Hotel advice Edmonton

Aug 2nd, 2005, 03:52 PM
  #1  
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Hotel advice Edmonton

Hi...traveling to Banff with two kids (8 & 10), so adding two days in Edmonton to do the Mall play parks to keep them happy.

So, need some quick help with finding a hotel in town, or on outskirts (we will be making a half-day trip to Elk Island too, for us grownups).

Just looking for a clean, reasonably priced place...more room the better, but basic two double beds would do for this purpose. (Although a kitchenette suite option will be considered!)

Thanks for helping us shortcut the looong list of options we find on the big wide internet!

Mike in Seattle
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Aug 3rd, 2005, 08:02 AM
  #2  
sockboy
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Check out tripadvisor.com, and type in Edmonton hotels to see what people think of the various places. The Holiday Inn Express at the Mall gets really good reviews, is inexpensive, and is in an ideal location for seeing the mall.

Elk Island park is ok, but nothing compared to Banff and Jasper, you may well be disappointed after your mountain trip. You will see Bison though!

Rather than a trip to Elk Island on day 2, I would suggest a day in the city - out of the mall. With kids of that age, I can't think of a better place to go than a visit to Fort Edmonton Park. They will learn about Western Canadian History and have a great time. It is also really interesting for the parents! Then head over to Old Strathcona for something to eat, and take the street car over the high level bridge to the Legislature and back. There is actually a hotel right in Fort Edmonton - the Selkirk, it may, or may not appeal to you - read the reviews.

Read some of the hotel reviews, and see if you can get a good price somewhere. Edmonton is not that big and easy to get around.
 
Aug 3rd, 2005, 01:09 PM
  #3  
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Thanks for the food for thought, sockboy. Good point on comparing Elk Island scenery to Banff, and great to have such good ideas for inside Edmonton.

Still...a point of emphasis for "the two grownups" is birding. And the lower elevation at Elk Island was the point there, as it should produce a real difference vs. the Banff area parks; and, Elk Is. has some reputation apparently as a birding locale.

However, with your knowledge of Edmonton, perhaps there is a nice birding area closer to the city that would suit the purpose? (We are birders, not "bisoners" so we won't miss giving up that part...)

Thanks!
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Aug 3rd, 2005, 01:46 PM
  #4  
sockboy
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Well, I am not a birder myself, but I do understand that the Edmonton area is excellent for the huge variety of birds that can be spotted. Elk Island has a lake, which I am sure would attract a variety of water birds.

The John Jansen Nature Centre - which happens to be located right next to Fort Edmonton Park - is the first place that I think of when it comes to birds in the city. They host a big bird count every year. It would be an excellent first stop to learn about birding in the city - if you decided against the drive to Elk Island (about 45mins fom the city).

Edmonton does have an extensive park system that extends along the length of the North Saskatchewan river valley, and off into various ravines. You can literally "get out of town" right in the city, and hike/wander through the trees and various parks for many many kilometers. Fort Edmonton Park, and the Nature Centre, are actually located right in the river valley. If you did stay at the Selkirk at the Fort, you would be right in the middle of the river valley in a very quiet spot, surrounded by bird friendly habitat!

Based on your comments, I don't think staying at the mall is the place for you. Consider the Edmonton House Suite Hotel. It is just west of downtown, with views of the river valley, family suites, and a free shuttle to the mall. You could also walk from here to the Legistlature, and the old street car which takes you over the bridge to Whyte Ave.
 
Aug 3rd, 2005, 02:05 PM
  #5  
sockboy
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I just spotted a special for the Edmonton House Suite Hotel that may be perfect for you! Pasted from their website (http://www.maclabhotels.com/leisure_edmontonhouse.htm):

One nights stay in a standard suite or a tower suite
West Edmonton Mall coupon book
In-room movie with microwave popcorn and 2L pop
$20.00 voucher to Fort Edmonton Park or a City of Edmonton Attraction.
A snack pack for 4, includes 4 bottled waters, 4 granola bars, and 4
pieces of whole fruit.

Valid June 1, 2005 - September 30, 2005
Subject to availability. based on double occupancy.
From - $127.00 Standard Suite per night plus taxes
From - $147.00 Tower Suite per night plus taxes
1.888.9Maclab (1.888.962.2522)

 
Aug 3rd, 2005, 09:04 PM
  #6  
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Sockboy, nice work. Thanks for the speedy and well-informed reply! We have booked into the Edmonton House Suites at a great rate. Still unsure about siteseeing stops, but you gave lots to consider. The conservatory looks worthwhile, and the Fort too, likely. The grownups may still sneak out for an Elk Island visit somehow too.

Thanks again for all your help, we appreciate the work you did for us! Very nice.
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Aug 4th, 2005, 07:15 AM
  #7  
 
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Oh don't miss out on a visit to Elk Island Park. I'm sure the kids will love to see the buffalo (wood and plains bison) and the many beaver dams, plus there are many short walking trails through the woods and around Astotin Lake. It would be perfect for a half-day trip plus picnic lunch, especially on a sunny day.

Just because Elk Island doesn't have the spectacular scenery of the mountains doesn't mean that it won't be worthwhile to see!! It is in a different ecological region than the mountains, that in itself is interesting.

I have found that most kids aren't that interested in scenery anyway, and prefer "hands-on" experiences, so a walk around a lake or in the woods to see what they can see "up close and around the next bend" would be more fun than gawking at mountainsides, especially at the ages of 8 and 10.

For more information about the park, browse through this website:

http://www.pc.gc.ca/pn-np/ab/elkisland/index_e.asp
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