Love winter, but less keen on speeding downhill on two planks? Even if you’re not a skier, you can embrace the season at these eight fabulous resorts. Whether you’re into skating, sledding or unwinding at the spa, an incredible winter awaits.
Riverside Adventures in Charlevoix
With a dramatic setting high above the St. Lawrence River, Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu puts you in the heart of Quebec’s enchanting Charlevoix region. One of the best ways to explore the area’s rolling hills is by snowmobile. If you’re an experienced rider, you can rent Ski-Doos from the hotel’s Nord Expé Experience Centre and climb gently winding trails. Beginners can join a professionally guided tour for driving tips and unforgettable views.
It’s only a 20-minute drive from the hotel to the Mont Grand-Fonds ski area. But you don’t need to be a skier to enjoy this winter wonderland, as there are 41 km of snowshoeing trails. Powdery paths rated for different levels of hiking skills weave across the mountain, with heated huts along the way. The most challenging option is the Summit, an 8.5-km trail leading to a viewpoint overlooking Lac Gravel. And if you’re looking for even more excitement, why not tackle the Via Ferrata, La Charlevoix? It offers 600 meters of secured climbing on a rock wall above the Saint Lawrence River. It’ll get your heart racing as you zipline, climb and cross obstacles. You might even catch a glimpse of marine wildlife off in the distance.
After an energizing day outside, the Moment Spa at Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu is a tranquil choice as you enjoy an Elixir Ice Cider Body Wrap and a relaxing soak in the Jacuzzi.
High-octane Thrills in Tremblant
Think of Tremblant, and you probably picture skiing, but there’s a lot more to this delightful mountain village. In winter, there are 60 km of groomed trails for fat biking, with a mix of single-track routes and wider paths shared with cross-country skiers. Rent a bike from Le Randonneur Rental Centre and head out on your own, or book an easy one-hour tour on the P’tit Train du Nord trail.
Another way to speed across the snow is on a dogsledding excursion. This exhilarating experience lets you drive a team of Alaskan huskies along winding forest trails, with a pit stop for snacks and hot chocolate. At the end, you’ll have a chance to visit the kennels and pet the dogs. Or, you could hurtle along mountain tracks by dune buggy on the edge of Mont-Tremblant National Park.
Fairmont Tremblant gives you easy access to all types of winter activities. After you’ve spent the day exploring, meet up with family and friends at La Terrasse at the foot of Nansen slope. For the perfect après experience, order a vin chaud (hot wine) or a flue of Veuve Clicquot to enjoy as you discuss plans for tomorrow. To add to the festive air, there’s a live DJ on weekends to keep the party going. You may be inspired to take full advantage of the hotel’s status as the only ski-in, ski-out hotel in Tremblant.
Woodland Winter Magic in Montebello
Canadian winters and cozy log cabins go hand in hand. Fairmont Le Château Montebello is the world’s largest log cabin, and a magical place for a winter break. Set amid sprawling woodland on the Ottawa River, this storied retreat is perfect for an action-packed adventure or for a quiet retreat, all without leaving the resort.
There’s a raft of on-site winter activities, including curling. If you’ve never tried sliding a stone across the ice, sign up for a 101 lesson, where an instructor teaches the ins and outs of this Olympic sport. Step outside and explore the hotel’s trail network by snowshoe or set out on a horse-drawn wagon ride. Amp up the adrenaline by whooshing downhill in the tube park or spinning around the outdoor ice rink. For the more adventurous, winter is the perfect setting to spend the day mountain biking on a fat bike. There are 20 km of trails to go exploring through an old forest, along the Ottawa River or through a grotto. And the trail begins just meters from your hotel room. The BRP Experience Centre, located at the hotel, has everything you need, from helmets to bikes for everyone in the family.
Indoors, you can soothe tired muscles with a dip in the gigantic heated pool. Then treat your crew to a gourmet dinner of Kenauk trout or lobster cavatelli in Aux Chantignoles, the hotel’s grand dining room.
Explore the Rockies in Jasper
Head to Western Canada for the quintessential Rockies grandeur of Jasper National Park. Lying amid jagged peaks, thick forests and glistening frozen lakes, Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge is the ideal base for exploration. Kick off your trip with a visit to the hotel’s Winter Activity Centre, which has all the gear you need for snowshoeing, fatbiking, ice skating and more. Complimentary sled and tube rentals are also available for whizzing down the groomed toboggan park.
Beyond the lodge, favorite winter activities include ice walks in Maligne Canyon and guided climbing up frozen waterfalls. Between December and March, Bubbles heli tours fly guests to Abraham Lake, where frozen methane gas bubbles from underwater plants create a cool photo op.
In the evening, plan an outing to Jasper Planetarium. Thanks to a lack of light pollution, the national park is an officially designated Dark Sky Preserve. Shows in the planetarium’s dome theater tell the stories of Canadian Indigenous constellations, while the outdoor telescope experience provides incredible views of the night sky on clear nights.
Mountain Delights in Lake Louise
The spectacular Icefields Parkway connects Jasper with the village of Lake Louise. A winter drive along this 230-km route offers views of snowy mountains, hulking glaciers and frozen lakes. Along the way, you might spy bighorn sheep or mountain goats hunkered down in the snow.
Overlooking the lake itself, Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is perfect for an extraordinary wilderness retreat. Step outside for a snowshoe trip through deep powder with one of the hotel’s Mountain Adventures Guides, keeping your eyes peeled for animal tracks as you go. Then skate across the ice-covered lake (skating arenas don’t get much better than this!) or join a pickup game of pond hockey. Warm up at the Ice Bar with a spiked hot chocolate featuring chili vodka from Banff’s Park Distillery.
After reconnecting with nature, give your well-being an extra boost with rejuvenating spa treatments like the Lake Louise Soothing Lavender Dreams body exfoliation. Or grab a yoga mat from the concierge desk and take advantage of the hotel’s in-room wellness program, a series of curated video experiences.
Unforgettable Moments in Banff
If an outdoor soak in thermal waters sounds like your idea of bliss, Fairmont Banff Springs is just minutes from Banff Upper Hot Springs. The striking contrast between air and water temperatures, which typically range between 37 and 40°C (98 to 104°F), is especially invigorating in winter. And the backdrop is exceptional, with mountain peaks in every direction.
There’s no shortage of winter adventures in Banff for non-skiers. You could go tubing at Mount Norquay, zoom through old-growth forests by snowmobile or rappel and hike through an icy canyon on a guided tour. For an iconic Canadian experience, try your hand at ice fishing. You might bag a trout or two.
Back at the hotel, make the most of the 40,000-sq-ft day spa for a restorative Forest Walk pedicure or a peaceful session in an eucalyptus inhalation room. Finally, treat yourself to the ultimate private dining experience. Set on the hotel’s Upper Garden Terrace, the 360° Dome experience is a decadent seven-course dinner under the stars with sweeping views of the surrounding national park.
Winter Wonder in Whistler
This world-class resort might be renowned for downhill skiing, but it’s fast evolving into a thrilling destination for non-skiers too. Even if you’re not hitting the slopes, purchase a sightseeing ticket to soar between Blackcomb and Whistler mountains on the Peak 2 Peak Gondola. Take time to gaze at the scenery over a refreshing drink at the mountaintop Umbrella Bar.
Fancy yourself as an Olympian? Follow in the footsteps of sporting greats at the Whistler Sliding Centre and barrel downhill in a four-person bobsleigh, with a professional pilot at the helm. Or, if you dare, go solo and fly down the track headfirst on a skeleton sled.
Whistler also has a vibrant cultural scene. A highlight is the Audain Art Museum, a sleek architectural masterpiece showcasing British Columbian works, including a notable collection of paintings by Emily Carr. Visit on a Sunday afternoon for a docent-led tour to gain a deeper insight into the exhibitions.
Stay at Fairmont Chateau Whistler, where you can enjoy a unique dining experience at The Chalet, a cozy venue dishing up Alpine-inspired eats like schnitzel and fondue.
Sleighs and Shopping in Telluride
Once a booming mining town, where Butch Cassidy robbed his first bank, Telluride is now one of Colorado’s top mountain resorts. A free gondola whisks passengers from the valley floor to Mountain Village, where Fairmont Heritage Place, Franz Klammer Lodge offers luxe two- and three-bedroom residences. For non-skiers, there’s a huge choice of alternative winter activities, from snowmobiling and dogsledding to ice-skating and fly fishing.
There’s nothing quite like speeding over fresh snow on a guided four-hour snowmobile excursion. The family-friendly adventure offers epic views and an exhilarating way to experience a Colorado winter. For a slower experience, explore a 1920s family ranch with a dinner sleigh ride. You can snuggle beneath wool blankets in a horse-drawn sleigh before digging into Spanish tapas followed by rabbit paella or bison.
Stroll through the town, all of which is a National Historic Landmark District, a compact grid of handsome red-brick buildings and colorful clapboard homes. It’s packed with indie coffee shops and gourmet restaurants, as well as one-off boutiques and trendy art galleries.
Wrap up each day with a plunge in one of five hot tubs at the Himmel Spa in Fairmont Heritage Place or take a dip in the outdoor heated pool. You’re guaranteed to feel revitalized.
Get Set for Winter Inspired to make the most of your winter? Book your next adventure with Fairmont today.