Canada Travel Guide
View from the far side of the lake of the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise
We've highlighted the natural beauty of the Fairmont Banff Springs in the past, but its lesser-known sister property, the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, is no slouch when it comes to killer views herself.
A few years ago, we dreamed about what it might be like to stay there, and now we have experienced it first hand. We'll dive in a little deeper next week, but it doesn't take a genius to figure out what attracts people to this property. It is positioned next to Lake Louise, which is fed by several glaciers that trickle down from the surrounding jagged peaks of the Canadian Rockies.
OE Collection / New Hotel Brands / Loews Hotels / Hotel News / Lifestyle Hotels / Charles Khabouth / → All Tags
A few months ago, news came out that Loews Hotels would debut their own lifestyle collection, called, OE Collection. While we made the scholarly guess that OE did not stand for Olde English malt liquor (heh), we were still left in the dark about what kind of space in the lifestyle market OE would fill.
But last week at the Americas Lodging Investment Summit conference in Los Angeles, we sat down with Constantine Dimas, the new chief business officer of OE Collection, and got the scoop.
Dimas is a Loews guy through and through, having served as Vice President of Asset Management & Owner Relations as well as Vice President of Food & Beverage.
Not so coincidentally, OE Collection hotels will have a strong emphasis on food and beverage and beyond. In fact, the first OE Collection hotel will be the Bisha Hotel in Toronto from Canada's nightlife king, Charles Khabouth (Bisha was Khabouth's childhood nickname, but Dimas refers to him as "The King of cool." Khabouth is also the restaurant partner at Loews Vogue in Montreal.)
Longtime readers may remember Hotel Bisha from way back in the day (2010) when they first announced that Lenny Kravitz would be designing an entire floor.
The hotel took a while to get going but now Loews, in the form of the OE Collection, is helping Khabouth make his hotel vision a reality. Come early next year, Bisha Hotel & Residences, OE Collection--with 100 hotel rooms, over 300 condo units, a 24-hour cafe, a bar, two restaurants and a mega rooftop experience--will finally swing open its doors...to the most culturally discerning guests of course.
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And now, it is also so very Marriott.
Fresh off announcing its U.S. expansion plans for Moxy Hotels, Marriott has now gone and snapped up all 38 Delta Hotels, all of which are located in Canada. Here are the terms of the
signing over of Delta's soul acquisition:
Last week, we showed you all around the revamped Gordon Bar at the reinvented Sixty Soho, formerly 60 Thompson. We hope you took a good long look at that stuff because you'll be seeing more of Sixty Hotels in the very near future.
The brand, created by the Thompson Hotels founders, is about to open Nautilus South Beach this spring, followed by the newly announced Sixty Hotel Montreal, opening in late 2016. This will be the sixth property for the new-old brand. How fitting.
Here's a press statement from hotelier Jason Pomeranc on the decision to open in Montreal on René Lévesque Boulevard in the Central Business District:
“The cultural and creative sensibility of the city along with its jet-set style makes Montreal an ideal location to open the next SIXTY Hotel” said Jason Pomeranc, co-owner of SIXTY Hotels. “Montreal is filled with eclectic and inspiring neighborhoods and offers fantastic global appeal. Our plan is to build a hotel that takes its inspiration from the local architecture and character of the city, while injecting SIXTY’s flair for hospitality to create a very chic and sophisticated destination hotel.”
Hotel Renovations / Toronto Hotels / Hotel Design / Alexandra Champalimaud / Champalimaud Design / Delta Hotels Canada / → All Tags
Toronto's Southcore financial district has a new, accommodating kid on the block that should fit right in with all those snazzy business suits and dresses. The all-Canadian brand Delta Hotels & Resorts has initiated its extreme makeover with the debut of its new flagship, the 567-room Delta Toronto, which opened last month. Reinventing itself as a sophisticated-yet-youthful luxury brand, was the name of the game for Delta's reinvention; and it seems they've succeeded, thanks to the sterling work of internationally acclaimed Champalimaud Design.
Fogo Island, a remote and rugged island south of Newfoundland, put itself on the savvy (and well-to-do) traveler's map with the striking, stilt supported Fogo Island Inn, which opened last year. Just getting to the 29-suite, five-star inn is an excursion right up the adventurist's alley - island hopping (via ferry or charter plane) is a prerequisite.
But now it's upped its design appeal, as the inn has launched a furniture collection that is now available to purchase on or off the island.
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This is the kind of hotel that makes you feel like sitting around a fire and singing camp songs. Looking like a cross between your cabin at the lake and a quaint country inn, the Drake Devonshire opened this week just outside of Toronto.
Owned by the folks who brought us hipster hangout, The Drake Hotel in Toronto, you can see that “Drake-by-the-Lake” is complementary in style but with a more pronounced cheeky nod to rustic Canadiana.
Must-Stay Hotels / Toronto Hotels / Canada Hotels / Hotel Guides / Luxury Hotels / Boutique Hotels / Shangri-La Hotels / Le Germain Hotels / Intercontinental Hotel Group / Intercontinental Hotels / → All Tags
Introducing our newest hotel guide--HotelChatter's Must-Stay Hotels--where we pick four hotels for four different types of travelers in a particular neighborhood of one major city. This is also a seasonal guide so the options may change depending on when you're going. Got a question about where to stay and when? Email us.
Looking for a hotel in Toronto? You can troll online review sites, crowdsource on Facebook and comb through endless Best Hotels” lists but why do all that when we’ve done all the work for you already?
Here are four different hotels to try when you head south of the border to one of Canada’s largest metropolises, all located in Toronto's downtown area. Whether you’re going for pleasure or work and whether you’ve got cash to throw around or have pennies to count, these hotels will fulfill your wants, needs and desires.
Hotel Renovations / Fairmont Hotels / Hotel Design / Canada Hotels / Quebec Hotels / Quebec City Hotels / → All Tags
If you’ve never been to this Gothic revival-style grand hotel dominating Québec City’s skyline, you should know that renovating Le Château Frontenac would be like renovating a castle (the hotel even has ramparts!). But renovate they did and paid the princely price of $75 mill to revamp the 611-room, 120-year-old property. Wowza!
Compared to when this writer last stayed at the hotel about seven years ago, the lobby-to-roof reno looks to have kept the property’s elegant classical interior while updating textures and adding a more contemporary color palette.
Some of the nifty new things include the changes made to the Fairmont Gold level, Fairmont’s version of the Club Level. The room count went from 45 to 60 rooms and the private lounge – with dedicated concierge, morning breaky, evening hors d’oeuvres, and honor bar – has been consequently expanded and gussied up.
We love hotel renovations nearly just as much as we love new hotels. But what we really love about hotel renovations is seeing the transformation that happens when an old, tired and lackluster room gets a modern makeover and transforms into new, spiffed-up, stylish guest room. Or put more simply, we love comparing the Before and After.
We told you last year that Omni Hotels was taking over the King Edward Hotel in Toronto and would be spending $40 million on renovating the hotel, from guestrooms to the 17th floor Crystal Ballroom that has been closed since the 1970s. While its 20-foot ceilings and four-way skyline views will make for a dramatic addition to the hotel, we’ll start today with a look at the before and after of the guestrooms.
The move to Omni last year marked 110 years since the hotel first opened in 1903, so it’s probably no surprise the rooms had a rather classic feel, but how have they changed?
Hotel Openings / Hotel Renovations / Hotel Reopenings / Autograph Collection / Marriott Hotels / Canada Hotels / → All Tags
New Brunswick’s Grande Dame of a hotel, The Algonquin Resort, reopened last week after a one-year “rafters to registration” refurb to become Canada’s first hotel under Marriott’s Autograph Collection brand of independent hotels.
The century-old plus Algonquin Resort’s guest rooms and public spaces were completely redesigned by Toronto designer, Robynne Moncur of Moncur Design. The hotel’s décor reflects its Victorian origins but is re-styled for a modern sensibility, with a living room-style lobby that invites lingering around the two-sided fireplace. The lounge now opens to an outdoor patio that takes in the nightly sunsets over Passamaquoddy Bay in the awesomely-named St. Andrews-by-the Sea.
Each guest room and suite in the 233-room resort includes comfy pillow-top mattresses and bathrobes, radiant heat flooring in the bathrooms so that your tootsies don’t get cold, MP3 players, 32-inch flat screen TVs, in-room coffee, and complimentary in-room movies and WiFi. Select rooms and suites even feature a balcony or patio for you to while away an afternoon with a book — something like Michael Martin’s Lost in Hotels seems appropriate!
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We can't get enough of Hotel Indigos and fortunately, it's getting easier and easier to find a Hotel Indigo wherever we go.
The boutique brand from InterContinental Hotel Group has announced new hotels in New York's Financial District and in Miami's Brickell area.
The Hotel Indigo NYC Financial District will open in 2016 on Maiden Lane, one of the city's oldest streets, between Nassau and Broadway. This historic location will no doubt play a part in the Hotel Indigo's design which always works in elements from the surrounding area. And since Maiden Lane was where many of the city's watchmakers were located (there's a clock embedded in the sidewalk in front of William Barthman Jeweler), we're expecting a lot of clocks. Indeed, Hotel Indigo is already promising a "unique spin on the idea of time."
The hotel is also located one block from the new One World Trade Center. In total, the 25-story new-build hotel will have 190 rooms featuring all the Indigo brand standards--hard-surfaced flooring with area rugs, spa-inspired bathrooms, plush bedding and free WiFi, along with a bar and restaurant serving locally sourced food. And the new Interactive Neighborhood Guides will be in place as well.