Set 1,500 feet above the ocean, in the hills of southern Vancouver Island, the 35-room Aerie has commanded some of the best views of the San Juan Islands since its opening in 1991. With the recent unveiling of Villa Cielo—an arched Mediterranean-style building 300 feet above the main property—the resort is reaching even greater heights. The Villa, which is open from March through October (the road leading up to it can get icy during the winter), harbors six sprawling suites with Brazilian cherrywood floors, silk carpets, and gas fireplaces; the showers and the deep-soaking tubs are made for two. If you decide to actually leave your room, you can go on a mushroom hunt with a local monk or arrange a private cooking class—incorporating the famed produce of the surrounding Cowichan Valley.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.