, Canmore, AB
A ten-minute drive from the Banff National Park gate, this 124-room luxury resort pays homage to the town’s namesake, Scottish King Malcolm III, whose Gaelic nickname was “Ceann Mo’r,” meaning Big Head or Great Leader. The king looms larger than life in a full-length portrait in the lobby (cue the kilts and bagpipes), and you’ll find echoes of his blue, silver and grey tartan pattern in the orderly pattern of the roof garden’s succulent plants, or splashed across the banquettes at the Stirling Grill. There, you can nosh on Galway butter chicken or the Malcolm mac ’n’ cheese (with Mornay sauce and broccoli). Every sleekly modern room here has a view, either of the iconic Three Sisters peaks or their dignified counterpart, Mount Lady Macdonald. Depending on the season, relax on the patio, soak in the pool and hot tubs, or cozy up to the outdoor firepits after a hike, snowshoe jaunt or dogsled ride. Or, on two nearby courses, play a round of the insanely popular disc golf.
JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District, Edmonton
The JW Marriott is one of Edmonton’s buzziest new properties, in one of the city’s buzziest new quarters: The downtown ICE District, Canada’s largest mixed-use sports and entertainment area, is just outside. But there’s plenty to do without leaving the hotel. Order the dry-aged Alberta beef at Braven, sip a craft cocktail on the heated patio at Alchemy, sign up for a HIIT-style workout at the Archetype health club, then recuperate at the full-service Spa by JW.
The Explorer Hotel, Yellowknife
Yellowknife’s most notable hotel is fit for the royal family: Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Prince Charles, and Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge have all stayed here when visiting. The hotel boasts an impressive Indigenous art collection, a newly renovated gym and conference centre, a restaurant and the Trapline Lounge – a perfect place to unwind after a day of exploring.
Hotel Saskatchewan, Regina
The provincial capital was still reeling from the 1912 Regina Cyclone when this grand railway hotel opened in 1927, and the Victorian-inspired suites still get the royal treatment with imperial-blue wallpaper and gilded trimming. The on-site barbershop has been serving up hot-towel shaves since 1948, while the best shoeshines in the city are available in the hotel lobby. Modern touches include the in-house patisserie as well as the twice-weekly Fresh Sheet dinners, with all ingredients purchased from the Regina Farmers Market. It’s worth writing home about – just drop your letter in any of the original gold-plated mail chutes.
The Annex, Toronto
There’s no concierge at this self-serve boutique hotel in the heart of the Annex, but you’ll have everything you need for a stylish stay in the city. (Staff are just a text message away 24/7 should you need anything.) The minimalist, light-filled rooms feel more like a friend’s loft than a hotel suite and come complete with a record player, artwork by local artists and Grown Alchemist bath products. For happy hour, head to the Annex Café and Wine Bar in the lobby for sharing plates and a glass of biodynamic wine; come morning, they serve pastries from the Drake Commissary – the savoury ham, gruyère and green onion croissant comes highly recommended – and coffee from Reunion Island.
Kimpton Saint George, Toronto
For their first Toronto property, which straddles upscale Yorkville and the student-filled Annex, Kimpton brought on the firm Mason Studio to execute the design inspired by the area’s heritage houses – all warm wood arches and pottery by local artisans. Each of the 21 suites is equipped with a Teac turntable and collection of Canadian vinyl, including Feist and The Weeknd, curated in partnership with local institution Sonic Boom Records.
Drake Motor Inn, Wellington, ON
Marking the second outpost in Prince Edward Country for the Toronto-based Drake Hotel, Drake Motor Inn pays homage to the golden age of road trips. The rooms at this roadside motel are filled with retro-inspired tchotchkes and souvenirs selectively sourced from the Brimfield Antique Show scavenged from local garage sales. The motel’s 12 light-filled, pastel-clad rooms are spread over two buildings with single, double and triple rooms available – all pet-friendly and complete with their own balcony or patio. While nearby sister property Drake Devonshire remains the spot to dine and enjoy a glass of wine from local wineries like the Grange of Prince Edward or Rosehall Run, guests at the Drake Motor Inn can grab snacks from the Drake vending machine and enjoy afternoon refreshments from the Drake Commissary in one of the communal lounge areas, on the veranda or around the fire pit.
Le Germain Hotel, Ottawa
This elegant showpiece of a hotel in Ottawa is a 10-minute walk from Parliament Hill. Check out the changing art pieces in the lobby, on loan from the Ottawa Art Gallery next door, and the black, white and grey chiaroscuro theme that runs through the building’s linen-textured room art, contrasting dark floors, light walls and wood panelling. The handsome Aquaovo ceramic water jugs on each floor eliminate the need for plastic water bottles on the premises and reflects one of the hotel’s core values of respecting the environment by using sustainable products and services. The tech sector is represented by the Bluetooth- and Wi-Fi-enabled Tivoli audio sets and Google Chromecast-equipped TVs that let you stream content from your laptop. Then there’s the breakfast buffet at Canadian-ingredient-centric Norca, featuring tiered platters of croissants, pain aux raisins and chaussons aux pommes, fruit, cheeses, cured meats and two hot options.
Four Seasons Hotel Montreal
Montreal’s swish Golden Square Mile just levelled up its chic quotient with the opening of the stunning new Four Seasons. Designed by Atelier Zébulon Perron, with architecture by Lemay and Sid Lee Architecture, the $250-million project boasts 169 rooms and suites (designed by Philip Hazan in collaboration with Gilles & Boissier), a luxe spa and direct access to the rebranded and enlarged Holt Renfrew Ogilvy centre. Start your tour of the hotel on the third-floor lobby. This is home to the “social square,” as it’s dubbed, a series of velvet, leather and marble spaces that take you on a colour-gradient journey from lobby, dressed in pale magenta, to the teal seaside-themed Marcus Lounge (lit by a hand-cut crystal wall from Australia) to the lush dark-green, mauve and charcoal night lounge. Then, head into Marcus Restaurant + Terrace, named for its chef, Marcus Samuelsson. Down avocado toast for breakfast or a plate of plump oysters and ice-cold champagne in the afternoon while gazing at the giant mural of Leonard Cohen across the street.
Bower Capitol Robinson, Moncton, NB
If the editors of Wallpaper wanted a little Moncton getaway, they’d plan it at this 12-room boutique hotel at the centre of the entertainment district, one of a chain of five chic properties throughout New Brunswick. At the Capitol Robinson, each apartment-like unit comes with a kitchenette, paid parking and access to a laundry room. Hotel amenities like plush towels, linens and robes and a healthy breakfast box (stocked with juice, oatmeal, cheese and crackers and fruit) delivered daily provide just the amount of TLC needed to make your trip a true getaway. The Avenir Centre (for concerts and Wildcats hockey games), the Capitol Theatre and Marché Moncton Market are a short walk away, or you can opt for jaunts to Hopewell Rocks park or PEI.
Lord Nelson Hotel & Suites, Halifax
This hotel in downtown Halifax was built in 1928 and emerged from a glitzy makeover in 2014 –dig the Handcrafted mouldings and chandeliers made with Swarovski crystals. The lobby ceiling features ornate medallions representing each Canadian province – except for late-joining Newfoundland and Labrador – and the woodwork is often compared to the designs in the chamber of the Senate of Canada. Book any of 10 sunny Parkview suites that look out onto the Halifax Public Garden. They have a mix of classic and contemporary styles, including black and white tiled bathroom floors and sleek sofas for curling up next to the fireplace.
Alt Hotel St. John’s
Stirred from your sleep by a morning foghorn, just tap the bedside button to roll up the blackout shades in your harbour-view king room and survey the scene. The 148-room hotel overlooks spectacular St. John’s Harbour and the Narrows, with ocean-going ships unloading a few metres below you and the fishing fleet returning to port across the way. The waterside setting streamlined the assembly of the Groupe Germain’s first prefab hotel, delivered by boat in 92 finished modules before opening. Downtown is at your doorstep, and one of the country’s best tables, Raymonds, is right next door.