Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

October 21, 2017
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Conference Call

Our top hotel picks for your favourite CME destinations

Travellers can usually be lumped into two categories when it comes to accommodations: those who prefer popular well-appointed digs, and those who opt for smaller inns or bed and breakfasts. With that in mind, we took your favourite North American conference cities and picked two places - one on the swanky side, the other on the cosier, more affordable end. Whatever your taste, there's a perfect weekend getaway here for everyone.

VANCOUVER
Wedgewood Hotel
(845 Hornby Street; tel: 800-663-0666; www.wedgewoodhotel.com)
Old-world opulence is the Wedgewood's calling card. All 83 antique-filled rooms have private balconies, fresh flowers, original artwork, fluffy duvets and homemade cookies with turndown. The newest addition to the hotel is a massive spa - with a eucalyptus steam room and fitness centre - that offers massages, facials and body treatments. The AAA Four Diamond Bacchus Restaurant is favoured for dishes like oven-roasted Fraser Valley duck or snow crab and red pepper ravioli. After dinner, order a glass from the impressive wine list and hit the Piano Lounge, with its dark golds and burgundies, cherry-wood panelling and limestone fireplace. Doubles start at $160, but ask about packages.

A TreeHouse Bed & Breakfast
(2490 West 49th Avenue; tel: 877-266-2960; www.treehousebb.com)
For a B&B, the amenities offered at the TreeHouse are exceptional - robes and slippers, CD players, coffee makers, mini-fridges, Jacuzzis and Body Shop products. The living and dining rooms are huge, bright and airy, but small children could do considerable damage to the white walls and furniture so only kids 10 and up are welcome. All three of the rooms are surprisingly spacious, with ultra modern decor and plenty of light. If you can, get the Far East room, beautifully accented with Japanese crafts and artwork. The room opens onto the Asian-inspired courtyard garden. Rates start at $115 per night, including a whopping four-course breakfast.

TORONTO
Four Seasons Hotel
(21 Avenue Road; tel: 416-964-0411; www.fourseasons.com)
The Four Seasons is one of the best places to play spot-a-celebrity during the city's International Film Festival. Even the so-called moderate rooms have marble bathrooms, and corner rooms have balconies with sweeping views of the city. The lobby looks like a French parlour filled with artful flower arrangements and the main restaurant, Truffles, is an institution - it has won the AAA Five Diamond Award nine years running. In-room massages and spa treatments are by appointment, and you can even book an hour with a private Pilates instructor. Kids get the royal treatment too, with games and puzzles, pint-sized bathrobes, and milk and cookies at bedtime. Doubles start at $250, but ask about packages.

The Banting House Inn
(73 Homewood Avenue; tel: 800-823-8856; www.bantinghouse.com)
Yes, that Banting. The building is where the good doctor began the research that led to his discovery of insulin. The decor of this pretty nine-room inn is Edwardian, and the quaint, quiet, Japanese garden seems a world away from the bustle of downtown Toronto. As with many B&Bs, not all of the rooms have private baths, so check when you book. The huge breakfasts consist of eggs, homefries, scrumptious French toast, pancakes, fresh fruit, cereal and yogurt. Doubles start at $85 per night. The separate Berkeley House, which is available for one-week stays (minimum), has two bedrooms, full kitchen, dining and living rooms. Rates are $150 per night, but worth it for families or couples vacationing together.

OTTAWA
Château Laurier
(1 Rideau Street; tel: 613-241-1414; www.fairmont.com)

The fairest hotel in the Capital is surprisingly affordable, since a variety of packages are always available. Data ports and a state-of-the-art health club blend in discreetly with the 429-room building's marble floors, brass railings, ornate ceilings and antique furniture. The Fairmont Gold floor has its own concierge with private check-in, a lounge that offers complimentary hors d'oeuvres and honour bar service. There's an 18-metre Art Deco swimming pool, and Zoe's Lounge has live jazz Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings. The Bed & Breakfast package is $211 per night, double occupancy, and includes a buffet breakfast at Wilfrid's (or in your room, if you prefer).

The Urban Bed & Breakfast
(160 Waverly Street; tel: 613-231-7556; http://urbanbb.ca)
This isn't your mother's B&B. Stylish, simple furniture is given life with brightly-coloured pillows, throws and curtains, and the cosy living room - which is blissfully free of gaudy knickknacks - has a men's club-style leather sofa, overstuffed armchairs and a fireplace. The owners live in separate quarters, so you're guaranteed a lot of privacy. And best of all, it's within walking distance of Parliament, ByWard Market and the National Gallery. Doubles are $85 per night, including taxes and a full breakfast.

MONTREAL
Loews Hotel Vogue
(1425 rue de la Montagne; tel: 514-285-5555; www.loewshotels.com)
This sleek hotel is a favourite among young businessmen and well-heeled travellers. The 142 rooms and suites feature silk-upholstered cherry-wood furniture, down duvets, feather pillows and fresh flowers. Marble bathrooms have TVs, Jacuzzis and separate showers, and minibars are stocked with caviar. The two-storey L'OpŽra Bar is the lobby's focal point with a marble staircase and relaxing piano music on weekends. Doubles start at $169.

Castel Durocher

(3488 Durocher; tel: 514-282-1697; www.casteldurocher.com)
Chocoholics will love this little B&B that's also home to Chic Choc Belgian chocolates - which means guests get to sample their delicious confections each night. The Victorian building has two Queen Anne-style suites with private bathrooms and kitchens, two turret rooms with shared bath, and a separate floor with adjoining bedrooms, living and dining rooms which can be booked separately or as a whole. Although the decor is typical of a B&B, there are some interesting Inuit art pieces and one of the owner's paintings adorns the wall. For breakfast there's a great spread of croissants, French bread, cheeses, fruit, jams and cereals. Rates start at $99 per night, which also includes Internet access.

QUEBEC CITY
Le Château Frontenac
(1 rue des Carrières; tel: 418-692-3861; www.fairmont.com)
Quebec City's famous castle celebrated its centenary in 1993 and added a new 66-room wing. The hotel has hosted Queen Elizabeth, Winston Churchill, Charles de Gaulle, Grace Kelly and Alfred Hitchcock. The 586 guest rooms are flawlessly deluxe with all of the standard amenities, including high-speed modems. The public rooms - from the intimate piano bar to the 700-seat ballroom that bears an uncanny resemblance to Versailles' Hall of Mirrors - are all old-world opulence. At Le Champlain, classic French cuisine is served by waiters in period costumes. There are an indoor pool, health club, salon, spa and shops. In the winter, go downhill skiing at nearby Mont-Sainte-Anne, Le Massif or Stoneham. Rates vary considerably, but the Bed & Breakfast package (available all year) is $395 per night, double occupancy.

Relais Charles-Alexandre
(91 Grande-AllŽe Est; tel: 418-523-1220; www.quebecweb.com/rca)
Breakfast is served in the art gallery on the ground floor of this charming brick inn. The 23 rooms are bright and spotless, with a mix of antique, wicker and reproduction furniture. The location is far enough into a residential area to be quiet, but only a brisk 10-minute walk from galleries, parks, restaurants and the Grand Théâtre. Doubles start at $89 per night, including a breakfast of croissants, cold cuts, cheeses, fresh fruit and excellent coffee.

 

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

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