Winter Wonderland

By Hostelling International

How to Get That Cosy Cabin Feel

There's nothing like a winter in Canada, and with this list of winter wonderland hostels by Hostelling International you are guaranteed that winter wonderland cosy cabin feel.


With its cosy cabin feel, the HI-Mont-Tremblant hostel is the ideal winter wonderland hideaway, and perfect starting point to dis­cover the beautiful Laurentians region just north of Montreal. With the Mont-Tremblant Ski Resort, the biggest in Eastern Canada, and Mont-Tremblant National Park, the region pro­vides enough options to quench the thirst of the most enthu­siastic outdoor activity lovers. Skiing, tubing, snowshoeing, dog-sledding, name it, we bet they have it! After a day out in the cold, sit back at the hostel bar, sip on a local Unibroue beer and watch the flames twirl in the fireplace. Tell us this does not sound like the perfect winter wonderland experience.

HI-Ottawa Jail

Our capital becomes one of the most romantic winter wonderland cities once the snow hits the ground. A scenic skating rink takes shape over the Rideau Canal, allowing locals and visitors to soak up 7.8 kilometres of unparalleled views of downtown. The canal really becomes the centre of it all when Winterlude begins in February. During three weekends, the city celebrates the joys of winter with ice sculptures, games, fireworks, con­certs and much more.

After a long day outside, the charming pubs of Byward Market provide a cosy cabin feel and are havens to spend the evening and splurge on tasty food and drinks. Steps away from Rideau Canal and Byward Market, the HI-Ottawa Jail Hostel is ideally located for your winter escapade in the city. And as if this wasn’t enough, its Mugshots bar puts on all the entertainment you need for those cold nights during which you don’t want to venture too far.

HI-Lake Louise Alpine Centre

The Rockies are truly a magical place in the winter time; I mean, it does not get better than skating on frozen Lake Louise or snowshoeing with the family in the pristine winter wonderland wilderness. If you want to stay warm and cozy while enjoying the splendid view, why not treat yourself to afternoon tea at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise for that oh so lovely cosy cabin feel.

If you want perfect powder and impressive downhills, then head to one of Banff National Park’s three ski fields, which are all within easy access of the hostel. If you really want to experience some untracked terrain, try some heli-skiing, or if cross-country skiing is your thing, you won’t be disap­pointed with the extensive network of trails that are waiting to be explored.

HI-Lake Louise Alpine Centre will offer you a warm welcome when you return from your day in the snow—get toasty in the sauna, relax in the cozy common areas, and enjoy a bite to eat at Bill Peyto’s, the on-site licensed café.


Alberta’s hidden winter wonderland gem, HI-Nordegg, is tucked away on the eastern slopes of the Rockies, along the David Thompson Corridor. Just far enough off the beaten track, Nordegg of­fers a relaxing break in beautiful surroundings. Using HI-Nordegg as a base, you can enjoy almost any winter activity, from snowshoeing and cross-country skiing to ice fishing and dog sledding. The area also has some of the best ice climbing in the Canadian Rockies, so take a leap of faith and try climb­ing a frozen waterfall!

The homey log cabin-style hostel has a real laidback cosy cabin feel: there’s no TV and no Internet, so you can be sure you’re get­ting away from it all. One of the hostel highlights is the out­door hot tub, perfect for relaxing those muscles after your day in the great outdoors.


Of course, a winter in Canada would not be complete with­out a visit to world-famous Whistler. Some people even say it is the ‘best ski resort’ in North America, or even the world. One thing is for sure: you will have a great time both on the slopes and off. Mix world-class runs with an abundance of top-class restaurants, bars and nightclubs, and you are sure going to have a great time.

HI-Whistler is located a short drive from the village at the former Olympic Village. The hostel is only a couple of years old and state-of-the-art, with modern facilities and décor. You can choose from four-bed multi-share rooms, or private en­suite double rooms.

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