If that Valentine's card you made last year from twigs and dried pasta didn't go down too well, it may be time to prove your love with a swish sleepover. Luckily, Canada is crammed like a fancy chocolate box with sweet choices – the kind of swoon-worthy resorts perfect for popping the big question (don't forget the ring).
And don't fall into the trap of thinking that a swanky sleepover should only happen when Hallmark Cards tells you. Many resorts offer pampering couples' packages year-round and you may find better prices and more welcoming weather at other times. Read on for inspiration and plot accordingly.
On the wave-licked west coast of B.C.'s Vancouver Island, the indulgent and ever-welcoming Wickaninnish Inn near Tofino offers two-night B&B specials for two, from $692.50. If all goes well, you can rebook for the Elopement Package at a later date – cake, photos and wedding witnesses included.
On the island's east side, top-notch spa treatments can be added to the Rediscover Romance overnight package at Tigh-Na-Mara, from $365 a couple. Deeper seclusion required? Aim for April's season opening at tranquil Poet's Cove on Pender Island, where elopement packages are also available.
For a memorable alternative on mainland B.C.'s rustic Sunshine Coast, snuggle up in a luxe, cliff-side tent suite at the intimate Rockwater Secret Cove Resort. Two-night Valentine's packages (from $979) include massage, dining and in-room wine with choc-dipped strawberries.
B.C. is a hotbed of additional temptations – the Okanagan's Sparkling Hill Resort and the magical Echo Valley Ranch & Spa both lure retreat-seeking couples – but heads are also turned by the drop-dead-gorgeous Albertan Rockies.
Among Fairmont's old-school Canadian resorts, Jasper Park Lodge delights those who love cozying up before roaring fires in mood-lit cabins. From $599 a person, the two-night Romance Package includes breakfast in bed, sumptuous dinner, spa treatments and lakeside strolls perfect for furtive PDAs (Public Displays of Affection). Alternatively, the Romance Package at Canmore's popular Solara Resort & Spa starts at $294 a couple a night – with the added bonus of great skiing nearby.
The rest of the Prairies isn't a passion-free zone either. In Saskatchewan, February is Elk Ridge Resort's Month of Romance, with couples' overnight packages from $499, including spa and dining credits. Over in Manitoba, leapfrog the Valentine's wooing and go straight to the two-night Honeymoon Package (from $495) at Elkhorn Resort near Riding Mountain National Park – an idyllic sunset-watching spot if you still need a place to go down on one knee.
True romantics, though, may view La Belle Province as the perfect spot to assert their ardour. The Laurentians' outdoorsy-focused Fiddler Lake Resort serves sauna-equipped log cabins where you'll want to get snowed in. Need some flirtatious Quebec alternatives? Try lakeside Quintessence Resort Hotel or the grand Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu.
Craving an Ontario escape instead? On the edge of Algonquin Park, adults-only Couples Resort adds activities such as snowshoeing and horseback riding to its spa and dining options – see website for packages and late-breaking deals. For a deluxe alternative, Niagara-on-the-Lake's Harbour House is a lovely retreat where local wine exploring is always on the menu.
Over in the Maritimes, Nova Scotia's super-friendly Oceanstone Seaside Resort serves several Valentine's Packages, including a chef preparing dinner in your cottage (for an extra $125 per person). But if three's a crowd, try PEI's gable-roofed charmer, Dalvay By The Sea instead. With an April season opening, its cycling package entices couples with energy to spare. And with no in-room TV's, you'll also be forced to talk to each other – you have been warned.
OUR READERS WRITE
- If you are in Toronto you can’t get more swank than Langdon Hall. Less than an hour away, it has a luxurious spa, silverware, beautiful rooms with cozy wood fireplaces, soft linens and great food and wine. Not cheap, but well worth it. There will be romance! Peter Keleghan
- Not a resort, but those ‘tree bubbles’ in Qualicum, B.C., [freespiritspheres.com] seem awesome for couples. @seanminogue
- You cannot do much better than the spectacular Fairmount Le Chateau Montebello in Montebello, Quebec. A unique log structure oozing with ambience, especially in winter, sitting around the massive fireplace in the main lobby. You can go cross country skiing, dog sledding, curling or stay indoors and go swimming, to the spa or play indoor tennis. And the food is fantastic. R. Ludlow
- Oceanstone [oceanstoneresort.com] in Peggy’s Cove, Nova Scotia – but I don’t want to give away the secret. @jennlmtaylor
- If money is a problem, do not go in over your head. Instead, choose a lower-priced hotel but in a location with romantic character (e.g. Quebec City). Then, exceed her expectations with a ‘surprise’ bottle of champagne at a bistro or a trip to the spa. John Grimley
- My suggestion would be a spa retreat at Sparkling Hills resort in the Okanagan. It is the perfect blend of luxury and relaxation. The spa complex alone would be worth the trip. Dine by a sparkling crystal fireplace and retire to a room and view that would inspire romance in the ice queen. A few days at Sparkling Hills is like a quick escape to Europe without the overseas flight. Karen Leahy
- Tofino has many fancy resorts and Long Beach to boot. Try looking up the Long Beach Lodge as well as others on the Internet. The Wikkinninnish Inn is definitely a must see. Ukulelet just down the road boasts the beautiful Black Rock accommodations, it too is on the water. Rugged west coast water. Gloria Balazs
- I recommend a wintry visit to Niagara-on-the-Lake in Ontario. Lots of great places to stay – Queen’s Landing, Pillar and Post, Prince of Wales. And a trip to the surrounding wineries, starting with Two Sisters, right in town. That's a great start to a romantic week-end. Robert Morrow
- B.C.’s Sonora Resort [sonoraresort.com]. For its remoteness, luxuriousness, off-the-hook natural beauty, and delicious beds – some rooms have soaker tubs overlooking the water. The fact that one of the few ways to get there involves a helicopter ride is also pretty damn romantic. @charynpfeuffer
- The cozy, renovated Loggers Shack at Sunwolf [sunwolf.net] in B.C. is perfectly romantic @travelling_momB.C.’s Rockwater Secret Cove Resort [rockwatersecretcoveresort.com] - secluded, romantic and spending two days away there feels like a week. It’s beautiful at any time of year and it also has a good restaurant @jaxsaid
- Deer Lodge, Lake Louise [www.crmr.com/deer/]. I loved the rustic decor, fireplace, big warm blankets and rooftop hot tub with views of Victoria Glacier. Also, Tigh Na Mara in B.C. – I loved the fireplace, lounge, moonlight walk among arbutus trees and watching the sunrise at their beach. Finally, Victoria's Inn at Laurel Point [www.laurelpoint.com] for the down duvets, watching floatplanes from our balcony, the night view from the lounge and their garden @AirbnbSuperhost
- Hotel de Glace [hoteldeglace-canada.com/], Le Bonne Entente Hotel [lebonneentente.com], Fairmont Queen Elizabeth [fairmont.com/queen-elizabeth-montreal/] and Manoir Hovey [manoirhovey.com] – for the food, location, joie-de-vivre, authenticity – and the fact they’re all in Quebec @QCOriginalRVC
- Probably the Wickaninnish Inn [www.wickinn.com], especially in storm season. Gorgeous accommodations, top-notch food and that spa is awesome – especially the hut overlooking the water. Tofino is such a magical place @LesleyEMirza
- Definitely Sonora Resort [sonoraresort.com] in B.C. – romance, spa and serenity @WendyHartley
- The ‘hobbit house’ on B.C.’s Mayne Island [airbnb.ca/rooms/1720832] and the Free Spirit Spheres [freespiritspheres.com] north of Quallicum Beach on Vancouver Island @Nat_Carnegie
- There is nothing more romantic than a night in a posh downtown Vancouver hotel, coupled with a fabulous meal and a quiet drink. Go for a room with a view at the Rosweood Hotel Georgia [rosewoodhotels.com/en/hotel-georgia-vancouver], Fairmont Pacific Rim [fairmont.com/pacific-rim-vancouver/] or the Four Seasons Vancouver [fourseasons.com/vancouver/] – with dinner/drinks at Miku, Prohibition or L’Abattoir @ClaireFromYVR
- I'm biased but Victoria is voted the most romantic city – and it has a resort feel the minute you arrive @hotel_goddess
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