When winter rolls around you can do one of three things: 1) Head south by catching a flight to Florida or the Caribbean; 2) Stay indoors until the first spring thaw, which will be in three months; or 3) Go outside and enjoy the weather like a good old Canadian, darn it!
It’s time to take back winter and enjoy the great outdoors, weather permitting of course. Our country is chock-full of amazing and delightful places to spend a fun and relaxing snow filled weekend; we rounded up our favourite (and in our opinion the best) winter weekend getaways in Canada. Just don’t forget your winter boots and parka.
If you’re going to head north then do it properly and go way north. Northern Lights Resorts & Spa in Whitehorse, Yukon, will give you a unique and remote Canadian experience. This off the beaten path is perfect for eco enthusiasts and those who really want to get away from it all – you won’t find a high rise building here for miles. Here you can snowshoe, cross-country ski, go dog sledding or pamper yourself in their wellness spa. And at night sit back and watch the Northern Lights put on a heavenly display. Winter getaway packages range from $480-$990 (taxes not included).
With a name like Snug Harbour we were immediately drawn to the quaint and private nature of this inn on Vancouver Island. An adults-only getaway, A Snug Harbour Inn sits on a 85 ft. cliff that overlooks the Pacific coastline; each room it outfitted with its own private balcony, fireplace and heated bathroom floors. An exciting feature of the inn is that it’s situated on one of the best spots on the coast to winter storm watch where you can observe Mother Nature’s power, from the comfort of your room of course. Other activities you can participate in are hiking in the nearby Pacific Trail or Pacific Rim National Park, and if you’re inclined to stay indoors visit the Ucluelet Aquarium.
You can’t think about winter with hitting the ski slopes and one of the top places in the country to ski is Whistler. Voted one of Canada’s Top 25 Hotels in 2012 by Trip Advisor, Nita Lake Lodge offers a picturesque view of Nita Lake and is literally a stone’s throw from the base of Whistler Mountain, 500m to be exact. Its 77 guest rooms ensure you’ll rest and relax in a cozy and boutique-style setting. The property boasts three dining options, a spa and wellness centre, and currently offers several packages for skiers, spa goers or those who just want to kick back.
This four-season resort is known for its championship golf course in the warmer months of the year, but when Old Man Winter rolls in it turns into an epic winter wonderland. A 45 minute drive from the City of Prince Albert, Elk Ridge Resort offers an array of accommodations from suites to cottages, and activities that will make your inner kid come out and play like never before; from ice fishing to skating, cross-country skiing to tobogganing you won’t be bored here for one minute.
Eat, sleep and play surrounded by the breath-taking Canadian Rockies at Buffalo Mountain Lodge. Located on Tunnel Mountain, the cabin-like architecture of the lodge will charm the snow pants right off of you; in all 108 guest rooms there are wood burning fireplaces, luxe bathrooms and most come with balconies or patios so you can step out and take in the marvels of nature. On site, the lodge has three dining facilities where you can sink your teeth into mouth-watering buttermilk pancakes for breakfast or a juicy Alberta rib eye steak for dinner. Activity wise you can downhill ski or snowboard, go ice skating, enjoy a nostalgic sleigh ride and more. They're currently offering a bevy of specials from a Ski & Stay Package ($120) to a Gourmet Getaway ($183), prices are per person.
Awarded the title of one of the Top 25 Small Hotels in Canada by Trip Advisor in 2014, Ste. Anne’s Spa is one of the only hotels we’ve been to that makes wearing a bathrobe to breakfast, lunch and dinner the norm, which is unbelievably awesome! This all-inclusive getaway is situated on 500 acres of beautiful country land; cozy lounges and fireplaces dot the property, and the meals here will make you do a happy dance in your seat – seriously! Ste. Anne’s is best known for its spa services; ranked as Canada’s number one spa for the last nine years, guests have access to more than 35 treatments from massages to facials and mud wraps. When you’re not getting your spa on you can participate in activities such as snowshoeing, baking and wellness classes, and an equine program on the grounds.
Opened in the fall of 2014, Drake Devonshire is an extension of the ultra-cool The Drake Hotel in Downtown Toronto. Located a two-hour drive east of the city, this quaint country inn has 11 guest rooms and two suites each outfitted in retro and slightly rustic Canadiana décor that guarantees a stylish and, most importantly, comfortable abode to kick it. The inn has a mini Drake General Store loaded with curiosities, a full service dining room and an extensive wine list that will satisfy your hunger and wet your whistle. Nearby is Sandbanks Provincial Park, hiking trails and wineries where you can sample the regions’ vino. Drake Devonshire is currently offering winter packages for the outdoor enthusiast ($377-$397) or indoors indulgers ($477-$497).
Château Beauvallon Mont Tremblant is a four-star hotel with a steak and sushi restaurant on the premises. Let us repeat that one more time, a steak and sushi restaurant! If that doesn’t make you book a stay right away then the hotel’s 70 luxurious guest rooms and personalized service will. On site there is a fitness centre, indoor swimming pool and nearby are the slopes of Mont Tremblant. The hotel offers access to numerous activities you can participate in such as is horseback riding, ice climbing and snow tubing.