Four Seasons Resort Hualalai

The Burrard, Vancouver, B.C.

The Burrard, a 72-room former Motor Inn conveniently located in downtown Vancouver, retains its nifty 1950s vibe while offering a thoroughly modern boutique hotel experience. Expect whitewashed walls, mid-century decor and a palm-filled inner courtyard with a firepit and ping-pong table. 

Smart details matter in a modest hotel, and The Burrard delivers with HDTV flat screens, in-room espresso machines, free  Wi-Fi and spotless, tiled bathrooms where “This way to the pool” signs point to the tub. 

Borrow one of the hotel’s 16 complimentary cruiser bikes to peddle up to Stanley Park. Or hang the “Not Now” sign on your door and make free calls to friends anywhere in North America to tell them about your fab finds. Rates from $99. —Ann Britton Campbell 

Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate, Orlando, Fla.

Situated amid a spattering of lakes, 30 minutes southwest of downtown Orlando, this elegant resort has 720 chic guest rooms, a European-style spa and free shuttle service to the nearby Walt Disney World Resort.

Spend the day exploring Omni’s 15-acre recreation area, which includes a heated pool with waterslide, an 850-foot-long lazy river, a kid’s club and an arcade. Or practise your swing at the David Leadbetter Golf Academy’s world headquarters before tackling 36 holes designed by David Leadbetter’s former student, Greg Norman.

After you’ve worked up an appetite, feast on the rib-eye steak at David’s Club, then grab a s’mores kit from Broadway Deli and head to the on-site firepit. Rates from US$215.  —Mandy Savoie

Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii Island

Serene, secluded and sensational, Four Seasons Hualalai is an island within Hawaii’s Big Island. The resort’s 243 expansive rooms, suites and villas are nestled in clusters of one- and two-storey bungalows. Louvered wooden doors let the sound of the ocean drift from your private lanai (patio) to your amenity-laden, full granite bathroom with extra-deep soaking tub. Bliss.

You can scan the horizon for whales at the adults-only Palm Grove Pool and try a signature cocktail made from peppers that grow poolside. Meanwhile, kids will love The King’s Pond that shelters more than 3,000 colourful fish, rays and turtles. In the evening, the ‘ULU Ocean Grill reinterprets Hawaiian fare by torchlight. Rates from US$745. —Debra Smith