As the second-largest country on the planet, Canada has plenty of corners to explore. There are brilliant cities, of course – Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver – but the real thrill is getting out into the vast wilds, discovering the lakes, forests, mountains and fauna that make this nation world-class for natural beauty. The best way to experience it all is by booking into your own villa, where you can come and go as you please – and escape the crowds. Here’s our pick of the best places to stay in Canada – bookable on Culture Trip.
From the outside, you couldn’t find more typically Canadian cottages: logwood panels, slate roofs and a surrounding cloak of green trees. But don’t mistake this collection of chalets on the edge of Lac Supérieur – an hour from skier’s favorite resort Mont-Tremblant – for rustic. Inside the multi-bedroom buildings – some sleeping up to eight – you’ll find simple contemporary furnishings with rainfall showers and well-equipped kitchens. Great for busy families, the resort has a kids club, tennis courts and a seasonal outdoor pool on-site, too.
Fancy sitting out in a bubbling hot tub, gazing at undulating hills? Book yourself into one of these contemporary chalets, with bells and whistles such as floor-to-ceiling windows and standalone soaking baths. Many guests come to make the most of nearby ski resort Mont-Tremblant, but there is plenty to entertain you on-site whatever the time of year – including a full-service spa, arcade room, bicycle rental and ice-skating, in winter. There are also multiple restaurants here for fuelling up after an active day out.
If you’re in search of a villa to suit a crowd, look no further than this rambling chalet by Lac Rougeaud in Quebec. Six bedrooms sleep up to 15 people, so you can bring your extended family or a group of friends to enjoy the surrounding nature – and the popular Mont-Blanc ski area, just 6.8mi (11km) away. With bright and airy meeting spaces lined in logs and a terrace overlooking dense forest and lake, it’s hard to imagine a more Canadian-looking pad. All that’s missing is the Mountie.
Historic Montmagny – on the banks of the St Lawrence River – is one of the most charming centers in Quebec. And this two-bedroom chalet – sleeping up to six people – is perfect for families who are looking to explore it. Lined in warm blond woods and contrasted with crisp whites, it toes the line between chalet-cozy and contemporary. An alfresco hot tub, cloaked by trees, is a perfect place to unwind with a glass of local cider after a day on the move – while a covered barbecue area means you can whip up kid-friendly burgers before a night of stargazing.
Mont-Tremblant is one of the most popular ski resorts in Canada – with plenty to entice beginners and pros. And this seven-bedroom chalet is only a 30-minute drive away – so no matter how advanced or basic the snow skills of your brood are, it’s an ideal place to come if you want to make the most of the outdoor winter fun. Long games of pool can be played in a sunlit socializing area – while a kitchen island area encourages everyone to mingle as you cook dinner or fix up evening aperitifs.
Ontario’s finest ski resort, Blue Mountain, draws visitors at all times of the year. Clever ones will book into the chalets at Tyrolean Village Resorts, where cozy Swiss-style chalets come in a range of formats – sleeping six across three bedrooms or as many as 16 people across 10 bedrooms. Just a 12-minute walk from the heart of the restaurants and shops of the village, these scenery-encircled hideaways come with proper kitchens for self-catering. And, in some cases, hot tubs, ping pong tables and saunas. Best of all? The spacious decks overlooking Blue Mountain itself.
If you’ve come to Canada to see bears, elk, moose and other epic wildlife, Jasper National Park in Alberta is your place. This mountain-blessed area – home to sparkling moraine lakes and forest – also hosts Jasper House, a set of cozy bungalows that feel at one with the natural landscape. The smallest bungalow sleeps just two people – ideal for couples – although family suites are available if you’re bunking as a group of four or five. The on-site Elk Village restaurant – serving chicken wings and bison burgers – saves you from cooking.
While Chateau Olivier may technically be in Montreal – in the northwest reaches of downtown – but given the waterfront location on the Prairies River and the proximity to pretty Beauséjour Park, you could easily convince yourself that you’re somewhere much wilder. Hung with chandeliers and lined in gilded framed paintings, this opulent French-style pile has eight bedrooms, a pool and a large covered terrace for cocktail parties. This is exactly the Canadian villa you’re looking for to celebrate that special occasion.
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