Seaside Hotel, North Vancouver, B.C.
Set in what is becoming Vancouver’s second downtown – the shore area of North Vancouver, a 13-minute ferry ride from Waterfront station in downtown Vancouver – the Seaside is a five-minute walk from the ferry terminal and borders one side of the ice rink/water park that is now a central feature of the city’s former shipyards district. Bakeries, cafés, restaurants and shops are clustered all around, and the shoreline pier and walkway are minutes away.
It’s a hotel meant for those who don’t care about the usual amenities. To save space, the lobby is the size of a bathroom, but the restaurant and bar immediately behind it are cozy hangouts. The fitness centre is a partnership with neighbouring Method Indoor Cycling, and there’s no real business centre – hotel management assumes guests travel with all the tech they need. But there is a spa and the 71 rooms are design jewels: natural wood on walls, large marble-encased rain showers in the bathrooms and minimalist but luxurious beds and decor. Rooms from $150, seasidehotelvancouver.com
Hew and Draw, Corner Brook, N.L.
It may be 700 kilometres from St. John’s, in a still-functioning mill town, but the 36-room Hew and Draw boutique hotel is sure to make waves when it opens this spring, particularly given that Corner Brook is a burgeoning launching off point for Gros Morne National Park.
The building, a former Woolworth’s department store, has been revamped extensively with design work by western Newfoundland artists and stocked with products from local companies. It also has an onsite brewery.
The owners, members of the local Major family, say what they love most in the new building is the forest green tile that flows from the exterior of the hotel and wraps around the lobby to the taproom. There are pet-friendly rooms and suites with kitchenettes. Rooms from $160, hewanddraw.ca
GLo Hotel, Kanata, Ont.
Business travellers and families looking for something less expensive than downtown often get stuck in bland boxes in the suburbs. Kanata’s new GLo hotel, part of the Best Western family and the first Canadian outlet of a Finland-based chain, is 22 kilometres from downtown Ottawa but far from bland.
GLo has the hip and minimalist style that several European chains – the Dutch citizenM, Spain’s Barcelo, France’s Nomad – have popularized. At the GLo, that means sleek design, money put into things such as gel mattresses and ergonomic chairs, and lots of high-tech amenities.
In room, the extra-long desks are intended to function as an office, the bathrooms are notable for having lots of shelf storage, along with the tech connections to listen to podcasts in the shower, which also features a shower head that lights up in blue. Rooms from $143, bestwestern.com
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