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10 Great Canadian Hotels Worth Adding to Your Bucket List

Some hotels simply provide a place to lay your head, while others are a destination in and of themselves. These 10 Canadian hotels belong to the latter category: properties that, whether by their history, cultural significance, or over-the-top amenities, are worth the trip on their own.

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Fairmont Banff Springs HotelPhoto: Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel

Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, Banff, Alberta

Canada’s “Castle in the Rockies” opened its doors to the public 129 years ago, and since then the palatial hotel has hosted everyone from Marilyn Monroe to King Edward VIII. Built, in the words of former Canadian Pacific Railways chief William Van Horne, as “a haven of peace in the midst of the wilderness,” many rooms take in the broad, breathtaking sweep of the Bow Valley, and amenities include a series of spa baths fed by Banff’s legendary hot springs.

Here are seven more essential things to do in Banff during your stay.

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Fort Garry Hotel lobby, WinnipegPhoto: Fort Garry Hotel

Fort Garry Hotel, Winnipeg

Designated a National Historic Site in 1981, this Francois I-style hotel shares a number of architectural touches with The Plaza in New York. Built back in 1913, the Fort Garry Hotel is now home to Ten Spa, one of the nation’s finest, which features, in addition to traditional spa treatments, Canada’s only co-ed Turkish Bath. Fun fact: The hotel is located on the site of a 19th-century Hudson’s Bay trading post named (you guessed it!) Fort Garry.

Don’t miss our roundup of 50 fun things to do in Winnipeg during your stay.

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Canadian hotels - Algonquin Resort, St. Andrew's By the Sea, New BrunswickPhoto: Shutterstock

The Algonquin Resort, St. Andrews-by-the-Sea, New Brunswick

This recently renovated Tudor Revival resort, complete with half-timbered façade, also boasts a storied history. It rose to pre-eminence in the late 19th-century with America’s wealthiest families, who travelled from New York and Boston seeking refuge from the summer heat. Nearly every Canadian prime minister has spent at least one night here, as well as luminaries from Theodore Roosevelt to Prince Charles and Princess Diana.

Here are 10 more hotels in Canada that have hosted royal guests.

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Canadian Hotels - Fairmont Chateau Lake LouisePhoto: Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise

Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, Lake Louise, Alberta

Few hotels can boast a location as stunning as the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. Set in the middle of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this historic, 127-year-old hotel puts you right in the heart of the Rocky Mountain wilderness. Venture down to the boathouse and launch into the luminous aquamarine waters of Lake Louise in a 26-foot cedar-strip birch bark Voyageur canoe. Afterwards, treat yourself to tea at the nearby Lake Agnes Tea House—a tasty reward at the end of a 3.6-kilometre trail that you can either hike or ride on horseback from the hotel’s on-site stables.

Check out 10 more Canadian attractions that make the Great White North truly great.

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The James Hotel lobby, SaskatoonPhoto: The James Hotel

The James Hotel, Saskatoon

Set on the banks of the South Saskatchewan River, this independent boutique hotel is the legacy of James Peter Leier—a Russian immigrant who hosted his first guests in 1935. Nowadays, The James offers sweeping views of Saskatoon and a surprising measure of luxury, from Carrera marble bathrooms with deep-soaker tubs and L’Occitane amenities to twice-daily housekeeping. If you’re feeling flush, opt for the sprawling penthouse, which boasts two balconies, a fireplace, sunroom, and full kitchen over a whopping 1,600 square feet.

Find out why Saskatoon is Canada’s next great culinary destination.

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Fogo Island Inn, NewfoundlandPhoto: Fogo Island Inn

Fogo Island Inn, Joe Batt’s Arm, Newfoundland

There’s nothing quite like Fogo Island Inn anywhere else in Canada—or the world, for that matter. The brainchild of local tech entrepreneur Zita Cobb, the hotel won accolades from design enthusiasts and travellers alike on its 2013 debut. Set on stilts over a broad span of Newfoundland granite, the Inn embraces its remote location, integrating furniture, rugs, quilts, and other items made in the regional style by local artisans. During the day, you’ll learn how to forage for fresh ingredients or build a boat. Settle in at night to enjoy a fine gourmet dinner, then keep watch for icebergs through your floor-to-ceiling windows.

Here are 10 more places in Canada every Canadian needs to visit.

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Fairmont Le Chateau FrontenacPhoto: Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac

Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac, Quebec City

Sat high on a promontory overlooking the St. Lawrence River, the Chateau Frontenac is a true Canadian icon. In fact, thanks to its dramatic location and fairy tale castle towers and turrets, some have suggested it’s the most photographed hotel in the world. History has been made here—the Quebec Conference, a summit of Allied world leaders, was held in this National Historic Landmark’s hallowed halls—and its famous façade has even been featured on a Canada Post stamp.

During your stay, make sure you check out the 10 best things to do in Quebec City and Montreal.

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Ritz-Carlton TorontoPhoto: Ritz-Carlton

Ritz-Carlton, Toronto

Arguably Toronto’s most luxurious hotel (and the only one to enjoy CAA five-diamond status), the Ritz-Carlton Toronto was designed to reflect the very best of its host city. Built as a huge cube of glass, the hotel’s floor-to-ceiling windows afford amazing views of CN Tower, Lake Ontario and other Toronto attractions, and the on-site spa embraces Toronto’s multicultural nature by offering specialty massages from around the world. Got time to explore the Big Smoke? Take one of the hotel’s curated culinary tours of the city, which will have you foraging for fresh mushrooms in the Don Valley or paddling to a picnic lunch on the Toronto Islands.

Here are 50 more ways to fall in love with Toronto all over again.

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Fairmont Empress VictoriaPhoto: Fairmont Empress Victoria

The Fairmont Empress, Victoria

Perhaps the most quintessentially “English” hotel located outside of the United Kingdom, this Edwardian masterpiece looms large on Victoria’s Inner Harbour. Canadian Pacific Railway opened The Empress in 1908 to house wealthy guests of its steamship line, and since then, it has played host to several generations of royals. Daily afternoon high tea—served with scones and tiny finger sandwiches, of course—is a time-honoured tradition. A worthy attraction in itself, you should make reservations weeks in advance to avoid disappointment.

Don’t miss these essential experiences for the Canadian history buff.

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Fairmont Pacific Rim, VancouverPhoto: Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel

Fairmont Pacific Rim, Vancouver

Want a room with a view? You can’t go wrong at Vancouver’s Fairmont Pacific Rim, where 70 per cent of rooms and suites face the grand sweep of the city’s famous harbour and mountains. For a truly decadent experience, request a suite in which you can watch float planes take off and land from the comfort of your bathtub (filled with bubble bath, of course). If you find you need more room to splash around, take a dip in the hotel’s luxurious pool, situated on a stunning palm tree-lined terrace (yes, in Canada!), complete with private cabanas and a fire pit.

Next, check out 25 quirky hotels across Canada.