Our Instagram feeds have been flooded with everything from sourdough starter and loungewear OOTDs since the start of the pandemic and nine months (and counting) in, those are starting to get a wee bit stale. But one thing that causes a little pang in our hearts every time? Throwback vacation photo. *Insert crying face emoji* Fear not, friends! A staycation or safe weekend getaway close to home will do the trick at scratching that travel itch. If you’re looking for a little getaway without the pricey plane ticket, pack up a weekend bag and book a room at the best staycation hotels across Canada.
Fairmont Pacific Rim
Find it: 1038 Canada Place, fairmont.com
The vibe: Steps from the waterfront, the ultramodern “PacRim” could be Vancouver’s ultimate luxury staycation and honestly, given the year you’ve had, you deserve it. For those wishing to WFH (work from hotel), it goes all out, removing beds from rooms to create a super-spacious “office” that is available for a day, a week or more. The Canadian Residents’ Rate Package (from $399) includes self-parking, a complimentary upgrade and a late check-out time of 5 p.m.
Average cost: From $422 to $999 per night
What to do: To make the most of the stunning locale, book a harbourview suite then plan for a fancy night out. (Remember those?) Snag a fireside seat in the see-and-be-seen Lobby Lounge and order Patron blanco margaritas with a couple of sushi tacos from the RawBar. Next, head up to Botanist for excellent sablefish, steak and lobster entrees—and a full vegan menu, too. As for COVID precautions, expect staffers taking your temperature from the wrist before entering each establishment and well-distanced seating arrangements inside. Don’t head home without first indulging in a massage at the Willow Stream Spa, or in-suite via the Suite Spa Experience, a new package that includes pool access, sparkling wine and a bento box lunch.
Find it: 1100 Burrard St., theburrard.com
The vibe: This snazzy converted 1956 motel has a lockdown—err, upper hand—on all the retro Miami Beach feels in town. The hotel also has a natural upper-hand during the pandemic: Every room is accessible by open-air corridors. Bonus: pets allowed.
Average cost: From $109 to $119 per night (Some special added discounts currently apply: 20% off when booked within 14 days; 20% off three nights or more when booked more than 14 days ahead; and 15% off two nights when booked anytime)
What to do: Hop on one of the hotel’s complimentary Brodie cruiser bikes and work up an appetite by zipping along scenic English Bay before dining on comfort food at Burgoo, located just downstairs from the hotel (three words: chicken pot pie). Don’t check out before snapping tourist pics—this could be your biggest trip of 2020, after all—in the palm-laden inner courtyard.
Find it: 130-125 Victory Ship Way, North Vancouver, seasidehotelvancouver.com
The vibe: Open since fall of 2019 and situated in the heart of North Van’s Shipyards district, the minimalist-chic Seaside feels even more like an adventurous vacation because you have to drive over a bridge—or take a 12-minute SeaBus ride—to get to it. Rooms echo the natural vibe of the North Shore and boast reclaimed wood accents, marble bathrooms and jaw-dropping views of Burrard Harbour and downtown Vancouver.
Average cost: From $114 to $444 per night (Current deals include 20% off for local residents, or “buy one night, get one free”)
What to do: Hit up the hotel’s Waterfront Spa for a treatment with a view (and rest assured the spa leaves a half-hour between each appointment to thoroughly sanitize the space) then check out what art exhibit is showing at the state-of-the-art Polygon Gallery nearby. There are countless dining options on the bustling pier at the hotel’s doorstep, including the gargantuan, high-ceiling-ed Tap & Barrel, which is great for social distancing. Come mid-December (hopefully—pandemic rules will dictate), the annual outdoor ice rink will open up at Shipyards Commons skate plaza, just steps away from the Seaside.
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JW Marriott Parq Vancouver
Find it: 39 Smithe St., marriott.com
The vibe: The adjoining Parq Casino may be temporarily closed, but there are still lots of COVID-safe things to do at this modern hotel hotspot near the water. Rolling with the times, the JW is now offering a new Work Anywhere Stay Pass which provides an overnight stay, a private workspace, and a full 36 hours in the room.
Average cost: From $208 to $999 per night
What to do: Grab a safely bubbled pal (when pandemic restrictions allow) and treat yourselves to the Girlfriends Getaway Package (from $299). It provides a bottle of bubbly upon arrival, a late 4 p.m. check out, a 20% discount at the hotel’s Honey Salt restaurant, and a daily credit toward a treatment at the Spa at JW. (Try the Mask Recovery Facial if your skin gets stressed wearing your mask.) Hit up the rooftop Aqua Lounge for a late-night hot tub sesh before watching a gal-pal classic—Thelma & Louise, anyone?
Find it: 654 Nelson St., hotelbelmont.ca
The vibe: Normally celebrated for its heart-of-the-entertainment district location, the retro-modern Belmont has undergone a pandemic pivot to offer work-from-hotel rooms—with complimentary coffee and tea, and meeting rooms for small groups—along with its usual boutique-y overnight escapes.
Average cost: From $106 to $219 per night. WFH is $90+ per day.
What to do: While its nightlife spot, The Basement, has been temporarily shuttered due to COVID, The Living Room resto—think vintage vibes with rotary telephones decorating the walls, flamingo accents and a fireplace—is very safely open for happy hour and dinner with distanced tables and plexiglass dividers galore. Order up a few signature Bourbon Buck cocktails, a charcuterie board and truffle fries before chilling in your room to your heart’s content.
Wedgewood Hotel & Spa
Find it: 845 Hornby St., wedgewoodhotel.com
The vibe: A haven in the heart of downtown, The Wedgewood is a Vancouver institution. The city’s only Relais & Châteaux property, it has been family-owned for over three generations, which is becoming a real rarity in our corporate world. Original owner Eleni Skalbania personally decorated the property with antique art and Murano chandeliers from her world travels, and her two daughters (the current owners) keep the aesthetic updated for a 21st-century crowd. The result: classic opulence rather than bougie stuffiness, and no two guestrooms are the same.
Average cost: From $189 to $1,027 per night (Current offer: Book three nights and get the third for free)
What to do: Though their eucalyptus steam room is temporarily closed, the Spa at the Wedgewood is very much open. Book a detoxifying body scrub to slough off the stresses of isolation, then throw on some lipstick and take to the hotel’s beloved Bacchus for an elegant meal—slow-roasted rack of Australian lamb, anyone? A School of Rubens painting depicting the god of wine is hanging over the dining room, encouraging you to order a bottle—or two.
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Hotel Arts Kensington
Find it: 1126 Memorial Dr. NW, hotelartskensington.com
The vibe: For something a little more intimate than a sprawling hotel, this petite boutique inn has just 19 rooms to choose from. Sometimes less is more, but the fresh foliage, ombre walls and artistic accents will satisfy any maximalist.
Average cost: $144 to $239 per night
What to do: While it’s currently closed due to COVID-19, be sure to sink your teeth into a sumptuous entrée (think brandied cherry glazed duck or Saskatchewan steelhead trout) at the hotel’s Oxbow restaurant when things open back up. The ultra-modern culinary spot has a cool navy and steel grey colour palette that pairs perfectly with their upscale Canadian-inspired cuisine. For now, rest assured the property is enforcing the province-wide mask mandate and has implemented increased cleaning and distancing protocols.
Find it: 119 12 Ave. SW, hotelarts.ca
The vibe: This brightly decorated hotel puts artistic design and creativity at the forefront. Right as you walk into the lobby, you’ll be greeted with art on the walls and the ceiling for an art-gallery-meets-boutique-hotel vibe.
Average cost: $154 to $304+ per night
What to do: During the summer, the hotel teams up with HotShop Yoga for poolside yoga on weekend mornings (fingers crossed it returns in summer 2021). ICYMI, warrior pose is *way* more relaxing by the water. And while COVID-19 is still a concern, look into their staycation promotion that includes a daily breakfast credit of $60, free self-parking and a late checkout.
Le Germain Hotel
Find it: 899 Centre St S, legermainhotels.com
The vibe: This upscale hotel blends concrete, wood and glass in its unique, striking interior. It’s all about luxe details (like eye-catching artwork, plenty of natural light and a sleek, muted palette) that set this spot apart from any other hotel in the city.
Average cost: $260 to $350+ per night
What to do: Look forward to safe, contactless check-in at all Le Germain properties. If you need to chat with someone at the front desk, plexiglass dividers and mandatory masks make that experience as seamless (and anxiety-free) as possible, as do sanitizing stations in all the common areas. Plus, your reservation can be cancelled without penalty until 4 p.m. on the day you’re scheduled to arrive.
Find it: 17700 87 Ave. NW, West Edmonton Mall, flh.ca
The vibe: For the kid at heart who is looking for a totally non-traditional staycation experience (in the best way possible), this playful hotel located in West Edmonton Mall is a must-stay. Each room is decorated with a different theme, from an Old Hollywood room fit for celebrity royalty to a Polynesian oasis filled with tropical décor.
Average cost: $178 to $500+ per night
What to do: One word: shopping (with a mask and social distancing, of course)! Since you’re staying at the biggest shopping mall in North America, it would be a crime not to indulge in some retail therapy at one of their 800+ stores, which has all of our faves (like Simons, Zara and Aldo) and so much more.
Union Bank Inn
Find it: 10053 Jasper Ave. NW, unionbankinn.com
The vibe: This one-of-a-kind hotel has a contemporary wing and a heritage wing (which is the original structure of the 1911 Union Bank), so no matter what your aesthetic is, they’ve got you covered. Bonus: complimentary wine and cheese is delivered to your room, so you basically have all of your essentials for the weekend. Can we get this kind of service at home, please?
Average cost: $139 to $399 per night
What to do: The hotel’s beloved restaurant Madison’s Grill is temporarily closed for indoor dining due to COVID but be sure to return for a decadent feast in a classic earth-toned interior accented with Roman columns and modern décor. Until then, enjoy something from their holiday takeout menu.
Metterra Hotel on Whyte
Find it: 10454 82 Ave. NW, metterra.com
The vibe: Resembling a chic downtown loft, this contemporary hotel is decorated with an eclectic mix of exposed brick walls, larger-than-life colourful paintings and sleek neutral furniture. This spot is def more Manhattan studio than traditional hotel.
Average cost: $112.50 to $195 per night
What to do: Ring in the new year safely (and in style) with their New Years with Love package that includes early check-in, late check-out, and a delivery of sparkling wine and chocolates to your room.
The James Hotel
Find it: 620 Spadina Cres. E, thejameshotel.ca
The vibe: The minute you step into this modern hotel, you’ll be greeted with a spacious lobby complete with an eye-catching marble front desk, geometric gold light fixtures and a lavish atmosphere. Plus, their elegant rooms offer views of the Saskatchewan River Valley for a scenic backdrop to your self-care weekend.
Average cost: $259 to $459+ per night
What to do: COVID restrictions-permitting, may we suggest spending the evening at The James Lobby Bar? With luxe limestone floors, a rich gold and beige interior and art deco murals lining the walls, the chic space is the perf backdrop for sipping on one of their vintage-inspired cocktails.
The Fort Garry Hotel
Find it: 222 Broadway, fortgarryhotel.com
The vibe: With its rich history, old world elegance and grand décor, you’ll feel like you’re seeing the past come to life. This iconic hotel is truly a landmark in the ‘Peg and for good reason—it’s been a local staycation staple (and international destination) since the early 1900s.
Average cost: $118 to $207 per night
What to do: Let all of your woes from the week melt away by booking an indulgent massage at the hotel’s lush spa (all other spa services are temporarily suspended due to COVID-19).
Find it: 333 Waterfront Dr., merehotel.com
The vibe: You won’t be able to miss this boutique hotel’s eye-catching exterior, which is surrounded by colourful rods in yellow, green and orange hues (so yep, it’ll double as a chic backdrop for your next selfie). The interior is just as funky with statement red furniture in the lobby and bold patterned walls in each room.
Average cost: $140 to $193 per night
What to do: The hotel is a short four-minute walk from The Manitoba Museum (temporarily closed due to COVID-19) if you’re looking to delve into the history of the vast, diverse province. Until then, take comfort in the hotel’s extensive safety and distancing protocols.
Inn at the Forks
Find it: 75 Forks Market Rd., innforks.com
The vibe: If you want to to be at the centre of the city’s hustle and bustle, you have to book a room at this modern hotel, which calls itself “prairie luxury in an urban locale”. The spacious hotel has 117 rooms and suites all with elegant décor.
Average cost: $143 to $249 per night
What to do: We all know that weekend mornings aren’t complete without an epic brunch. Good thing Smith, the hotel’s rustic-chic restaurant, has mastered the art of brunch fare (read: classic dishes like eggs Copenhagen with smoked lox, poached eggs, hollandaise sauce and rösti potatoes) and is currently open for take-out and delivery.
The St. Regis Toronto
Find it: 325 Bay St., marriott.com
The vibe: Unbridled glamour meets utmost comfort, thanks to renowned Toronto interior designers Chapi Chapo Design, and none of the gaudy grandeur associated with the 65-storey building’s previous tenant, the Trump Tower. Think sumptuous velvet couches, sleek fireplaces that light at the touch of a button (and drapes that close the same way, for that matter), heated bathroom floors and divine bed linens you could sleep for a week straight in. And that’s after you walk through the extravagant marble lobby to wait for your elevator (to zip you away, hopefully, to a high floor where you can marvel in the incredible views of the city) under a canopy of fresh flowers that literally dance above you from the ceiling.
Average cost: $587 to $7,500 per night
What to do: Aside from drape yourself across a chaise lounge and wait for your lover to feed you grapes? Enjoy in-room dining from the hotel’s famous Louis Louix restaurant (the breakfast Benedict is a revelation), take a soak in the suite’s impossibly deep tub while watching one of your show’s on the bathroom’s TV-in-mirror or, if you’re feeling a bit more peppy, book a slot at the fitness centre or 32nd-floor heated indoor pool. The amenities are currently open (yay!) on a reservation basis in order to limit the number of people and respect physical distancing due to COVID-19.
Kimpton Saint George Hotel
Find it: 280 Bloor St. W., kimptonsaintgeorge.com
The vibe: Located in the heart of the Bloor-Annex neighbourhood, this artsy, boutique hotel has a cool, clean and chilled-out ambiance through a blend of industrial brushed brass decor, warm textiles and locally sourced art in each room. The specialty suites come equipped with a collection of LP’s and a record player to let you kick back, unwind and vibe out.
Average cost: $189 to $277+ per night
What to do: COVID-19 precautions leave some amenities like in-room dining services, the fitness centre and restaurant temporarily unavailable, but housekeeping services and minibar goodies are available and completely contactless. Plus, you’re literal steps from Toronto’s world-renowned Yorkville neighbourhood with ample dining and relaxation options to choose from: shop to your heart’s content as soon as stars reopen, walk through the small but lush Village of Yorkville Park, and pick up good eats from the endless array of restaurants nearby. And when you’re done for the day, wind down with the hotel’s nightly wine hour, or relax your body and mind with the supplied yoga mat available in each of the rooms.
Fairmont Royal York
Find it: 100 Front St. W., fairmont.com
The vibe: Pure elegance! The decor of the newly renovated suites included in the Fairmont Gold Experience, that comes complete with a private lobby, concierge service, sleek lounge (closed for food and drink service at the mo for COVID but worth just gazing at) and complimentary evening canapés look like something out of The Great Gatsby with its dazzling Art Deco touches. The other suites of the landmark hotel are equally fetching and, in the words of Cher Horowitz, totally classic.
Average cost: $194 to $559
What to do: For one, enjoy a swift, safe check-in. Due to the pandemic, all guests have to enter the iconic building through a single Front St. entrance where they answer a few standard COVID screening questions and the lovely staff takes a mandatory temperature check on the wrist. After that, you can retire to your suite to soak in one of the massive tubs while using the provided Le Labo toiletries, enjoy room service or, if you’re feeling really festive, order in a cocktail kit from the hotel’s heated outdoor holiday-themed bar, Thirsty Elf. The kits will be available for curbside pickup on Thursday, Friday and Saturday afternoons and evenings and for $89, you get everything you need to become your own in-room mixologist. Hot tip: Thirsty Elf is temporarily closed, along with its neighbouring Clockwork Winter Palace (a winterized version of the hotel’s famous Clockwork Bar that serves food and drinks), but both are expected to reopen as soon as they legally can—even if that means celebrating the holidays in 2021. For the record, we’ll don a tacky holiday sweater and pretend it’s Christmas in February if it means we can sip a festive cocktail at the delightfully kitschy Thirsty Elf!
Find it: 181 Wellington St. W., ritzcarlton.com
The vibe: The Ritz brand is synonymous with glamour, so it’s no surprise that you feel ensconced in luxury the minute you walk into the expansive, crema marfil marble-tiled lobby canopied by an enormous crystal chandelier. But just wait until you get up to your room: The recently renovated club level is an artful homage to our fair city—and the hotel’s sweeping views of the Toronto skyline. Decked out in a serene palette of taupes and watery blues with touches of gold and rustic accent furniture that references the city’s rail network, the spacious rooms invite you to take a deep breath, pour a glass of champagne and lose yourself for an hour staring out the floor-to-ceiling windows at the city lights reflecting off Lake Ontario.
Average cost: $599 to $2,500 per night
What to do: The Ritz team has dreamed up a number of activities that can be enjoyed safely in your room (which, by the way, will come stocked with disposable masks, hand sani and alcohol wipes), including a movie night complete with popcorn in an array of classic and gourmet flavours (dill pickle is a must!), and even private cocktail workshops where you can learn to shake and stir up classic concoctions like Negronis and Manhattans with the guidance of the Ritz Bar mixologists. If you prefer something a little more zen, consider treating yourself to a manicure at the Champagne Nail Bar when the Spa My Blend by Clarins re-opens after the lockdown restrictions lift. The signature treatment is performed carefully under a plexiglass divider, and includes an extended hand and arm massage, a soothing paraffin dip and blissful warming mask. Float up to your suite afterwards and order from the seasonally inspired in-room dining menu, making sure to cap off your meal with the heavenly pistachio tiramisu.
The Drake Hotel
Find it: 1150 Queen St W., thedrake.ca
The vibe: A Queen West community hub for foodies and creatives alike, Toronto’s The Drake Hotel is *the* hippest place to spend your staycation. From mouth-watering food (seriously, The Drake burger is divine), to curated art featuring local and up-and-coming artists, staying at The Drake is like having a pulse on the city.
Average cost: Standard rooms start at $179 per night while the Artist Loft is $629 to $829 per night, depending on whether you’re accommodating 4-8 guests (more details below).
What to do: Spend time with your nearest and dearest (and those in your COVID-safe bubble) by staying in the recently opened Artist Loft. In a cool collaboration, the hotel is currently holding an artist-in-residence series, allowing a rotating list of creatives to stay in the loft for two night, in exchange for their contribution to an in-progress mural on site. This loft space–which can sleep up to eight people—is available for non-artists to stay in as well. For a price, of course. The hotel has recently implemented their “Good Clean Fun” program, which includes pivoting their restaurants to take-out, as well as increased cleaning protocols in their restaurants and hotel rooms, including triple-sanitized rooms and providing locally-made bottles of hand sanitizer for guests.
The Hazelton Hotel
Find it: 118 Yorkville Ave., thehazeltonhotel.com
The vibe: Nestled in the heart of Toronto’s shmanciest neighbourhood, the hotel and its incredibly friendly staff are the furthest thing from stuffy or stuck-up. Comfort is the name of the game here, from the impossibly fluffy robes, to the gigantic sinker tubs, and right down to the most detailed considerations, like a pillow menu card (!) on your nightstand. That’s right: If the standard down-filled option isn’t to your taste (or you’d just like to try something a little different, because why not?) choose from between half a dozen different marshmallow-y head rests, or even a full-size body pillow to cuddle up with.
Average cost: $505 to $722 per night
What to do: During the COVID lockdown, the hotel is taking extra precautions by temperature-checking all guests on arrival and disinfecting all common and high-touch surfaces regularly. Amenities like the spa, steam room and indoor salt water pool are currently closed so make sure to book a return visit when things open back up, because you don’t want to miss the opportunity to indulge in a little pampering with luxurious Valmont products. In the meantime, bundle up, grab a cappuccino-to-go from nearby Eataly, and go for a stroll through Bloor-Yorkville to take in the twinkling winter lights display, including over 100 decked-out trees. Then head back to your room and create your own spa experience in the emerald-green marble bathroom that’s fully stocked with L’Occitane shea butter products and even your own exfoliating loofah.
Find it: 80 Blue Jays Way., bishahoteltoronto.com
The vibe: Located in the heart of Toronto’s Entertainment District, this upscale boutique hotel is the kind of establishment where Drake would stay if his massive home was under renovation or if he just wanted to have a swanky staycation himself. (Lenny Kravitz’s design company, Kravitz Design, even designed a floor of the hotel, so expect chic rockstar vibes). With 24-hour room service, an infinity pool and a host of tasty in-house dining options, you’ll seriously feel like a rockstar.
Average cost: $399 to $699 per night for a standard room
What to do: While the hotel’s infamous Kost restaurant is temporarily closed due to COVID, the equally delicious Akira Back is open and ready to satisfy all of your cravings. Patrons of the Crown Package ($489 to $789) can order room service, pop some (complimentary) bubbly and soak in the hotel’s luxurious tub while they wait. (This package also comes with a complimentary upgrade, $100 hotel credit and a 3PM check-out.) If you feel the desire to move your body, pop into the gym for a socially distanced and safe sweat session—the gym is limited to a maximum of five guests. (Check out the Peloton bike while you’re there!) Elsewhere in the hotel, The Bisha has implemented their “Welcoming you like Family” program which includes the implementation of hand sanitizer stations throughout, temperature checks for employees and vendors and leaving guest rooms vacant for 24 hours between guests.
Read this next: What Canadians Should Know Before Travelling During COVID-19
Find it: 325 Dalhousie St., ottawa.andaz.hyatt.com
The vibe: From the rooftop bar boasting views of the ByWard Market to the minimalist décor, you’ll understand why this upscale hotel has been the talk of the town (and the country).
Average cost: $135 to $435 per night
What to do: While some amenities are currently closed (like the fitness center and bar service), a visit to the hotel’s seriously chic Copper and Spirit Sights rooftop bar with sweeping views of downtown, the Parliament Buildings and the winding Ottawa River is a must when safety regulations allow.
Arc The Hotel
Find it: 140 Slater St., arcthehotel.com
The vibe: With views of the city centre right outside your window and a chic monochrome interior, this spot is perfect for those who want an escape without leaving the trendiest part of the city. Plus, the large, comfy beds were just made for lounging and brekkie in bed.
Average cost: $102 to $179+ per night
What to do: Cuddle up with your pup at this pet-friendly hotel because who wants to leave their furry bestie at home? For the time being, restaurant and valet services are suspended but be sure to check out delivery and takeout options nearby.
Find it: 185 Slater St., germainhotels.com
The vibe: At just about four years old, this buzzing and bright boutique hotel calls itself “affordable luxury”. The colourful, industrial-style space (think rainbow brick behind the front desk, concrete walls and floor-to-ceiling windows) in the heart of downtown is a staycation destination that won’t have your wallet crying out for help.
Average cost: $113 to $148+ per night
What to do: Book stress-free with free cancellation and enjoy contact-less check-in and check-out.
Hôtel William Gray
Find it: 421 St Vincent St., hotelwilliamgray.com
The vibe: Every square inch of this luxe hotel is made to be shared on Instagram. From the lucite staircases to the fresh foliage and the raindrop-like light fixtures dangling from the ceiling in the lobby, you’ll be tempted to extend your staycation just to absorb the aesthetic a bit more. And the suites themselves—pure class. When I tell you the marble bathroom feels like your own mini-spa!
Average cost: $200 to $700 per night
What to do: During COVID, actually a lot. There’s the hotel’s Daily Office promotion that allows guests to rent out a room for the day to work from, the Quarantine Goals offer that’s for anyone who wants to spend the 14-day quarantine at the Old Montreal hotel, and Home Life, a deal for someone who wants to stay for a month. (See all the offers here.) Since restaurants are closed in all red zones of Quebec at press time, the hospitality group that owns William Gray has cooked up some very cool dining option for Montrealers: With their A Private Dinner offer, you can rent out a room for the evening and have a fully served meal for your household (yes, in keeping with government regulations, all attendees must live in the same household), or try the A Private Dinner + Stay deal to dine *and* spend the night at the hotel. Hot tip: These dining offers are also available at the group’s other Vieux-Port hotels, including the Hôtel Nelligan and its Verses restaurant and the Hôtel Place d’Armes and its Kyo Bar Japonais. When it comes to health and safety, the hotel has amped up their efforts significantly including sanitizer stations throughout the property, plexiglass dividers on the lobby desks, and increased cleaning and disinfection of common and high-touch areas.
Auberge du Vieux-Port
Find it: 97 de la Commune St. E, aubergeduvieuxport.com
The vibe: Yes, another Old Montreal hotel but, honestly, you can’t beat the charm of Montreal’s historic neighbourhood. The name of this beautiful boutique hotel truly speaks for itself as the spectacular views of the Old Port are a major selling point. The rooms have delightful old-fashioned touches like rustic exposed brick and stone walls, post and beam ceilings, vintage fireplaces and elegant bed frames, but somehow the spaces still feel current.
Average cost: $300 to $600 per night
What to do: Aside from taking multiple naps and reading in bed whilst watching the snow fall on the St. Lawrence, guests can take advantage of the hotel’s pandemic offers like getting a third night free when you book two. (Who doesn’t love a long weekend?) And while the hotel’s restaurants are currently closed, you can still get breakfast served in your room in the form of a lunch box from the local NELLi Café—cute! Since reopening in July, the property has implemented stringent health and safety procedures including sanitizer stations, frequent cleaning and disinfection of high-touch areas, and adherence to social distancing and mask-wearing guidelines.
Le Germain Hotel Montreal
Find it: 2050 Mansfield St., germainhotels.com
The vibe: This newly renovated downtown hotel blends modern luxury with cool retro touches like oversized globe lamps, lucite egg chairs, mirrored surfaces and, in some suites, circular beds. It’s got all the throwback charm of the 1960s with the conveniences of 2020. Groovy, baby!
Average cost: $225 to $305 per night for standard rooms of varying sizes, with a luxury apartment suite ringing in at $1,600 (Hot tip: take advantage of their Black Friday/Cyber Monday deal and get your second night free.)
What to do: Take in Montreal’s famous Golden Square Mile neighbourhood after enjoying an easy, and safe, contactless check-in. If you need to chat with someone at the front desk, plexiglass dividers and mandatory masks make that experience as stress-free as possible, as do sanitizing stations in all the common areas. Miss dining out? Take advantage of the hotel’s current In-Room Gastronomy package that brings an authentic restaurant experience to the comfort and safety of your room. The decadent offer includes a four-course dinner for two from Le Germain’s Le Boulevardier restaurant, a wine pairing and breakfast the next morning—divine! Another super convenient COVID-related feature: Your reservation can be cancelled penalty-free until 4 p.m. on the day you’re scheduled to arrive.
Find it: 449 Sainte-Hélène St., hotelgault.com
The vibe: This Old Montreal oasis embodies everything magical about Paris (read: a 19th century exterior, quaint terraces and breathtaking double-door windows) with the convenience of location. Choose between their loft-, suite-, terrace- or apartment-style rooms and trust you won’t be disappointed. Did we mention the spacious spa bathtubs? You might never take your bathrobe off.
Average cost: $400 to $600 per night
What to do: Work, even on the weekends. If you need to book an impromptu meeting or brainstorming session, the hotel has six workspaces (like a cozy little library nook) for you to set up shop in—at a safe, masked, frequently sanitized distance, of course. The boutique hotel reopened in June with increased cleaning and sanitizing procedures.
Four Seasons Hotel Montreal
Find it: 1440 Rue de la Montagne, fourseasons.com
The vibe: Upscale luxury without any of the old-fashioned stuffiness. The lobby alone deserves all the design awards, while the MARCUS Lounge + Bar just begs to be lounged in (mark my words, when I visit again in the After Times, I *will* enjoy a glass of Champagne on one of the curvy couches). Meanwhile, in the spacious, meticulously appointed suites, pops of rose—think of it as a more mature millennial pink—sparkle amid a soothing palette of soft grey and white. And if you’re still not convinced of the hotel’s coolness, here’s all you need to know: The divine bathrooms are stocked with all Byredo Gypsy Water everything.
Average cost: $367 to $1,500 per night
What to do: Enjoy a safe check-in process including mandatory temperature checks upon arrival and fully sanitized suites as soon as the hotel re-opens on January 11, 2021. (It’s temporarily closed due to COVID but is accepting reservations now for the much-anticipated re-opening.) When the city starts to open up a bit more, weekend brunch at the hotel’s MARCUS restaurant is an absolute must (may I recommend the Belgian waffles as your breakkie dessert?), as is a visit to the indulgent spa and water therapy circuit. Until then, go for a snowy stroll around downtown Montreal, stopping for café and pastries at Maison Christian Faure. (The chocolate almond croissant is a wonder.) Or enjoy a little in-room dining—nothing feels better than perfect French fries eaten whilst sitting on a king size bed in a fluffy white robe anyway, non? If all else fails, catch up on your REM cycles thanks to the hotel’s impossibly comfortable beds, delectable down duvets and blackout drapes complete with bedside controls.
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St. James Gate
Find it: 14 Church St., st-jamesgate.ca
The vibe: This contemporary hotel is simplicity at its finest. With a neutral colour palette, dark wood panels and unforgettable Maritime hospitality, each room is a modern oasis without the fuss of a stuffy hotel.
Average cost: $169 to $289 per night
What to do: When COVID restrictions ease up, head down to the hotel’s restaurant to soak up the sounds of local musicians performing live almost every night of the week.
Find it: 5184 Morris St., thehalliburton.com
The vibe: If cute and quaint is more your speed when it comes to your staycation mantra, this charming historic hotel is perfect for you. It expands over three heritage buildings and has a sweet little courtyard, so you’ll def get the Maritime charm you’ve been looking for.
Average cost: $200 to $300 per night
What to do: Grab your fave book and head out to their lovely garden courtyard, complete with fresh flowers and patio furniture. It’s your own little natural escape to unwind and unplug in the city.
Lord Nelson Hotel & Suites
Find it: 1515 South Park St., lordnelsonhotel.ca
The vibe: The first word that comes to mind when we think of this Halifax landmark is heritage. With views of the city’s famous public gardens and a lobby that will take your breath away (think OTT chandeliers, sweeping staircases and grand wooden columns), there’s a reason this timeless hotel has been a favourite for over 85 years.
Average cost: $79 to $289+ per night
What to do: Spring is the best time to hit up Halifax’s public gardens, which are right beside the hotel. Make sure to add “stop and smell the flowers” to your list of weekend activities.
The Holman Grand Hotel
Find it: 123 Grafton St., theholmangrand.com
The vibe: If you’re looking for the ultimate luxurious experience, this iconic downtown hotel is a no-brainer. Sit by the large windows and soak in the view of the Charlottetown Harbour or why not just order breakfast in bed (it is a vacation after all).
Average cost: $143 to $249+ per night
What to do: Spend an afternoon at the Grand Senses Spa located right off the hotel’s lobby. We recommend trying the Wellsystem Aqua Massage Therapy, a unique self-controlled massage bed that uses heated water jets to target specific areas of tightness. See ya, sore muscles!
The Great George
Find it: 58 Great George St., thegreatgeorge.com
The vibe: This historic hotel dates back to the 19th century but there is nothing ancient about its quaint atmosphere bursting with PEI charm. The hotel expands over 17 different heritage buildings each with their own personality, so no two visits will be the same.
Average cost: $209 to $419 per night
What to do: Located in the heart of downtown Charlottetown, the hotel is steps away from a roster of restaurants, bars and breweries, like Sim’s Corner Steakhouse for fresh oysters and melt-in-your-mouth steak and PEI Brewing Company for a sample of the province’s best stout. Both are must-stops when COVID restrictions ease!
Sydney Boutique Inn & Suites
Find it: 55 Weymouth St., sydneyinn.com
The vibe: On the outside, this charming hotel fits right in with the other historic brick buildings lining the streets of Charlottetown, but step inside and you’ll be mesmerized by its modern interior. This elegant spot blends old and new so seamlessly, you’ll have trouble finding an excuse to go back home.
Average cost: $200 to $500 per night
What to do: On a warm, sunny day, take your lunch to go and head over to Hillsborough Square for a casual picnic with views of old-fashioned houses lining the small streets.
Find it: 21 Rennies Mill Rd., ryanmansion.com
The vibe: Step back in time at this old-fashioned boutique hotel. From the grand wooden staircase to the opulent fireplaces and breathtaking chandeliers, vintage vibes abound.
Average cost: $395 to $565 per night
What to do: Continuing with the old timey theme, the hotel offers Titanic-themed dinners inspired by what was actually served as the last meal on the famous ship, but the six-course meal is reinvented for the modern palette.
Blue on Water
Find it: 319 Water St., blueonwater.com
The vibe: With exposed brick walls, large windows of the buzzing street below and pops of colourful furniture, this bustling downtown hotel strikes the perfect balance between the rustic charm of the East Coast and the contemporary luxury of Manhattan.
Average cost: $149 to $209 per night
What to do: For wine enthusiasts, you *must* spend the night at the hotel’s bustling bar, which has over 150 wines on offer. Plus, the views of Water Street, exposed brick walls and colourful art make this spot a local nighttime gem.
Read for a staycation? Shop these items that will elevate your stay
Shop stuff to level up your next staycation
The Weekend Bag
Away The Large Everywhere Bag (Limited Edition), $365, awaytravel.com
This limited edition carryall is the larger version of the brand’s beloved weekender, made extra-special by the clamshell opening (!) of the large main compartment. That means you get the blessing of accessing your stuff like you would in a suitcase, in the compact convenience of a weekender. No more digging blindly for that other sock! It’s also crafted out of water-resistant nylon with leather panelling and features a padded 15″ laptop pocket.