You don’t need to go far to experience the perfect getaway. In fact, rest and relaxation can be found right on your doorstep.
Calgarians are embracing Staycations, whether the fluctuating Canadian dollar is to blame or making saving dollars a priority this year, that doesn’t mean an exciting getaway isn’t within reach. Staycations offer a unique opportunity to escape the hectic daily grind by exploring your own city at your own pace.
Depending on your interests, a one or two-night staycation can relieve stress, revive your senses and expose you to a world of food and culture you never expected. Centrally located, Hotel Arts is the perfect spot to escape for a few days and soak in the energy and excitement of Calgary’s core, or quietly recharge your batteries.
Culture Vultures – those on the constant lookout for their new favourite bands, awe-inspiring theatre, coolest contemporary art galleries and hottest cultural events – will find themselves in the thick of things at Hotel Arts.
Drop off your bags and hop on one of Hotel Arts’ Brooklyn Cruiser bicycles. Head over to the Esker Foundation Contemporary Art Gallery in nearby Inglewood. The gallery was founded in 2012 and has quickly become one of the city’s top arts and music destinations in one of Calgary’s most celebrated neighbourhoods.
On the way back from Inglewood, park your bike in front of the new National Music Centre on 9th Avenue and admire the stunning, ambitious and incredibly Instagrammable architecture, designed by Brad Cloepfil. Inside, you’ll find a magnificent collection of Canadian music memorabilia and historical musical instruments.
More stops await, visit the Glenbow Museum on Stephen Avenue, western Canada’s largest museum, featuring thousands of pieces of art work, photographs and historical artifacts. Or explore Calgary’s unique public art pieces scattered throughout the heart of the city – from the 12 meter high head, ‘Wonderland’, in front of the Bow building to the iconic red Peace Bridge.
Evenings are best enjoyed with a delicious and innovative cocktail created by General Manager and mixologist Franz Swinton of Raw Bar. If it’s Thursday, you’re in luck. Soak in some of the city’s best singers and musicians during the hotel’s weekly Raw Bar Rotations live music night curated by local artist Amy Thiessen, every Thursday at 7pm.
Not ready to call it a night? Only a short jaunt to the Saddledome, take in one of your favourite concerts or cheer on the Calgary Flames and enjoy the short commute back to the hotel.
If a healthy, relaxing getaway is more your style, Hotel Arts has exactly what the Wellness Seeker is searching for.
On warm and sunny summer days, there’s no better place to be than poolside nestled in the hotel’s outdoor courtyard. Take a dip in the inviting water or you can choose to simply bask in the rays at one of the many poolside tables.
If you’re feeling energetic after hanging out by the pool, take one of Hotel Arts’ Brooklyn Cruisers out for a spin. Follow the downtown bike lanes to the iconic Peace Bridge in Eau Claire and spend some time exploring Calgary’s extensive and beautiful pathway system.
Once returning to the hotel after an hour or two of cycling, your legs might be a little on the sore side. So what better excuse to book a 60 or 90-minute in-room massage through Hotel Arts partner RnR Wellness Spa? Appointments can be booked day of and often at the last minute.
Follow up a relaxing aromatherapy massage treatment with a healthy dinner of grilled trout from Yellow Door Bistro, sourcing local and regional ingredients, or a crab and mango salad roll and chili lemongrass tofu in the Raw Bar which will impress with fresh Vietmodern flare. Then get a great night’s sleep after taking a long, hot bath in your Luxury Room’s long, deep bathtub.
Provided you can roll out of bed before 9 a.m. on a Saturday or Sunday morning, Hotel Arts’ neighbour HotShop Yoga offers poolside yoga classes at the hotel for $15 (weather permitting). Or focus on strength training and cardio in the well-equipped fitness centre or the neighbouring Anytime Fitness. And don’t forget breakfast. Yellow Door Bistro offers tasty shots of fresh fruit smoothies and healthy veggie-filled omelets amoung other fresh favourites.
Speaking of Yellow Door Bistro, this Hotel Arts eatery has won several awards for its cuisine, including Best Restaurant at the 2015 Calgary White Hat Awards. It also happens to be the featured restaurant on Calgary Food Tours’ popular Palette to Palate culinary and art tour, which takes place every Saturday morning from 9 a.m. until noon between May and October. It’s a great starting point for any Foodie Adventurer.
Calgary’s culinary scene has exploded in recent years with several excellent restaurants opening up within the vicinity of Hotel Arts. Start your taste tour of Calgary at lunch by tracking down one of the many exceptional food trucks parked around the Beltline and the downtown core between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Then grab a tempting treat from Sweet Relief Pastries, a new addition to area.
After you’ve digested your afternoon treats, kick off dinner by tempting your tastebuds with 4×6 Happy Hour at both of Hotel Arts’ onsite restaurants, Yellow Door Bistro and Raw Bar featuring four $6 food and drink specials from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., Monday to Friday. Yellow Door Bistro’s enomatic wine program pushes the limits of the average wine list, with sips tailored to every taste. Nearby, the culinary options are endless – head down the block to Native Tongues for authentic Mexican street food or across the street to Ten Foot Henry for their family-style, vegetable focussed menu.
Finish your belly-filling day with a hand-crafted cocktail and delectable dessert, such as Coconut Panna Cotta, Guava Cheesecake and Chocolate Chili Pot de Crème, from Raw Bar.
A staycation may only last a few days, but stay at Hotel Arts and you’ll come away re-energized and with a new appreciation of the city.
Photo Credit: Lori Andrews Photography