WHERE THE MOUNTAINS MEET THE SKY
For the traveler, it’s nearly the end of the Earth. Bordering on Alaska and the Great White North, this is Canada’s westernmost province, a primeval realm that distills the rugged majesty of the Pacific Coast, its vast forested expanses splintering into fiords where the land meets the ocean. A forbidding region that was nonetheless familiar to Native Americans, who knew how to reap the bounty of its freshwater streams, game and edible plants. British Columbia was not explored by Europeans until 1791 with the expeditions led by George Vancouver, namesake of Canada’s third largest city.
Born of the wild Pacific storms, the port of Vancouver anchored its docks and cranes in the delta of the Fraser River, which flows down from the ice caps high in the Rockies. Those same mountains can be admired from the top of the skyscrapers of Calgary, the country’s “wild west” town, before taking off for the national parks, where hiking and skiing whet the appetite for a prime cut of Alberta beef or a filet of salmon smoked the traditional way on a slab of maple wood. From there, the famous transcontinental train takes visitors back, along the shores of the lakes with their everchanging colors and through the mountains all the way to the heights of Vancouver, overlooking the never-ending ballet of freighters, seaplanes and yachts in the harbor. Bustling yet relaxed, dynamizing the entire province, the port city has been the gateway for North American trade with Asia ever since it was founded, turning British Columbia into a cultural melting pot. Its rich and varied social fabric is a point of pride.
Hotel and restaurant in the mountains. Nestled in the Bow River Valley, with the spectacular Canadian Rockies as a backdrop, the Post Hotel offers one of the most picturesque locations imaginable: the heart of Banff National Park, Canada’s first.This is a protected region, designated as a World Heritage Site – unspoiled natural beauty, pristine wilderness and a safe haven for the bountiful wildlife. Imagine skiing or hiking in this breathtaking landscape. Just two hours west of Calgary International airport and you are there: spacious suites, crackling fireplaces, Temple Mountain spa, award winning fresh market cuisine and one of Canada’s largest wine cellars, with over 25,000 bottles and more than 2,200 labels. ... Learn moreless
Hotel and restaurant in a park. On picturesque Salt Spring Island, Hastings House Country House Hotel is a charming waterfront resort overlooking Ganges Harbor. A magnificent 11th century Sussex-style manor house, built by British architect Warren Hastings in 1940, is the heart of the property and a convivial spot for cocktails and dining. Its inglenook fireplace and other authentic details are embellished with antiques and works by local artists. With 18 suites and rooms, Hastings House is an ideal base for exploring the area. The island itself is a hotspot for artists and locavores. The dining room offers award-winning gourmet cuisine highlighting fresh produce from its own garden. ... Learn moreless
Hotel and restaurant in the woods. Nestled in a Pacific Archipelago, Sonora Resort offers a rare alchemy of virgin wilderness and opulent comfort. Accessible only by sea or air, this is the stage for a breathtaking natural spectacle: eagles perched on towering trees, whales and sea lions surfing the currents… Spend adventurous days fishing, hiking, and observing grizzly bears in their natural habitat. For quieter moments immerse yourself in soothing mineral pools. Here, every room commands a stunning view of snow-capped peaks that seem to plunge into the emerald sea. Fresh local ingredients are prepared by accomplished chefs, paired with world class wines and served before an ocean vista. ... Learn moreless
Hotel and restaurant on the seafront. The Wickaninnish Inn stands on an outcrop between the Pacific Ocean, Chesterman Beach and a forest of giant evergreens. Artists, including renowned wood carver Henry Nolla, designed elements of its two buildings with the aim of blending art, nature and culture. You can even meet local artists at the onsite carving shed. Each room has a fireplace and picture window offering views of the coastline. Set off on a day of sea kayaking, or to see whales, sea lions or bears around Clayoquot Sound. Relax with a soothing spa treatment after your day's adventures. From November to March, you can admire mighty Pacific storms, watching from the comfort of your guest room as waves come crashing ashore. ... Learn moreless
Hotel and restaurant on a river. Fashion and designer stores, small unique shops, cafes, bakeries and restaurants all set the scene in the lively, bohemian Kensington district. In this fun neighbourhood the Kensington Riverside Inn, a small boutique inn ideally situated alongside the picturesque Bow River, offers a successful blend of sophistication and comfort. Handpicked pieces by distinguished designers, subtle lighting and artworks hung throughout the building create peaceful, intimate surroundings. Depending on the time of year, the restaurant’s seasonal creative cuisine with its French influences can be served in front of an open fire, on the patio or in the delightful dining room. ... Learn moreless
Hotel and restaurant on the seaside. Your experience starts with your trip to the camp by sea plane or boat: you leave comfortable city life far behind and reconnect with the beauty of the wilderness. Here nature is all-enveloping, a huge expanse of ancient temperate forest with rare species and cedars more than 1,000 years old. Whale- and bear-watching, climbing, white-water rafting, archery, fishing and horse riding – the programme is varied and final decisions are only made each evening depending on personal preferences, the tide and the weather forecast. The Eco-Lodge’s huge tents, furnished with sophisticated comfort in antiques and velvety carpet, put the finishing touches to this idyllic picture. ... Learn moreless
Hotel and restaurant in town. Located on fashionable Robson Square, the Wedgewood is a superb address displaying distinct European elegance, right in the heart of the cosmopolitan city of Vancouver. The guest rooms and suites provide every modern comfort, alongside antiques and original artworks, while the restaurant, dedicated to Bacchus, serves inventive, epicurean cuisine. The lounge is the epitome of understated luxury, featuring stylish furniture, rich fabrics, old-fashioned fireplaces and Venetian light fixtures personally selected by the owner. Every member of the staff, from the team at the inviting wellness center to the chef in the restaurant, strives to attain one goal: perfection. ... Learn moreless