10 Inspired Weekend Staycations Across Canada
Considering a staycation during the pandemic? Chances are, you’ve got a world-class hotel getaway—with COVID-19 precautions in place—on your very doorstep.
Planning a weekend staycation during the pandemic
When it comes to downtime, we’re often guilty of neglecting the gems in our own backyard. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed all that, with restrictions on travel forcing us to rethink our approach to vacations, and opening our eyes to the amazing opportunities on our very doorsteps. In fact, you probably live a stone’s throw from one of these destination hotels, which provide a welcome (and often luxurious) respite from the daily grind of 2020. Naturally, you’ll want to check regional health advisories before embarking on any kind of travel—no matter how short the distance—but you can rest assured, the overnight accommodations listed here are rising to the challenges of the pandemic, employing rigorous cleaning protocols to keep both guests and hotel staff as safe as possible.
Niagara Falls, Ontario
One of the great things about a natural wonder like Niagara Falls is that it can never be cancelled. For the best vantage point—while staying toasty warm—splurge on a luxe fallsview suite at the Marriott Fallsview Hotel & Spa, which has the distinction of being the closest hotel to the awe-inspiring cascade. Pulled right up to the enormous picture window, the suite’s cushy armchairs provide a comfy perch to take in panoramic views of the Horseshoe Falls and its ever-present plume of icy mist. Sip on a glass of locally-produced wine while you soak up the sights—the Niagara region is home to more than 50 wineries, and an impressive selection of vintages are just a room service call away. As an added bonus, valet parking is on the house—a real rarity in a city where parking comes at a premium.
Whether you’re a seasoned Montrealer or new to the city, a weekend staycation at the W is well worth adding to your bucket list. Between its bold aesthetic, attentive service and luxurious amenities, the W Montreal is the very definition of a “destination hotel.” Treat yourself to in-room dining (a splurge-worthy indulgence), then link your phone to your suite’s impressive sound system to stage your very own dance party. As the hotel’s own website cheekily warns, “You might even forget you came here to sleep.”
For a Regina staycation that’s fit for a queen, look no further than The Hotel Saskatchewan. That’s not lip service, either—Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II graced the Royal Suite of the historic property on her 2005 visit. At nearly 1,700 square feet, the stately suite encompasses separate living, dining and sleeping areas, and no fewer than three bathrooms. When it’s not occupied by crowned heads, it’s available for commoners who want the royal treatment, and makes the ideal home base for nearby attractions like the Royal Saskatchewan Museum and Stone Hall Castle—neither of which is more than a 15 minute walk away.
If it’s a luxurious weekend getaway you’re after, there’s no better place to spoil yourself than Vancouver’s JW Marriott Park. Smack in the middle of the trendy Yaletown and Gastown neighbourhoods, this five-star resort boasts stunning suites with floor-to-ceiling windows that make the most of the city’s spectacular surroundings. Between the eight on-site restaurants and lounges, you won’t have to set foot outside after check-in, although the proximity to Stanley Park and the Seawall (just a 15-minute drive away) may ultimately prove irresistible. For the ultimate in pampering, book a rejuvenating body scrub treatment at the 10,000 square-foot Spa by JW. Sheer, unadulterated bliss.
If downtown Toronto could be said to have a backyard, it would certainly be the Harbourfront. Here, an extensive lakeshore trail system enjoyed by cyclists and joggers winds through elegantly landscaped parks, all against the dramatic backdrop of the city’s most iconic landmarks. Among those landmarks is the Westin Harbour Castle—as recognizable to locals as the nearby CN Tower, and tailor-made as a breezy weekend getaway. Boasting spacious rooms and superior service (it’s one of the longest-standing CAA/AAA Four Diamond Award recipients in the city), it’s an unmissable opportunity to experience Westin’s much-vaunted “Heavenly Bed.” Consider yourself warned: Your old mattress back home will never feel quite as comfortable again!
Although it’s home to 400,000, Halifax somehow manages to maintain the warmth and friendliness of a small town, and its harbour alone boasts enough attractions to turn anyone into a bona fide history buff. A staycation at the Halifax Marriott Harbourfront Hotel—the only hotel on the city’s waterfront—sets you right in middle of the action, with the impressive Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, the HMCS Sackville and Halifax Citadel each less than a 15-minute walk away. Although you’re never far from a mouthwatering meal here, the hotel’s own Harbourstone Pour House is a popular option for fresh seafood dishes.
Not content to be known merely as New Brunswick’s capital, Fredericton has earned a reputation as Atlantic Canada’s Craft Beer Capital, boasting the highest concentration of breweries, cideries and distilleries on the east coast. After checking in to the Delta Hotels Fredericton, you’ll be all set to sample those suds on the “Taproom Trail” that spans the Saint John River. The hotel itself is just steps away from the broader Fredericton Trail system, and its waterfront location is widely regarded as the best place in the city to catch the sunset. Cheers!
Kananaskis Country, Alberta
Just over an hour’s drive west of Calgary’s city limits lies the unspoiled wilderness of Kananaskis Country. Here, on the front ranges of the Canadian Rockies, you’ll find the best of both worlds: the raw beauty of the true backcountry, and the upscale refinement of Kananaskis Mountain Lodge. With this luxurious Alpine resort as your basecamp for the weekend, you can explore the region’s legendary trails either by foot or—for the true Wild West experience—on horseback. Cap off your outdoor adventures with a hydrotherapy session at the on-site Nordic Spa, where a leisurely circuit of the hot, warm and cold pools positively melts away muscle soreness.
The Muskokas, Ontario
Weary Torontonians have been beating a retreat to the Muskokas for more than 150 years—and with good reason. Although it’s just a two-hour drive from the Big Smoke, this land of lush forests and pristine lakes genuinely feels a world apart. For your own slice of cottage country—complete with lakeside views—book a weekend stay at the Residence Inn Gravenhurst Muskoka Wharf. With the Muskoka Discovery Centre right at your doorstep, you can explore the region’s fascinating history through interactive exhibits and experiences, then take a stroll along the charming boardwalk trail. Oh, and feel free to bring your furry friend along for the fun—the hotel is 100% pet-friendly.
With Delta Hotels Victoria Ocean Pointe Resort as your home away from home, you’ll be in the heart of the city’s bustling waterfront, within walking distance of the Royal B.C. Museum, Fisherman’s Wharf and the impressive B.C. Parliament Buildings. Don’t forget to pack your clubs—thanks to its temperate climate, several of Victoria’s golf courses are open year-round.