My girl friend and I were visiting Calgary for the weekend, and we were delighted to be able to spend that time at the “Fairmont Palliser”. We are fond of the “Fairmont” chain of hotels with their history and prestige. The “Palliser” is conveniently located in the centre of downtown Calgary, and we were within walking distance to plenty, however due to the rain we mostly kept in doors.
We upgraded our our 2 night stay, taking advantage of their “gold membership” status and perks. A designation that gave us a larger room on their 8th “gold member” floor and access to their lounge space, on the penthouse level. At the latter we could enjoy breakfast buffets daily from 7-11am and stop by for pre-dinner appetizers from 5-6pm. The lounge space was open until 10pm with a honour bar, board games, books, and desserts. There were plenty of seats and a view of the neighbouring buildings from it’s tall windows to look out at.
The breakfast buffets varied slightly from day to day, offering variety. Waffles one day and blueberry pancakes the next, scrambled eggs the first day and egg roulade the second, and herbed potato wedges versus crispy hash brown triangles. Constant were the selection of flakey pastries, fresh fruit, chilled juices, oatmeal, cereal, and hot beverages. Plenty to keep you happy and picking throughout any multiple-day stay.
We only enjoyed appetizers one day, but were told these too rotated. They were tasty, and if you ate and planned well, there was enough for dinner. Here, we enjoyed caramelized carrots with garlic beef, crispy fried chips, vegetables and hummus, and charcuterie.
With so many bars nearby, specialty liquor stores in the neighbourhood, and a artisan liquor program in the hotel itself, we didn’t take anything from the honour bar. Though liquors and wines were available for self pouring, you simply choose what you want and fill out a card that allowed them to charge your hotel room for it.
The best cocktails were at the “Palliser’s” hotel lobby lounge/restaurant. Stiff drinks made from local ingredients, in a historically captivating setting.
“The home grown” is made with their own Eau Claire “Hawthron” gin, “Fairmont Palliser” apiary honey, and “See Ya Later Ranch” Brut. An effervescent cocktail that gave you a taste of the hotel.
I noted their 105 specialty cocktail online. We had missed the weekend celebration with it, commemorating their 105 years, but one of the managers kindly offered us a taste with this glass of “Woodford Reserve Old Fashion” with citrus notes; grapefruit, lemon, orange, and strawberries.
I ordered the “Tea and henny” for its name and was thrilled at its pageantry. It was Hennessy VS, Cointreau, Lot 35 tea, syrup, lavender bitters, and cinnamon; served in a tea pot. You pour from pot to tea cup yourself, where we were surprised to learn that it is served chilled.
And here I must note how beautiful the “Hawthorn” washroom was, papered in pink and white flowers against a black background. Perfect for those girls night out selfies.
The only other meal we had at the hotel was room service. Seeing as we had a larger suite with extra tables and chairs we thought to enjoy it a little more.
A king sized bed, chaise lounger, couch and coffee table, and little nook for a desk/work space. Additional little perks included a traditional pant rack, bench at the end of the bed, and humidifier.
The washroom was outfitted with heated floors, a scale, make up mirror; and plenty of toiletries, should you need it.
Room service was delivered on a trolley that folded out to become its own white cloth table. As expected, the food wasn’t anything new or noteworthy. We were just taking advantage of its convenience.
Shrimp cocktail with tangy cocktail sauce and lemon.
Crispy battered chicken finger and fries.
The Garganelli pomodoro pasta with grana padano and basil was presto generic. It was flat in flavour with sweet under tones. Didn’t finish it.
Having time to spare (due to the poor weather), we also decided to indulge in a massage at their spa. And to our delight, was able to get two appointments on the day. We went for their standard “West Coast massage” that had our choice of aromatherapy between lemon grass or Japanese mint. I went for the whole body experience, starting belly down and ending face up with a towel covering my eyes.
I especially liked how she rubbed my feet with a hot towel and then wrapped each individual with another two heated towels. My session ended with a couple of rejuvenating spritz on my face, and her laying my robe over my blanketed body, with my slippers under the bed.
My registered massage therapist then waited for me to get dressed, waiting outside with a cup of water. I was invited to then enjoy their spa space. Reclining chairs in darkened rooms and a counter of tea and sweets to indulge in.
This was all by their indoor pool and hot pot that any hotel guest can enjoy.
The rest of our Calgary adventure we spent eating and drinking around downtown. For part two click the link below.
133 9 Avenue SW, Calgary AB, T2P 2M3