Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

October 21, 2017
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A Place For The Night

Nothing beats sleeping somewhere that feels like home. Here's our coast-to-coast guide to some of Canada's best places to stay

Close to Victoria... $80-150 per night

Whiffin Spit Lodge B&B
7031 West Coast Road, Sooke, BC V0S 1N0
tel: (800) 720-1322, (250) 642-3041; fax: (250) 642-4181; whiffinspit@sookenet.com; www.sookenet.com/whiffinspit

Travel time: Under three quarters of an hour from Victoria. A great scenic drive so take your time and explore.
What you get: The Green Room: queen-sized ash bed with en suite bathroom. The Pine Room: four-poster, queen-sized pine bed with en suite bathroom. Very sunny. The Attic Suite: romantic, sunken room with TV, gabled window, sitting room, skylights, queen-sized bed and en suite bathroom with marble Jacuzzi. Willow Cottage: newly renovated, 1940s-style bright and sunny cottage with French doors, TV/VCR, fireplace and dining area. Queen-sized bed plus marble Jacuzzi for two, kitchenette and barbecue. The entire property of the Whiffin Spit Lodge is an early 20th-century home that has been recently renovated. Stroll the surrounding West Coast gardens and sit on the porch. No smoking or pets allowed.

A full, hearty breakfast is provided each day (it's optional for the Willow Cottage). If eating in for dinner doesn't appeal to you, check out the incomparable Sooke Harbour House. If that's not within your budget, local pubs boast great "pub grub" or try the famous fish and chip stops. The Good Life Café and Point No Point Tea House are local favourites. Several delis, take-out eateries and coffee shops can be found throughout the area.

What's close by: Experience some of the best year-round salmon fishing in the world. There's plenty of whale-watching tours available and all the other leisure and sports facilities you'd expect from the naturally beautiful and rugged West Coast.

Top-rated Sooke Harbour House is definitely worth a visit if you're in the mood for fine dining. The menu and wine list boasts several local favourites. Visit the Sooke Potholes for a day hike, picnic or swim during the summer.

Sooke's small-town atmosphere is a nice alternative to the big-city hustle and bustle, while several surrounding villages have weekend markets, rows of antique shops and mom & pop greasy spoons. Beaches offer peace and quiet while hiking trails and bicycle paths, marked or not, abound. East Sooke Park can be seen in a day or a week. Scuba dive or rent a sailboat and take on the waters of the Juan de Fuca Strait. Witty's Lagoon is a birdwatcher's paradise. The Rain Forests of French and China Beaches are within an hour's drive.

Rates: Green Room $80 (single), $90 (double); Pine Room $90 (single), $100 (double); Attic Suite $135 (single), $145 (double); Willow Cottage $150 including full breakfast or $140 without breakfast. April 15 to October 15 (low season, deduct $10 per night); additional child, add $10 per night; additional adult, add $20 per night. Rollaway beds available.

...$225-275 per night

Sahhali Serenity Luxury Oceanfront B&B Inn
5915 Pirates Road at Oak Bluffs Pender Island, Box 83 North Pender Island, BC V0N 2M0
tel: (877) 625-2583 (May through October), (250) 629-3664; www.sahhali-serenity.com

Travel time: 45 minutes from downtown Victoria to Swartz Bay ferry terminal, which is 15 minutes from Victoria International Airport. It's wise to book a rental car in advance. A direct ferry ride (no reservations possible) from Swartz Bay to Pender Island's Otter Bay Terminal takes about 40 minutes. The ferry runs up to five times a day and costs approximately $32 return for a driver and passenger. From Vancouver (Tsawssen Terminal), reservations to Pender Island are strongly suggested. Ferries run twice daily during the off-season, three times a day during high season and cost around $90 return. For additional information, go to the Sahhali website.

What you get: Sahhali is an architectural masterpiece that's been carved into the rock face and wrapped around a natural quarry pond, overlooking a major whale passage as well as the locals' favourite fishing currents in the heart of the Canadian Gulf Islands. Views are unparalleled, complete with Victoria's twinkling lights and beacons and reef reflectors from among the Gulf Islands.

The three oceanfront suites have walls of glass, vaulted ceilings and are decorated with antiques, timber lock poster beds, feather duvets and overstuffed armchairs. Extras include silk robes, extra-fluffy towels, heated ceramic floors, Jacuzzis, double-nozzle showers, private fireplaces and spacious hot tubs on private decks.

 

Breakfast is served in your room on fine china and crystal. A fridge, microwave, sink and BBQ are provided for each suite. A jar of homemade cookies is delivered daily. Seasonally, dining establishments change on the Penders, but your hostess, Penny Tomlin, a long time Pender resident and well-informed chef, will arrange your dinner reservations for you. Pender hosts a new bakery and health-food store and the farmers market offers a wealth of fresh veggies, bakery products and crafts.

What's close by: Sahhali is an Indian name meaning "a high and lofty place" and this describes the four hectares of very private high bluff land perfectly. Walking trails lead to giant rock outcroppings and natural spring-fed quarry ponds with rare ducks. Deep forest trails lead to nearby coves and beaches, perfect for viewing seals, river otters and eagles.

Pender is home to Reiki, reflexology, massage, aromatherapy, acupunture, applied kinesiology and many energy workshops, including a medicine wheel workshop by a First Nations counsellor. A masseuse can visit your suite for $65 per hour.

There's seasonal horseback riding and all-season bike riding. In season, mountain bikes can be rented for 62 kilometres of cycling roads. The kayaking is excellent from May until the end of October and there's a challenging pastoral valley nine-hole golf course --$17 a round. Sahhali is now known for its newly hatched peregrine falcons, on the bluffs of the site.

Storm watching at this slice of heaven on the bluff is enjoyed during December to early March. Blossom time is mid to late February.

Packages: A new architect-designed gazebo is available for weddings, renewals of vows and family reunions. Sahhali can arrange the Justice of the Peace, witnesses, floral arrangements, hair appointments, photographers and more.

Rates: Off-season rates begin October and winter rates vary. Third day specials only $100 or $125 per couple. Ocean-front: Bonsai Suite $275; Turn Point Suite $225; Overlook $245. Prices are per couple per day and include a delicious breakfast. A third person in any suite is $25 additional per day. A luxury oceanfront chalet is perfect for families or a private retreat. Off season, a minimum two-day stay is required except during holidays. Two of the three Sahhali suites are dog friendly.

Close to Vancouver... $65-95 per night

The Farmhouse Bed and Breakfast
7611 Meadows Road, Box 121, Pemberton, BC V0N 2L0
tel: (888) 394-6205; tel/fax: (604) 894-6205

Travel time: It takes about an hour to get there from Vancouver and just under three hours from Victoria, including ferry passage.

What you get: This 1930s-character country home has been lovingly and professionally restored. The house and bedrooms feature a large art collection and an extensive library. Hearty homemade breakfasts are prepared daily with fresh, "serious" coffee which can be enjoyed in the garden with its mountainous backdrop stretched across the property's four hectares of landscaped perfection.

Rooms come with a twin, double or queen-sized bed. Private or shared bathrooms.

Breakfast is the only meal that's included, but hosts Carol and Peter Shore can recommend places for fine dining or a simple meal in Pemberton and Whistler. The area is bound to have a perfect spot for a picnic. Why not lunch under a Garry Oak or by a pond?

What's close by: The Farmhouse B&B is just 25 minutes from Whistler and all the world-renowned resort town has to offer. This includes mountain biking, hiking, golf, boating, horseback riding, rafting and of course, plenty of great skiing.

The Farmhouse is also less than four kilometres from Pemberton village where you can find quaint shops, boutiques, arts and crafts and plenty of great restaurants and cafés. There's plenty of wandering wildlife and some spectacular scenery for a stroll. The lush and scenic Pemberton Valley holds many natural treasures.
Rates: Rooms cost $65, $75 and $95 per night.

$139-289 per night

The Inn at Clifftop Lane
2828 Clifftop Lane, Whistler, BC V0N 1B2
tel: (888) 281-2929, (604) 938-1229; fax: (604) 938-9880

Travel time: About 45 minutes from Vancouver and under three hours from Victoria, including ferry ride.

What you get: Nestled on Clifftop Lane, the inn exudes warmth and elegance in a modern setting. En suite bathrooms are complete with Jacuzzi tubs and fluffy terrycloth bathrobes. Stick around the inn for an aprés-ski drink and soak in the atmosphere around the fireplace. Outside you can take in the surrounding mountain vistas from the covered hot tub on the patio terrace. Take the stairs down to the woods and inhale the fresh scent of nature from a wooden deck that juts out into the forest. Antiques from around the world complement the embroidered linens and hand-crafted quilts and throw pillows -- all created by your hostess -- that adorn each of the five unique suites. Voted the best place to kiss in the Northwest and Whistler's highest rated B&B/Inn by Canada Select.

What's close by: Whistler Creekside Gondola is just one kilometre away while all the treasures of Whistler are within reach. Partake in everything that's close to nature and oozes adventure or good old family fun. Hike, ski, mountain bike, kayak, raft, fish, swim and on and on.

Packages: Ski packages are available. Hosts Alan and Suleeporn Sailer can fill you in on the best deals and point you in the right direction when it comes to guides and outfitters.
Rates: Depending on the season, $139 to $289 per night, per room, double occupancy (third person staying? Add $35). Breakfast included.

Close to Calgary...$110-185 per night

McNeill Heritage Inn
500 Three Sisters Drive, Canmore, AB T1W 2P3
tel: (877) MCNEILL, (403) 678-4884; fax: (403) 609-3450; info@mcneillinn.ab.ca; www.mcneillinn.ab.ca

Travel time: About an hour and a half from Calgary.

What you get: This cozy, five-room mountain inn is also a historic landmark -- it was built in 1907 for the son of a coal baron. Take in spectacular Rocky Mountain landscapes while you have your morning coffee on the wrap-around veranda. The guest rooms feature pine hardwood floors covered with throw rugs and antique pine or wicker furniture, all with en suite baths (the Studio Suite and Blue Room come with claw-foot tubs). There's also a living room with a fireplace and bar and a well-stocked library with guidebooks and maps to help you explore the area.

What's close by: A 15-minute walk takes you to into Canmore, a mountain resort town that hasn't yet been overrun by bad trinket shops. There are plenty of charming boutiques, galleries, pubs and restaurants to explore. And in winter, cross-country skiing galore.
Rates: $110-185 per night. Breakfast is included.

...$150-1000 per night

Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge
tel: (800) 441-1414, (780) 852-6046; fax: (780) 852-5107; jasperparklodge@fairmont.com; www.fairmont.com

Travel time: About three hours from Calgary (check the website for directions).

What you get: Canadian Pacific luxury in a mountain-lodge setting. The hotel sits in Jasper National Park next to the emerald-green waters of Lac Beauvert, so glorious views are yours year-round. The 446 well-appointed rooms are housed in cedar chalets and heritage-style log cabins with three, five, six or eight bedrooms. Rooms come with a porch, patio or balcony and many have fireplaces. The health club and spa include fitness centre, indoor whirlpool, sauna and a heated all-season outdoor pool. You'll also find four restaurants (including the CAA Four-Diamond Edith Cavell Dining Room), two lounges, a take-out deli and several boutiques.

What's close by: On the site is the 18-hole, Stanley Thompson-designed golf course. If you don't golf, you can hike, bike, fish, canoe and horseback ride. During winter, cross-country ski the resort's 25 kilometres of trails, ice skate on the two on-site rinks or go downhill skiing at nearby Marmot Basin (there's a shuttle service). Dogsledding and snowmobiling can be arranged through the hotel.

Packages: The Bed and Breakfast Package includes one night's accommodation, breakfast buffet and a meal gratuity. Prices start at $178 (double occupancy). The offer is good year-round.
Rates: $150-1000 per night, ranging from standard rooms to luxury suites and cabins that sleep up to eight.

Close to Saskatoon... $64-70 per night

The Bluenose Country Vacation Farm
PO Box 173, Qu'Appelle, SK S0G 4A0
tel: (306) 699-7192; jmader@sk.sympatico.ca; www.sasktourism.com/bluenose

Travel time: About three-and-a-half hours from Saskatoon. Check the website for directions.

What you get: Prairie hospitality near the picturesque Qu'Appelle Valley. The three-storey, English-style stone farmhouse has three homey guestrooms and two cottages, all with private baths. Amenities include a children's playground and farm petting zoo, mini-golf course and an indoor pool. The living room has a television and fireplace. A "country high tea" of homemade breads, pies, tarts and preserves is served daily May through September.

What's close by: The town of Qu'Appelle is only two kilometres away and the Bluenose Agriculture Interpretive Centre is also nearby. Or pack a lunch, drive the 19 kilometres to the Qu'Appelle Valley and spend the day by the lake. In winter, cross-country ski or go snowmobiling.
Rates: $64 per night for single rooms, $70 per night for doubles. Breakfast is included. Ask about family rates. $95-232 per night during low season (October through May).

...$95-232

Temple Gardens Mineral Spa & Resort
24 Fairford Street East, Moose Jaw, SK S6H 0C7
tel: (800) 718-7727, (306) 694-5055; fax: (306) 694-8310; templegardens@sk.sympatico.ca; http://templegardens.sk.ca

Travel time: Two hours and 45 minutes from Saskatoon.

What you get: This four-and-a-half-star resort's main attraction is a vast mineral-rich geothermal indoor pools and an adjoining rooftop mineral pool. The waters are drawn from a series of seabeds 1350 metres below the earth's crust and since the resort opened about five years ago, it's been a huge success. The Oasis Spa offers everything from massages and manicures to aromatherapy, reflexology and mud or seaweed body wraps. Of the 96 comfortably appointed rooms, make sure you snag one of the 24 that come equipped with two-person Jacuzzis, so you can enjoy the hot mineral waters in your own suite. There's a fitness centre that also offers personal training and yoga classes, a restaurant whose specialty is Angus steak and a café that serves good vegetarian fare, smoothies and homemade lemonade.

What's close by: Find out why the city was once called Little Chicago: visit the Tunnels of Moose Jaw, which were used for gambling and prostitution and by Al Capone, Diamond Jim Grady and other bootleggers to store liquor during Prohibition.

Packages: The Overnight Escape Relaxation Package, which includes one night's accommodation, lunch and five spa treatments, is $290 for a standard room and $365 for a Spa Jacuzzi Suite.
Rates: $95-232 during low season (October through May), $100-242 during high season (June through September). Includes access to the spa.

Close to Toronto... $139-260 per night

Couchiching Inn
440 Couchiching Point Road, Orillia, ON L3V 6P8
tel: (888) 869 fax-2306 (reservations only), (705) 325-6505; fax: (705) 325-7662

Travel time: Orillia is about an hour and 20 minutes from Toronto and just over three hours from Ottawa.

What you get: Eighty-one rooms offer a range of luxuries and amenities for the weekend warrior. Every room comes with a telephone, data port, TV, shuttle service to and from Casino Rama and a continental breakfast. Smoking and non-smoking rooms available. Some rooms are equipped for the physically handicapped. Executive and Ambassador suites include Jacuzzis, fireplaces, queen-sized beds, lush carpets, work desks and plenty of space. Conference and reception facilities are available.

The Spa at Couchiching is a big reason why many visitors stay here. For personal pampering, meet their registered massage therapists and estheticians. A 10-person Jacuzzi is perfect for you and your colleagues after a workout in the fitness room.

What's close by: The Trans-Canada Trail is adjacent to the Couchiching Inn and runs alongside abandoned railway lines. It can accommodate hikers, runners, in-line skaters and cyclists. The Orillia Perch Festival is fishing fun for the whole family while the Leacock Heritage Festival and Museum on Brewery Bay attract thousands of visitors a year. For gamblers, Casino Rama is just minutes away. A short drive brings golfers to top-notch greens at Hawk Ridge, Horseshoe Valley, George and Bonaire Golf and Country Club.

In the winter, try out the local snowmobile trails or ski at Mount St. Louis and Horseshoe Valley.

Packages: Spa Getaway Package (two-day minimum stay) entitles you to a pedicure, refresher facial, half-hour massage and a room for $480 plus taxes. Other half-day, three-quarter-day and full-day packages are available.
Rates: Prices start at $139 for a guest suite and go up to $260 for Ambassador suites per night.

...$259-659

Langdon Hall Country House and Spa
RR 33 1 Langdon Drive, Cambridge, ON N3H 4R8
tel: (519) 740-2100, (800) 268-1898; fax: (519) 740-8161; langdon@goldnet.net; www.langdonhall.ca

Travel time: The inn is approximately an hour's drive west of Toronto. For directions, consult the detailed map on their website.

What you get: Relais & Châteaux luxury and fine dining. Langdon Hall was built in 1898 and is situated on 200 acres of gardens and forest. This American Federal Revival house has 41 rooms and two suites, each with its own unique and personal charms. All rooms have wood-burning fireplaces, luxury baths and large sitting areas. The spacious suites are luxuriously appointed and have private balconies, while others have a two-storey layout with a living room and upper-storey bedroom. All beds are covered with fluffy white duvets.

The extras are numerous and varied here. For one, Langdon's spa is the perfect place to be pampered during your holiday. Skilled and caring hands will leave you feeling renewed and refreshed. Enjoy facial treatments, Swedish massage, body wraps and hydrotherapy. Spa rates range from $35 to $95 or can be part of a package deal with your stay.

The Terrace is a beautiful three-season dining area with a winter garden and Carolinian forest. The menu is filled with local produce and ingredients grown on the estate -- apples (when in season), herbs, vegetables and honey.

What's close by: Cambridge is situated in the middle of the action when it comes to the arts. Check out the Stratford or Shaw Festival, which ends in October, Canada's largest botanical gardens at the Royal Botanical or Doon Heritage Crossroads, an early 20th-century village re-creation. There's plenty of antique, artisan and craft shops in Cambridge. The rural backroads are a great place to just head out on a nowhere drive. The hotel staff can also arrange off-site activities like hot air balloon rides, horseback riding, guided or solo canoeing on the Grand River and cycling on the surrounding trails. Check out the Mennonite lifestyle and their handiwork in nearby St. Jacob's.
Rates: Prices are per room, per night and include a continental breakfast. Cloister and House Rooms $259, Stable Terrace and Original Masters rooms $364, Attic or Rose Suite and Stable Lofts $429 and Stable Suite and Orchard/Pine Suite $659.

Close to Ottawa... $185-235 per night

Château Montebello
392 Rue Notre Dame, Montebello, QC J0V 1L0 tel: (819) 423-6341; fax: (819) 423-5511; chateaumontebello@fairmont.com

Travel time: Just under two hours from Ottawa.

What you get: Those beams. The pool. The history. Montebello's famous lodge architecture, enormous aqua-fitness centre and colourful past are reasons enough to spend a decadent weekend at Canada's premier resort hotel (with apologies to Banff Springs).

If you're on a tight budget, you can stay in a standard room and still enjoy all of the above. Moving up the price scale, there are the Fairmont rooms, located mostly on the first and second floors and with views of the expansive lawns; the Fairmont Deluxe rooms have views of the Outaouais River and finally the Montebello Premier rooms, the largest rooms on the property that can accommodate up to six people. These rooms have alcoved sitting areas, several king- and queen-sized beds and the best views around. All rooms have air-conditioning, plush bathrobes, coffee machines and the usual array of acoutrements. If a premier room isn't enough, try a suite. There are six of them, all with sitting area and sofas and lounge chairs. Modern bathrooms have large vanities, showers, bidets and whirlpools.

What's close by: Montebello sits near the Ottawa River and the area is a wilderness wonderland. There are plenty of groomed paths for hiking or walking. Opportunities abound for guided or unguided fishing, canoeing and hiking. There's North America's largest and longest-established private nature reserve at Kenauk, with more than 70 lakes and over 26,000 hectares of protected wildlife habitat. Omega Park is a more accessible park, an enclosed area of 600 hectares where you can drive through with your own vehicle. There's also the trout hatchery where you can learn how these fish are spawned and raised.

Packages: The Romantic Getaway Package includes a half bottle of Moæt and Chandon champagne, fresh flowers and chocolates, two dinners at Aux Chantignoles resturant, one champagne breakfast served in your room and free access to the fitness centre and pool. The package starts from $325 per night (double occupancy), with a minimum of two nights.
Rates: Standard and Fairmont rooms start at $185 per night, while Montebello Premier rooms go for $235. Prices are based on double occupancy. For information on suite prices, call the hotel.

...$95-129 per night

Spruceholme Inn
204 rue Principale, Fort Coulonge, QC J0X 1V0
tel: (888) 263-1575, (819) 683-5635; fax: (819) 683-2139

Travel time: One and a half hours west of Ottawa.

What you get: You get a piece of local history in this former home of 19th-century politician, banker and lumber baron George Bryson Jr. The house is furnished head to toe with original antiques from vintage rolltop desks and an autographed photo of Sir Wilfrid Laurier to Bryson family heirlooms. The Bryson suite has an ornate queen-size bed and an antique writing desk with George junior's personal writing tools (which you are actually allowed to use). All rooms have a similar historic feel. The Spruceholme also has a formal 32-seat dining room, a 10-seat dining room and a private dining room with seating for up to 14 people.

What's close by: The Spruceholme sits in the Ottawa River Valley, home to some of Eastern Canada's best sport fishing, river rafting and canoeing. This is a great homebase for exploring the Ottawa, Red and Coulonge rivers. Historic Fort Coulonge is minutes away, as is the 48-metre Coulonge Falls. Rates: The Ella, Craig and Cobb suites are $95, while the Bryson, Toller and Cameron suites all go for $129.

Close to Montreal... $90-125 per night

Le Bonnet d'Or
405 rue Principale, St. Sauveur des Monts, QC J0R 1R0
tel: (877) 277-9669, (450) 227-9669 Travel time: A 45-minute drive from Montreal.

What you get: This five-room B&B is a big step up from the usually suspect motel accomodations in town. In fact, it's the most recent winner of the Grand Prix du Tourisme Québécois. Hosts Michelle and Glen serve up full gourmet breakfasts and two of the rooms even have fireplaces (one also has a classic claw-foot bathtub). You have a choice of country, Victorian or Laura Ashley-styled rooms, all with queen-size antique beds. In short, you get an element of style and good-taste in a town renowned for, shall we say, colourful excesses.

What's close by: Le Bonnet is in the heart of St. Sauveur, a kind of Disneyland on skis. There are five ski resorts nearby, two in walking distance: Mont St. Hilaire and Mont St. Sauveur (which converts neatly into a giant aqua park in the summer). The hills are fun, though usually crowded on weekends. The town itself is the main attraction: one giant aprÅs-ski party. There are rainbow-coloured gingerbread houses, Swiss chalets and top-notch poutine drive-thrus and resto-pubs. Don't come here for small town charm, but rather enjoy the conventions of Harley riders, a steak dinner at Gibby's and all the hedonistic pleasures of a weekend in a bona-fide QuÄbÄcois ski town.

Rates: The Melon, Mantille and Charlotte rooms all have queen-sized beds and private bathroom for $90, including a three-course breakfast. The Panama and Capeline rooms are $120 and $125 respectively, since they offer fireplaces, televisions, balconies and theraputic baths.

...$98-280 per night

Hovey Manor
P.O. Box 60, North Hatley, QC J0B 2C0 tel: (819) 842-2421; fax: (819) 842-2248; manhovey@manoirhovey.com; www.manoirhovey.com Travel time: A 75-minute drive from downtown Montreal (although Quebec's notorious commuters rush out in under an hour).

What you get: Hovey Manor is an Eastern Townships icon. The 40 rooms here are all distinct and most have lakeviews. Choose the luxuries that best suit your taste: fireplaces, Jacuzzis or canopy beds. As great as the rooms are, the main attraction here is the kitchen. Sample from the best wine cellar and one of the best kitchens in Quebec and bathe in the best of townships taste. Hovey has won just about every fine dining and wine award there is, not only in Quebec but in Canada and even North America. The food here really is that good.

The manor offers a slew of seasonal activities, from a private lakeside skating rink, ice fishing and cross-country skiing in winter to an outdoor heated pool, sand beaches, kayaks and canoes and a clay tennis court in summer. Treats like in-house massage therapy are available year-round.

What's close by: North Hatley is just about as picturesque a town as the townships have to offer. Enjoy the simple outdoor pleasures around Lake Massawippi or explore the nearby college town of Lennoxville or a night out in Sherbrooke. There are five nine-hole and five 18-hole golf courses nearby, as well as horseback riding, the Piggery Theatre and St. Benoit du Lac, a Benedictine Monastery famous for its cheese and apple cider. Packages: Hovey's winter specials revolve around classic Canadian outdoor activities: dogsledding, snowshoeing and snowmobiling. Enjoy one of these activities along with a three-night stay in a lake-view room starting at $340. Stays of over one week receive 10 percent off.

Rates: Low season (October 28 to November 29) starts at $98 for a basic room, but goes to $280 for a deluxe suite in the Christmas high season. Not too bad, but don't forget: you'll be spending a lot of cash on the excellent meals and wines here.

Close to Halifax... $85-145 per night

Prospect B&B
1758 Prospect Bay Road, Prospect, NS B3T 2B3
tel: (902) 423-1102, (800) 725-8732; fax: (902) 423-8329; dynamic.realty@ns.sympatico.ca; http://welcome.to/ salt.sea

Travel time: A leisurely 30-minute drive from Halifax.

What you get: The inn is in a picturesque village at the end of a scenic peninsula halfway between Peggy's Cove and Halifax. How picturesque? The inn has been featured in National Geographic and several Hollywood movies. All rooms have queen-size beds, private en suite baths, cable TV, antique furnishings and, most importantly, direct ocean views. Select rooms have fireplaces or private decks overlooking the bay. Hearty maritime breakfasts are served every morning as well as complimentary tea in the afternoon.

What's close by: There are lots of outdoor activities around here, starting with touring the gorgeous coves that dot the Eastern Shore (Peggy's Cove is only 30 minutes away). Bring your hiking boots for the kilometres of coastal trails or try kayaking among the cluster of islands in Prospect Bay. Drive down the coast and visit Margaret's Bay and the historic shipping town of Lunenburg. Bring lots of film.

Packages: There is a package here for everyone, from romantic getaways to coastal driving, golf, kayaking, history, rock climbing and bicycling tours. Rates range from $420 for the two-night romance weekend (includes sunset kayaking, wine and deluxe suite) to the six-day, $1440-per-person adventure package (includes guided sea kayaking, bicycle excursions, hiking and rock climbing in Peggy's Cove and other athletic pursuits).
Rates: $85 to $145 per night.

...$160-300 per night

The Pines P.O. Box 70, Digby, NS B0V 1A0
tel: (902) 245-2511; fax: (902) 245-6133; pines@gov.ns.ca

Travel time: Two and a half hours from Halifax.

What you get: Choose from 84 rooms in a Norman-style chateau overlooking the Annapolis Basin. There are also 30 cottages scattered on the grounds, each with its own fireplace and verandah. All rooms have private baths. There's a heated outdoor pool, tennis and, of course, the main attraction: the renowned Stanley Thompson-designed 18-hole golf course. Relax at the swank 19th Hole pub or enjoy sunsets on the enormous hotel veranda. There are also deep sea-fishing and kayaking excursions for the more adventurous.What's close by: Whale watch in the Bay of Fundy or simply hunker down for a few hours and watch the famous tides roll in and out. For history buffs there's Port Royal, one of the first French settlements in Canada and Fort Anne, the country's first national historic park.

Packages: The Family Fun package includes one night's accommodation in a cottage, breakfast, four hours of childcare and admission to nearby Upper Clements Theme Park. $259 for a family of four (children must be 17 or younger).
Rates: Doubles in the main hotel start at $160 while a one-bedroom cottage goes for $300.

 

This article was accurate when it was published. Please confirm rates and details directly with the companies in question.

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