Canadian (political) Escapes

by Teresa Rodriguez

If Election Day leaves you racing for the northern border, do it in style.

After a bitter and increasingly bizarre campaign season, there’s a good chance that some of you might find yourselves looking for the door on November 8. This time, don’t just say you’re going to move to Canada, do it—at least for a week or two of blissful decompression. No matter how depressed you might be about the fate of American democracy, you don’t have to spend your Canadian escape drowning in poutine or ogling herds of moose; check out these remarkable destinations that will make you forget all about politics.

Wickaninnish Inn:
Tofino, Vancouver Island

Tofino might sound like a quaint Italian village, but it’s actually a tiny town hidden among the craggy inlets of Vancouver Island. Wickaninnish Inn, a breathtaking property with panoramic views nestled between the sky-high cedar trees and the roiling Pacific Ocean, is the perfect antidote for a stressful American election season.

Renowned for its incredible boat-to-table culinary experiences, the Inn is also known for its world-class Ancient Cedar Spa. Still chagrined about your candidate’s debate performance? Relieve the tension with a hot rock massage overlooking the crashing waves.

The Canopy Suite is the Inn’s ultimate accommodation. Guests enjoy unobstructed views of the Chesterman Beach from soaring windows that line the entire room. Get lost in the bathroom with the side-by-side double soaker bathtub and a multi-jet shower for two. Trump who? Hillary what?

Azuridge Estate Hotel:
Priddis, Alberta

The Azuridge Estate Hotel is only 30 minutes from Calgary, but you wouldn’t know it when you arrive. Priddis is so small that it’s not even identified as a town; it’s a hamlet. Once the home of entrepreneur Mogens Smed, the hotel is a hidden gem, its name taken from the beautiful blue azurite stone that is the same color as the Canadian sky.

Mr. Smed spared no expense when creating the magnificent edifice. With only 13 rooms, the Azuridge was designed for tranquility. It is also known for its prestigious butler school, where butlers learn the fine art of etiquette, protocol, table setting and service. Service at the hotel, predictably, is unparalleled.

The hotel’s Signature Suite is the property’s pièce de résistance, complete with huge floor-to-ceiling windows, majestic mountain views, a premium Jacuzzi, private balcony, and an opulent curved art-glass shower that you’ll never want to leave.

Fairmont Banff Springs:
Banff National Park
Maybe Election 2016 didn’t provide you with a fairytale ending, but you can always retreat to the Fairmont Banff Springs, which looks like a dream castle ensconced by a magical forest. World-class amenities including a championship golf course, award-winning spa and sumptuous dining will make you feel like royalty during your stay.
Assuming you’re here because you’ve lost faith in democracy, book the Royal Suite, which is located at the pinnacle of a castle tower. The suite was designed for royalty and dignitaries visiting Canada and includes a reception foyer, spacious living room, grand piano, upper perimeter library, powder room and a majestic master
bedroom with 360-degree views of the Bow Valley.

Hotel Gault: Montréal, Quebec
If it’s time for you to say “Au revoir” to America, consider the Francophile city of Montréal, which offers the charm of an old European city, delightful French culture, tantalizing cuisine and renowned Canadian friendliness.
For an historical yet modern experience, check into Hotel Gault. Once a mansion in Old Montreal, Hotel Gault has transformed the 19th-century greystone building into a modern hotel with only 30 loft-style suites. Pretend you’re in France by reserving one of the coveted Terrace Suites. Sip champagne while listening to French café music and admiring the spectacular views of Old Montreal. Vive la résistance!

The Cottages at Secret Point: Kelowna, British Columbia
Politically disappointed oenophiles need not lament their loss of fine California wines while in northern exile: The wine region of Kelowna is truly remarkable. With 30 wineries in Kelowna and more than 200 in British Columbia, there’s a lot to love.
Those who love sparkling wines should not miss Summerhill Pyramid Winery, the winner of the prestigious “Sparkling Wine of the Year” 2014 at All Canadian Wine Championships. For ice wine aficionados, a visit to Tantalus Vineyards is a must. They are famous for their Riesling and Syrah ice wines, which are picked at only the precise moment allowed by the Canadian government.
The best place to stay is on the waterfront of Lake Okanagan. The exquisitely appointed Cottages at Secret Point have everything an ex-pat needs, including deep bathtubs overlooking the lake, modern kitchens, 50-foot waterfront decks with elegant BBQ areas—and some boast their own private docks.

The Listel Hotel: Vancouver, British Columbia

If you’re not ready to trade your heels for hiking boots, you don’t have to in Vancouver. This buzzing international city is a metropolis filled with fantastic restaurants, world-class art, and nonstop entertainment.
The Listel Hotel, located in the heart of downtown Vancouver, has been dubbed “Vancouver’s most art-full hotel” because of its impressive collection of artwork throughout the hotel and in public spaces. To take full advantage, be sure to book one of the “Artist Series” suites—deluxe, one-bedroom suites each appointed with a different design motif and work from an acclaimed artist. Each room is uniquely furnished in Art Deco, Italian Modern, French Provincial or Neoclassical styles.
Who needs to worry about the Oval Office when you’re surrounded by such beauty?

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