Calgary Travel Guide
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Edmonton’s set to get its first Renaissance Hotel this summer (the first in Alberta, as it turns out). The new 213-room hotel will open at the recently-expanded Edmonton International Airport. As the only hotel attached to the airport terminal, this is good news for those of you who find a bed more comfortable than your airport chair.
The hotel was originally scheduled to be a Courtyard by Marriot property before that was kyboshed and it was decided to make the property the more boutique-like upscale Renaissance. The owners felt that the new airport terminal was so modern that the Renaissance was a better fit with the airport re-do.
This is not so much a bar hop as a bar marathon that runs (get it?) the entire length of Canada. If you have the stamina, so do we.
Calgary, Alberta is Canada’s version of the wild west, where people wear cowboy boots without a hint of irony. However, this city that’s affectionately known as “cow town” has more than just beer bars scattered throughout the city.
Case in point: Raw Bar, located in the stylish Hotel Arts (formerly a Holiday Inn.) This is a moody, intimate bar with plenty of private areas for private moments. It’s warm, inviting, and has single-handedly brought a nouveau brand of cocktail culture to the city. The local clientele comes here for well-made cocktails crafted by expert mixologists, who take great pleasure in concocting fantastical creations for their appreciative fans. Hotel guests come because the bar is an appealing place to hang out – and then they discover the seasonal cocktail menu for themselves.
We finally had a chance to get a peek inside The Fairmont Palliser’s (in Calgary) complete redo of its Gold Floor rooms and lounge and it’s left us feeling all aglow.
This luxury brand, often found in historic buildings – The Plaza in New York, The Savoy in London, for instance – most often has decor reflective of these heritage properties: classically elegant. But the Palliser’s new Gold Floor look leans more towards contemporary sophistication – still elegant but with cool, soothing tones and soft cosy textures.
It’s a comfortable nod to the past with an inviting look to the future. There’s brand new furniture, new lighting – new everything really. And with Fairmont making its recent move to Le Labo toiletries, it’s a can’t miss combo for a hotel aficionado.
The Palliser’s Gold Floor Lounge has also been remodelled from top to bottom to complement the new rooms. For those who haven’t yet had the pleasure of staying on a Fairmont Hotel’s Gold Floor, you’re missing out.
We missed putting this on our list but the Hotel Le Germain Calgary just opened over the weekend.
A sister hotel to the Le Germain Toronto, Le Germain Montreal and a hotel in Quebec, the new hotel boasts 143 rooms and a prime location on Centre Street near the EPCOR Centre for the Performing Arts, the Glenbow Museum, the Calgary Tower, the TELUS Convention Centre, Olympic Plaza and the Stephen Avenue pedestrian walk which has nine shopping centers and department stores, retro cinemas, along with restaurants, bars and even art galleries.
Inside the hotel the guestrooms, expect lots of natural light, "warm wood accents", rainfall showers in the bath and even the hottest hotel trend of peekaboo windows with frosted glass. More on the amenities:
Goose-down duvets, feather pillows and comfy chairs will make you feel pampered, relaxed and rejuvenated. Hôtel Le Germain Calgary rooms feature complimentary high speed and wireless Internet access as well as large work tables with ceiling mounted Artemide lamps and ergonomic chairs that make it just as easy to be productive as it is to relax, in style.
We can totally empathize today with Ian Schrager when he spoke of his dismay about boutique hotels popping up all over the world. Calgary which we used to think was just hockey nuts and some old Olympic memorabilia is getting a new boutique hotel.
Changing all 188 rooms from predictably boring to unpredictably hip, took some time. But the Hotel Arts finished the job this past April to unveil 12 floors of luxury rooms and suites, two new restaurants, and a brand spankin' new attitude. So far, guests are pleased:
When we got there, we were very impressed. It looked like some major renovations had been done. Everything was very stylish. The lobby had a great decor. I think we were most impressed when we got to our room. Last September, I stayed at the brand new Wynn hotel in Las Vegas. The rooms at the Hotel Arts compared favorably. The beds had plush down pillows and comforters, there was a patio over-looking the pool, and there was huge flat screen TV on the wall.
Rooms also include WiFi, ultra-suede duvets, and spa amenities. As for the rest of the space, they even go a little Vegas with their martini bar that leads to the pool area where waitresses are ready to tend to your various requests. Phew. All this comes as a relief for those forced to Calgary for business or locals who want somewhere hip to go in their own town.
Although Steve Wynn may want to think about changing his decor.
· Hotel Arts Reviews [TripAdvisor]
HotelChatter has deep and mysterious ties to the world of Hollywood. Sometimes, when we are out in the beautiful Los Angeles smogshine picking up an iced mocha blended from the the Coffee Bean, a black van rolls up and we are grabbed off the street and stuffed into the back next to a snarling rottweiler, while our masked captors ask us life and death questions like, "What hotel in Calgary do you recommend? It has to be hip and there must be a bar--now talk!"
When we try to inquire about who exactly needs a hip hotel bar in Calgary, boiling water is poured over our hands and we are shoved up next to a computer to begin our search--yeah we are on a need to know basis, and we don't need to know.
But nevertheless it's safe to say that one of the three A's in Hollywood is looking for our help in picking a cool Calagary hotel--that's either an agent, an assistant, or an actor.
See Where We Sent 'Em Post-Click
The last pit stop in a race around the world is...The Delta Calgary Airport hotel.
Yup, after weeks of visiting some of the finest locals and resorts in the world, the Amazing Race contestants were saddled with this convenience first sleeper directly across from the Calgary Airport.
We have all stayed at Airport hotels, and many times these properties serve us just fine. Usually, when you book an airport hotel it is all about the early morning wake up call and the free shuttle to the airport.
From the looks of things the Delta Calgary Airport got both of the intangibles right (non of the teams missed their early morning wake up and airport check in).
So what else goes along with the convenience of the airport stay? Overpaying of course. Looks like the Delta Calgary Airport will charge you a bit more to be staying adjacent to the airport. However, in their defense we have heard that the rooms are spacious, clean, and pleasant. Hmm. We still think they are charging you for the location.
This story brings to end the Amazing Race 5 (congrats Chip and Kim), as well as our Amazing Race 5 hotel update series. Thanks for reading, thanks for all the comments and emails, and we will see you next time Phil and the gang film a bunch of teams racing around the world. Our role? We will be covering the hotels contestants stay in, or around, of course.
· Amazing Race 5 Hotel Update: Remote Beachside Resort [HotelChatter]
· Amazing Race 5 Hotel Update: Upgrading in Manila [HotelChatter]
· Amazing Race 5 Hotel Update: Zorbing in New Zealand [HotelChatter]
· Amazing Race 5 Hotel Update: A Different Side of Kolkata [HotelChatter]
· Amazing Race 5 Hotel Update: Paragliding Patagonia [HotelChatter]
· Amazing Race 5 Hotel Update: Uruguay Hotels [HotelChatter]
· Amazing Race 5 Hotel Update: Crocidile Island in Luxor Egypt [HotelChatter]
· Amazing Race 5 Hotel Update: Lake Manyara [HotelChatter]
· Amazing Race 5 Hotel Update: Burj Al Arab [HotelChatter]