Construction begins on luxury lodge near Dettah, N.W.T.

Guest rooms will include four-piece baths, gas fireplaces and skylights through which to view the aurora.

Starting rate for the Skywatch Lodge and Spa all-inclusive experience at is $1,100 per person

A rendition of guest rooms at Skywatch Lodge and Spa. Rooms will include four-piece baths, gas fireplaces and skylights through which to view the aurora. (Courtesy of Solstice Destinations)

Construction has begun on a new luxury lodge outside of Dettah, Northwest Territories.

Coromandel Aurora Lodge Ltd. received its land-use permit from the Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Board last week to start building its $25-million Skywatch Lodge. The new 37-room lodge will include a fine dining restaurant, a spa, library and outdoor, heated infinity pool.

A rendition of a boardwalk at the new Skywatch Lodge and Spa outside of Dettah, N.W.T. Construction on the lodge began this week. (Courtesy of Solstice Destination)

"This is another step in the direction we need to be moving and we're very excited to be pressing the 'go' button on site development," said Deneen Allen, the CEO of Solstice Destinations, a partner in the lodge.

More than half of the lodge is being pre-fabricated at a factory in Lethbridge and shipped to the site on flat-bed trucks. Allen said much of the lodge had to be pre-fabricated during the winter in order to keep construction on schedule.

She said the lodge needs to be built and in place by next winter so interior work can be finished in time for the grand opening in August 2018.

Allen said the foundation work for the Lodge will be put out to tender within the next few weeks.

'Simple, elegant, streamlined'

The building was designed by Yellowknife architect Simon Taylor. Composed of roughly 40 per cent glass, the design is described as "simple, elegant, streamlined" with finishes inspired by the local landscape.

Guest rooms will include four-piece baths, gas fireplaces and skylights through which to view the aurora.

The starting rate per-night for the all-inclusive experience is $1,100 per person.

Forty staff will work on site; half will be full-time employees. Allen said a number of Yellowknives Dene companies and artists have already been hired to work with the lodge.

She said the lodge will rely on existing northern tourism operators to offer dog sledding, ice fishing, hiking and interpretative tours.

The lodge will also source local ingredients, when possible, for its spa and fine dining restaurant, such as berries, mushrooms, local fish, and Inuvik reindeer. The lodge is already advertising a spa menu that includes a "Great Slave Lake hydrating mud wrap" and a "calming and lightening cranberry facial"

With files from Richard Gleeson and Kate Kyle


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