When speaking of unique hotels, most people think of faraway lands where foreign architecture and cultures can play a role in developing something truly out of the ordinary. But the fact is, Canada has quite a few unique resorts and getaway spots to offer, spanning coast to coast. Here is our list of the Top 10.
Aspen Crossing Caboose Cabins
If you are a train enthusiast, you need to experience Aspen Crossing’s Caboose Cabins found in Mossleigh, Alberta. This unique accommodation has assembled three different caboose options on a set of railway tracks, each designed to accommodate a different number of people and each with its own price point. The exteriors are rustic but the interiors are modern and include everything you would expect to find in a hotel room. They even come equipped with a small sundeck. The end result is like a rare little cottage or a glamping experience.
Aspen Crossing also houses campsites and offers several different train excursion options, with a dining car for Champagne Sunday brunch or a prime rib dinner on a Friday night. Click HERE for more info.
Blachford Lake Lodge
In the mood for something remote and rustic where you can experience the beauty of Canada’s wilderness? Look no further than Blanchford Lake Lodge in Yellowknife, where guests have their choice of only five cabins or five rooms in the main building. There is also a tipi and igloo on-site if you want a truly outdoorsy experience.
Resort amenities include a sauna, lounge area, and a library. But most people who venture to this lodge are looking to enjoy the great outdoors and sports like kayaking and fishing in the summer or snowmobiling and snowshoeing in the winter. They also go for the spectacular night views of the Aurora Borealis.
Clayoquot Wilderness Resort
Even more remote than Blachford Lake Lodge is Clayoquot Wilderness Resort; however, this experience is the opposite end of the spectrum and so are the rates. This luxury resort is tucked neatly into the Rocky Mountains and is accessible only by water. Guests have their choice of a floatplane from Vancouver or a 40-minute boat ride from Tofino BC. Here you will find one of the best glamping experiences in the world with 25 canvas tents loaded with high-end furniture and amenities.
This is an all-inclusive experience with all meals and several activities incorporated into the 3, 4, or 7-night package price. Some of the side trips include kayaking, fishing, mountain biking, horseback riding, and bear and whale watching. There are also helicopter experiences available. A spa and wellness center is also on the premises.
The lead photo of this article is also of Clayoquot Wilderness Resort (photo by Bryan Stockton) Visit Clayoquot Resort HERE.
Cross River Wilderness Centre
The Cross River Wilderness Centre is a back-to-nature experience in the Rocky Mountains, located between Kootenay National Park, Assiniboine Provincial Park, Height of the Rockies Provincial Park, and Banff National Park. It is appropriate for travelers looking for a bona fide adventure in the midst of awe-inspiring backdrops of mountains and forest.
Environmentally sustainable and family-operated, Cross River offers an exciting experience of mountain accommodations in teepees and heritage cabins with expeditions and activities that include hiking, rafting, backpacking, and canoeing. In the evenings, guests can enjoy a common fire pit under a star-studded sky. Guests might also be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of indigenous wildlife including elk, deer, coyotes, wolves, beavers, bears, 90 species of birds, and perhaps even a random caribou. This kind of vacation or weekend getaway creates memories and stories you will tell and re-tell for years to come. You can book your stay at Cross River Wilderness Centre HERE.
Located inside the West Edmonton Mall, which is North America’s largest shopping and entertainment complex, you’ll find the exclusive Fantasyland Hotel where travelers can make their dreams come true with 120 fantasy-themed rooms, including everything from Western decor to space and underwater themes. Some rooms feature the bed as part of a prop such as the Victorian theme which offers the bed inside a Victorian Coach. There are sports-related rooms, themes that are based on Hollywood movies, and some revolve around geographic locations such as Polynesia, Africa, Arabia, and Rome.
Fantasyland Hotel offers package deals that include entertainment, time at the spa, and a romantic Wine and Dine package that includes rose petals in your room. Whatever your fantasy, you’re bound to find it here at this truly unique hotel.
Free Spirit Spheres
Have you ever wanted to be a kid again with a treehouse, and rediscover what it’s like to be cozy and high among the branches, observing life on the ground? Well, you can with Free Spirit Spheres. Situated on Vancouver Island, in Qualicum Beach, you will find unique accommodations suspended from the trees by ropes. They are more like egg shapes than actual treehouses, but the concept is the same. There are 3 distinct options to choose from, one of which is made of Sitka Spruce wood, another made of fiberglass, and a third which is a combination of the best parts of the others. All are equipped with electricity. A comfy bed for two can be found inside, along with a sink, mini-fridge, a kettle, and several windows all around for viewing nature from every angle. Bathrooms are located on the ground but are clean and well equipped.
There are plenty of opportunities for adventure in the area, or you can just lay back and enjoy the views while becoming one with the forest wildlife. Visit Free Spirit Spheres HERE.
Hotel de Glace
This is a hotel that changes every single year… mainly because it melts in the spring of every year and has to be redesigned and rebuilt in time to reopen the following January. The creation and construction are done by the students of Quebec University using only snow and ice. The Hotel de Glace (or Ice Hotel) is located only 4km, approximately 20 minutes, from Quebec City, and is a huge draw for visitors to the area. Generally speaking, there are 21 guest rooms and theme suites, each containing thermal sleeping bags and insulated bedsheets to help visitors stay warm.
A restaurant and bar are located on the premises, as well as an aroma spa and a magical ice chapel where many couples are married every year. The decor throughout the hotel includes ice sculptures, of course, and frozen treats and cocktails here are a must-try. Activities include a snow slide, a skating rink, and more. To learn more about Hotel de Glace, click HERE.
King Pacific Lodge
King Pacific Lodge was designed out of a passion for sport fishing, but you don’t have to be a fisherman to appreciate this floating hotel in a remote area of Richmond, British Columbia. And don’t let it deceive you into believing it’s an old fishing cabin. Though it is rustic and outdoorsy in appearance, it is quite luxurious with high-end accommodations and amenities. These include dining with a view, multiple lounge areas, a games room, and a sauna and spa. The views are positively spectacular and often include much in the way wildlife. It is said that guests can even see humpback whales and the occasional polar bear.
Annually, this one-of-a-kind resort is towed 200km from its winter location into the remote coastal area so visitors can enjoy the beauty of nature while partaking in wilderness trekking, kayaking, fishing, and boating. If you are interested in this type of getaway, click HERE and head directly to the King Pacific Lodge website.
Going from the west coast to the east coast of Canada, we have another unique hotel, with this one located on the Kingston Peninsula between Fredericton, St. John, and Moncton New Brunswick. The adults-only Ridgeback Lodge offers the choice of a standard cabin, a deluxe cabin, or two different eco-pods. The Dream Dome eco-pod can accommodate two people while the Stargazer Domes offer accommodations for up to six. Essentially, the pods present a glamping experience but under a dome-type enclosure as opposed to a tent.
The pods feature comfortable memory foam beds, bedding and towels, electrical outlets, fully equipped kitchenettes including a French coffee press, a bathroom with a glass door shower, a propane BBQ, and a stove to take the chill out of autumn evenings and cold winter days. Outside, warm up in a wooden bath! To visit Ridgeback Lodge, click HERE.
One thing that many of the wilderness resorts have in common, regardless of their size, shape, or rates, is their proximity to wildlife and the ability to offer guests an up-close experience. With that in mind, the Tundra Lodge takes the wildlife experience to the next level with a customized ‘rolling’ hotel that is towed into place every season, on the edge of Hudson Bay. This remote subarctic region is in the midst of polar bear country so guests can enjoy unencumbered views of the bears and take truly remarkable photos. Similar in style to a train, with connecting cabins and common areas, the Tundra Lodge features 32 guest cabins, bathrooms and showers, a dining room, and a lounge, all of which are equipped with large windows for viewing. Or there are viewing platforms that can be used for photography, all of which are safely out of reach of the bears. This is also the perfect location for amazing shots of the Northern Lights. To book this one-of-a-kind getaway, click HERE to visit Tundra Lodge.
Lead: Clayoquot Wilderness Resort – Photo by Bryan Stockton via Clayoquot Wilderness Resort Public Facebook Profile
Aspen Crossing Caboose Cabins – Photo via Travel Alberta
Blachford Lake Lodge – Photo via Blachford Lake Lodge Public Facebook Profile
Clayoquot Wilderness Resort – Photo via Wild Retreat.ca
Cross River Wilderness Centre – Photo via Cross River Wilderness Centre Public Facebook Profile
Fantasyland Hotel – Photo via Fantasyland Hotel.ca
Free Spirit Spheres – Photo via Free Spirit Spheres Public Facebook Profile
Hotel de Glace – Photo via Hotel de Glace Public Facebook Profile
King Pacific Lodge – Photo via King Pacific Lodge Public Facebook Profile
Ridgeback Lodge – Photo via Ridgeback Lodge Public Facebook Profile
Tundra Lodge – Photo via Nathab.com Polar Bear Tours