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Hotels for the Canada-Curious

We recently came across some news items to the effect that many, many more Americans than usual seem to be searching Google for information about emigrating to Canada. As you can imagine, that sort of advice is slightly outside of our area of expertise. But we do happen to know of some excellent ways in which you might sample Canadian life without making a long-term commitment. Here, in case you’re looking, are ten of the very best hotels from our neighbors to the north.

Thompson Toronto
Toronto
Thompson Toronto

We start with a familiar name. Thompson’s original New York hotels have long been Tablet favorites, and the same is true of their Toronto outpost as well. Their modernist-inspired design and high-contrast color palette look as stylish as ever, and the rooftop terrace, weather permitting, is an unexpected bonus.

Drake Hotel
Toronto
Drake Hotel

Toronto’s second most famous Drake is a homegrown hospitality star, an accessibly funky boutique hotel with an emphasis on events, exhibitions, and social life in general. Its neighborhood, Queen Street West, is perfectly full of character, and the Drake played a large part in putting it on the map in the first place.

Hotel Gault
Montreal
Hotel Gault

The well-worn Old Montréal stonework is still in place, set off against some very modern fixtures and some classic modernist furnishings. Ten years ago we wrote that it’s one of the most stylish hotels in North America, and even after all this time, we wouldn’t change a thing.

Hotel Nelligan
Montreal
Hotel Nelligan

Another contemporary design hotel housed in a historic building, this one skips out on minimalist modernism and instead opts for rich textures in brick and leather, and a color palette that’s dark and inviting. Design is somewhat secondary, though, when you’ve got service of the Nelligan’s caliber.

Le Germain Charlevoix
Quebec
Le Germain Charlevoix

Of all the Le Germain hotels — check our complete Canadian listings and you’ll find no fewer than six, all across the country — the Charlevoix installment is the most spectacular. Sixty miles from Québec City, it’s easily accessible by train, and its setting is pure pastoral paradise.

ALT Hotel
Quebec City
ALT Hotel

Also under the Le Germain banner is the ALT Hotels sub-brand, a budget-oriented option whose Québec City installment is notable for its sunny interiors, colorful design, eco-friendly infrastructure (including geothermal heating and cooling), and simple, efficient, unfussy comforts.

The James Hotel
Saskatoon
The James Hotel

In spite of its location in the smallish prairie city of Saskatoon, the James is perfectly in tune with the current thinking in urban hospitality, a design-forward, residential-style boutique hotel. It’d be a worthy option in Shanghai or Stockholm; to find it in Saskatchewan is nothing short of extraordinary.

Wickaninnish Inn
Tofino, B.C.
Wickaninnish Inn

The staggering natural beauty of British Columbia’s Pacific coast is no secret — it’s hard to think of a place more spectacular than the west coast of Vancouver Island, where the Wickaninnish Inn sits between a lush old-growth forest and a mile-long beach, just minutes from the township of Tofino yet remote enough to feel like the edge of the world.

Opus Hotel
Vancouver
Opus Hotel

Back in the early days of Tablet we used to spend a fair bit of time explaining just what it was that made boutique hotels special. For just about as long as we’ve been online, Vancouver’s Opus has been on our short list of prime examples. A nightlife-friendly Yaletown location and a wealth of thoughtful details make it a perennial West Coast favorite.

Rosewood Hotel Georgia
Vancouver
Rosewood Hotel Georgia

Speaking of the early days, the Georgia goes back just about all the way — among the hotel’s very first guests were Edward, Prince of Wales, and his brother George, the Duke of Kent. It’s got classic style and classic luxury, both in spades, and it certainly bears mentioning that it’s rated by Tablet customers as the top hotel in all of Canada.

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