Canada is a place where everyone is welcome: welcome to universal healthcare, to legally smoke the devil’s lettuce, to play hockey, to not take oneself too seriously, and if you’d like to stay awhile, you may do so in some of North America’s coolest hotels.
If you are like many and find yourself planning your next adventure while eagerly awaiting all borders to open freely once again, look no further than up (assuming that you, the reader, are enjoying this article from a latitude south of the 49th parallel and for the purpose of this article, ‘up’ is a synonym for ‘north’). The Great White North: a vast country of breathtaking landscapes, bustling cities, and people so nice that they make Ted Lasso sound like Tucker Carlson. Fortunately, many of these nice people would like to welcome you to visit their hotels and show why Canada is so great and they’re not going to apologize for it (well, maybe…).
Fogo Island Inn, Fogo Island, Newfoundland
Designed by Newfoundland-born architect Todd Saunders, Fogo Island Inn looks similar to a ship that crash-landed eons ago, that has been unearthed at the start of a sci-fi movie. Perched on the eastern edge of North America, this beacon of luxury and culture has garnered international acclaim since opening in 2013. Depending on the season in which you visit, you’ll be able to spend a relaxing afternoon counting icebergs or whales from your oceanview suite.
The Inn’s art gallery is filled with pieces from their Fogo Island Arts residency program. A residency-based contemporary art venue has featured Canadian and internationally renowned artists and creatives.
Though trying to find a group of cabins in a secret location, two hours north of Toronto doesn’t sound like a relaxing getaway, Arcana Cabins are a truly unique experience. Hiding in plain sight, the mirrored exteriors are designed to blend into the natural surroundings. These elegantly built cabins come equipped with a queen bed, kitchenette, wifi, AC, and a private deck with a fire pit. During the day, why not explore the woods on a meditative sound journey or guided forest bathing session? To use a wildly overused term, staying at Arcana Cabins is definitely a vibe.
Nimmo Bay Resort, Southern Great Bear Rainforest, British Columbia
Only accessible by seaplane or private boat, arriving is all part of the experience at this West Coast haven. Choose one of the resort’s luxury cabins found either along the shoreline or dotted throughout the cedar forest that surrounds you. Spend your days paddleboarding remote rivers or kayaking the channels. Venture with your guide to experience one of North America’s most diverse ecosystems: grizzlies, black bears, orcas, and humpback whales all call Nimmo Bay home. If living in a David Attenborough nature documentary is not enough and you feel the need to amp your stay, simply book one of the resort’s heli adventures and spend the day visiting glaciers and remote beaches (it’s that easy!).
Hinterhouse and Stealthhouse are multi-room cabins situated 15-minutes outside of Mont Tremblant, Quebec. With the goal of minimizing their impact on the environment, these Scandinavian-inspired cabins are an ideal spot to unplug. Though more than half of each structure’s exterior are floor-to-ceiling windows, you may find yourself admiring the understated interior design rather than the lush woodland views. The minimalist interiors transport you to a contemporary version of a Japanese Ryokan in the foothills of Mount Fuji. For an added bonus, Hinter plants 10 trees per booking means you can save the planet while enjoying a siesta.
Now you can immerse yourself in your alternate reality in which you’re living in an uber-cool loft in downtown Toronto. The Annex Hotel is hidden away in one of the city’s most underrated neighborhoods (from which it gets its name) and feels less like a hotel and more like the home you wish you had. Carefully curated vinyl and locally inspired tasteful design means you can’t go wrong with any of the hotel’s 24 rooms.
During your stay, simply text the staff rather than waiting for the front desk to pick up after 38 rings – should it really be that difficult to get a recommendation for a place to eat? And good news for those of us who are pillow hoarders and/or fort builders, help yourself to the linen closet found on each floor, which comes stocked with pillows and towels alike.
Last but not least, rather than stealing a robe for a nostalgic keepsake – let the Annex remind you themselves of that hazy night in the hotel bar. The hotel’s wine subscription service is the perfect way to reminisce about your bender in the 6ix.
Pack the bags and point the compass North for any of these unforgettable getaways. Do us a favor leave all work-related electronics at home for these select of places, truly unplug… and tell ’em CYTIES sent you.