By: Courtney Dabney
By: Courtney Dabney
Everyone has their own idea of a romantic getaway, but when you head north to Canada, things tend to get a little wild. You may find yourself in a hotel carved from ice or in the middle of a roadless wilderness in Northwest Territories or even sipping wine in a hot tub beneath the northern lights. Regardless of the province or territory, the Pacific side or the Atlantic, the vast Canadian landscape offers couples a whole different kind of romantic experience.
The Wickaninnish Inn British Columbia
Set along the remote west coast of Vancouver Island, the village of Tofino is an unspoiled Canadian beach getaway tucked between the vast Pacific Ocean and a lush, temperate coastal rainforest. From the rustic elegance of the Wickaninnish Inn, guests can watch the waves crash against the rocky shores of Chesterman Beach, stroll the nearby Rainforest Beach Loop and enjoy a 240-degree view of the approaching winter storms from the Pointe Restaurant. Romantic outings near Tofino include Pacific Rim National Park Reserve and the old growth forests of Long Beach. Couples will also enjoy rambles through the tide pools of Cox Bay Beach, picnics on the sandy stretches of Mackenzie Beach or a soak in the steaming waters of secluded Hot Springs Cove.
Prince of Wales Hotel Alberta
Nestled in the southwest corner of Alberta, just north of Montana and Glacier National Park, lies the quaint rustic village of Waterton. Here, embraced by the majestic mountains landscape that is Waterton Lakes National Park, the historic Prince of Wales Hotel stands as the park’s iconic landmark. Whether it’s high tea in the lobby or a nightcap in the Windsor Lounge, panoramic views of the park’s snow-clad mountains and Upper Waterton Lake are breathtaking. Set out from this chalet-style lodge for a hike to Cameron Falls, a moonlight dinner cruise on the lake or a guided tour of the park’s wildlife and wildflowers on horseback.
Blachford Lake Lodge & Wilderness Resort Northwest Territories
A 20-minute bush plane ride from the town of Yellowknife takes adventurous couples deep into aurora-watching country where the rugged and untamed wilderness of Northern Canada and the solitude of Blachford Lake Lodge redefine romance. Although remote, a getaway at this handsome lodge is anything but roughing it. Imagine waking to the call of the loons as you sip morning coffee or spying a pair of playful otters as you explore the lake by canoe. Spend the day hiking to nearby beaver ponds and the waterfall at Long Lake, and then sunbathe on the rocks after a swim in Blachford Lake. In winter, snowshoe beneath the northern lights or watch them from the warmth of the lodge’s spacious outdoor hot tub.
Northern Lights Resort & Spa Yukon Territory
The family-run Northern Lights Resort & Spa is a private 160-acre slice of Canadian paradise in the picturesque Yukon River Valley. In this quiet countryside backed by the McClintock Mountains, guests will enjoy gourmet meals served with Canadian wines and local beers and spa offerings like a Finnish sauna, infrared cabin, outdoor Jacuzzi and daily massages. Cuddle up in a cozy alpine chalet built from Yukon-grown timber or experience the wintry star-filled sky from the comfort of an aurora glass chalet featuring floor-to-ceiling, wraparound windows. Then head out and visit the nearby town of Whitehorse to tour the Yukon Wildlife Preserve and take a dip in the Takhini Hot Pools, or head down to the historic cultural village of Carcross and experience the beautiful Southern Lakes Region.
Riverbend Inn & Vineyard Ontario
The pristine countryside of the Niagara Peninsula has become one of Ontario’s most acclaimed winemaking regions. Here, surrounded by a 12-acre vineyard growing chardonnay, cabernet and sauvignon blanc, The Riverbend Inn & Vineyard is in the middle of it all. This Georgian mansion hotel has 21 luxurious guestrooms, a dining room and lounge serving farm-to-table cuisine alongside dramatic views of the property’s manicured lawns and gardens. See the Victorian-era charm of nearby Niagara-on-the-Lake by visiting the boutique shops and overflowing flower baskets of the Heritage District. Make time for daytrips throughout the peninsula and explore the wineries of Twenty Valley, the pubs and restaurants of downtown St. Catherines and the outdoor adventures along Niagara’s South Coast.
Hotel de Glace Quebec
The only ice hotel in North America is found in the city of Saint-Gabriel-de-Valcartier. This wintry romantic retreat is made entirely of snow and ice and offers 42 beautifully sculpted rooms and themed suites complete with fireplaces and complimentary sleeping bags. From the hotel’s Grand Hall and the elegant Ice Chapel to the hotel’s Ice Bar, serving cocktails in glasses made of ice, guests will marvel at the detail of this hotel, including a different majestic snow sculpture at every turn. Hotel de Glace (Ice Hotel) offers outdoor hot tubs and saunas beneath the stars, an ice-skating path and ice slide, and a behind-the-scenes tour of the hotel’s creative construction. Still, this romantic getaway would be incomplete without a stroll along the cobblestone streets and centuries-old buildings of nearby Quebec City.
Glenora Inn & Distillery Nova Scotia
Cape Breton Island’s Glenora Distillery is the first single malt whisky distillery in North America and an exceptionally romantic place to call home while exploring this beautiful island. The inn’s main building offers nine guest rooms overlooking the courtyard, while the Brookside building has eight rooms facing MacLellan’s Brook. But the six mountainside log chalets overlooking the distillery and the charming glen are ideal for couples. Guests at Glenora Inn & Distillery can get a private behind-the-scenes tour of the distillery, enjoy gourmet meals inspired by traditional Nova Scotian culture at the Warehouse Dining Room and partake in traditional Cape Breton Ceilidhs with music and storytelling each evening at the Washback Pub. But when things settle down, the Skyline Trail in Cape Breton Highlands National Park is the best place to watch the sun drop into the Atlantic.
By: Courtney Dabney
By: Courtney Dabney