Kick Back at Hôtel Le Germain in Calgary

Photo provided by Groupe Germain Hôtels

Now that ski season is over and the summer holidays have yet to begin, it is the perfect time to head out west for a quick break to replenish your tank, take a deep breath and experience the glory of the Canadian Rockies. It should be de rigueur for every Canadian to bask in the beauty, even if it is for just a short visit. Lucky for us who live in Ottawa, it is entirely possible thanks to a direct, four-hour flight to Calgary.

Photo provided by Groupe Germain Hôtels

Since relaxation is the primary focus, there is absolutely no better place to spoil yourself than with a stay at Hôtel Le Germain Calgary. It is a chic, modern boutique hotel, perfectly located in downtown Calgary and has every amenity you could want. Hôtel Le Germain Calgary is part of the family-owned Group Germain Hôtels, which owns 11 properties in Canada. The Group knows how to do boutique hotels.  And it should—it opened the first one in Canada. The rooms at Le Germain Hotel Calgary are spacious, the beds incredibly comfortable (with goose down duvets and feather pillows) and the décor is warm and calming. From the second you walk into your room, you will feel you have entered your own little oasis. Every detail is perfect. The soft, cotton bathrobe and towels, Molton Brown toiletries and the rainfall shower pamper you to the extreme. The Nespresso machine is a very nice touch.

It’s no surprise Hôtel Le Germain Calgary has won many industry awards, some for its architecture designand some for its overall excellence. It was even rated one of the best places to stay in the world.  Every kudo is deserved.  If you are a foodie, then you will be interested to know the hotel’s restaurant, CHARCUT, has won numerous awards as well and continues to have a reputation as one of the best places to eat in Calgary. That’s saying a lot for a city that knows its meat.

Hôtel Le Germain Calgary is a stone’s throw away from the EPCOR Centre for the Performing Arts, the Calgary Tower and the popular Stephen Avenue pedestrian walk where you can shop, catch a movie or grab a pint or bite in a pub, café or bar. However, best of all, in terms of location, the hotel is a mere hour and a half hour drive to Banff National Park. Before you head out on your Rockies odyssey, enjoy a continental deluxe breakfast that is included in the room cost. (Speaking of freebies, wi-fi is included as well and there is a fully-equipped 24-hour gym on site.)

Weather conditions in the park can differ from Calgary, so check with the front desk before venturing out. Of course, Hôtel Le Germain Calgary, being the place it is, has this information. The staff is outstanding.

Peyto Lake, Alberta.

That first glimpse of the magnitude of the mountains will transport you to a whole other world of wonder as you drive toward magnificence. Take the Icefields Parkway and give yourself a full day to explore. There are hiking spots of all lengths along the Parkway and vista stops that are breathtaking. Peyto Lake, Bow Lake (located just past Crowfoot Glacier) are perfect hiking destinations and doable in a one-day trip. The Columbia Icefield (the largest in the Rockies) is a popular spot but it is farther down the highway. Be forewarned, no matter how much or how little of the Rockies you get a chance to see, you will be left wanting more.

After a day of hiking, experience the ‘Grounding Foot Massage’ back at Santé Spa at Le Germain. In spa talk, this stress-relieving experience is inspired by traditional Thai foot massage and uses ginseng, ginko and even bamboo to help increase circulation.  You get a massage of the lower legs and feet and two-handed palm movements and acupressure with a mahogany stick stimulate the reflex points on the feet. In non-spa speak, it’s just foot paradise. For spa junkies, rest assured, Santé has all the treatments you expect from a top quality spa, and then some.

Pampering and rejuvenating are the only ways to describe the experience at Hôtel Le Germain Calgary.  You will leave refreshed and ready to take on the world again after relaxing your body and mind and after filling your soul with the majesty of the mountains.