Embracing Canada's Luxurious Wild Side
Remote luxury can mean many things to different people. Whether it's exhilarating helicopter adventures over faraway lands or quaint inns showcasing the best in local cultural experiences, Canada offers a full spectrum. Whatever extravagant adventure you fancy, here are five secluded — yet easily accessible — Canadian experiences that manage to flaunt the country's wild side without compromising your need for luxury.
Just when you thought "glamping" (or glamorous camping) couldn't get any more lavish, Vancouver Island's Clayoquot Wilderness Resort upped the ante. Guests are whisked off by helicopter from the 20-tent resort to a mountaintop overlooking the Bedwell River Valley for some of the most dramatic views in British Columbia. Set on its own private lake with views of Mount Ursus, the resort offers an overnight mountaintop experience with luxury tents outfitted with wood stoves, antique furniture and floor-heated bathrooms. So you don't have to lift a finger, your own private staff — including a personal chef and expert guide — are always moments away, discreetly camped on a nearby ridge. What's more, beautiful hikes and paddle boarding on the mountaintop lake allow you to explore and be one with nature. But all of this secluded indulgence has a price: A three-night, all-inclusive stay in one of the resort's deluxe outpost tents will set you back $4,750 CAD (about $4,292 USD) per person. And that's just during the 2015 low season (May 21 to June 21 and Sept. 6 to Oct. 1).
When you want to woo your significant other, let the The Wickaninnish Inn in Tofino, British Columbia set the mood for you. This Relais & Châteaux property — known for its panoramic views and choice location on Chesterman Beach — specializes in one-of-a-kind Canadian experiences. Take the private dinner on nearby Shell Beach, for example. Guests can make a dramatic arrival by helicopter or access it via the hotel's private driveway to enjoy an intimate meal or secluded wine tasting. Named for the crushed shells that comprise its beachfront, Shell Beach and its vistas are picture-perfect. Nightly rates for The Wickaninnish Inn start around $300 CAD (about $271 USD).
For adventurers and thrill-seekers who want to get up-close-and-personal with the creatures inhabiting the Canadian Arctic, Churchill Wild may be the luxury outpost for you. This family-run eco-lodge in the town of Churchill, Manitoba, showcases the animals in their natural habitats during seasonal excursions. Depending on the season, you may spot polar bears, belugas, foxes, caribou or even wolves. You'll choose your accommodations based on the adventures you sign up for (Churchill Wild boasts four distinct lodges — some only accessible by air). If you can't decide on just one adventure, consider a stay in the North Knife Lake Wilderness Lodge, which boasts hiking, paddling, wildlife viewing and the northern lights. Situated 124 miles southwest of Churchill, it's about as secluded as it gets. Pricing varies by lodge and season — consult the property's website for the most up-to-date rate information.
With only 29 suites, the Fogo Island Inn prides itself on offering an intimate atmosphere. Situated on Fogo Island — a remote island found off the northeast coast of Newfoundland, Canada — the inn is only accessible by ferry or charter plane. Upon arrival, guests are treated to immersive cultural experiences that are signature to the island. Travelers can paint with local artists, hunt for ingredients with the inn's executive chef, learn to make hearty fresh breads and even take the inn's Newfoundland dogs for a walk. Best during the spring, iceberg watching from the shore, sea or air will inspire on a grand scale. Hungry visitors can savor the fresh local bounty used in the property's menus — it's "new" Newfoundland cuisine at its finest. Nightly suite rates start at $875 CAD (about $792 USD). For a more all-inclusive experience, expect to pay $1,275 CAD (approximately $1,154 USD).
Imagine enjoying a gourmet picnic on top of a 10,000-year-old glacier. Perhaps you'd rather soar across the Canadian sky for some heli-fishing? At the intimate nine-cabin Nimmo Bay Wilderness Resort, situated on the western tip of Vancouver Island, luxury and remoteness go hand in hand thanks to the property's endless array of activities. From bear watching to heli-fishing for wild Pacific salmon in more than 50 remote streams, it's non-stop adventure. After a day exploring white-sand beaches and paddle boarding on pristine lakes, enjoy a plate of coastal cuisine and a glass of local wine by the fire. All-inclusive rates for the wilderness and wildlife package start at $1,535 CAD (about $1,390 USD) per person, per day. Rates vary depending on the type of activity package you choose.
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