Best Accommodation in Canada?

Apr 1st, 2004, 06:35 AM
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Best Accommodation in Canada?

I readily admit that most of my comments about accommodation have been negative, but that is because I have yet to be truly impressed with any hotel/inn/B&B in Canada.

So I'll pose my question to the board: Has anyone been blown away by somewhere they have stayed in Canada? (Not just pleased... but absolutely thrilled...) What made it so special?
goldilox is offline  
Apr 1st, 2004, 07:46 AM
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>>>>>>Has anyone been blown away by somewhere they have stayed in Canada?<<<<<<

Yes, our tent, when my husband and I have backpacked in the Rockies.

>>>>>>What made it so special?<<<<<<

Being the only humans for miles around, in a pristine wilderness. Waking up to find a deer grazing a few feet from us. Warming ourselves with a hot cup of coffee, made on our portable stove, while it was still really cool in the morning (even in summer), just as the sun was inching across the nearby mountaintop to warm up our shady valley.

The commercial establishment that has come closest to duplicating that experience has been Lake O'Hara Lodge. A lodge bus that forces one to leave one's car (and one's everyday cares) behind in the parking lot along the TransCanada Highway. A HUGE, roaring fire in the main room. A library of books in case one wants to curl up and relax. A delicious dinner. (Mine was salmon.) A picnic lunch to take on one's hike. Tea, scones, whipped cream and strawberry jam on the verandah when one gets back from one's hike. Yes, our lodge room was basic, and we used a shared bathroom down the hall, but for us that only added to the rustic feel and the sense that we had escaped from civilization. Hiking. Coming across a lake at a higher elevation that was still frozen at the beginning of July. Meeting a marmot on our hike. Cooling our bottle of dinner wine in the lake. Sitting on the verandah of my parents-in-law's lakeside cabin, sipping a pre-dinner drink. Having it snow on us as we hiked back on our last afternoon. (Remember, this was the beginning of July.) Riding the lodge's bus back to the TransCanada Highway through a Christmas card scene. Feeling disappointed as we reached lower elevations, the snow disappeared, and we felt as if we'd re-entered the real world.

Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2004, 05:48 PM
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I was ready to answer the question with a big vote for the Wedgewood in Vancouver, one of the most delightful hotels I've ever stayed in anywhere.
I was also mightily impressed at Cape Breton in Nova Scotia at the wonderful Lodge and Inn -- what is the name? Something Scottish?

But I got sidetracked by Judy's comments about Lake O'Hara Lodge. Judy, I think it was one of your posts I read earlier today researching the Canadian Rockies, but after googling and searching every which way, all I could find was camping information about Lake O'Hara. How can I find more info on this Lake O'Hara Lodge?
Patrick is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2004, 06:14 PM
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Judy, you certainly made camping sound appealing, even to someone like me!

Patrick, I would guess this is the site for the lodge:
WillTravel is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2004, 06:23 PM
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Thanks. Tried googling every way and I couldn't come up with that.
Judy, it does look wonderful -- especially the lakeside cabins. I see it includes meals, so I suspect it is about the same price as Emerald Lake Lodge -- any comparison notes between the two?
Patrick is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2004, 06:59 PM
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Patrick, it's Keltic Lodge.
Goldilox, if you stay @ Keltic Lodge stay in the "Main Lodge" not @ the Inn. And, even @ the "Main Lodge" you may want to try this bed & then that bed b/c some have been renovated & some not! You will find one that's "just right" but maybe not on your first try. But, hey, you know all about that!!!
wow is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2004, 07:14 PM
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I do not know what 'goldilox' is fishing for in this post????????/

"Author: goldilox
Date: 02/01/2004, 03:50 pm
Message: Since I am in the accommodation industry in Stratford, it isn't appropriate for me to comment on B&Bs... but I do have a pretty extensive insight into local restaurants both through my eyes (mouth?) and my guests."

Does she work for a cabin in the woods outside Stratford that is frequented by grumpy bears?
icithecat is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2004, 12:05 AM
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Sorry, Patrick, I haven't stayed at Emerald Lake Lodge, so am not really in a position to provide a comparison between it and Lake O'Hara Lodge. I can make a few educated guesses, though.

While the food at Lake O'Hara Lodge is excellent, the accommodations there are much more rustic than those portrayed on Emerald Lake Lodge's website.

Lake O'Hara Lodge truly is a back country lodge. One can reach it only by riding the lodge's own bus, and even that has to be by prior reservation.

The limitations placed on the access to Lake O'Hara make for very peaceful hiking.

The limitations also mean that it books up fast, and reservations are difficult to come by.

Lake O'Hara Lodge is a magical place, as far as I'm concerned. But a person whose idea of heaven is a jacuzzi with a complimentary bathrobe should keep looking.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2004, 04:41 AM
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The last time I had a jacuzzi in the room, I used it to store the big suitcase, and I couldn't care less about the bathrobe. Never do room service, hate the idea of eating in my hotel room. What can I say? Sounds perfect to me. My favorite part of our month in Alaska was the two stays in backcountry lodges of Denali and Kenaii. I think you've found something for me. Now, guess I'd better get it booked for next August (2005, that is).
Patrick is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2004, 08:18 AM
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Goldilox, Canada is such a huge country with all types of accomodations, please state some criteria that you have, the words "thrilled" and "blown away" are very vague, imo.
DH and I travel a lot and stay in some of the best hotels/resorts in the world, we've had terrific times in more moderate places also; I've been thrilled many many times but the only time I've been "blown away" was when we rented a villa in Tuscany, it surpassed my expectations.
I would understand your quest better if you described a thrilling hotel in the states or europe where you've been blown away; what made it special for you ......
I am pretty sure there would be a few places in Canada that would come to my mind....

mitchdesj is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2004, 08:38 AM
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Sooke Harbour House outside of Victoria,
Aerie Resort near Victoria
Wedgewood Hotel in Vancouver
Chateau Whistler Hotel
Cheers, Al
WhistlerAl is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2004, 10:30 AM
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I really wanted to leave it open for posters to give their idea of amazing accommodation- and as we see that can mean anything from a tent to high end inns.

I am not 'fishing' for anything (and there are no grumpy bears here- just a giant goofy dog.)

As I come into a time in my life when I anticipate doing more travelling, I would like to plan trips around fabulous accommodation, with the location not always being the prime consideration.

Part of what intrigues me is not the particular properties, but what different people find important.

While it is ultimately the overall experience that makes or breaks my opinion of an establishment, the rooms (especailly the beds) and the service are two of the biggest points for me.

For memorable beds(and rooms), I loved the Golden Hirsch in Salzberg. I stayed there when I was thirteen and it has remained among my favorites (and for a bed to make an impression on a thirteen year old is something else.)

For service, the Asian hotels win hands down. The Peninsula in Hong Kong is my vote. They have staff to guest ratio that simply is not matched in North America... and their staff is very well trained. (The Windsor Arms in Toronto advertises a high staff to guest ratio... but after my experience there I would say they may have quantity, but not necessarily quality.)

One of my biggest accommodation (or restaurant) realizations is that much of the overall experience has to do with who you are with... If you like the people you are with, the entire experience seems that much better, and vice versa.

Thus, a tent can become a five star experience.
goldilox is offline  
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