Canada's vast and varied landscape provides the backdrop to some incredible hotels, often in unlikely or unexpected places. Whether you want a remote escape or cultural adventure, these hotels are all about the location.
Fogo Island Inn, Newfoundland
What could have been a tale of misfortune in the face of a declining fishing industry turned into a revival success story for this "Little Island that Could" off the coast of Newfoundland.
Part of Fogo Island's remarkable renaissance as an artists' community and travel destination is the allure of the Fogo Island Inn, an other-worldly looking structure that appears to have miraculously touched down on the rocky shores of the Atlantic Ocean. The extreme modernity of the building is mollified by nods to traditional marine aesthetics.
The Fogo Island Inn's stunning location is apparent at every turn. Each of the 29 guest suites has floor-to-ceiling views of sea and sky and the dining room offers vistas of the Atlantic Ocean, including perhaps a bobbing iceberg floating by or breaching whales.
A stay at the Fogo Island Inn has a fairly steep price tag; after all, they do not exactly rely on regular or walk by traffic. Rooms start at Cdn$1,000+, which includes a half day tour of the island with a community host. There is a two-day minimum stay.
Chateau Lake Louise, Alberta
Emerald waters, statuesque mountains, and a looming glacier mingle to be a glorious backdrop for the Chateau Lake Louise.
Once a simple guest chalet that welcomed a mere 50 adventurers in 1890, the year it opened, today the chateau is a global icon of hospitality and luxury, accommodating thousands of visitors every month.
Easy access to ski hills, hiking trails, and wildlife viewing attracts an active set of travelers year-round, but the hotel is equally alluring to those who want to wind down and enjoy the natural beauty without actually immersing themselves in it. It has a distinguished spa that has buffed and polished the likes of the world's most rich and famous.
King Pacific Lodge, British Columbia
Fishing is the reason people go to King Pacific Lodge, and you can't get much closer to the abundant Coho and pink salmon than this floating barge hotel, which is moored right in Barnard Harbour, along, the beautiful Central Coast of British Columbia.
Enjoy views of the temperate rainforest from one side of the lodge and ocean vistas on the other.
The lodge is known for its luxury service and its ecologically responsible approach to tourism. In addition to offsetting the carbon emissions of all lodge operations and employee travel, lodge owners aim to offset guests' air travel to and from the lodge for a truly carbon-neutral vacation.
Chateau Frontenac, Quebec City
Sitting high above the Saint Lawrence River and reigning over the old city of Quebec, the Fairmont Chateau Frontenac is at once recognizable as a building of elegance and historical significance.
Opened in 1893 and part of a series of grand hotels scattered across Canada's railway network, the Chateau Frontenac is today designated a National Historic Site of Canada and the most photographed hotel in the world.
One would expect to see a sprawling chateau in the valleys of France, but to encounter one - much less stay in one, in the heart of a Canadian city is a true anomaly.
River facing rooms at the Chateau Frontenac have what is considered the preferred view, but city views are also compelling.
Aurum Lodge, Alberta
Overlooking the crystal blue waters of Abraham Lake in Alberta, Aurum Lodge plops you right in the heart of the region known as Big Country, which includes Banff and Jasper and the Columbia Icefields. The lodge, which has both B&B style accommodation and self-contained cottages, is tucked into a bay far from the road but with easy access to the waterfalls, hiking trails and the front range of the Rocky Mountains, which loom at every turn. Its location is scenic, remote, but still convenient for visiting the plethora of nearby attractions.
Aurum Lodge promotes sustainable tourism and has designed its buildings and developed operational policies with this in mind.
Wickaninnish Inn, Tofino, British Columbia
The dramatic locale of the Wickaninnish Inn will soothe, excite and engage you. Perched above the Pacific Ocean on Vancouver Island's west coast, "the Wick," as it is commonly known, gives front-row viewing to a changing display of marine scenery, including the fury of a West Coast winter storm or the tranquility of a summer sunrise.
Located on Chesterman Beach in the tiny, perfect town of Tofino on Vancouver Island, the Wick is known for its service and attention to detail, which includes providing rain gear to its guests, blankets for use on the deck and even beds and water for its canine guests.
If you can't stay the night, stop for dinner and drink in the view at The Pointe, the hotel restaurant.
Talus Lodge, Invermere, British Columbia
If your adventure travel engines get firing when you hear the word "backcountry," Talus Lodge will send you into overdrive.
Up high at the tree line of the Canadian Rocky Mountains, Talus Lodge is accessible only by helicopter out of Canmore, Alberta. The remote lodge maxes out at 12 guests, making it ideal for private getaways.
Accommodation is clean and comfortable but simple. What Talus lakes in fine linens, it makes up for in a unique, alpine location all to yourself. Hike up, and you encounter bare mountains with panoramic views; hike down, and you are into larch forest, and rumbling waterfalls. Chris, the owner, acts as your private concierge and hiking guide for your entire stay.