Canada Travel Guide

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Fogo Island Inn Now Sells Its Furniture Worldwide (But You'll Still Have To Go There For The Views)

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  Site Where: Newfoundland, NL, Canada, AoG2Xo
November 13, 2014 at 11:16 AM | by | Comments (0)

Fogo Island, a remote and rugged island south of Newfoundland, put itself on the savvy (and well-to-do) traveler's map with the striking, stilt supported Fogo Island Inn, which opened last year. Just getting to the 29-suite, five-star inn is an excursion right up the adventurist's alley - island hopping (via ferry or charter plane) is a prerequisite.

But now it's upped its design appeal, as the inn has launched a furniture collection that is now available to purchase on or off the island.

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Just Outside of Toronto, 'Drake-by-the-Lake' Has Opened

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  Site Where: 24 Wharf Street, Wellington, Ontario, Canada
September 17, 2014 at 1:58 PM | by | Comments (0)

This is the kind of hotel that makes you feel like sitting around a fire and singing camp songs. Looking like a cross between your cabin at the lake and a quaint country inn, the Drake Devonshire opened this week just outside of Toronto.

Owned by the folks who brought us hipster hangout, The Drake Hotel in Toronto, you can see that “Drake-by-the-Lake” is complementary in style but with a more pronounced cheeky nod to rustic Canadiana.

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HotelChatter Must-Stay Hotels 2014: Toronto

August 5, 2014 at 5:27 PM | by | Comments (0)

Introducing our newest hotel guide--HotelChatter's Must-Stay Hotels--where we pick four hotels for four different types of travelers in a particular neighborhood of one major city. This is also a seasonal guide so the options may change depending on when you're going. Got a question about where to stay and when? Email us.

Looking for a hotel in Toronto? You can troll online review sites, crowdsource on Facebook and comb through endless “Best Hotels” lists but why do all that when we’ve done all the work for you already?

Here are four different hotels to try when you head south of the border to one of Canada’s largest metropolises, all located in Toronto's downtown area. Whether you’re going for pleasure or work and whether you’ve got cash to throw around or have pennies to count, these hotels will fulfill your wants, needs and desires.

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Go Big or Go Home: $75M Reno Biggest Ever at Fairmont Le Château Frontenac in Québec City

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  Site Where: 1 rue des Carrières , Québec City, Québec, Canada, G1R 4P5
May 27, 2014 at 5:33 PM | by | Comments (0)

If you’ve never been to this Gothic revival-style grand hotel dominating Québec City’s skyline, you should know that renovating Le Château Frontenac would be like renovating a castle (the hotel even has ramparts!). But renovate they did and paid the princely price of $75 mill to revamp the 611-room, 120-year-old property. Wowza!

Compared to when this writer last stayed at the hotel about seven years ago, the lobby-to-roof reno looks to have kept the property’s elegant classical interior while updating textures and adding a more contemporary color palette.

Some of the nifty new things include the changes made to the Fairmont Gold level, Fairmont’s version of the Club Level. The room count went from 45 to 60 rooms and the private lounge – with dedicated concierge, morning breaky, evening hors d’oeuvres, and honor bar – has been consequently expanded and gussied up.

More below!

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Before and After: Omni Renovations are Happening at the King Edward Toronto

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  Site Where: 37 King St E, Toronto, ON, Canada
March 27, 2014 at 10:09 AM | by | Comments (0)

We love hotel renovations nearly just as much as we love new hotels. But what we really love about hotel renovations is seeing the transformation that happens when an old, tired and lackluster room gets a modern makeover and transforms into new, spiffed-up, stylish guest room. Or put more simply, we love comparing the Before and After.

We told you last year that Omni Hotels was taking over the King Edward Hotel in Toronto and would be spending $40 million on renovating the hotel, from guestrooms to the 17th floor Crystal Ballroom that has been closed since the 1970s. While its 20-foot ceilings and four-way skyline views will make for a dramatic addition to the hotel, we’ll start today with a look at the before and after of the guestrooms.

The move to Omni last year marked 110 years since the hotel first opened in 1903, so it’s probably no surprise the rooms had a rather classic feel, but how have they changed?

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Canada Gets Its First Autograph Collection Hotel with the Revamped Algonquin Resort

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  Site Where: 184 Adolphus Street , St Andrews, New Brunswick, Canada, E5B 1T7
March 27, 2014 at 8:31 AM | by | Comments (0)

New Brunswick’s Grande Dame of a hotel, The Algonquin Resort, reopened last week after a one-year “rafters to registration” refurb to become Canada’s first hotel under Marriott’s Autograph Collection brand of independent hotels.

The century-old plus Algonquin Resort’s guest rooms and public spaces were completely redesigned by Toronto designer, Robynne Moncur of Moncur Design. The hotel’s décor reflects its Victorian origins but is re-styled for a modern sensibility, with a living room-style lobby that invites lingering around the two-sided fireplace. The lounge now opens to an outdoor patio that takes in the nightly sunsets over Passamaquoddy Bay in the awesomely-named St. Andrews-by-the Sea.

Each guest room and suite in the 233-room resort includes comfy pillow-top mattresses and bathrobes, radiant heat flooring in the bathrooms so that your tootsies don’t get cold, MP3 players, 32-inch flat screen TVs, in-room coffee, and complimentary in-room movies and WiFi. Select rooms and suites even feature a balcony or patio for you to while away an afternoon with a book — something like Michael Martin’s Lost in Hotels seems appropriate!

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Hotel Indigo to Open in NYC and Miami's Financial Districts in 2016

Where: Canada
March 19, 2014 at 12:56 PM | by | Comments (0)

We can't get enough of Hotel Indigos and fortunately, it's getting easier and easier to find a Hotel Indigo wherever we go.

The boutique brand from InterContinental Hotel Group has announced new hotels in New York's Financial District and in Miami's Brickell area.

The Hotel Indigo NYC Financial District will open in 2016 on Maiden Lane, one of the city's oldest streets, between Nassau and Broadway. This historic location will no doubt play a part in the Hotel Indigo's design which always works in elements from the surrounding area. And since Maiden Lane was where many of the city's watchmakers were located (there's a clock embedded in the sidewalk in front of William Barthman Jeweler), we're expecting a lot of clocks. Indeed, Hotel Indigo is already promising a "unique spin on the idea of time."

The hotel is also located one block from the new One World Trade Center. In total, the 25-story new-build hotel will have 190 rooms featuring all the Indigo brand standards--hard-surfaced flooring with area rugs, spa-inspired bathrooms, plush bedding and free WiFi, along with a bar and restaurant serving locally sourced food. And the new Interactive Neighborhood Guides will be in place as well.

This will be the fifth Indigo in NYC since it already has locations in Brooklyn and Chelsea with two more in the works in the LES and Flushing, Queens.

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Aloft Calgary To Open In April As Per Starwood’s 'Go Big Or Go Home' Goal

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 2359 Banff Trail NW, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, T2M 4L2
March 12, 2014 at 12:00 PM | by | Comments (0)

We’re hearing a lot about Aloft Hotels these days and here’s why: Starwood is planning to open 100 Aloft Hotels in 14 countries by the end of 2014. That’s a big shout-out to you, Gen Yers, since Starwood's building 'em mostly for you.

So without further adieu, here comes Aloft Calgary University, set to open on April 17—the first Aloft in Western Canada and the third to debut in the country.

Like all of the Aloft properties, you can expect modern design, loads of tech, and local live music at its signature W XYZ bar. You’ll also find a 24/7 pantry for when you have the munchies, indoor pool, 24-hour fitness center, full-service day spa, spin studio and a casual eatery on the second level of the hotel.

The Aloft Calgary University will have 143 loft-inspired rooms each with a walk-in shower, Bliss toiletries, free and, they’re promising, fast WiFi, and plug & play charging stations that connect to the 42” LCD TV.

Rates in May start at $189 CAD, but we say go the distance and have breakfast included for $199 CAD.

{Rendering: Starwood Hotels & Resorts]

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Montreal Says 'Bienvenue' to a New ALT Hotel

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 120 Peel Street, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, H3C 4B8
February 27, 2014 at 9:18 AM | by | Comments (0)

Groupe Germain Hospitalité is opening its fifth ALT Hotel at the end of March: the ALT Hotel Montréal Griffintown. Along with Hôtel Le Germain Montréal and ALT Hotel Brossard Quartier DIX30, this will be the company’s third hotel in and around the city. It will also be the first hotel (try to keep with all of these stats!) to open in cool-sounding Griffintown, one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods now home to Montréal’s Fashion Week and its own bespoke beer, Griffintown Blonde Ale from Brasseur de Montréal. (You know you’ve made it when your name’s on a beer, are we right?)

The hotel will continue to fulfill the ALT Hotels mandate of offering a “no-frills-chic hotel concept combining modern design and eco-friendly features at an affordable rate.”

See more renderings below!

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A Peek Inside Toronto’s Iconic Hipster Hangout, The Drake Hotel

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  Site Where: 1150 Queen St W, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
February 20, 2014 at 9:51 AM | by | Comments (0)

The Drake Hotel was one of, if not THE, first boutique hotel in Toronto when it opened. When we heard that dot-comer Jeff Stober was opening The Drake west of Queen West, we thought it impossible for the hotel to survive in the then downtrodden boonies. We were wrong, so wrong—not only did The Drake persevere but it quickly became a hotspot for locals who lined up to get into its basement band venue and kickass lounge. Now, ten years on, we set out to discover whether The Drake Hotel still had true cachet.

We walked in on a wintry Saturday afternoon and the place was overflowing with bohos and hipsters alike, most waiting for a table in the recently-reno’ed (and enlarged but still full to capacity) restaurant and lounge. If you ever wondered what the Canadian design aesthetic is, you need to come here. There’s lots of natural wood, industrial lighting, earth tones, forest motifs and—to take it one step further—The Drake has a kitschy camp feel that reminds us of every camping trip we ever took as kids, sans mosquitoes.

The rooms carry on that mid-century modern campground feel but with modern ModCons. You can see inside the rooms in the photo gallery, but there are a few things that deserve an extra shout-out. First, let’s hear it for “Hairy Chest Man.” This particular doll for adults with leather studded collar is handmade and you can find a different doll in every room. Next, the “pleasure menu”: The Drake purports to be the first hotel in the world to carry one and while we can’t vouch for that, we can say that it is probably the most extensive menu of its kind that we’ve had the “pleasure” of seeing (yuck yuck). We also loved the owl light and the toiletries by Malin + Goetz.

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A Peek at The Beverley Hotel in Toronto

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  Site Where: 335 Queen Street W, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5V 2A1
February 13, 2014 at 3:34 PM | by | Comments (0)

Next up in our Toronto tour is the 18-room hotel, The Beverley, found on hipster hangout, Queen West. After some initial confusion as to whether to head up or down the stairs (go up to check-in and down to go to the popular restaurant and lounge), we met up with GM Scott Newnham who showed us around this tasteful minimalist boutique property.

The hotel’s motto is, “Everything you need and nothing you don’t,” and we think this is a pretty accurate depiction of what the hotel’s all about. Cool, white minimalism takes over the rooms — with a happy shock of vivid color coming from the bathrooms — and what’s there is luxurious: Frette linens; local spa Body Blitz toiletries; fluffy cotton robes; and flat-screen TVs mounted on the ceiling or wall.

Have a look at the photo gallery below to see for yourself!

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A Frosty, Carnaval-esque Killer View from the Hilton Quebec City

Where: 1100 Boulevard Rene-Levesque, Quebec, Quebec, Canada
February 12, 2014 at 12:57 PM | by | Comments (0)

Those hardy Québécois are well-known for embracing rather than fearing the winter. And when it blankets the city so attractively like this, we can almost see why.

This is an early February view from the 18th floor of the Hilton Québéc. The 23-story, 571-room hotel is located on Parliament Hill, which makes for some pretty sweet views of the St. Lawrence River, Parliament, or the Laurentian Mountains from every room.

From the floor-to-celing window in our King room, looking out across the snow-covered rooftops, the iconic Château Frontenac aka "the most photographed hotel in the world" now run by Fairmont Hotels, is visible, as is the Place Desjardins, the setting for most Carnaval activities.

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