Who said that romantic breaks were exclusively for Paris? In 2017, the ‘city of love’ has some stiff competition from across the pond – particularly from Canada. Famed for its spectacular scenery and friendly atmosphere, we could think of no better place to spend 2017 with a loved one.
Love me at Lake Louise
It might not enjoy the fame of Paris, but Alberta’s Lake Louise is a truly remarkable Canadian gem. This beautiful mountain destination allows for absolute privacy and romance; just ask the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge – they have visited the area for a private getaway.
If your idea of romance is enjoying the great outdoors together, there are different activities on offer (which can be arranged by your hotel), all allowing you to bask in the beautiful scenery of Banff National Park. Choose from horseback riding, golf, or even canoeing on the picturesque lake. For something more relaxing but equally romantic, there is a helicopter tour of the national park and a trip to the hot springs.
No starry-eyed escape would be complete without a plush hotel room waiting at the end of the day. The Moraine Lake Lodge can be found sitting peacefully beside an incredible backdrop. All rooms in this escape have stunning lake views, allowing you to truly immerse yourself in nature whilst still experiencing complete luxury. Or perhaps you could stay at the famous Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise; one of Canada’s most iconic hotels. Once a base for outdoor enthusiasts, it is now a year-round luxury mountain resort and is the perfect place to embrace all that the magnificent Lake Louise has to offer.
Despite the exclusive and peaceful location, there is still plenty to do – and to eat! The Moraine Lake Lodge itself has a luscious restaurant and freshly-baked pastries are on offer in a small on-site deli. If you’d like to branch out, there are six restaurants in the Fairmont Hotel and a special afternoon tea service. The fabulous fine dining here is as good as anywhere in Europe, but with a restaurant for everyone, you are sure to never run out of options.
Situated in the heart of Ontario’s wine region, Niagara-on-the-Lake is the perfect destination if you are seeking the peace of a quaint town alongside the luxury of a major city. Despite its small stature, you are truly spoilt for choice here. When it comes to luxury hotels, there are not one but three world-class options. You can indulge without compromising on the idealistically quaint atmosphere that this beautiful town offers.
The Queen’s Landing, Prince Of Wales Hotel and the Pillar and Post are truly lavish hotels, each one bringing a unique touch of elegance. The Queen’s Landing is an elegant hotel with a beautiful indoor pool and a gorgeous courtyard area with a waterfall, making it a perfect romantic spot. With stunning antique furnishings and a Victorian Drawing Room to take a delightful Afternoon Tea, the Prince of Wales Hotel is a decadent place to stay right in the heart of Niagara-on-the-Lake. Finally there is The Pillar and Post, a delightful and deluxe country inn that combines rustic warmth and luxury chic for a romantic getaway.
If you can tear yourself away from your plush hotel, it’s time to think about activities for you and your partner. With over 20 wineries in the surrounding area, Niagara-on-the-Lake is the perfect location for some wine tasting. We recommending the Trius Winery – the Walking Red package allows for an intimate experience discovering and tasting wines from the area. As if it couldn’t get more romantic, Monday night is date night, where customers can indulge in a heavenly meal. For a romantic reminder of your trip to take home with you, the Niagara Pumphouse Arts Centre is the perfect place to head. There are classes on offer for all levels and you can create your own artwork, so you can remember your time in Niagara forever. Why not visit Niagara Falls itself? Being only 20-minutes’ drive away and a hotspot for proposal, it’s a must visit place for the perfect Valentine’s Day.
Quality time in Quebec
Historic Quebec City may not be the largest city in Quebec, but it is one of the most impressive. You can discover a world of luxury here, including one of the most famous and most photographed hotels in the world. The Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac is an elegant castle hotel and the epitome of romantic luxury. This is embraced in their special romance package, which includes a magical horse drawn carriage tour of Old Quebec and delicious Valentine’s day meal. Romance here is not taken lightly! For couples who share a love of winter and snuggling up by log fires, a night at the Ice Hotel is truly a must. This spectacular hotel is only open for a short amount of time – all the more reason to book that special holiday quickly!
With French heritage, you can bet Quebec City is alive with romance. We recommend starting off with a carriage tour of the old city for a truly magical experience. Home to many spectacular views, one way to appreciate the best vistas in Quebec City is with a walk along the Promenade Samuel-De Champlain. The city is also a gastronomic paradise, combining a local flavour with fine dining. The Initiale restaurant has been a favourite of the area for years, boasting a decidedly local sensibility and a passion for flavour and authenticity. Whether it is roasted quail breast or fresh Atlantic lobster, prepare your taste buds to indulge in an evening of five star delicacies. Alternatively, you could also follow in the footsteps of many celebrities, such as Sir Paul McCartney, by dining at Le Saint-Amour where they ally tradition and innovation to honour the very best products from local producers. Their unique menu offers foods such as elk Carpaccio, and Quebec deer and cloudberry.
Valentine’s in Victoria
For romantic ambience worthy of dreamy couples, we couldn’t leave Victoria off the list. Voted as the most romantic city in Canada, Victoria on Vancouver Island is a beautiful combination of luxury heritage with modern trendiness. One place that encapsulates this atmosphere is the Magnolia Hotel and Spa. Located in downtown Victoria, this grand, boutique hotel is perfect for couples. The Sparkling Romance package even provides guests with their own “romance concierge”, to help with flowers, spa treatments and seeing the city. These concierges can even help guests reserve a table at the finest restaurants; one that we recommend would be the Saveur restaurant. This restaurant combines fine dining with the urban cool that Victoria is so known for.
As the most romantic city in Canada, Victoria has really gone all out to celebrate this accolade. Take a walk around the picturesque town to drink in the charming beauty of the waterfront, and also discover a number of ‘kissing benches’! These benches have been specially placed in the city to celebrate its title, and to invite all couples to join in the romance. Another beautiful location is the Butchart Gardens, one of the premier floral show gardens in the world. Visit this oasis and you will quickly see why these gardens are so renowned. We highly recommend a visit; after all there are few things more romantic than a stroll in a rose garden.
“Marry me” in Montreal
The largest city in Quebec Province, Montreal also displays its French heritage with its attitude to love. If your idea of romance is candles and incredible cuisine, Montreal has a lot on offer. The Camellia Sinensis tea school offers tea tasting, which is sure to be a unique and interesting event for any couple. If you prefer to try the local food while exploring the city, then the Mile End food tour is perfection, allowing you to sample the local cuisine of Montreal as authentically as possible. To shop and still indulge in a bit of luxury then afternoon tea at the Maison Birks fine jewellery store is a must. This is the perfect location to unwind, and maybe even surprise your partner with a beautiful gift!
In the centre of Old Montreal sits the historic Le Place d’Armes Hôtel & Suites. This beautiful hotel features private balconies, a luxury spa and three restaurants for its guests. It is mere steps from the Notre-Dame Basilica, renowned for its resplendent interiors, and is an ideal base for exploring the city. One of our favourite ways to see Montreal is by river cruise! Enjoy fine dining on board, see Montreal from a new angle and travel in absolute luxury. Before you go, you simply must visit one of highest regarded spas of the city, the Bota Bota spa. The Nordic baths and lush treatments are guaranteed to leave you pampered. It floats in the Old Port – yes in – letting the gentle waves of the St Lawrence River below lull you into bliss.
Canada’s beautiful combination of French and North American heritage truly allows it to shine as a romantic destination. Luxury and romance often go hand in hand, and Canada has so much on offer. It’s possible to return time-and-again and have a completely different, and magical, experience each time! We’re certain that Canada really has all bases covered, and that this romantic country will provide the perfect escape in 2017.