Want a getaway without the hassle of actually going away? A quality staycation is what you’re looking for, friend. And you’re in luck this year as a number of new hotels have opened in Calgary and older ones have renovated to great effect. Stay, play and eat local with these great downtown options.
The Hyatt Regency in downtown Calgary completed an extensive upgrade to all of its 355 guest rooms in the spring of 2018 and also expanded and renovated its Regency Club lounge. Guest rooms now feature Caesarstone counters in the bathrooms, smart mirrors and locally crafted, tineo wood-veneer millwork. The Club lounge was expanded with more seating as well as a quiet zone for private dining.
700 Centre St. S.E., 403-717-1234, hyatt.com
The Hyatt is the perfect jumping-off point for summer events taking place on Prince’s Island or in Olympic Plaza. Whether your staycation is happening during Fiestaval (July 19 to 21), the Calgary Folk Music Festival (July 25 to 28), Taste of Calgary (Aug. 8 to 11) or any time during the run of Shakespeare by the Bow (until Aug. 18), you’ll find lots to do downtown.
This past spring, the Fairmont Palliser debuted its new lobby restaurant and bar, Hawthorn. The sophisticated space suggests a modernized take on turn-of-the-century train travel, harkening back to the hotel’s rich history as part of the original CP Hotel chain. Fittingly, the menu also seems to exude a sense of travel with its upscale snacks, salads and mains featuring global flavours such as harissa, za’atar, hoisin and chimichurri.
133 9 Ave. S.W., 403-260-1287, hawthorndiningroom.ca
This new hotel in the Beltline is primarily for guests who are staying for an extended time — each of the 390 rooms is a suite complete with full kitchen. The hotel also offers free grocery delivery as well as a complimentary breakfast buffet. With Western-themed murals throughout, the design pays homage to the site’s former occupant, the Alberta Boot Company.
610 10 Ave. S.W., 587-885-2288, marriott.com
You don’t have to wait for the third BUMP Festival, which runs Aug. 29 to 31, to do a self-guided tour of the Beltline Urban Murals Project. Since it launched in 2017, BUMP has completed 15 murals throughout the inner-city neighbourhood. You can download a printable map of mural locations at yycbump.ca. Follow up your mural tour with some arcade games at Greta Bar. With more than 50 games in house you’re sure to find something you like (along with some friendly competition).
What you do on your staycation is your own business, but if you’re looking for some of the reportedly aphrodisiacal powers of oysters, Rodney’s has all that and more. The happy hour special —offered from 3 to 6 p.m. Monday to Friday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays — of six oysters and a drink for $15 is a great deal, whether you follow that with dinner or head back to your hotel.
355 10 Ave. S.W., 403-460-0026, rodneysoysterhouse.com/calgary
Part of the Le Germain chain, the Alt opened in East Village last November. High design meets high value at this affordable luxury hotel. The minimalist rooms are small but comfortable with high-end finishes and linens. Kids under 12 stay free and dogs are welcome, too — one dog per room with a $30-per-stay fee. There’s no set check-out time if you book directly with the hotel (dependent on demand), so you won’t feel rushed to get on your way.
635 Confluence Way S.E., 587-441-6635, althotels.com/en/calgaryeastvillage
On Sundays, Studio Bell, Home of the National Music Centre offers “backstage pass tours” for a behind-the-scenes look at three of the centre’s recording facilities, including the Rolling Stones Mobile Studio. Tickets are $26 to $33 each and can be booked online through the Studio Bell website. Follow your tour with drinks and live music at the King Eddy.
Charbar and Chix Eggshop
It doesn’t get much better than being up on the rooftop patio at Charbar as the sun goes down over the Bow — unless it’s knowing that you can indulge a bit more than usual since you just have to stumble across the road to the comfort of your staycation lodgings at the Alt Hotel. Even closer to home is Chix Eggshop. The latest from local restaurant powerhouses John Jackson and Connie DeSousa (Charcut and Charbar) is set to open inside the Alt with a menu of “fast fine diner” fare. From dawn ’til dusk your taste buds will be well rewarded in this ’hood.