All but two of the following accommodations (Glenora B&B Inn and La Boheme are the exceptions) are within walking distance of each other within the downtown core. As with city hotels around the world, parking is extra ($15–25), but may be included with weekend rates.
Housed in one of the few older downtown hotels to escape the wrecking ball is Go Backpackers Hostel (10815 Jasper Ave., 780/423-4146 or 877/646-7835, www.gohostels.ca, dorm beds $25–28, $70–80 d), a few blocks from the heart of the city and surrounded by cafés, restaurants, and pubs. The hostelry has a total of 184 beds in eight- and four-bed dorms, and a few private twin and double rooms. Facilities include two lounges, a communal kitchen, and public Internet access in the lobby.
Between downtown and the Royal Alberta Museum, Glenora B&B Inn (12327 102nd Ave., 780/488-6766 or 877/453-6672, www.glenorabnb.com, $70–155 s, $90–175 d) is a short walk from the galleries of 124th Street. The building that houses this bed-and-breakfast was built as a commercial enterprise in 1912 and has been completely renovated with the guest rooms above a guest parlor and street-level restaurant where a full breakfast is served (included in rates). Even the least expensive rooms have an en suite bathroom, or pay extra for a Medium Suite, with basic cooking facilities.
Sure, it’s a chain hotel, but Comfort Inn Edmonton (10425 100th Ave., 780/423-5611 or 888/384-6835, www.comfortinnedmonton.com, $110–150 s or d) is a good choice. The 108 rooms are sensibly furnished for both leisure and business travelers. Parking, local calls, and in-room coffee are complimentary.
The Days Inn (10041 106th St., 780/423-1925 or 800/329-7466, www.daysinn.com, from $119 s or d) is another solid choice in the same neighborhood. Parking and wireless Internet are included. The in-house restaurant is open 6:30 a.m.–9 p.m. and a lounge stays open until midnight.
No, it’s not downtown, but it’s close. La Boheme (6427 112th Ave., 780/474-5693, www.laboheme.ca, $125 s, $155 d) is in the historic Gibbard building, which originally held Edmonton’s first luxury apartments. Today, the La Boheme restaurant downstairs is one of the city’s best, and six upstairs rooms have been graciously refurnished and are run as a bed-and-breakfast. The building is certainly charming, right down to its creaky floors. Each of the simply furnished rooms has a separate sleeping area. Rates include a continental breakfast.
If you plan to be in the city for a few days and want to cook your own meals, suite hotels (also called apartment hotels) offer a good value. Alberta Place Suite Hotel (10049 103rd St., 780/423-1565 or 800/661-3982, www.albertaplace.com, $112–179 s or d) is one of the best choices. The 84 suites are large, and each has a well-equipped kitchen. Continental breakfast and daily papers are complimentary, a Hertz agent is on-site (discounted rentals for guests), and Jasper Avenue is only half a block away.
If you’re looking for accommodations in this price category, it’s very hard to do better than the Union Bank Inn (10053 Jasper Ave., 780/423-3600 or 888/423-3601, www.unionbankinn.com, $199–349 s or d) for value, charm, and location. The inn is in a restored 1911 bank building in the heart of the city. The owners have transformed the historic building into a luxurious boutique hotel, featuring a fireplace, down comforters, and bathrobes in each of 34 tastefully decorated rooms spread through two themed wings (heritage and contemporary). Rates include a cooked breakfast, a wine-and-cheese tray presented to guests each evening, and free parking between 3 p.m. and 9 a.m.
Centrally located on the corner of Jasper Avenue and 99th Street, the
Courtyard by Marriott (1 Thornton Court, 780/423-9999 or 866/441-7591, www.marriott.com, $169 s or d) is a modern and unpretentious hotel with magnificent views across the river valley. The 177 rooms that fill with natural light (or none at all if you close the heavy curtains) have plenty of space and big, modern bathrooms. Downstairs is a bistro with tables that spill onto a magnificent riverside patio.
The lobby of the Coast Edmonton Plaza Hotel (10155 105th St., 780/423-4811 or 800/716-6199, www.coasthotels.com, $169–189 s or d) has a distinct alpine feel, yet the rest of the property is nothing but city-style. Handsome rooms come with niceties—such as robes—that make you believe you’re paying more than you are. You can pay more, for a Superior Room, and it will be money well spent. Facilities include an indoor pool, an exercise room, laundry service, a lounge, and a restaurant.
The 24-story Crowne Plaza Chateau Lacombe (10111 Bellamy Hill, 780/428-6611 or 800/661-8801, www.chateaulacombe.com, $129–229 s or d) sits on Bellamy Hill, and its unusual cylindrical design distinguishes it against the skyline. The Chateau Lacombe features a fitness center, gift shop, a bar with river views, and a revolving restaurant that actually has decent food.
The Fairmont Hotel Macdonald (10065 100th St., 780/424-5181 or 800/441-1414, www.fairmont.com, from $229 s or d) is an Edmonton landmark that was originally part of the Canadian Pacific hotel chain (along with the Palliser Hotel in Calgary and the Banff Springs Hotel in Banff), but is now part of the Fairmont Hotels and Resorts chain. The 198 guest rooms come in several configurations (many are on the small side). A subtle air of old-world European elegance extends throughout the rooms and public areas such as the upscale restaurant and the beautiful lounge overlooking the river valley.
Joined to the pedway system and very central, but still affording great river views, is the 20-story Westin Edmonton (10135 100th St., 780/426-3636 or 800/228-3000, www.thewestinedmonton.com, $249–329 s or d). The 416 rooms are large, luxurious, and come with all the comforts of home. Weekend package deals are almost half price. Hotel facilities include a large indoor pool and a fitness center. The in-house eatery, Pradera, is a stylish space that spills into the cavernous lobby.
It’s upscale all the way at the Sutton Place Hotel (10235 101st St., 780/428-7111 or 866/378-8866, www.suttonplace.com, $319–459 s or d), in the financial district and linked to other buildings by the pedway system. In each of the 313 elegantly furnished rooms, you’ll find marble tabletops, walnut furniture, brass trimmings, a large work area, and a bay window. Other hotel facilities include an indoor pool, an exercise room, a lounge, and a restaurant notable for its well-priced breakfast buffet ($18) and flavor-filled menu of local specialties.
© Andrew Hempstead, from Moon Western Canada, 3rd Edition