How Canadian hotels are getting creative with holiday food and drink programs for 2020

Here are nine interesting holiday packages from hotels across the country

The holiday season is upon us and, for most Canadians, this year’s celebrations will be different. In lieu of the country’s ongoing efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19, many families are opting to forgo their typical traditions to stay home and have an intimate celebration sans-extended family and friends. Travelling will likely be kept to a minimum, but that doesn’t mean that hotels and their restaurants aren't whipping up something special for the occasion.

Whether it be a small getaway to Whistler or a take-home kit from the Drake Hotel in Toronto, many hotels and their restaurants across Canada are offering deals and packages to keep the holiday spirit alive during uncertain times.

The Magnolia Hotel (Victoria, B.C.)

Voted as the #1 hotel in Canada in the 2020 Tripadvisor Travelers’ Choice Awards, the Magnolia Hotel and Spa has a few holiday packages and offerings that are hard to resist. From its “Holiday Shopping Getaway” package to the “Victoria Christmas” package, there is no doubt that a small getaway to this resort town would be an experience.

Planning on staying home but still want to enjoy the taste of The Courtney Room? The Magnolia restaurant is offering a festive three-course take-home meal, which includes winter salad, roast chicken with stuffing roulade, and a pear and pumpkin seed frangipane tart. 

Pre-orders can be made online for pickup between December 21-26. 

Fairmont Empress (Victoria, B.C.)

The Fairmont Empress is offering many packages and holiday meals that would make your getaway to Victoria a festive one. On top of the discounts to the hotel and spa, its restaurant is offering both take-home holiday kits and in-restaurant meals.

The Q Restaurant has created five delicious take-home kits: festive turkey, Sunday roast, festive tea (available on December 5 and 12, as well as daily from December 19 to January 2), New Year’s Eve and its signature Empress cake. Their in-restaurant meals include a festive lunch and dinner, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinner, as well as New Year’s Eve dinner.

More details and reservations can be found online

Tofino Resort and Marina (Tofino, B.C.)

Using the power of technology, Tofino Resort and Marina has kicked off their unique holiday experience with a virtual Christmas lightshow, with a few more happening throughout the month of December. Along with the lightshows, Santa’s mailbox will arrive in the resort giving people the opportunity to send letters and be read aloud by Saint Nick himself with a final reading of ‘Twas the Night before Christmas from the resort’s signature restaurant, 1909 Kitchen.

Furthermore, the resort is offering multiple prize packages throughout December on the “Tofino Resort and Marina’s Holiday Road Giveaways” in which they partnered with local Vancouver Island businesses. More information can be found online

Four Seasons Whistler (Whistler, B.C.)

The Four Seasons Resort and Residences in Whistler has made a couple of additions and renovations that give it a fresh look this year. On top of the redesign of its rooms and suites, the debut of the resort’s restaurant Braidwood Tavern and the renovation of SIDECUT are two culinary visions that give new perspective to the resort.

Braidwood Tavern offers a “cabin-style” atmosphere and its menus aim to highlight interesting Canadian ingredients, local craft beer and cocktails. It is a stark contrast to SIDECUT, which offers a more contemporary-style atmosphere that compliments its steakhouse cuisine.

Restaurant reservations are available on OpenTable or via email. Hotel reservations can be made online

Hotel Arts (Calgary, AB)

Calgary’s own Hotel Arts is celebrating the holiday season by offering guests who purchase a gift card a bonus gift card worth 15 per cent of the initial purchase. This promotion is only available for purchase from Hotel Art’s front desk.

Additionally, the hotel’s restaurant, Yellow Door Bistro is offering a take-home Christmas dinner. Curated by the bistro’s team under chef Quinn Staple, they have prepared a delicious multi-course dinner that includes all the carvings and fixings.

Orders can be made online by December 21 for pick-up on December 24 and 25.

Inn at the Forks (Winnipeg, MB)

Winnipeg’s Inn at the Forks hotel restaurant, SMITH Restaurant is offering a festive takeout dinner where guests can enjoy either a festive holiday dinner package curated by the restaurant’s staff or a “build-your-own” package with their a la carte menu.

On top of the holiday menu, they offer a few take-home kits including a “Romantic Dinner for Two” as well as “SMITH at Home” where one can cook and assemble the dishes themselves.

Orders for the Festive Dinner Takeout can be made through SkipTheDishes by December 20th for pickup on December 24 and 25.

The Fort Garry Hotel (Winnipeg, MB)

The culinary team at Winnipeg’s historic Fort Garry Hotel recently debuted a traditional holiday takeout meal which includes their in-house sourdough bread and butter, apple sage stuffing, sliced turkey and assorted festive shortbread cookies, gingerbread and Christmas fruit cake.

They will also be offering their signature Oxford Landing red and white wine at $30 per bottle. Order via email by December 22 and you will be automatically entered to win one of their romance packages.

The Drake Hotel and Drake Devonshire Inn (Toronto, ON)

There may be a lockdown in Toronto and Peel region, but this doesn’t stop the Drake Hotel, Drake Devonshire Inn (located in Wellington, ON) and the hotel’s restaurant Drake Commissary in finding ways to celebrate the holidays. Festivus, the hotel’s “two-night only” Christmas dinner includes all the fixings for a holiday dinner. Whether you bring it home or dine-in at the Drake Devonshire, this will certainly lift up your holiday spirits.

On top of their holiday feast, the debut of the Drake Bottle Shop in all three Drake locations offers hand-selected wines, spirits, ciders and beers with some options coming from Prince Edward County. The Drake Commissary has also stocked up with a “holiday-style larder” that includes items from the Commissary, as well as community partners.

Orders for the Drake's Festivus can be made online by December 18 for pick up on December 24 and 25. The holiday larder is available for pickup at the Drake Commissary from December 11-13.

Chateau Frontenac (Quebec City, QC)

The Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac has reinvented itself in order to celebrate the holidays. Working closely with the provincial government, the hotel is still offering a handful of festive offerings worth taking note of, including room packages, Sylvain Fortier Art Gallery exhibitions, and a festive initiative in support of CHU de Quebec Foundation.

While their restaurants, Le Champlain, Place Dufferin and the 1608 bar are closed until further notice, the hotel is still offering holiday-themed takeout fare such as beef Wellington, turkey, lamb and the hotel’s signature dessert, the Christmas log. Reservations and takeout orders can both be made online.