Ottawa Travel Guide

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Following the iPad Tour of Ottawa's Fairmont Château Laurier

Where: Ottawa, ON, Canada
April 1, 2015 at 1:30 PM | by | ()

Ottawa, Canada's grand dame, The Fairmont Château Laurier may be redecorating its guest rooms, but all is very well and as original as possible throughout the historic public rooms of the hotel.

From the indoor, art deco pool to the Yousef Karsh portraits (most famously of Winston Churchill) in the Reading Room, the Château Laurier seeks to preserve all the little details, as well as the grandiose, and serves in places as a kind of time capsule to the days of its 1912 opening (which sadly coincided with the sinking of the Titanic, an event which claimed the life of the man who commissioned the hotel built, Grand Trunk Railway president Charles Melville Hays).

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Before and After: The Fairmont Château Laurier Redecorates Canada's Castle

Where: Ottawa, ON, Canada
March 25, 2015 at 3:15 PM | by | ()

Tripadvisor reviews haven't been very kind to Ottawa, Canada's historic Fairmont Château Laurier in recent years. The popular sentiment seems to be "time for a major renovation" and, luckily enough, that's exactly what the hotel has in mind. Better than that actually; the Château Laurier is in the midst of such a renovation of the guest rooms, replacing the former "grandma's guest bedroom" aesthetic with something much more modern, fresh, and bright.

Redecorated rooms finally offer lots of power outlets (including a desk with built-in console and bedside table lamps with outlets), Nespresso coffee makers and a variety of Fairmont proprietary tea blends, and bathrooms are equipped with both an ultra-flattering light-up mirror and a makeup mirror, not to mention toiletries from Le Labo's Rose 31 collection.

Only a small number of the hotel's 429 guest rooms have been redecorated with the fresher look, so guests should request one during booking or, at the very latest, during check-in.

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ALT Offers ALTernatives To Pricey Hotels--This Time In Ottawa

November 20, 2012 at 9:48 AM | by | ()

In its continuing quest for world domination – Okay, Canadian domination – family-run Canadian hotelier, Groupe Germain, has announced that they will build another ALT Hotel in Ottawa for 2014.

Expect to see a modern hotel with twelve floors and 148 rooms designed by Canadian architects Lemay Michaud and Richard Chmiel. The hotel will be located on well-traversed Slater Street in Ottawa's bustling business district and will share space with 164 luxury condos in the same complex.

As in all ALT Hotels, WiFi is always free and the hotels don’t just call themselves green, they mean it. They use: geothermal heating and cooling, heat recovery from indoor air that's vented outside, water from commercial washers, energy-efficient lighting and a direct digital control system for ventilation, heating and cooling.

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The Great Canadian Hotel Bar Hop: ARC The.Hotel’s Lounge in Ottawa

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 140 Slater Street, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K1P 5H6
August 8, 2012 at 9:05 AM | by | ()

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.

We know what you’re thinking: What’s with the strange punctuation in ARC The.Hotel’s name? Well, we don’t know – but we do know that going to this hotel lounge is worth overlooking poor grammar.

On any given day, you can find a youngish professional crowd hanging out in the lounge, both locals and guests, enjoying the jazzy, dreamy soundtrack. What’s their cocktail of choice, you ask? It’s the ARCtini, the ARC Lounge’s version of a green apple martini.

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Take Mom To Ottawa for the Tulip Festival

Where: Ottawa, Canada
April 25, 2008 at 2:00 PM | by | ()

We've been neglecting Canada lately and we apologize for that. So if you need a reason to visit our neighbors to the North and you just happen to be a member of your local garden club, hit up Ottawa in May for the Canadian Tulip Festival.

Each spring 600,000 people from North America, Europe and Asia travel to see the exotic mosaic these tulips create in the city's parks and open spaces. It's actually a perfect trip for Mom's Day.

The tulip festival runs May 2-19, and about 40 hotels in Ottawa and Gatineau have created a special festival package for visitors. The package includes accommodations, a voucher to receive International Friendship Passports, Tulip pins and entrance to some of Ottawa's other cultural attractions.

One of the participating hotels is the landmark Fairmont Chateau Laurier but there was no availability for the opening days of the festival. There was however room at the Hotel Indigo Ottawa for $139 a night which surprised us because we didn't know they had Hotel Indigos in Canada!

You can purchase festival packages at Ottawa Tourism. Hotel prices vary, with rates starting at $85 per night for double occupancy. The booking page is a little fussy, there's a lot of details to fill out and if you forget to select how many adults will be in the room, a pop-up message won't let you go any further.

The best way to do it is just select the dates you wanna go, select the Tulip Package and see what hotels show up.

[Photo: JPCTalbot]