Tag: Canada Hotels

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First Aboriginal Art Hotel Opens in Vancouver: Skwachàys Lodge

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  Site Where: 29/31 West Pender Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, V6B 1R3
April 3, 2015 at 11:10 AM | by | Comments (0)

Late this fall, where Vancouver’s oh-so-hip and oh-so-coolly-named Gastown meets historical Chinatown, the Skwachàys Lodge Hotel & Gallery opened its doors to the public (pronounced skwatch-eyes). No trumpets blew and there weren’t any fireworks, but this little 18-room hotel is truly one-of-a-kind.

Owned and operated by the registered charity, Vancouver Native Housing Society, each room is designed by one of six local interior designers in collaboration with one of six Aboriginal artists (Native Americans in U.S.-speak in case you didn't know). Each unique suite features original carvings, paintings, fabric, art, custom furniture and décor.

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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 | Comments (0)

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 | Comments (0)

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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Just Outside of Toronto, 'Drake-by-the-Lake' Has Opened

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  Site Where: 24 Wharf Street, Wellington, Ontario, Canada
September 17, 2014 at 1:58 PM | by | Comments (0)

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.

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Quirky Cocktails That (Can Make You) Go the Distance

August 14, 2014 at 7:13 PM | by | Comments (0)

It's no secret that we love drinking in hotels here at HotelChatter. In fact, hotels might be our favorite "local." So all this week and next, we'll be pouring out some drinks for you during our second Hotel Cocktail Week(s) -- newly-expanded because there’s just so many drinks to share. We'll be posting quirky cocktails, boozy trends, unique menus and even recipes so you can recreate your favorite hotel drink at home. We expect everyone will be getting a bit tipsy over the next couple of weeks! But don't forget to tip your bartenders, in this case, us.

There are some cocktails in this world that make you go, “Really?” Here are a few that fall into this category, proving that some things are best left for the experts to come up with.


This savory concoction comes from Shangri-La, At The Shard’s GŎNG. It contains Scotch – good; sherry – OK; blue cheese – what the?; and chocolate bitters. Really? All we can say is that we’re going to London soon and you can bet we’re making a pit stop here to see if it can actually be done.

Black and Blue Swizzle

Ingredients:
1.5 oz Talisker 10 Years
1/2 oz Pedro Ximinez Sherry
1/2 oz fresh lime juice
3/4 oz honey-blue cheese mix (method below)
1 drop Mozart Chocolate Bitter

Method:
To make the honey-blue cheese mix:
Add 2:1* honey syrup and 200g crumbled blue Stilton into a saucepan over medium heat and let the syrup simmer for a while (do not let it boil). Use a blender to make sure the cheese and honey are combined. It’s recommended to fine strain the syrup before usage.

Pour all of the ingredients into a copper mug and add crushed ice. Use a swizzle stick to blend the drink and crushed ice until the outside of the mug is frosted. A spoon can be used if you can't get hold of a swizzle stick.

Top up with fresh crushed ice and garnish with mint leaves, orange peel and cinnamon crumbles.

*A 2:1 (sugar/honey to water) is often referred to as rich simple syrup. The 2:1 ratio often gives the cocktail a better mouth feel and less is needed since it’s richer. It also lasts longer before spoiling.

Cost to imbibe at the hotel: £17 ($28)
Cost to stay at the hotel because you've imbibed too much: £500 ($834)

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HotelChatter Must-Stay Hotels 2014: Toronto

August 5, 2014 at 5:27 PM | by | Comments (0)

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.

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Go Big or Go Home: $75M Reno Biggest Ever at Fairmont Le Château Frontenac in Québec City

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  Site Where: 1 rue des Carrières , Québec City, Québec, Canada, G1R 4P5
May 27, 2014 at 5:33 PM | by | Comments (0)

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.

More below!

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Canada Gets Its First Autograph Collection Hotel with the Revamped Algonquin Resort

Go To The Hotel's Web 
  Site Where: 184 Adolphus Street , St Andrews, New Brunswick, Canada, E5B 1T7
March 27, 2014 at 8:31 AM | by | Comments (0)

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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Aloft Calgary To Open In April As Per Starwood’s 'Go Big Or Go Home' Goal

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  Site Where: 2359 Banff Trail NW, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, T2M 4L2
March 12, 2014 at 12:00 PM | by | Comments (0)

We’re hearing a lot about Aloft Hotels these days and here’s why: Starwood is planning to open 100 Aloft Hotels in 14 countries by the end of 2014. That’s a big shout-out to you, Gen Yers, since Starwood's building 'em mostly for you.

So without further adieu, here comes Aloft Calgary University, set to open on April 17—the first Aloft in Western Canada and the third to debut in the country.

Like all of the Aloft properties, you can expect modern design, loads of tech, and local live music at its signature W XYZ bar. You’ll also find a 24/7 pantry for when you have the munchies, indoor pool, 24-hour fitness center, full-service day spa, spin studio and a casual eatery on the second level of the hotel.

The Aloft Calgary University will have 143 loft-inspired rooms each with a walk-in shower, Bliss toiletries, free and, they’re promising, fast WiFi, and plug & play charging stations that connect to the 42” LCD TV.

Rates in May start at $189 CAD, but we say go the distance and have breakfast included for $199 CAD.

{Rendering: Starwood Hotels & Resorts]

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Montreal Says 'Bienvenue' to a New ALT Hotel

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  Site Where: 120 Peel Street, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, H3C 4B8
February 27, 2014 at 9:18 AM | by | Comments (0)

Groupe Germain Hospitalité is opening its fifth ALT Hotel at the end of March: the ALT Hotel Montréal Griffintown. Along with Hôtel Le Germain Montréal and ALT Hotel Brossard Quartier DIX30, this will be the company’s third hotel in and around the city. It will also be the first hotel (try to keep with all of these stats!) to open in cool-sounding Griffintown, one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods now home to Montréal’s Fashion Week and its own bespoke beer, Griffintown Blonde Ale from Brasseur de Montréal. (You know you’ve made it when your name’s on a beer, are we right?)

The hotel will continue to fulfill the ALT Hotels mandate of offering a “no-frills-chic hotel concept combining modern design and eco-friendly features at an affordable rate.”

See more renderings below!

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A Peek Inside Toronto’s Iconic Hipster Hangout, The Drake Hotel

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  Site Where: 1150 Queen St W, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
February 20, 2014 at 9:51 AM | by | Comments (0)

The Drake Hotel was one of, if not THE, first boutique hotel in Toronto when it opened. When we heard that dot-comer Jeff Stober was opening The Drake west of Queen West, we thought it impossible for the hotel to survive in the then downtrodden boonies. We were wrong, so wrong—not only did The Drake persevere but it quickly became a hotspot for locals who lined up to get into its basement band venue and kickass lounge. Now, ten years on, we set out to discover whether The Drake Hotel still had true cachet.

We walked in on a wintry Saturday afternoon and the place was overflowing with bohos and hipsters alike, most waiting for a table in the recently-reno’ed (and enlarged but still full to capacity) restaurant and lounge. If you ever wondered what the Canadian design aesthetic is, you need to come here. There’s lots of natural wood, industrial lighting, earth tones, forest motifs and—to take it one step further—The Drake has a kitschy camp feel that reminds us of every camping trip we ever took as kids, sans mosquitoes.

The rooms carry on that mid-century modern campground feel but with modern ModCons. You can see inside the rooms in the photo gallery, but there are a few things that deserve an extra shout-out. First, let’s hear it for “Hairy Chest Man.” This particular doll for adults with leather studded collar is handmade and you can find a different doll in every room. Next, the “pleasure menu”: The Drake purports to be the first hotel in the world to carry one and while we can’t vouch for that, we can say that it is probably the most extensive menu of its kind that we’ve had the “pleasure” of seeing (yuk yuk). We also loved the owl light and the toiletries by Malin + Goetz.

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A Peek at The Beverley Hotel in Toronto

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  Site Where: 335 Queen Street W, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5V 2A1
February 13, 2014 at 3:34 PM | by | Comments (0)

Next up in our Toronto tour is the 18-room hotel, The Beverley, found on hipster hangout, Queen West. After some initial confusion as to whether to head up or down the stairs (go up to check-in and down to go to the popular restaurant and lounge), we met up with GM Scott Newnham who showed us around this tasteful minimalist boutique property.

The hotel’s motto is, “Everything you need and nothing you don’t,” and we think this is a pretty accurate depiction of what the hotel’s all about. Cool, white minimalism takes over the rooms — with a happy shock of vivid color coming from the bathrooms — and what’s there is luxurious: Frette linens; local spa Body Blitz toiletries; fluffy cotton robes; and flat-screen TVs mounted on the ceiling or wall.

Have a look at the photo gallery below to see for yourself!

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