Vacay.ca has teamed with Hotels.com to create a series of articles highlighting the best hotel travel experiences in Canada. In this installment, Vacay.ca writer William Serrano looks at the best place for a staycation in your own backyard.
Story by William Serrano
So it’s already fall and you didn’t get a summer vacation. For some people who work outdoors and those in the tourism and hospitality sector, the summer months are the busiest time of the year. And let’s not forget, with students back in school, many parents may be thinking it’s time for a staycation. Vacay.ca has compiled some of the best suggestions for places to enjoy life in locations we know well.
The summer music festivals may be over, but in Canada, fall is the time for autumn and harvest festivals. Some of our favourite fall festivals celebrate the diverse bounty of the food and drink our local producers cultivate, create and serve.
1. Fall for fall festivals
For 10 days in September and October hundreds of people visit the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island for its annual Savour Cowichan Festival, an event that celebrates all the locally grown and produced food and drink in the area. Forty artisanal food and beverage producers host visitors from around the world at 60 epicurean events. One of the premier hotels in the area is Ocean Front Suites Cowichan Bay, close to the marina and the bay with some amazing views. It’s walking distance to galleries and an estuary nature centre. Rooms during the festival can be booked for around $192* per night.
Ocean Front Suites Cowichan Bay
Address: 1681 Cowichan Bay Road, Cowichan Bay, BC
Amenities: 56 rooms, wifi, indoor swimming pool, marina
Hotels.com Guest Rating: 3.8 / 5
The first Western Fair in London, Ontario was hosted in 1868. Over the decades, it has become one of the biggest events in southwestern Ontario bringing together urban and rural communities. During the fair’s nine days, families, foodies and animal lovers will get their chance to ride the midway attractions, eat festival food and visit the animal farm. If you’re going to the fair, try the Homewood Suites in London which has rooms during the fall for $129* per night. The hotel is a perfect place for a staycation with its 106 rooms arranged over six floors; kids 17 and under stay for free with their parents.
Address: 45 Bessemer Road, London, ON
Amenities: 24-hour business and fitness room, free grocery shopping service
Hotels.com Guest Rating: 4.6 / 5
2. Staying Indoors
One of the best reasons to have a staycation is to let go of the pressure of doing something new in a new place to maximize your time. Staying in a familiar place may actually force you to relax. A great place to kick back and just enjoy your vacation is the Hampton Inn by Hilton Winnipeg/Airport in Winnipeg. It has a huge indoor pool and 135 smoke-free guestrooms. So parents and kids have plenty of room to spread out and do their own thing. Rooms can be booked over a weekend in fall for as low as $134* per night.
Hampton Inn by Hilton Winnipeg/Airport
Address: 730 Berry Street, Winnipeg, MB,
Amenities: Free crib or infant’s beds, free airport shuttle, fitness centre.
Hotels.com Guest Rating: 4.6 / 5
In Alberta, the Executive Hotel Alexandra in Leduc is just three minutes from the Edmonton International Airport and provides a restful place to stay for families with its 107 hotel rooms and suites. In the fall, rooms start at $114* per night. The indoor pool, hot tub and well-equipped exercise facility are places to work out the stress and tension of life outside the hotel while you enjoy getting pampered inside during your staycation.
Executive Hotel Alexandra
Address: 8116 Sparrow Crescent Highway, Leduc, AB,
Amenities: Free continental breakfast, fitness facilities, free Wi-Fi
Hotels.com Guest Rating: 4.2 / 5
3. A Staycation retreat
The Hôtellerie d’Expérience au Monastère des Augustines was one of the first hospitals on the continent north of Montreal. It has been restored and redesigned (but its short doorways remain intact) to give guests a unique experience in holistic health. There’s also the rare opportunity to connect directly with the Augustinian Sisters’ heritage. For nearly four centuries, the Augustinian Sisters devoted themselves to caring for body and soul, while laying the foundation for our modern healthcare system. It’s one of the most amazing hotels in the country. Rooms can be found starting at $180* per night.
Hôtellerie d’Expérience au Monastère des Augustines
Address: 77, rue des Remparts, Quebec, QC,
Amenities: Free full breakfast and amenities, a library and garden
Hotels.com Guest Rating: 4.4 / 5
At just 18 rooms, the Marshlands Inn in Sackville, New Brunswick aims to help every guest relax and replenish. The Marshlands Inn is one of Canada’s best-known country inns and has been around since before Confederation. The property has been operating as an inn for the last six decades. Even the Queen of England has stayed at the inn. In the fall, rooms can be booked for $119* per night. The inn has large parlours with inviting fireplaces and easy chairs for invigorating or relaxing evening conversations, and eight acres of marshlands, gardens and lawns so you can get away from all the chores at home and business obligations.
Address: 5 Bridge Street, Sackville, New Brunswick
Amenities: Pet-friendly rooms can be requested, free wifi and free parking
Rating: 4.2 / 5
Note: All of these stunning, hotels, plus hundreds of thousands more, can be booked online via Hotels.com or through the mobile app available for IOS, Android, Windows and Amazon Kindle devices, where customers will also have access to special Secret Prices** to help them save even more.
*Pricing accurate as of September 19, 2015 date on Hotels.com.
** Secret Prices are available to Hotels.com app users, Hotels.com™ Rewards members and individuals who unlock Secret Prices on the website by subscribing to Hotels.com by email. Secret Prices will be shown where the “Your Secret Price” banner is displayed on your search results. Available on selected hotels and selected dates only. Subject to full terms and conditions.