Canada's most iconic hotels are enough to make you want to fly north in January.
Though Canada's top historic hotels offer a window to the past, they still offer all the creature comforts that the 21st century traveler expects out of a luxury property. (Hello, indoor pools and five-star spas!) And the newer hotels are just as stunning, with sleek modern design that proves Canada's hospitality scene isn't missing a beat. From a castle-like hotel towering over Quebec City's cobblestoned streets to a Swiss-chalet-inspired resort in the heart of Banff, here are five stunning properties where you can experience Canadian heritage and hospitality.
César Ritz himself gave the stamp of approval to this first-ever Ritz-Carlton, which opened in 1912. More than a century on, the hotel is still setting the standard for luxury, thanks to the spacious guest rooms and grand spaces like the Palm Court, renowned for its afternoon tea. doubles from $360.
Angelina Jolie and Alfred Hitchcock have both checked in to this mainstay, a 19th-century, castle-like wonder that defines the skyline. A recent $75 million renovation brightened up the lobby and the 611 guest rooms — which welcome more than 300,000 people a year. doubles from $200.
A rustic-luxe inn on Vancouver Island's western coast, the 21-year-old "Wick" offers easy access to nature. Guests can walk through the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve or watch for winter storms — fully decked out in rain gear — along the beach. doubles from $272.
From the outside, this 29-room hotel, which is set on a sparsely inhabited island, is a visually arresting masterpiece — the sleek, X-shaped structure sits on stilts. Inside, the furniture, quilts, and rugs have all been made by local craftsmen, and food (mackerel, berries) is sourced just miles down the road. doubles from $1,429.
This family-run Relais & Châteaux hotel in Alberta, which dates back to 1942, is like an elegant Swiss chalet dropped into the middle of the Rockies. In the summer, guests come to kayak and swim; in the winter, it's a skiers' haven. doubles from $272.