Romance and Ottawa don’t go together, it certainly seems so if one goes by conventional wisdom. The capital city of Canada is often overlooked by honeymooners and one can see why. It doesn’t have the pace and presence of Toronto or the old school European charm of Montreal. So, even most visiting tourists ignore Ottawa. However, a little bit of exploring and digging will have you convinced otherwise. Ottawa is a city of seekers and its numerous lanes and passageways contain many delights to make a honeymoon just that extra bit special.
The city in brief
Ottawa lies in the southern region in the province of Ontario. It has a population of almost a million people. It roughly lies between Montreal and Toronto – a three to four hour ride by road from either will take you there. Being the capital, it is well connected by road, air and rail. The city experiences mild summers and unpredictable winters that can get quite chilly, so you must plan your trip wisely.
Ottawa is a haven for nature lovers. If you love a city with parks and rivers, a few lakes thrown in the mix and a delightful ever flowing breeze (on a non winter day at least) then the Capital is the place to be. Rideau Canal is referred to as the backbone of Ottawa. A long waterway, it is a great place for couples to walk hand in hand or rent bicycles and ride along. However, in winter when the canal freezes entirely, the miracle happens. The canal becomes the world’s largest skating rink, with a staggering 4.8 miles of frozen ice to skate on.
Another interesting location to spend time in is Gatineau Park. For outdoor lovers this is the place to be. One can easily spend hours with the activities that are on all throughout the year. Hiking and Canoeing are favorites but biking is also an option and in winters. It’s a major attraction for skiers as it presents them with a multitude of options like downhill and cross country skiing.
If one is planning a honeymoon around May, the Canadian Tulip Festival is a must visit. Around May, right about springtime, the city becomes a sight to behold as thousands of tulips bloom. It is an 18 day festival that offers a host of food and entertainment options apart from the tulips themselves.
Ottawa is also host to a number of hotels and offers a plethora of options to choose from:
Fairmont Château Laurier– If you wish to be treated like royalty, the Chateau Laurier is the place to book. Located right next door to Parliament Hill, the Fairmont Château Laurier has become a part of the city’s history and skyline. Though pricey, this hotel is the most prestigious that the city has to offer. The hotel also has an “engaging moments” package that can help you plan and execute the perfect proposal.
Swiss Hotel: The Swiss hotel is the best option if you want relaxation and calm. It is newly renovated and offers guests a fun and eclectic European experience. For honeymooners the hotel comes with a Romantic getaway suite, a king-sized canopy bed, double Jacuzzi, raindrop shower and luxurious Swiss dot linens.
Holtz Spa: Just across the street from the Fairmont Chateau Laurier lies the Holtz Spa. A favourite of the locals for hot stone massages the hotel offers special bridal and romantic packages.
Westin Ottawa: The Westinn is the hotel with the best views and it’s a very popular choice. The hotel offers panoramic view of the Gatineau Hills as well as the famed Byward Market. The hotel’s signature “Heavenly beds” comes with a 10 layered mattress. It epitomizes comfort.
Mcgee’s Inn: Mcgee’s is a Victorian mansion and truly something special for the honeymooners. Its gothic eclectic style stands out and the interiors are equally enchanting. There is an Egyptian room and a Windsor room offering cultural touches with queen sized beds and even steam rooms.