During a summer spent boozing in Dawson City, I was often committed to friendly interrogations of tourists about why they’d travel to Canada, and the answer was always the same: Wide open space. That’s the quality which makes this country such a prized destination, especially when the last few years being defined in part by social distancing. Not seeing a single soul for miles is now in vogue for travelers, so why not do it in style?
These luxury destinations are where you want to go, coast to coast to coast, when you crave that escape into a great beyond. Sometimes exceptionally remote in the most northern of climes, you may have to hoof it and rough it to get there, but the journey will be worth the wide open destination.
By no means a well-kept secret, this 29-room hotel with its edge-of-the-earth location looking northward over the Atlantic is a highly prized destination for wandering along stark, rocky coastlines. You’ll have to at least make it the Gander, Newfoundland to ferry out to this rugged geotourism destination that merges bed and breakfast vibes with a minimalistic architecture.
With forest bathing, Nordic spa-going, and hiking among other activities across a pristine 100-acre estate found alongside the Tobeatic nature reserve, Trout Point Lodge excels at East Coast hospitality in absolute seclusion. Its position in the Yarmouth & Acadian Shores region is particularly worth noting, as it’s the world’s first certified Starlight Hotel, perfect to gazing out into the galaxy and truly feeling alone.
Don’t be fooled by its proximity to the resort-studded town of St. Andrews that saddles the Canada-US border. This circa-1897 country house sports expansive grounds to wander in, large beaches nearby to explore, and solitary activities like golf and sea kayaking. It’s not a total escape into isolation, but its slow pace of life is ideal for losing yourself in, well, yourself. Get meditative here and explore the wide-open space within.
With culinary offerings from chef Michael Smith that alone that are the most deluxe on the island, this five-star inn scores a solitude point for each of its 48 explorable acres full of surf, gardens, and forests to stroll through à la Walden. If that doesn’t sound like enough to satiate your need to detach form society, the Greenwich National Park and Basin Head Provincial Park are at your beck and call here, too.
Built on a private property on an immaculate slice of the Eastern Townships, this top-rated Relais & Châteaux property is doubly isolated when booking its Dragonwatch Cottage, a truly separated suite to use as a homebase for wandering along rolling farmlands and diving into the Massawippi Lake. Not exclusive enough? You can book a private seaplane to take you right up to the dock during warmer months, where a bottle of chilled bubbly will be waiting.
If seclusion is rejuvenation, then this location’s all-inclusive spa experience is perfect: A fieldstone country castle from the 1800s in the rolling hills of of Northumberland County, Ste. Anne’s has a whopping 400 acres to its name. Across that property are spa cottages and private chalets available for rent for both solo travellers and those looking to “isolate” in a group, and everything is surrounded by trails to trek on.
One of three polar bear and Arctic wildlife experiences from Churchill Wild, this northern Manitoban lodge has a view onto Hudson’s Bay that’ll leave you speechless. Its location allows it to proffer some of the country’s most precious sights through safaris, from the Northern Lights and marine tours to watch beluga whales in the summer to journeys out to the crystal blue of the Floe Edge.
Fishing and hunting lodges are among the best ways to truly get a taste of Canada’s expanse from a luxurious perspective. This one requires a two-hour flight north from Winnipeg and an additional hour by bus to get there, but when you get there? Angling after the greatest catches in your life gets coupled with private cabins, hearty feasts, and spa experiences in a spot that’s been pioneering deluxe Canadian fishing trips since the 1960s.
Avoid the crush of summer crowds on the streets of Banff and Jasper by opting for a stay at this lodge found at the core of Banff National Park, losing yourself in views of jagged mountaintops and the bluest water you’ve ever seen. For access to that oh-so-wide open space, consider this your immaculate home base for mountaineering, skiing, and dogsledding excursions into the Rockies.
A wilderness retreat located in the Great Bear Rainforest offering gloriously secluded experiences every which way you look, Nimmo Bay is equal parts restorative relaxation and stimuli seeking. There are tailored wilderness adventures, premium booze and culinary add-ons, and guided wellness trips into the surrounding green. Go at your own pace here, either taking to the skies above in helicopters or just taking in the stars from a well-placed Adirondack chair on a stony beach.
As the name implies, this family-run destination specializes in aurora viewing from the privacy of a cabin, teepee or viewing deck, but its robust opportunities for exploration and sightseeing make it so much more than that. Mountainous countryside, wildlife, bush and scrubland, hot springs, elevated trails, and winding open roads leading to turn-of-the-century gold mining towns make this a prime spot to both get lost and to find yourself in isolation.
Accessible via a half-hour bush-plane flight from Yellowknife, this custom lodge and its five cabins blend modern comforts with untouched wilderness, taking the form of services like Aurora-watching wake-up calls. You’ll be experiencing absolute silence here, so kick back with a drink and enjoy panoramic views onto the jagged horizons of pine, ice, and rock that characterize this territory’s terrain.
An original Hudson Bay trading outpost located 35 miles north of the Arctic Circle, this site specializes in natural history tours guided by those raised in the area. Only accessible via chartered plane out of Yellowknife via breathtaking flights over valleys, tundra, and cliff faces, its rare environment in the distant Kitikmeot Region is made unforgettable through hikes and boat trips out into the wild to see what only handfuls of people can aspire to catch a glimpse of.