Any small inns in Calgary?

Mar 29th, 2004, 04:03 PM
  #1  
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Any small inns in Calgary?

Admittedly I need to do some more research on Calgary, although I have searched this site and read all the information on hotels that all of you have written.
The majority of our month will be spent elsewhere, but we will have the opportunity to spend several days, at the end of our trip, in Calgary.
However, my parents will spend the first two days in Calgary waiting for us to fly in. I'm trying to help them out with accommodations. I see that there are a lot of larger chain hotels, and the Palliser looks lovely. But, are there any small, quaint inns that anyone knows about? My parents have stayed in some in New York and in New Orleans, and were hoping to find something similar in Calgary. Perhaps down a side street of an interesting area that they could easily walk to?
hibiscushouse is offline  
Mar 29th, 2004, 04:34 PM
  #2  
 
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Hello Hibiscushouse,

The Kensington Riverside Inn is nicely situated in an interesting area, with a great variety of restaurants within a stone's throw of it, and just across the Bow River from downtown Calgary.

I've never been into it, but have driven and walked past it, and it looks charming from the outside.

http://www.kensingtonriversideinn.com/

The website says it has 19 rooms, each decorated differently. It's a boutique hotel, definitely not part of a chain.

Hope this helps.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Mar 29th, 2004, 05:30 PM
  #3  
 
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An alternative for your parents to consider, if they're amenable to the idea of a B&B, is Twin Gables:

http://www.twingables.ca/index.

Whereas Kensington Riverside Inn is just to the north of the downtown core, Twin Gables is in an area that is a little south of the downtown core.

Kensington Riverside Inn is more at the heart of an interesting shopping / restaurant area, whereas Twin Gables is at the edge, rather than at the heart, of its shopping / restaurant area.

Both properties are close to, or in, residential neighbourhoods. Because they're close to downtown, both neighbourhoods are old by Calgary standards. The residential neighbourhood in which Twin Gables is situated is the more genteel of the two.

Both properties are across the road from nice, riverside walking paths. In the case of the Kensington Riverside Inn, the path is along the Bow River. In the case of Twin Gables, the path is along the Bow River's tributary which, corny as it sounds, is called the Elbow River.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Apr 1st, 2004, 02:40 AM
  #4  
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Judy,
I apologize for the delay in thanking you for your information. It was very helpful. It's baseball season down here in Florida and our kids play in three different levels. So, it's been a busy couple of days.
I really like the look of Twin Gables. Hard to consider it a B & B as the entrances are private as well as the bathrooms. How they were able to do that with such an old home is beyond me, but what a nice feature. The rates are exceptionally reasonable as well. I would enjoy a stay there myself, as we will spend several days in Calgary before flying home. But, with three young boys, I would think it wouldn't be the best choice in accommodations.

From what I gather from reading about Calgary, parking seems to be an issue downtown during the day. If they stayed on the outskirts of the downtown area in a place such as the two you have suggested, would it be better for them to take a cab into the core of the downtown, rather than attempt to deal with a car?
With a city as large as Calgary, it surprised me that there weren't more choices for small inns.
I will pass this information on to my Mother along with the web site to the Palliser. Two completely different types of accommodations, but both with attractive ambiance.
Thanks again.
hibiscushouse is offline  
Apr 1st, 2004, 02:50 PM
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Hello Hibiscushouse,

If your parents stay downtown or close to downtown, and if they intend to spend the couple of days in Calgary as opposed to going on excursions into the countryside, I believe they would be better off without a car.

All three accommodations you're considering have praking. If they stayed at Kensington Riverside Inn or Twin Gables, they could theoretically drive downtown and park in a multi-level parkade, in an open air (paid) parking lot, or on the street at a parking meter.

But the nuisance of driving in downtown Calgary, if one doesn't know it, is figuring out the one way streets.

I believe your parents would be better off in cabs and on public transportation.

The Kensington Riverside Inn is a 5 minute cab ride from downtown, and Twin Gables would be not much more than that.

The KRI is a 5 minute walk from Sunnyside Station, which is a 10 minute train ride from downtown.

Twin Gables is a block away from 4th Street, which has FREQUENT buses to downtown.

The Palliser is right downtown. It used to be a Canadian Pacific hotel, and continues to be maintained with tender loving care. It too would be a good choice.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Apr 1st, 2004, 04:29 PM
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Hibiscushouse,

In doing a Google search for something else, I've just discovered a place in Calgary that looks as if it would be nice, Ripley Ridge Retreat:

http://www.ripleyridge.com/

Here's a map that shows the overall layout of Calgary:

http://www.ucalgary.ca/map/map_calgary.html

Ripley Ridge Retreat is in the vicinity of Canada Olympic Park, near the western edge of Calgary (in the upper left portion of the map).

One definitely would need a car if one stayed there, it wouldn't be in walking distance of an interesting shopping district, and I don't recommend it to your parents.

You and your sons may enjoy it, though. An advantage is the property's proximity to the TransCanada Highway, useful if you're doing excursions to the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller and stuff like that.

The downside is that you already will have spent a couple of weeks in the wilds of British Columbia, if I remember correctly, so you may be ready for city life.

The Hawthorn Hotel & Suites in downtown Calgary is convenient for families from the point of view that it has suites with kitchen facilities. It used to be an apartment building before it was a hotel, and it has studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom suites.

http://www.hawthorncalgary.com/

I don't see a star rating on the Hawthorn's website, but my guess is that it's equivalent to a 3 star.

The Hawthorn is not in a particularly charming location, though. It's not in a bad location, but it's in the heart of downtown, surrounded by office buildings, etc.

A hotel with a more attractive location, if it's within your budget, is the Sheraton Suites Eau Claire. It's next to the Bow River, and a stone's throw from Prince's Island, which is a lovely park in the middle of the river, accessible via a foot bridge. Your kids could run around the extensive lawns, throw a frisbee, and let off some steam.

http://www.sheratonsuites.com/

The Sheraton Suites Eau Claire also is across the street from a wide selection of restaurants in the Eau Claire Market complex. The River Cafe on Prince's Island is an excellent restaurant.

http://www.river-cafe.com/

Hope this helps.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Apr 5th, 2004, 11:59 AM
  #7  
 
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Hello Hibiscushouse,

Last night I was driving through the neighbourhood in which Twin Gables is located, and took a very small detour to check out Twin Gables' exact location. I wrote about it in this thread.

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...9&tid=34485167

Viewed from the street, the exterior of Twin Gables looks like the photo on the website. What the website doesn't show, however, is that the house looks across the street towards a couple of small apartment buildings. In the other direction, it looks towards the side of a Safeway supermarket.

Twin Gables is at the edge of a residential district, and behind it are other houses. Within a block or so of Twin Gables' location, the residential neighbourhood grows more elegant. There are some gracious houses that hark back to the era in which Twin Gables was built, but the shops no longer are visible.

Yet, while Twin Gables is CLOSE to the elegant neighbourhood (technically it may even be IN the elegant neighbourhood), the fact is that its immediate view in the front is of the apartment buildings and, off to one side, the supermarket.

The Kensington Riverside Inn has a nicer view, in my opinion. It has houses on one side of it, a ten storey building on the other side of it, and shops behind it. Yet its front looks out onto a pleasant lawn. Beyond the lawn is a fairly busy street called Memorial Drive.

A bit of history here. Memorial Drive, which follows the north shore of the Bow River, was given that name because an oak tree was planted along it for every Calgary man who died in World War I. The trees now are a big factor in what makes the pedestrian path along the Bow River so pleasant.

Anyway, the view from the front of the Kensington Riverside Inn is of a lawn, across a street that admittedly is busy during rush hour, across the river to downtown. (By the way, 4th and 5th Streets S.W. and Elbow Drive, near Twin Gables, are busy during rush hour too.)

Twin Gables' website has a picture of a nice backyard. Probably the room or rooms that face the backyard have a pleasing view.

As luck would have it, I was in Kensington last Thursday, and had to stop for something just beyond the Inn. I found that there was enough lawn separting me from Memorial Drive that I didn't feel the traffic impinging on me.

All in all, while both locations have their pros and cons, I slightly prefer the Kensington Riverside Inn's location. This is so complicated to explain in writing, and I do hope I'm making sense.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Apr 5th, 2004, 06:28 PM
  #8  
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Judy,
Wow! Thank you for all the trouble you went through to provide all that information to me. It certainly is appreciated.
I feel for the owners of Twin Gables. The property looks very nice, so it must be an uphill battle for them because of that supermarket being so close.
I'm passing all this information on to my Mother, and when I have some more time, will really get into planning our few days in Calgary. I'm sure more questions will follow.
Thank you again. I'll let you know what we end up doing.

hibiscushouse is offline  
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