Rates from $479
Perched on the highest floors of this castle hotel in B.C.’s Coast Mountains, the new Alpine Suites at the slopeside Fairmont Chateau Whistler offer a bird’s-eye view of the surrounding slopes. Few roosts in Whistler reveal such action: skiers, riders and a whirring Wizard Express chairlift. Opened last year, these roomy, 600-square-foot suites help define modern mountain luxury with smooth lines, rustic textures, flat-screen TVs, contemporary fireplaces and, best of all, walls adorned with black-and-white photographs of Whistler’s past. Spend your time skiing past the Chateau’s steamy outdoor pools, channeling your inner calm at The Vida Spa and relaxing après-ski with a martini in the Mallard Lounge. —LK
Rates from $200
This stylish property is the ideal stay while exploring the mountains. Basecamp, which opened about a year ago, consists of 32 self-contained units, ranging from traditional studio-style rooms with queen beds to a two-storey, three-bedroom suite that sleeps up to eight people. Guests can skip the hassle of check in as there is no front desk and a unit code for the door is provided prior to your arrival.
Each unit comes complete with a full kitchen and washer and dryer, and thoughtful amenities such as French presses with beans from local Mountain Blends Coffee Roasters. The property has communal barbecues and a rooftop hot tub with killer views of the Three Sisters mountains, the perfect place to unwind and relax.
Nearby: The Canmore Nordic Centre, built for the 1988 Olympic Winter Games, offers biking, hiking and cross-country ski trails. —SS
Rates from $322
Located in Spray Valley Provincial Park, about a two-hour drive from Calgary and an hour from Canmore, this all-inclusive backcountry lodge is accessible by car and easier to get to than others in the area. Despite that, you’ll still feel far away from it all—the property is encircled by mountains, alpine lakes and freely roaming wildlife. A series of trails surround the lodge, so there’s plenty of opportunity to explore the outdoors by hiking, biking, cross-country skiing or canoeing on one of the nearby lakes.
The cozy main lodge is Canadiana mountain chic at its best: think wooden furniture, Hudson’s Bay stripes, a massive wrap-around deck and crackling fireplaces. Engadine’s varied accommodation include six rooms inside the main lodge, three private cabins with ensuite bathrooms, a rustic yurt and, new this fall, five glamping tents.
Try this: The property’s new, year-round glamping tents come complete with private balconies, hardwood floors and ensuite bathrooms (with shower). —SS
Rates from $249
Set deep in the heart of Kananaskis Country, surrounded by alpine forest and breathtaking mountain peaks, this hotel feels away-from-it-all without sacrificing comfort or style. The lodge, originally built for the 1988 Winter Olympics, recently underwent a massive renovation and rebranding—it’s now part of the Autograph Collection by Marriot—and effortlessly executes a rustic mountain vibe while maintaining an understated chicness.
The 247 well-appointed rooms come in a variety of styles, including suites and lofts featuring stylish furnishings and amenities ranging from patios and soaker tubs to Nespresso machines and BABOR bath products. The lodge is also stacked with facilities, amongst them: five unique restaurants—including Italian, a casual pub and a chophouse—an indoor/outdoor hot tub, tennis courts and an outdoor skating rink. The newly reopened Kananaskis Country Golf Course is a 10-minute drive away.
A real standout, though, is the new Kananaskis Nordic Spa. This outdoor hydrotherapy facility features a series of hot, cold and saltwater pools, plus a variety of saunas and steam cabins, and massage treatment rooms.
Try this: Kananaskis Outfitters offers year-round rentals and guided tours or lessons for a variety of activities including cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and hiking. —SS
Banff National Park, Alberta
Rates from $540 (includes lift ticket)
Rewind the tape. Cue the classic snow setting. Sit back and savour scenes from a retro ski flick. That’s the cozy cabin feel coming your way with a stay at Sunshine Mountain Lodge. Situated high in the Canadian Rockies, this 84-room, mid-mountain boutique hotel at Banff Sunshine Village ski resort is surrounded by snow. Accessed by skis, snowboards, chairlifts and gondolas only (no cars), it’s one of Canada’s true ski-in/ski-out accommodations. Step outside and slap on your boards; you’ll be riding the Standish Express in seconds. Later, slip into the lodge’s outdoor hot pool—it’s steamy, slopeside and iconic among skiers. A west wing addition was added to the lodge’s clean-lined design in 2009 and features two-storey lofts with rosy wood tones, fireplaces and soaring windows. —LK
Revelstoke Mountain Resort, B.C.
Rates from $475
If B.C.’s Revelstoke Mountain Resort is Canada’s ideal hub for heli-, cat- and lift-served skiing, then The Sutton Place Hotel is its ideal lodging. In the lobby, you’ll find a crackling fire and a bevy of on-the-ball bell captains offering tips on Revy’s secret powder stashes. Rooms are spacious, and many have balconies overlooking the Revelation Gondola or the Monashee Valley. Out front, there’s a heli-pad with choppers whisking heli-skiers into the mountains. Pre-flight, fuel up on a hearty breakfast at Sutton’s Rockford Wok Bar Grill, and later, après-ski on-site at The MacKenzie Common Tavern or head downtown, roughly a 10-minute drive (or shuttle) away. But first, soothe your muscles in the Sutton’s outdoor heated pool and hot tubs—with Revy’s 10-metre annual snowfall, you’ll be glad you did. —LK
The Best Backcountry Lodges in British Columbia and Alberta
Whether you want to ski, spa, explore or simply unwind these getaways in the Canadian wilderness offer something for everyone. From Emerald Lake Lodge in British Columbia’s Yoho National Park to Mount Engadine Lodge in Kananaskis Country, Alberta, there’s no shortage of idyllic backcountry lodges in Canada’s Rocky Mountains. Here are a few of our favourite spots.