71 Rue Saint-Pierre, Old Quebec
Just minutes from the Old Port, Hotel 71 makes a great base for those looking to explore both the Upper Town and Lower Town of Old Quebec. Once the headquarters for the National Bank of Canada, the nineteenth-century Neoclassical building takes a fast-forward inside to the twenty-first century, with ultrasleek design elements and a socially conscious art collection. Each of the sixty neutral-toned rooms features soaring ceilings and big windows that capture views of the St. Lawrence River and Cap Diamant.
Le Monastère des Augustines
77 Rue des Remparts, Old Quebec
A boutique hotel in a restored cloister, Monastère des Augustines is operated by the Augustinian nuns, who run hospitals throughout the Quebec region. Accented with Hudson Bay blankets and antiques such as racks for nun’s habits, the sixty-four rooms are a tribute to the order’s legacy, offering placid views of an herbal garden and a hushed simplicity that cultivates contemplation. Meditation, concerts, and yoga and qigong classes make up the programming, and an intriguing museum exhibits medical tools and artifacts.
8 Rue Saint Antoine, Old Quebec
Once a wharf and artillery battery, the Auberge Saint-Antoine—a trio of stone-and-brick buildings with copper roofs—has a way of being simultaneously regal and down-to-earth. Swathed in soft velvet fabrics and with goose-down duvets on the beds, each of the ninety-nine rooms has its own character, resembling something of an art gallery or an archaeological museum due to a treasure trove of restored artifacts displayed everywhere. The hotel’s bar is a haven for Quebec City’s sophisticated former hipsters and is known for its signature gin and tonic, done with herbs, juniper berries, grapefruit, and cucumber.
Fairmont Le Château Frontenac
1 rue des Carrières, Old Quebec
The fabled château—perched atop a rocky promontory above the St. Lawrence River—is just as much a symbol of Quebec City as a landmark of distinction. Built in the 1900s for the Canadian Pacific Railway, the 611-room hotel has retained and restored many of its original features (crown moldings, wooden paneling, and stenciled ceilings), while a recent $75 million renovation added an up-to-date edge in a seamless blend of old-meets-new.
Industrial Two-Bedroom Loft
exact address upon booking, Old Montreal
A collaboration between stylist Annie Horth and Nathalie Bouchard, Creative Flats is network of lofts (available for both short- and long-term stays) in Old Montreal. This one is two blocks north of Notre-Dome, meaning you're within striking distance of some of the neighborhood’s best shops and cafés. The penthouse apartment is wrapped in floor-to-ceiling windows and features an open layout, so there’s plenty of space to spread out, making it a great option for a small family or couples traveling together. We’re especially partial to the design details here, like polished cement floors, high ceilings, vintage decorative objects mixed with mid-century modern furniture, and an open kitchen. Creative Flats has other lofts available for rent throughout the city, plus a particularly dreamy country house in the Eastern Townships.
550 Wellington St., Entertainment District
King West Village—one of Toronto’s hipper neighborhoods full of bars, cafés, restaurants and converted warehouse lofts—is a fitting place for the Thompson, which has the same fun spirit as the blocks surrounding it. Locals love it, and you’ll often find them using the hotel as an unofficial clubhouse, whether at the Thompson Diner (a modernized version of a classic American diner), the rooftop lounge (with gorgeous views of the skyline), or Wildflower, a sleek nightlife spot for late-night revelry. The guest rooms feel more like your coolest friend’s apartment than a hotel; they’re designed by New York firm Studio Gaia with super modern furniture and little touches like heated marble bathroom floors—a nod to Toronto winters.
118 Yorkville Ave., Yorkville
If we may be so bold: First-time visitors to Toronto should stay in Yorkville, a central, very walkable neighborhood known for some of the best shopping in the city (the famous department store Holt Renfrew is a few blocks away). It’s also home to the Hazelton, a high-end boutique hotel with seventy-seven rooms designed by superstar local design firm Yabu Pushelberg. The overall look is minimal, streamlined, modern, and big (even the smallest rooms are the size of most other hotels' suites). And don’t go looking for color—almost the entire place is in shades of gray, white, and black. Our favorite part is the indoor lap pool, perfect for a swim before a steam and deep-tissue massage at the spa.
Clayoquot Wilderness Resort
UNESCO Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Reserve, Tofino
This sustainability-minded, hyper-luxe hotel-slash-campsite nestled into the stunning UNESCO Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Reserve is one of those once-in-a-lifetime experience. The team does everything for you, from picking you upon arrival via a floatplane to catering to every hospitality need when you're staying in your own private–and lavish–safari-style tent. The daily activities are seemingly endless, from hiking to horseback riding to salmon fishing–all of which leave you hungry and even more appreciative of the decadent, local, chef-prepared meals served daily. There's even a spa on location, offering restorative massages and yoga.
The Wickaninnish Inn
Wickaninnish Inn, Osprey Lane, Tofino
With the rolling waves of the Pacific Ocean out front, a dense rainforest in the back, and jagged cliffs or beaches on either side, family-owned hotel The Wickaninnish Inn is about as close to nature as you can get without pitching a tent among the pine trees. Though overused, in the context of its driftwood-dotted interiors, ample fireplaces (there’s one in every room), and on-site woodcarving shed, “rustic” is by far the best adjective for describing the inn’s warm, welcoming personality. For storm chasers, observation points to take in the drama from a comfortable distance are scattered throughout the property, including the guestrooms, where floor-to-ceiling windows, overstuffed chairs, and binoculars are worked into the minimalist décor for that very purpose. (For those hell-bent on experiencing some weather first hand, each room comes with rain gear and wellies). Best of all, you can get a view from the top before you even step foot on the grounds by hopping on a seaplane over from the mainland.
The Loden Hotel
1177 Melville St., Downtown
At 77-rooms strong, The Loden is relatively small compared to the city's big-name hotels. Its modest size and slightly off-the-beaten-path location are exactly what make it a good option for anyone looking to catch their breath. In this wellness-obsessed city, The Loden is right on point with yoga mats and soakign tubs in each earthtone-soaked, Philippe Starck-equipped room and bikes available for a whizz around the nearby Seawall and Stanley Park. After a day on foot, settle into the rooftop bar with a drink in hand and soak up the view.
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