Vacay.ca has teamed with Hotels.com to create a series of articles highlighting the best hotel travel experiences in Canada. We have spotlighted romantic hotels in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal, as well as destinations for families, single travellers, and chocolate lovers. In this installment of the series, Vacay.ca Deputy Editor Rod Charles looks at some of the best hotels in the world for travellers who love water — and all great things associated with it.
Story by Rod Charles
Vacay.ca Deputy Editor
For many travellers summer simply isn’t summer unless you end up getting as close to the water as possible — if not all the way in for long, soothing dips amid the waves. Water is uniquely calming and relaxing. Whether you are building sand castles on a beach, enjoying seafood at a waterfront festival or chasing a whale on a boat most of our best summer memories involve water.
Of course, there isn’t enough space to write about every possible “Anywhere With Water” vacation idea in Canada but Vacay.ca has found a few that should keep you happy and soaking wet when things get hot.
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
Water Connection: PEI Shellfish Festival
Why It’s Awesome: Bring your appetite. Taking place September 15-18, 2016, the PEI Shellfish Festival has something for everyone. Hosting for a second year in a row will be celebrity chef Lynn Crawford, who was a huge success in the role last year. The PEI Potato Chowder Championship and the Tie One On Mussel Competition are two events you will love. Live entertainment includes The Irish Descendants and Signal Hill.
Hotels.com Suggestion: The Holman Grand Hotel
When you’re finished eating all that Shellfish, you’re going to need a place to relax and sleep it off — trust me. The Holman Grand Hotel offers an indoor pool and fitness centre, as well as a full-service spa to help you burn off a few chowder calories. The Holman Grand Hotel has outstanding dining at Redwater Rustic Grille.
Read More on Vacay.ca: “The Big-City Appeal of Tiny Charlottetown”
Address: 123 Grafton Street, Charlottetown, PEI
Amenities: Restaurant and bar/lounge, spa, indoor pool, fitness centre
Rating: 4.6 / 5
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Water Connection: Halifax Harbourfront
Why It’s Awesome: History, creativity and jaw-dropping scenery collide. Of all the fun things you can do in Halifax, a long walk along its famous harbour must be high on the list. Begin your journey at the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 and take a short stroll to the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market. From there continue walking north along the water where you can see several attractions, including the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, CSS Acadia and Casino Nova Scotia.
Read More on Vacay.ca: “Why Museum of Immigration Hits Home”
Hotels.com Suggestion: Prince George Hotel
The Prince George Hotel has everything you need for a great stay in Halifax. With over 200 stylish guestrooms, fine dining at Gio restaurant and a great location, the pet-friendly Prince George Hotel is a must for couples or families.
Address: 1725 Market St, Halifax, NS
Amenities: Indoor pool, rooftop terrace, health club, valet parking
Rating: 4.5 / 5
Water Connection: Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan
Why It’s Awesome: Many cities have a Shakespeare festival. Few have a setting for the plays as lovely as Saskatoon. Each summer, a stage is erected along the Meewasin Trail, near the banks of the South Saskatchewan River and theatre-goers are treated to fine performances as well as glorious scenery.
Hotels.com Suggestion: The James Hotel
Regarded as the best hotel in the city, the James is the top choice for a luxury stay in Saskatoon. Many of its rooms have balconies with views of the South Saskatchewan River. You’ll enjoy a restful night in spacious rooms with comfortable beds and luxury bathrooms.
Read More on Vacay.ca: “Saskatoon’s Culinary Scene Rises”
Address: 620 Spadina Crescent East, Saskatoon, SK
Amenities: Fitness centre, bar/lounge, business centre
Rating: 4.8 / 5
Niagara Falls, Ontario
Water Connection: Coolest waterfall in North America
Why It’s Awesome: Any time I have family visit there is one place they must go. Straddling the border that divides Canada and the United States, Niagara Falls is easily one of the most spectacular water falls in the world and a major tourist attraction. You will find restaurants, history, hotels and casinos in Niagara Falls, which is also close to the beauty of Niagara-on-the-Lake and its famous wine region and world-famous Shaw Festival.
Hotels.com Suggestion: Hilton Hotel and Suites Niagara Falls/Fallsview
Located in the heart of Niagara Falls just a kilometre away from Horseshoe Falls, Hilton Hotel and Suites Niagara Falls/Fallsview has 965 guestrooms and an indoor pool. If you like casinos check out the Fallsview Casino Resort complex, which features more than 250 shows a year with the biggest headliners in the 1,500-seat Avalon Theatre. Several good restaurants are located here, including the Watermark Restaurant and Brasa Brazilian Steakhouse. Without question, though, the best feature of this hotel offers is the view of the Falls.
Address: 6361 Fallsview Boulevard, Niagara Falls, ON
Amenities: Fitness centre, valet parking, 24-hour business centre
Rating: 4.2 / 5
Tofino, British Columbia
Water Connection: Whale Watching
Why It’s Awesome: British Columbia has many great spots to see whales and they’re all good. One of the best places to see them is Tofino, where grey whales migrate north from the Baja Peninsula to Alaska in March and south again in October. Seeing a whale up close is one of the greatest ways to connect not only with the ocean, but with nature itself. If you haven’t experienced it, make a point to — it’s something you will never forget.
Hotels.com Suggestion: Middle Beach Lodge
A blend of a luxury vacation and a rustic getaway, Middle Beach Lodge has everything you need for your Pacific coast vacation — two magnificent lodges, 40 peaceful waterfront acres, self-contained cabins, easy access to nature and, above all, lots and lots of whales. Middle Beach Lodge will help you on your exploration of the Pacific Ocean and Clayoquot Sound, where you will see a few black bears too.
Address: 400 Mackenzie Beach Road, Tofino, BC
Amenities: Meeting rooms, barbecue grills, wedding services
Rating: 4.2 / 5
Quebec City, Quebec
Water Connection: Ice Canoe Race
Why It’s Awesome: The annual Ice Canoe Race on the St. Lawrence River is one of the highlights of the world-renowned Quebec Carnival.
Teams of canoe paddlers launch their vessels into the river for this riveting and exhilarating challenge. Participants float, paddle and chop their way down the river as they defy the wintery conditions to make it to the finish line.
Hotels.com Suggestion: Fairmont Chateau Frontenac
There may be no more majestic hotel in Canada than the regal Fairmont Chateau Frontenac, which has loomed over Quebec City and the St. Lawrence River for more than a century. The 611-room hotel features exquisite views of Old Quebec as well as all the decadent amenities you expect from a luxury accommodation.
Address: 1 rue des Carrieres, Quebec City, QC
Amenities: Indoor pool, two restaurants, business centre, health club, in-room child care
Rating: 4.4 / 5
With files from Vacay.ca’s Adrian Brijbassi