It's time for a staycation!
It's been a tough year for the people of Ottawa (and it's only February), so it's safe to say we could all use a little R&R. Thankfully, there are a number of luxury hotels, gorgeous Airbnbs and cozy cabins near Ottawa for anyone looking to plan an epic vacation (that doesn't require a pricey plane ticket).
Narcity reached out to a bunch of local influencers to get the scoop on their favourite destinations for the perfect Ottawa vacation and they did not disappoint.
So without further ado, here are their top picks, from a stunning hotel downtown to a spacious cabin with lakefront access.
Local blogger Chantal, a.k.a @chantsy, is a fashion and lifestyle influencer who loves local businesses, and she chose this lakehouse in the woods as her favourite spot near Ottawa for a getaway.
"The Juniper Lakehouse is like a home away from home, located only 1.5 hours away from Ottawa. Only 20 minutes away from the picturesque Westport, Juniper Lakehouse makes the perfect place to have a chill staycation with the family, or load up your schedule with things to do in the area," she told Narcity.
"What I love most about this place is the cozy Canadian-inspired decor, the full amenities like a gourmet kitchen perfect for cooking, the ample privacy and space, and the private lakeside area with clear and clean water to swim in."
Fairmont le Château Montebello
Katie from @yowcitystyle is an Ottawa-based content creator that loves sharing her favourite local finds — and this magical log cabin destination near Ottawa is her top pick.
"In my opinion, Château Montebello is one of the most magical places on earth. Touted as the world's largest log cabin with a giant fireplace at its centre, this place screams Canadiana with some definite Wes Anderson vibes. It's been a tradition in my family to always visit during the holidays to see their next-level Christmas decor and take advantage of the winter activities like cross country skiing, snowshoeing, dog-sledding, curling and tubing," she told us.
"In the summer, grab a cabana by the outdoor pool, hit the 18-hole golf course, take a boat ride and enjoy a BBQ dinner with the sunset. They've got an excellent spa, the largest indoor pool in North America with hot tubs and you can easily just live in your bathrobe all day. No matter the season, Château Montebello is always a good time."
The Wakefield Mill Hotel & Spa
Camille Labonté is a French blogger and photographer, exploring the Outaouais region, from Ottawa and Gatineau and beyond, sharing her adventures at @camille_labonte. She raved about her stay at this historic hotel and spa in Wakefield.
"During my stay at the Wakefield Mill, I discovered a haven of peace in the heart of the Gatineau Park. Welcoming and warm, this place offers a magnificent view of the falls, while allowing us to enjoy the outdoors and the village of Wakefield," Camille told Narcity.
"I highly recommend the Starlight Chalet experience, a gourmet dinner by the river. The food is excellent from breakfast to dinner. I also really enjoyed the outdoor hot tub and the historic feel of the place, full of charm. This is definitely a must in the Outaouais for a successful romantic getaway."
Somewhere Inn Calabogie
Nicole and Colton are a travel couple, who do not tend to stay in the same place for too long. They are currently exploring Canada while based in Ottawa and sharing their nearby discoveries at @nicoleandcolton. They raved about their recent stay in the Ottawa Valley.
"Somewhere Inn is an absolutely dreamy stay located in what feels like a ski village right out of the movies. It is five minutes from Calabogie Peaks Ski Resort, surrounded by ice fishing sheds and snowmobilers on the frozen lake out front and within walking distance of top local restaurants, breweries and cafés," they started.
"Somewhere Inn has 11 spacious rooms for couples, friends and families - each featuring a cozy fireplace. On our first night, a group of people still in snow pants were laughing around the communal fire pit, sipping on beer and wine from the lobby’s bottle shop and it reminded us of a hostel, where lasting friendships are made. The incredibly friendly staff are also just a text away, making you feel all the more welcomed and comfortable during your stay."
"This was the first time in a while that we have felt completely still, quiet, relaxed and present. While there is no shortage of winter activities, we adore the Calabogie way with this staycation; Nowhere to be, all day to get there."
Hilton Garden Inn Ottawa Downtown
Marilou Moles is a travel blogger and influencer, sharing her vacations near and far at @20ys. She loves a big city type stay with amazing views and fine dining experiences, and recommends a stay at this hotel in Ottawa's downtown.
"Want a getaway but don’t have much time and need to stay closer to home? I can’t think of a more perfect destination than the Hilton Ottawa Downtown Hotel. [It is] just a hop, skip, and a jump away from Parliament Hill, the location just can’t be beaten! The Hilton is close to all the major attractions and it boasts a stunning view of Ottawa and Gatineau," Marilou told us.
"As a bonus, you have access to room service or dine-in at the Tulip Restaurant & Bar. With award-winning executive chef David H. Vinoya at the helm, it’s been known for its warm hospitality and truly amazing dishes, you can even try classic Filipino and Asian dishes too. Do not miss the Ube Ice Cream!"
Chalet de la Rivière Rêveuse
Maddy at @theottawadiaries documents her Ottawa adventures as a fiercely proud local along with some fashion inspiration including vintage finds. She loved her stay at this spacious cottage in Quebec, ideal for a larger group.
"This chalet 90 minutes from Ottawa is the perfect stay for a group of friends. It sleeps up to 14 guests and is equipped with a jacuzzi and sauna, making it the perfect getaway for both summer and winter. The classic A-frame build, sets of bunk beds, and bonfire pit make it feel like a wholesome sleep-away camp. And who doesn’t want to go to camp with their best friends?" she described.
"My favourite thing about this chalet is the river it backs on to. Spend the day lounging on the dock, or take a kayak out for a paddle!"
Bobs Lake Cottages & Escapes
Nicole and Colton at @nicoleandcolton, who are currently exploring Canada before they set off on their next adventure, had another amazing stay near Ottawa that they wanted to share. They found this cottage was a perfect place to reconnect with nature.
"Bobs Lake Cottages & Escapes is just as the name says, an escape located less than two hours away in Godfrey, Ontario. The property includes five unique cottages, either for individual rental or to rent together with a large group. We loved having the choice of a romantic getaway for two or a family and friends reunion for 50," they explained to Narcity.
"Being wintertime, the frozen lake kept us busy with true Canadian activities, cross country skiing, skating, snowshoeing, ice fishing and snowmobiling. [It was] all arranged by Bobs Lake Cottages & Escape for a smooth and relaxing experience."
"Our feature favourites would definitely have to be the malm fireplaces facing the stunning lakefront and the homemade ice cream making machine. We completely winged it and somehow made the best ice cream we have ever had. It is a family-run company that fell in love with the cottages when visiting Ottawa years ago and now they share their beautiful staycation with everyone. We have a soft spot for meaningful stories such as theirs."
In Ontario, a vaccine passport is required to access some events, services and businesses, including restaurants and bars.
Before you get going, check our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your adventure.
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