Four new hotels in Calgary, Canada's gateway to the Rockies

Hip new pads and revamped classics provide reason to linger in the gateway to the Rockies.

Published 30 Nov 2020, 08:05 GMT
The Residence Inn Calgary Downtown/Beltline District

The Residence Inn Calgary Downtown/Beltline District is the largest property in Marriot’s Residence Inn portfolio.

Photograph by Marriot

1. Alt Hotel Calgary East Village

With snazzy rooms, restaurants and ample views of the Bow River and surrounding parks, this city-centre hotel blends urban chic with Canada’s great outdoors. As the name suggests, it’s in the East Village, the formerly industrial area where street art and trendy eateries pop up amid river views and playgrounds. The hotel’s opening in 2019 was a sign that Calgary was joining the league of other big-hitting Canadian cities. No more dependence on run-of-the-mill chains — this is a town whose hotels have bite.

Today, the East Village is one of the trendiest parts of town, and the Alt Hotel — the second Calgary property for Canadian chain Germain Hotels — delivers all you could want from a hip hotel. Vast, photo-friendly windows? Check. Jazzy interiors, including foxes printed on shower doors, mono-patterned bedding and calming wood accents? Check. Covetable toiletries, in the form of aromatic Bella Pella products handmade in Quebec? Check. It’s not just about appearances, though — other perks include flexible check-in and check-out times if you book direct.

Then there are the restaurants: the modern diner CHIX Eggshop, which serves breakfast and lunch; the Japanese-inspired NUPO, which is largely plant-based; and the chef’s table-style EIGHT, run by acclaimed Canadian chef Darren MacLean.

Even better news is the price, which is far lower than you could expect to pay for this experience in other North American cities — so you can splash out on a river-view room, guilt-free. From C$139 (£82).

2. Hotel Arts

With its hypnotically patterned headboards, colour-splashed carpets and California-vibe pool, the Hotel Arts delivers on its promise to add ‘a dash of whimsy into everything’. Join locals flocking to the onsite Yellow Door Bistro for brunch, then explore the city on the hotel’s free bikes. From C$144 (£85). 

3. Residence Inn Calgary Downtown/Beltline District

Opened in 2019, this is the largest property in Marriot’s Residence Inn portfolio — and the brand has pulled out all the stops to make it a chic flagship. Gaze out at the cityscape through floor-to-ceiling windows and make yourself at home with the en suite kitchenettes (it’s an extended-stay hotel, but takes single-night bookings, too). From C$218 (£128), B&B. 

4. Fairmont Palliser

Calgary’s grande dame has had a modern facelift. Established in 1914, the historic hotel Fairmont Palliser now has snazzy wallpapers and modish four-poster beds upstairs, and a retro gleam downstairs, where brass-legged barstools sit below gilded marble columns. From C$239 (£140).

Published in the Nov/Dec 2020 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)

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