Winter Escapes: A Guide to Canada’s Best Luxury Hotels

As winter settles in and we prepare for the long cold, dark, and wet months ahead, it helps to have a vacation on the horizon — something to trudge towards. While in previous years that could mean anywhere from the Bahamas to Bali, the pandemic’s travel restrictions suggest it could be easier to look closer to home. You may be surprised, however, to learn that Canada has no shortage of luxury destinations to relax, unwind, and take a break from the grind — even in the depths of winter. From the ice floes of Fogo Island to the rustic charm of Quebec’s Eastern Townships to the wild rainforests of British Columbia, Canada’s best luxury hotels and resorts have everything you’ll find in the tropics, minus the sunshine and palm trees. As it turns out, Canada’s most beautiful places are just as beautiful in winter as they are in summer. 

Wander the Resort, Ontario

Wander the resort in post

Wander the resort in post

Wander the resort in post

Wander the resort in post

Images 2 and 3 courtesy of Patrick Biller

This lakeside resort in Prince Edward County is one of the newest arrivals to that region’s thriving tourism scene, and even in winter, there’s plenty to enjoy. With modern Nordic-inspired cabins outfitted in pale hues and luxurious textures, curated selections of teas, coffees, and sweets to enjoy, and cozy furniture to curl up in, it’s a great spot to relax any time of year. In winter, beach days become snow days, with cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and ice skating (when the lake is frozen) all available within easy reach. 

Fogo Island Inn, Newfoundland

Fogo Island in post

Fogo Island in post

Fogo Island in post

Fogo Island in post

Fogo Island in post

Images courtesy of Alex Fradkin

No one knows how to make the most of winter better than Newfoundlanders, particularly the locals who run the Fogo Island Inn. From December through March, the Inn offers a delightfully lo-fi range of traditional winter activities — from skating to snowmobiling to ice fishing — set against the island’s stunning natural scenery. With plenty of books, board games and handmade quilts inside — plus the Inn’s famed local-inspired food and drinks — there may be no cozier spot in the country.

Manoir Hovey, Quebec

Manoir Hovey in post

Manoir Hovey in post

Manoir Hovey in post

Manoir Hovey in post

Manoir Hovey in post

Image 5 courtesy of Mont-Orford

One of Canada’s most historic boutique hotels, the Manoir Hovey is nestled amid the farms and forests of Quebec’s Eastern Townships, on the shores of Lake Masssawipi. Built by American industrialist Henry Atkinson in 1900, this former grand estate features verandas, white columns, and other architectural details inspired by George Washington’s house at Mount Vernon, Virginia. In winter the hotel boasts sleigh rides, crackling outdoor bonfires, ice fishing packages, and some of the region’s best farm-to-table cuisine.

Fairmont Tremblant, Quebec

Fairmont Tremblant in post

Fairmont Tremblant in post

Fairmont Tremblant in post

Fairmont Tremblant in post

Image 1 courtesy of Dustin Abbot, Image 2 courtesy of Paul Fournier

There’s no bad time of year to visit the green slopes of Mont-Tremblant, but winter showcases the best this town has to offer — and it’s not just the mountain’s 102 skin runs. In addition to the hotel’s ski-in ski-out on-mountain location, it’s set up for all manner of winter activities, from an outdoor champagne bar to guided nature walks to sleigh rides. Then, of course, there’s the in-house Moment Spa, which offers a wide range of treatments and packages for solo guests and couples to unwind in luxury.  

Le Capitole, Quebec

Le capitole in post

Le capitole in post

Le capitole in post

Le capitole in post

With its old-world charm and famous winter carnival, Quebec City remains one of the best winter destinations in Canada, and there’s no better place to explore the city’s diverse offerings than from the comfort of the boutique hotel Le Capitole. In addition to a grand piano, a double-sided fireplace, and a bathtub overlooking the city, the 9e Ciel penthouse offers panoramic views from its perch on the ninth floor. Better still, you won’t have to go far for excellent cuisine thanks to the hotel’s two in-house restaurants.

Jasper Park Lodge, Alberta

Jasper in post

Jasper in post

Jasper in post

You don’t have to be a powder fiend to appreciate Jasper in the winter, but it helps. Fairmont’s Jasper Park Lodge is located amid the mountains of Jasper National Park, and nearby Marmot Basin offers 3,000 vertical feet of top-tier skiing and snowboarding on no less than 86 named ski trails. For those who don’t ski, the lodge offers a full menu of activities, from skating on Lake Mildred to stargazing and astronomy tours at the in-house Jasper Planetarium.

Rockwater Secret Cove Resort, British Columbia

Rock water in post

Rock water in post

rock water snow in post

rock water deer in post

rockwater resort and spa

Winter on BC’s Sunshine Coast is as unique and beautiful as this region’s towering evergreens and rugged, rocky shores, and this small resort puts this spectacular scenery on display at every opportunity. Accommodations here range from a lodge to private cabins, but it’s the luxuriously-appointed Tenthouse suites, with soaker tubs, rainfall showers, and water views that will create an unforgettable experience for anyone who stays there. While it would be easy to simply sit and soak up the scenery, staff will happily arrange for diving, fishing and hiking excursions at your request.