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Why log cabins are the new beach resort

Fairmont Le Château Author: Canadian Living Credits: Fairmont Le Château

Travel

Why log cabins are the new beach resort

This year, trade in ocean views for cozy fireplaces and sandy beaches for memorable adventures in snowshoeing, skiing and snowmobiling at a historic log cabin resort. Best of all, you can often skip splurging on airfare and find excellent deals when housing the entire fam in a cabin with multiple rooms.

Here are our six top picks:

Cathedral Mountain Lodge in British Columbia
Cathedral Mountain Lodge, British Columbia
Forget white sand and clear waters—it doesn’t get much more scenic than Cathedral Mountain Lodge’s private fleet of authentic log cabins nestled in the Canadian Rockies (deluxe twin cabins start at $279 per night for double occupancy) in Field, B.C. The residences are surrounded by dense forest that’s home to elk, moose and deer, as well as the glacier-fed Kicking Horse River. Homebodies can cozy up next to a wood-burning fireplace or chill out with a favourite book in a large soaker tub, while outdoor lovers can zip up their parkas for a hike or an ice-field helicopter tour with spectacular views. Don’t miss the resort’s unique snow-coach tours, which take guests to the Columbia Icefiled, one of the largest accumulations of snow and ice south of the Arctic Circle.

Fiddler Lake Resort in Quebec
Fiddler Lake Resort, Quebec
Located in Mille-Isles, Que., Fiddler Lake Resort offers a wide selection of cabin styles, starting at $56 per person per night. It doesn’t get much more budget-friendly than this, especially when you’re travelling with kids (and maybe even Grandma and Grandpa). Premium chalets include ritzy features such as private hot tubs, saunas and lake access. Keep the little ones busy at the resort’s recreation centre, which includes tennis courts, a games room and an indoor swimming pool. Organize a barbecue or spit roast for the entire family at your cabin, then work it off on acres of trails perfect for hiking and snowshoeing. Fiddler Lake is also a short drive from Saint-Sauveur Valley, the top night-skiing destination in Canada.

Canada's 10 best ski destinations

Cedar Grove Lodge in Ontario
Cedar Grove Lodge, Ontario
Escape to the beautiful Cedar Grove Lodge resort on Peninsula Lake in Muskoka, Ont. The family-owned destination has log cottages with stone fireplaces that are ideal for both romantic weekends and escapes from the city with the entire family. Feeding the whole crew is a lot easier when three meals a day (with such mouthwatering menu options as organic mac and cheese for the kids and roast prime rib for adults) are included with the price of accommodation, which starts at $122 per person per night. The resort offers a plethora of winter equipment, such as cross-country skis, snowshoes, skates, toboggans, hockey sticks and more (free of charge!), so you can fully explore the 10 kilometres of ski trails and lake complete with an ice-fishing hut. Warm up with indoor amenities that include arcade games, shuffleboard and pool tables.

Fairmont Le Château in Quebec
Fairmont Le Château, Quebec
You’re basically guaranteed a memorable experience at the Fairmont Le Château Montebello in Montebello, Que. This upscale hotel (rooms start at $149 per night for double occupancy) is the world’s largest log cabin, originally built as a private club in 1930. The grounds have hosted politicians, royalty and celebs over the years and offer Canada’s only Land Rover off-road driving experience. If your family is full of Christmas lovers, don’t miss the resort’s festive celebrations, which include fireside carolling, family sleigh rides, visits from Santa and a super-gluttonous Christmas brunch. Unlike some luxury resorts, Fairmont Le Château Montebello keeps kids in mind with touches such as child-size bathrobes in rooms, supervised kids’ activities, movie nights in both French and English and the largest indoor hotel pool in the country.

Riverside Resort in BC
Riverside Resort, BC
Riverside Resort in Whistler, B.C., offers cozy log cabins (starting at $199 per night for double occupancy) spread over 40 acres of lush lawns and forests. The cabins are constructed using hand-hewn western cedar for an authentic experience full of character. Winter sports such as snowshoeing, hiking and cross-country skiing are available on-site and nearby, and the resort’s Riverside Junction Café boasts fresh organic meals that won’t break your budget. 

The Lodge at Glendorn in Pennsylvania
The Lodge at Glendorn, Pennsylvania
Plan a road trip down to Pennsylvania’s Allegheny Mountains and experience The Lodge at Glendorn’s 12 log cabins (which start at $600 per night per master bedroom) and first-class main lodge. The cabins, each with a unique name and layout, span from newly renovated to the Miller Cabin, which dates back to 1927. Glendorn, located in Bradford, offers cross-country skiing trails with warming cabins (complete with wood-burning fireplaces) nestled along the routes and free introductory lessons for novice skiers. Learn how to set tip-ups and jig for trout with Glendorn’s ice-fishing guides or head over to one of several hills on the property for an afternoon of sledding. Feel the need for speed? Satisfy your inner daredevil with guided snowmobile tours or memorable Jeep Mattrack adventures across the property. Finish the day by soothing sore muscles at The Forest Spa, which boasts seasonally foraged ingredients in treatments and organic facials. Don’t tell the kids, but turndown service includes freshly baked chocolate chip cookies to snack on around your private outdoor fire pit. Plus, there’s no need to book a pet sitter—Glendorn’s cabins are refreshingly pet-friendly.

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