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The North isn’t known for extravagance. 

But sprinkled throughout the Arctic, there are premium lodgings where comfort is paramount and VIP guests (hello, royal family) get pampered.

Up Here has collected tidbits and tales from some of the swankiest hotels, lodges, and bed and breakfasts North of 60.

 

The territories may not be famous for their dining scenes (yet!), but there’s no question each region has found the sweet spot when combining Northern comfort with an upscale experience.

With diverse menus, sassy drinks or rustic charm, these restaurants showcase our history while also providing a succulent taste of things to come.

 

YUKON

ELEGANTLY YUKON: Edgewater Hotel’s Belly of the Bison 

A white blanket stretches across an opening in the boreal forest, surrounded by black spruce trees, willows and alders. The snow lies about two feet deep in the opening. Beneath the blanket of snow there are squeaks, soft chittering and rustles. If we could peer down into its depths, it would be dark, but not nearly as cold as on top of the snow.

A candy company with a concern for community health and wellness?

Kaitlyn White-Keyes is aware the sugary confections she serves up to Yellowknifers seem at odds with her goal of educating Northerners about healthy living. But dig a little deeper and her vision begins to make sense.

“It sounds crazy to say when you’re feeding them candy, but I wanted to teach [people] about nutrition and about the connection with food—where it really comes from, and who’s really making it.”

Kathryn Couture sits down by the bay window in her kitchen and looks out at the dark morning sky. With a cup of coffee beside her, she admires the outline of snow-blanketed trees surrounding her off-grid cabin. The occasional raven croaks outside. When she’s ready, she opens her laptop and escapes into a fantasy world of her own making.

IT'S A WIND that still frustrates Yellowknifers. Blowing in from the south, it stirs up rollers over the considerable width of Great Slave Lake that funnel, white-capping, into Yellowknife Bay. This wind tells us why the city’s houseboat community is sprawled out the way it is, with dozens of floating homes clustered in coves or hugging the north sides of Precambrian outcrops for protection.

IF YOU REALLY want to get away from it all, an adventure in Canada’s North will certainly let you do that.

Hike high into rarified air on mountain pass- es carved out by the wildlife that are still rulers of their domain. Paddle pristine tundra rivers that weave through the tree line, hundreds of kilometres from the nearest town. Turn over stones and kick up dust that hasn’t been disturbed by another human in decades, centuries, even thousands of years.

IT’S NOT YET 8:30 A.M., and Darcy Firth is settled in the wheelhouse of the MV Louis Cardinal, surveying the fast-flowing Mackenzie River before him. He stands at the helm of a technological smorgasbord—depth-sounding radars, jog sticks for steering, radios crackling with crew chatter and passing barges signalling their presence. It’s a spread of equipment the 45-year-old is intimately familiar with.

Last March, Solomon Awa walked the flat, frozen landscape outside of Iqaluit in search for the perfect snow. Reaching down, he shoveled a small mound into his mitted hand and flattened it, deciding whether its texture would work for the building project he had in mind.

“The [snow] texture should be around a seven on a scale from one to 10,” he explains. “A 10 is almost like ice. It’s too hard to cut with a knife.” A one, according to Awa’s scale, is powder. The challenge is finding just the right snow.