A Complete Guide To Canada's Exotic Yet Wild Side!

Tripoto

From gorgeous hot air balloon rides, adults-only forest lodges, to chef-led restaurants that are defining the local fine dining landscape, JAYA SHARMA discovers the luxury traveller’s Canada.

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The Old Port clock tower at the St.Lawrence River in Old Montreal. Credit: Peter Unger

NATURE ESCAPES

This winter, plan a getaway to these cabins that offer five-star amenities.

SECRET HIDEAWAY

Get unparalleled downtime at the adult-only Trout Point Lodge, East Kemptville, a luxury, sequestered lodge amidst the Tobeatic Wilderness. Go hiking, star-gazing, canoeing, or simply sit by the fireplace at this secluded, no-network lodge.

For more details check: troutpoint.com

GEOLOGICAL DIVERSITY

The medley of terrains surrounding the Emerald Lake Lodge Field, British Columbia, creates a vista as dramatic as it gets. You can go canoeing on Lake Emerald, hike at the Yoho National Park up to the Burgess Shale fossil beds, trail down to meadows or observe the Michael glacier.

A Patio with umberellas on the edge of the Emerald Lake. Credit: Brigitte Smith

Photo of Emerald Lake, Columbia-Shuswap A, BC, Canada by Travel+Leisure India & South Asia

For more details check: crmr.com

LEGEND HAS IT...

Canada has its own version of the Loch Ness monster: Ogopogo, the mythical cryptid! Canada is the first country in the world to build a UFO landing pad in St Paul, Alberta.

Credit: Michael Wheatley

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UNPLUGGED

High up amidst lush green mountains, the Cathedral Mountain Lodge, Field, is a romantic hideout sans televisions or telephones in its rooms, so there’s really no escaping the escape! Sit before a traditional stone fireplace or reflect along the soothing glacier-fed Kicking Horse River flowing metres away from you.

For more details check: cathedralmountainlodge.com

OVER FJORDS

Can’t afford to completely cut off from the world? Even though it’s nestled amidst the largest fjords on the American continent, the Tweedsmuir Park Lodge, Bella Coola is quite well connected to the world. The charming chalets are a sight to behold, and your kids won’t feel secluded owing to a games room, a retail store, and delicious menu at the restaurant.

For more details check: tweedsmuirparklodge.com

WHALES AND VIEWS

Walk with polar bears or swim with beluga whales at Churchill Wild, Manitoba, that pioneered the ‘Polar Bear Walking Safaris’ in 1994. You may get unprecedented photography opportunities but images don’t come close to capturing the actual scene. Did we mention that the view from your room during the season includes the Northern Lights?

For more details check: churchillwild.com

CRUISE LODGE

We reckon not much can compare to holidaying onboard the Pacific Yellowfin Private Charters, Vancouver—a 1943 vintage yacht preserved with its original engine. Choose from the islands and garden cruises, culinary cruises, or the ocean playground cruises.

For more details: pacificyellowfin.com

$MIL QUESTION

The Canadian Royal Mint created a coin with the face value of US$1 Million. The coin itself is made of 99.99% gold and weighs over 220 lbs.

DUDE RANCH

Ranking high amongst the country’s top guest ranches the Siwash Lake Wilderness Resort, British Columbia, is a posh yet unpretentious 80,000 acres of raw wilderness that beckons the sophisticated and discerning traveller. Think glamorous horseback riding, pastureto-plate cuisine, and lavish tents.

The living room at the Siwash Lake Wilderness Resort. Credit: McClathy Tribune

Photo of Siwash Lake Wilderness Resort, 70 Mile House, BC, Canada by Travel+Leisure India & South Asia

For more details check: siwashlakeranch.com

HELI-FISHING

Smack in the middle of the Great Bear Rainforest, Nimmo Bay Wilderness Resort, Port McNeill, is an intimate, family-owned resort with cosy cabins set by the water against a backdrop of autmunal red slopes. If you’re not feeling too lazy, hop on a helicopter for ‘heli-fishing’ in uncharted streams with plenty of catch. Salmon species common to the area are Coho, Chinook, Pinks, Steelhead, as well as Dolly Varden Char, Rainbow, and Cutthroat Trout.

For more details check: nimmobay.com

CATCH-AND-RELEASE

The possibility of running into Kevin Costner at the King Pacific Lodge, Milbanke Sound, is high. The lodge’s catch-and release fishing policy will give you the thrill of catching bait without harming nature.

For more details check: kingpacificlodge.com

DID YOU KNOW?

Canada produces 77% of the world’s maple syrup! Dinosaur Provincial Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the richest dinosaur fossil sites in the world. Over 40 dinosaur species have been found and over 500 specimens extracted

Credit: Adam Korzekwa

Photo of Dinosaur Provincial Park, Newell County No. 4, AB, Canada by Travel+Leisure India & South Asia

STAY AND BRAG!

These are the most expensive suites in the country.

MARQUIS DE LORNE SUITE,

FAIRMONT CHATEAU LAKE LOUISE , US$12,000 PER NIGHT.

Named after the fourth Governor General of Canada, this enormous suite includes a guest powder room, main salon, three sitting areas, a desk area, an electric fireplace, and a bathroom that’s nothing less than a spa! The minimalist décor will let you focus on the outdoors and the breathtaking views of Lake Louise and the surrounding mountain range.

CHAIRMAN’S SUITE (ROCK STAR SUITE)

FAIRMONT PACIFIC RIM, US$10,000 PER NIGHT

Inspired by a Balinese villa, this two-storey suite is embellished with an eight-feet long Swarovski crystal chandelier, a rooftop patio, a private gazebo with a meditation pond and fire pit, and a tented terrace. Private check-ins, round-the-clock butlers to prepare tailor-made meals for you, and concierge services are some of the perks.

Credit: Jan Greune

Photo of Fairmont Pacific Rim, Canada Place, Vancouver, BC, Canada by Travel+Leisure India & South Asia

FREEZING POINT

Canada is one of the world’s top skiing destination, thanks to its glamorous ski resorts and powdery slopes that suit experts and novices.

Choose from slopesmeant for beginners tothose that challengeeven advanced skiers. Credit: Don Weixl

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The Westin Resort and Spa Whistler

BRITISH COLUMBIA

This perfect mountain retreat offers adrenaline packed adventures for real thrill seekers: cross-country ski trails, snowboarding, zip lines, and leisurely gondola rides.

For more details check: westinwhistler.com

The Post Hotel Lake Louise

ALBERTA

Four thousand acres of snowcapped mountains are at your disposal! For a truly white Christmas, take your children on sleigh rides, dog sledding, ice skating, snowshoeing tours and ice walks. Post which, plunge into their Roman-inspired indoor saltwater pool to release all the muscle tension.

For more details check: posthotel.com

Fairmont Chateau Whistler

WHISTLER

If skiing, golfing, and spas make your dream vacay, this should be on your bucket list. The colossal structure at the base of the Blackcomb mountain is a ski-in, ski-out resort, with lush green fields, five-star accommodation and top-ofthe-line service, equipped to make you feel like royalty.

Credit: Walter Bibikow

Photo of Fairmont Chateau Whistler, Whistler, BC, Canada by Travel+Leisure India & South Asia

For more details check: fairmont.com

Pan Pacific Whistler

VILLAGE CENTRE

Consistent snowfall every year makes this one of the preferred destinations for skiers. Visit the rustic European-style pedestrianonly village that is home to exceptional dining experiences.

For more details check: panpacific.com

LUXURY CRUISE LINER

The Crystal Serenity cruise ship has been the first in the world to ever set sail in the Northwest Territory with their first stop at Ulukhaktok—a tiny hamlet in the Inuvik region, Canada. It’s true that if it weren’t for Global Warming this Arctic passageway wouldn’t have been created— it has unveiled a brand-new coast to discover. And, the colossal luxury vessel carrying 1,000 passengers sails through glaciers, the fjords, and never-before seen Arctic wildlife.

For more details check: crystalcruises.com

DID YOU KNOW!

Polar Bears, 60% of the world’s polar bear population of approximately 25,000 live in Canada.

Credit: Paul Souders

Photo of Pan Pacific Whistler Village Centre, Blackcomb Way, Whistler, BC, Canada by Travel+Leisure India & South Asia

TASTE LOCAL

These five restaurants are our top picks when it comes to fine dining in Canada.

Toqué!

MONTREAL

Opened in 1993, this finedining restaurant is one of the best dining venues in Canada. Chef Normand Laprise, who uses 90 percent locally-produced, fresh ingredients, has pioneered market-fresh cuisine and won great appreciation for it. Dress in your finest dinner jackets when you decide to visit and try his famous foie gras and wild venison.

For more details check: restaurant-toque.com

Hawksworth

VANCOUVER

Chef David Hawksworth has perfected contemporary Canadian cuisine at this restaurant located in Rosewood Hotel Georgia that presents refined dishes made with fresh ingredients. From breakfasts and dinners to sundowners and private parties, this restaurant offers a myriad of experiences to its patrons. Sample Hawksworth beef burger, hamachi ceviche, Nova Scotia lobster, and macarons.

For more details check: hawksworthrestaurant.com

Buca

TORONTO

This place on King Street is perfect for a relaxed evening. The high-ceiling, brick-walled Italian restaurant serves Chef Rob Gentile’s pig blood pasta and cheese-oozing thin-crust pizzas. Be warned, it’s almost always crowded. But you wouldn’t mind the bustle around you when you see the extensive wine list by sommelier Giuseppe Marchesini.

Buca’s modern Italian cuisine is popular with locals and tourists Credit: Vince Talotta

Photo of Buca, King Street West, Toronto, ON, Canada by Travel+Leisure India & South Asia

For more details check: buca.ca

Raymonds

ST JOHN’S

Overlooking the harbour, this restaurant—capsuled in a stunning 1915 building—salutes the era with its classic décor with long drapes and high ceilings. Chef Jeremy Charles and sommelier Jeremy Bonia opened it in 2010 as a tribute to their grandfathers and today, it is one of the best places to try Newfoundland’s seafood, game meats, and local produce.

For more details check: raymondsrestaurant.com

Model Milk

CALGARY

Model Milk has retained the original flavour of the rustic dairy building it is housed in—old bricks, cement floor, and a cow head on the façade are charming. The restaurant sources its ingredients from regional farms and fisheries while the wine comes from biodynamic vineyards. Try fried halloumi or chicken and waffles. For dessert, call for a peanut butter ice cream sandwich.

For more details check: modelmilk.ca

Credit: Touqe

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PIZZA! PIZZA! PIZZA!

Considered the most expensive in the world, the seafood pizza at Steveston Pizza in Richmond, British Columbia, costs a hefty US$720. Not to be mocked, this deluxe pie is topped with black Alaskan cod, lobster thermidor, smoked salmon, tiger prawns, and Russian Osetra caviar. The head Chef and owner of this pizzeria, Nader, prepares each slice with the craftsmanship required to construct a culinary masterpiece.

For more details check: stevestonpizza.com

ACTION-PACKED!

The most expensive activities in Canada also offer you the best vantage views of the land in the most memorable way.

Indoor Whale Watching

Book a ticket on the three level AML Grand Fleuve Observation Boat from Baie-Sainte-Catherine to look for whales, belugas, and other marine life through a glass-walled main deck. If you’re not too scared of the marine giant, stand your ground with a sparkling flute.

For more details check: croisieresaml.com

Snowmobile Tour

The three-hour snowmobile tour on the Georgian Bay spells luxury like no other! Slide down the picturesque Penetang Bay, and make a sharp right to the Beausoleil Island to grab a light lunch and hot chocolate. Be prepared to snap a chance meeting with wild foxes and other wildlife on your tour.

For more details check: visitgeorgianbay.com

Tandem Skydiving

To get the most exhilarating view of the Eastern Townships, book the Greater Montreal Skydive from 4,000 metres above sea level at the speed of 200 kilometres per hour. Suit up and take a leap of faith (with your trainer). Besides, you get a certificate to make your courageous jump official!

For more details check: parachutemontreal.ca

Hot Air Balloon Flight

Choose between the sunrise or sunset flight for a bird’s eye view of Quebec. Even though the balloon is way up in the sky, you’re at the same temperature as the ground. Take in the surreal view of the St Lawrence River, the Ile d’Orleans, and the Laurentian Mountains.

For more details check: eolair.com

ON THE ROCKS!

The Hotel de Glace in Quebec is built every year in winter with 400 tonnes of ice and 12,000 tonnes of snow. The structure melts away in summer, only to be rebuilt the following winter. That is some serious commitment to frost bites!

For more details check: hoteldeglacecanada.com

Credit: John Hyde Stock

Photo of Hôtel de Glace, Boulevard Valcartier, Saint-Gabriel-de-Valcartier, QC, Canada by Travel+Leisure India & South Asia

RICH IN FORESTS

Nearly 10% of the world’s forest cover (397 million hectares) is in Canada.

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