Now that Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations have become warm and fuzzy memories, and with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, it could be time to start planning an escape. Here are four very different retreats for you and your loved one to enjoy a blissfully romantic break.
To escape the world, lock yourself away in Yoho National Park on the other side of the mountains, just 40 km from Lake Louise, by the shores of the jade-coloured lake – not that you’ll see the water now – Emerald Lake Lodge has perfect conditions for snowshoeing around it.
With no TVs, no internet access, and no cell phone reception, it’s an ideal location to completely unwind, as all the cozy rooms have big, welcoming fireplaces and private balconies with spectacular views.
And eat. You know what to expect of a Canadian Rocky Mountain Resort property – impeccable and generous, Canadian mountain cuisine of free-range elk, bison and caribou (and they have the freshest and most superb scallops in the middle of nowhere!), and a 19-page imaginatively written wine list, with a by-the-glass program focused exclusively on BC wines.
Before dinner chill out at the oak bar (salvaged from an 1890s Yukon saloon) in Kicking Horse Lounge, where your bartender will tickle your fancy with whatever drink you ask for. Order your meal to eat in the lounge, the Mount Burgess Dining Room – or take it back to your room for complete snuggly privacy.
Field, British Columbia
Wherever you’re coming from, it’s worth the drive to this remote boutique hotel in the woods, just half an hour from Calgary. Azuridge is sheer luxury with outstanding personalized service – forget the rest of the world, there’s nothing you have to think about here other than relaxing or what to have for dinner. Yes, the wireless works perfectly, but hopefully you won’t need it on your romantic getaway.
Be prepared to be spoiled from the minute you’re greeted at the door with a sparkling Dangerous Diamond welcome cocktail. And that’s just the start, in your beautifully appointed, precious stone-themed suite, you’ll find a complimentary bubbly bar of champagne and oysters waiting for you, and your own gemstone (hint: ask for the Garnet Room, your butler will explain why!).
Dinner is a treat too, whether you choose to enjoy award-winning Chef Yoshi Chubachi’s five-course meal in your room, or in the romantic restaurant. And afterwards, snuggle up on the sink-in sofas by the roaring fire with your complimentary digestif, or slip into the softest bathrobes ever and relax in your candlelit jacuzzi tub, where your personalized hydrotherapy bath has already been run for you. Of course you’ll want breakfast in bed after finishing your morning’s personalized butler tray, but even better – indulge in a spa treatment with breakfast and glass of bubbly.
178057 – 272 Street W, Priddis
Voted by Travel Alberta as“the best place to pop the question,” you’ll get a hint of what’s to come at Mount Engadine Lodge, when, after driving 32 km of scenic gravel road from either Canmore or Highway 40, you leave your shoes at the door and discover the wireless password is “goplayoutside.”
Your feet will likely be busy here – you’re so far from civilization and this is hiking and snowshoeing country, but you’ll need the exercise as eating will play a large part in your visit. Be sure to arrive between 2:00 and 5:00 p.m., so you don’t miss the complimentary afternoon tea of charcuterie and pastries, to start your getaway off on the right foot.
In your room you’ll find very comfy beds, toiletries by local Rocky Mountain Soap Company (the lemongrass foaming wash and body lotion are beautifully bright and uplifting) – and no TV, phone or clock. But then the only time you’ll need to look at your watch is to make sure you’re not late for the hearty, family style three-course dinner. Be warned – chef does err on the side of generous. You’ll find the same goes for the homely breakfast, but it doesn’t finish there – your stay at Mount Engadine Lodge includes a packed lunch too!
Off Smith Dorrien Trail, Canmore
Sneak away to the city centre, and don’t tell anyone you’re staying at Edmonton’s most luxurious hotel for the last 102 years. You can enjoy the best of both worlds here – a personalized luxury escape, yet within minutes of all the amenities and bustle of the city.
Treat yourself to an entirely renovated, Fairmont Gold suite on the 8th floor (be queen for a night and go for the historic, Queen Elizabeth II Suite!), and feel like royalty with your own private check-in on the newly refurbished 7th floor. Here you’ll find the elegant and exclusive Fairmont Gold Lounge where you’ll hide out for your healthy, hot and cold continental breakfast (if you’re not still between the sheets for it), relax during the day, and sit by the fire for your complimentary canapés from 5:00-7:00 pm. Or go for a Romance Package on other floors of the hotel, where the mood is set for R and R – romance and relaxation.
Included in your stay are chocolate dipped strawberries, half a dozen roses, champagne, and breakfast for two in the Harvest Room, as well as valet parking. You deserve it!
10065 100th Street, Edmonton