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Yes, it’s winter and yes, Canada can be cold. But that also means fluffy snow and chestnuts still roasting by an open fire. Starwood Hotels & Resorts wants to entice you to visit the country with some “winterful” packages (yeah, yeah, we know!).
1) “Two Nights are Never Enough in Canada: Two for the Price of One” package –- This sweet deal lets you book a long weekend of your choosing at over 50 Starwood Hotels across the country so that you can cuddle up during those cold, dark nights of winter. You pay for two nights and they’ve got the third one covered. Rates in a Deluxe King at the Westin Calgary, for instance, will only set you back $179, but you need to arrive between Thursday and Saturday.
2) It’s Hockey Night in Canada –- With the “Hockey Night Special” package at the newly-reno’ed Le Centre Sheraton Montreal, you get a special rate of $139 for a Traditional King on home game nights. Montreal’s Bell Centre is across from the hotel, so if you have that beer swagger going on after the game, you’re nice and close.
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]