Home to Canada’s capital, the country’s biggest metropolis Toronto, wine country, and Niagara Falls, Ontario has a lot to offer travelers. That includes lodging: Stately grand hotels, serene country estates, urban tower suites, cozy inns, and trendy boutique properties. Don’t miss a chance to stay at the very best.
Canadiana meets cosmopolitan: Drake Devonshire Inn, Prince Edward County
You’ll think you’ve landed on the pages of Dwell magazine when you step into Drake Devonshire in the village of Wellington and in farm-to-table paradise Prince Edward County. First constructed in the 19th century as a foundry, this 13-room lakeside retreat has been reimagined in contemporary design while retaining its handsome, historic architectural roots — no wonder the inn, which debuted in 2014, is making all the global hot lists. Pop art complements rough-hewn wood, exquisite details, and art installations throughout, and the effect is colorful and summer-camp quirky. Play ping-pong or backgammon, take a wine county tour, or relax by the firepit. The whimsical, soaring dining room positioned over the beach to take in Lake Ontario breezes is a huge highlight, serving upscale comfort food that’s, of course, locavore-focused. Don’t be surprised if some banjo players from down the way show up to entertain.
Urban sophistication: Four Seasons Hotel Toronto
Luxe-hotel chain Four Seasons opened its glitzy 55-storey flagship location in Toronto’s trendy Yorkville district in 2012 to much fanfare, and the accolades just keep coming. If you want to see and be seen, this is the place: From the sophisticated cocktail lounge with terrace, to the celebrated Daniel Boulud signature restaurant. The 259 rooms are quiet, beds are plush, and the understated Yabu Pushelberg design is modern Canadian chic to the max. The spa is among the city’s largest. Book a restorative deep-tissue massage or just float in the indoor Zen pool. Bonus: The Royal Ontario Museum is a short walk away; ditto for trendy shopping and restaurants.
Old World estate: Langdon Hall Country House Hotel and Spa, Cambridge
Old World luxury is what you’ll find at elegant Langdon Hall, a prestigious Relais & Châteaux property also voted in one of the top spots by the Condé Nast Traveler Readers Choice Awards. Langdon Hall is a century-old historic summer estate about two hours from Toronto in Cambridge surrounded by woods and farms, with a spa, outdoor pool, tennis courts, and award-winning dining sourced from the onsite Victorian gardens. Furnished with handsome antiques, the 60 rooms and suites include wood-burning fireplaces. Read a book in the parlor or savor lavish afternoon tea, hike or mountain bike the property’s seven miles of trails, or play croquet on the lawn. Langdon Hall offers cooking demos and wine tastings as well. Winter is just as lovely as other seasons here, when you can take a sleigh ride or roast marshmallows by the bonfire.
Modern melds with vintage: Hotel Metro, London
There’s lots of elbowroom in the 20 stylish suites at Hotel Metro in downtown London, a modern boutique hotel housed in a 19th century brick building. Comfortable and smart best describes the exposed brick walls, designer beds, large picture windows, tiled rainfall showers, and soaker tubs. The best part, though, is the ‘hood: Between the business and entertainment districts, just across from farmers’ market and foodie destination Covent Garden Market, including dining options in an array of cuisines, bars, and cafes. Also close by are the Museum London and Budweiser Gardens sports entertainment center.
Contemporary: Alt Hotel, Ottawa
Groovy. That’s the Alt Hotel Ottawa, part of the equally on-trend Germain hotel family, which bills its offering as “affordable luxury.” Set in a high-rise in downtown’s business district — and within walking distance of the top spots, including Parliament Hill — this modern urban property is big on cool design and décor. Expect exposed concrete, geometrics, and primary colors, plus an enviro-friendly setting. Rooms are bright, compact, and handsomely appointed — 148 in all. Furniture is contemporary, and amenities, crisp and efficient. The cafe is equally trendy.
Grand opulence: Fairmont Château Laurier, Ottawa
The Fairmont Château Laurier is a landmark, a graceful, 429-room, turreted French Gothic limestone structure overlooking the Rideau Canal. A historic 1912 Canadian National Railway, the property has long been the place where power brokers, stars, Prime Ministers, and royalty gather, especially in the classy, chandelier-lit lounge. The Chateau also optimally situated downtown near Parliament Hill and the glass-atrium National Gallery of Canada. Though it is grand, the outstanding personalized service makes the place feel more like a boutique hotel, and staff regularly greet guests by name.
Once you’ve nailed down your fabulous accommodation, read more about the best places for an Ontario getaway.
Photo: Groupe Germain Hôtels via Flickr (with permission).
Find the best things to do/see/drink/eat at the Ontario Travel website.