The Frobisher Inn and Explorer Hotel

Experience the warmth of Canada's arctic hotels

A lot of times when people think about the Arctic, visions of polar bears, igloos and snow-covered barren land ensue. Those images aren’t necessarily inaccurate, but they don’t represent all that goes on in the Great White North. The Arctic is Canada’s last frontier and, truth be told, things are heating up.  Just ask Rainer Launhardt, Vice President of Hotels for Nunastar Properties.

“When Nunavut became the newest Canadian territory in 1999, there was a lot of activity and construction in Iqaluit,” says Launhardt. “The government was establishing itself, the city needed infrastructure and a lot of people were visiting for different reasons. More than 10 years later, people are still coming and going, and the city of Iqaluit is expanding every year.”  
The influx of visitors in the last decade has created a need for more hospitality. And that’s where The Frobisher Inn comes into play, because visiting the north doesn’t mean roughing it. Located at the centre of Nunavut’s capital city, The Frobisher Inn is the largest hotel in the eastern Arctic—which was recently expanded to house 95 rooms. With unparalleled full-service, the Frobisher Inn is the hotel destination in one of Canada’s fastest growing cities.

Named after British explorer Sir Martin Frobisher, who landed on Baffin Island in search of the Northwest Passage, the hotel celebrates the region’s history. Located at the centre of Iqaluit, it is close to attractions such as St. Simon’s Church, the original Hudson’s Bay Company buildings, the Nunatta sunakkutaangit Museum and the masterful architecture of Nunavut’s legislative assembly.

Unlike chain hotels whose design is replicated over and over again—where guests essentially stay at the same hotel regardless of the city—The Frobisher Inn provides a much different experience, one that reflects the regional landscape. “This is a hotel with a flavour of the north,” says Launhardt. “It has been designed to give you the Arctic experience. We have lots of Inuit art all over the walls, for example, and serve local fare.”

Open for business

Because business people are a large part of its demographic, The Frobisher Inn has several offerings to accommodate guests’ needs. In addition to services such as wireless Internet, photocopying, large desks and interconnected rooms, the hotel also features meeting and conference facilities for groups up to 250 people. For catered events, The Frobisher Inn prepares exquisite meals of local cuisine for groups of every size, from small intimate gatherings to catering community events with over 1000 people.

Over the decade, the Frobisher Inn has hosted numerous dignitaries from around the world, including Prime Minister Stephen Harper; Jacques Chirac, President of France; Helmut Kohl, Chancellor of Germany; and Michaelle Jean, Governor General of Canada.

Earlier this year, the Frobisher Inn hosted the G7 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors, which garnered due media attention around the world.  Many of the Ministers and Governors (including Ben Bernanke and Timothy Geithner) stayed at the hotel, while The Frobisher Inn hosted the G7 Conference Media Centre.

Northern hospitality

No matter how chilly it may be outside, The Frobisher Inn provides the warmth of good hospitality. Visitors can enjoy delicious meals at the award-winning The Gallery hotel restaurant, grab a latte at the gourmet coffee bar, the Caribrew Cafe, or take in a movie at the Astro Theatre. For those who enjoy an active nightlife, the Storehouse Bar & Grill offers a dance floor and billiards. A quiet and relaxing night in a luxurious hotel room is also an option—the renovated accommodations include entertainment centres with 37-inch flat screen televisions and bedside iPod docks. Corner suites feature king-sized beds, fireplaces, jacuzzi tubs and spectacular panoramic views overlooking Koojesse Inlet.

“Working in the north has been great fun,” concludes Launhardt. “It is very different from big hotels and we have done really well here.” Whatever the reason for a visit in Iqaluit, one needn’t fret about where to stay. The Frobisher Inn is the clear choice for its luxury, range of amenities and its distinctively northern experience.

Treasure Yellowknife’s largest full-service hotel

Maybe you want front row seats to experience the dancing Northern Lights. Perhaps you’re in town on business, or to check out the regions diamonds. Whatever the reason for your stay in Yellowknife, the gateway to Canada’s Arctic, there are luxurious accommodations waiting to greet you, all at The Explorer Hotel.

Owned and operated by Nunastar Properties, The Explorer Hotel opened its doors in 1974 and has been the business hotel destination in the Northwest Territories’ capital ever since. Due to recent activity in the north, the hotel has had to grow to make room for more visitors. Two years ago, the sixty-room expansion project was completed.

Now offering 187 rooms, The Explorer Hotel has all the modern conveniences you would expect and more. Hotel room comfort has always been a key objective for the company, which is why it continually updates its facilities.

The Northern Lights

The Northern Lights (also called Aurora Borealis) are one of the most spectacular light shows in the world. It has been said that the Aurora was named after the Roman goddess of dawn while Borealis comes from the Greek word for wind, Boreas.

Scientifically, the Auroras are produced by the collision of charged particles from Earth’s magnetosphere, mostly electrons but also protons and heavier particles, with atoms and molecules of Earth’s upper atmosphere (at altitudes above 80 km).

However, the flickering curtains of lights, apparently dancing across the dark sky are an amazing celestial phenomenon that has amazed people for centuries. Yellowknife is one of the best places in the world to watch the Northern Lights and The Explorer Hotel can be the base to start your adventure.