To Judy in Calgary

Jun 14th, 2005, 08:17 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 4
To Judy in Calgary

Hello Judy
I have read many of your posts and have noted them down. I do have a question. You always reccomend staying in Canmore instead of Calgary but it seems to me to be a long ride at night back from the Stampede. We are flying to Calgary on July 13. Arr. afternoon. I was thinking it best if we stayed in Calgary 2 nights and than start the Rockies tour. That way we won't have to drive back & forth to Canmore. Where do you reccomend we stay in Calgary. We do not care much for the room. I think the location is more to be considered. That way we will not have a car in Calgary for the first 2 days.
Also - we will have 5 days for the Rockies before getting to Vancouver. Where should I book? How to devide the lodging location???
Thank you very much
Meira
melior is offline  
Jun 14th, 2005, 09:41 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3,501
Hello Meira,

>>>You always reccomend staying in Canmore instead of Calgary but it seems to me to be a long ride at night back from the Stampede.<<<

Yes, you are right. It is a long drive to get from the Stampede to Canmore at night. If you attend the evening chuckwagon races and stay on for the grandstand show and fireworks display that are included in the ticket price, you won't get out of Stampede Park much before midnight. Then you'd have to get out of the city, which would take several minutes and then, after that, you'd still have an hour's drive to Canmore. So you'd be getting to bed at something like 1.30 a.m.

When I recommend landing in Calgary and driving to Canmore, it's always in a specific context. I suggest that if I believe the traveller will have only a short time to enjoy the mountains and/or if they have expressed no interest in Calgary.

If a traveller will be visiting Calgary during Stampede and/or if they are particularly interested in seeing Calgary, then it's another matter. In that case I certainly do recommend that they stay in Calgary.

If you won't have a car during Stampede, the best areas for you to stay would be the downtown core or "Motel Village" on Banff Trail in the northwest quadrant of Calgary. Stampede Park is easily accessible from both of those areas by train. Still another possibility is one of the hotels on Macleod Trail, to the south of downtown. If you opt for Macleod Trail, however, you’d need to be careful about which hotel you chose, as not all of them are close to train stations.

On one of the travel discussion boards – it may have been Fodor’s or TripAdvisor – I recently saw a highly complimentary report about the Holiday Inn on 8th Avenue in downtown Calgary. If you can find room there it would be a good location, as it would provide you with a central location, close to restaurants, etc.

Other downtown hotels that I think are fine are the Ramada and the Sandman Inn.

Something that’s helpful to know is that use of the train is free in the downtown core. The person who provided the glowing report of the Holiday Inn remarked on the usefulness of that service. The free train would come in usefully when you picked up your rental car to head out to the mountains. The Holiday Inn is towards the west end of downtown, whereas most of the rental car companies’ downtown locations are situated towards the east end of downtown. (However, if you leave the downtown core, which you would need to do to get to Stampede Park, you do need to pay for the train.)

The Best Western Village Park Inn and Hampton Suites in Motel Village both are good properties. I know people who have stayed in them. Even the Quality Inn in Motel Village is quite acceptable – not luxurious but clean and comfortable nonetheless. I’ve stayed there myself.

Another place in which I’ve stayed is the Travelodge at 9206 Macleod Trail South. It wasn’t fancy, but it was clean and adequate for my needs. It’s within walking distance of Southland Station.

A hotel that is even closer to Southland Station, and that I’m sure is a notch up from the Travelodge, is the Best Western Hospitality Inn at the corner of Macleod Trail and Southland Drive. Friends of ours have stayed there several times and have found it comfortable.

If you stay in Motel Village, it would be better to arrange to collect your rental car from a NW Calgary location. If you stay along Macleod Trail, it would be better to arrange to collect your rental car from a Macleod Trail location.

I’ll think about your Calgary – Vancouver itinerary and get back to you about that later.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Jun 14th, 2005, 10:03 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
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Here’s a suggested itinerary.

1 – Canmore / Banff. Consider Rocky Mountain Ski Lodge in Canmore or High Country Inn in Banff.

2 – Jasper. I suggest you do an Internet search for home accommodations in Jasper. Two home accommodations that have received good reviews here are Crayston’s and 105 Patricia Street.

3 – Lake Louise. Consider Lake Louise Inn. (Returning to Lake Louise and then continuing to Kelowna will allow you to see beautiful Rogers Pass between Golden and Revelstoke, BC.)

4 – Kelowna. Sorry, I can’t help you with accommodation there.

5 – Vancouver. Sorry, I also can’t help you with accommodation there.

Alternative itinerary.

1 – Canmore / Banff / Lake Louise. I don’t mean that you should stay in all 3 towns. What I mean is that you should choose one place as a base for visiting all of them.

2 – Canmore / Banff / Lake Louise. Stay in the same base as before.

3 – Jasper

4 – Jasper

5 – Loooong drive to Vancouver via Kamloops.

The advantage of the second itinerary is that it minimizes one-night stops. A disadvantage of the second itinerary is that the route from Jasper to Kamloops is a bit less scenic than the route from Lake Louise to Kamloops. The second itinerary also skips Kelowna, which is in a pretty location in the Okanagan Valley. However, when you have only a short time, there is merit in concentrating on the Rockies.

Hope that helps.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Jun 14th, 2005, 11:38 AM
  #4  
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Join Date: Jun 2005
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Thanks Judy!
You are a true embassador of your city.
I will check all the places you've mentioned.
At least I know where to start...
Not having a calgary map was making my life dificult so I'm glad you've mentioned areas like motel village as I've found places there but didn't have a clue as to their whereabouts.
Thank you
Meira - Israel
melior is offline  
Jun 14th, 2005, 02:44 PM
  #5  
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Judy
Sorry to bother you again. Have checked out some of the properties you mentioned. Wonder if I can go cheaper. Can you tell me anything about the locations of:
Elbow River Manor at 2511 - 5th st SW
Bow River House at 3208 Parkdale Blvd NW
There seem to be many B&B near the Bow river - is it convenient without a car?
Thank you very much for your help!
Meira
melior is offline  
Jun 14th, 2005, 04:00 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3,501
>>>There seem to be many B&B near the Bow river - is it convenient without a car?<<<

First of all, to avoid confusion, there are two rivers in Calgary, the Bow River and its tributary, the Elbow River.

The Bow River forms the northern boundary of the downtown core. If a property is along the Bow River between about Centre Street and 10th Street NW, it would be convenient to downtown. If it's further east or further west than that, I would not consider it convenient.

The Elbow River forms the southern and eastern boundaries of Stampede Park. It then flows northwards and joins the Bow River a bit to the east of downtown. If a property is on the Elbow River in the vicinity of Stampede Park, it would be convenient for Stampede-related activities. However, if it's far upstream from Stampede Park, it would not be convenient.

Bow River House on Parkdale Blvd NW would not be all that convenient. It's on a bus route, but you'd need to catch a bus to downtown and transfer to a train to get you to Stampede Park. The train runs fairly regularly even at night, but buses on most routes thin out at night, so it would be a challenge to get back from the Stampede grounds at night.

Elbow River Manor is in a fairly convenient location from several points of view. It's on 5th Street SW, near the Elbow River. One block over from it, on 4th Street SW, there are several restaurants. The Number 3 bus, which you could use to get downtown, is very frequent. However, there is no direct public transportation link from Elbow River Manor to Stampede Park. If you wanted transportation to Stampede Park, you would need to catch a bus to downtown and then the train to Stampede Park. If you're willing to walk to Stampede Park, the distance is about 1.5 km. Come to think of it, it would be a cheap cab ride, especially if two of you shared the fare.

Twin Gables is another B&B that is located close to Elbow River Manor, as is Hillcrest House. But those three B&Bs are not super cheap.

If you can get into the Quality Inn in Motel Village, which I mentioned before, that would be cheaper.

One of the problems that you're encountering is that Calgary gets pretty solidly booked during Stampede. It's enough of a challenge to find accommodation at this stage if you're willing to drive, but finding accommodation that is reasonably priced and is close to public transportation is an even greater challenge.

I suspect that at this stage many of the better B&Bs already are booked for Stampede.

It's the middle of the night in your time zone, and it's just about news time and dinnertime here, so I'll stop typing now. Later on I'll give you links to maps of Calgary, which may help you a bit.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Jun 14th, 2005, 06:31 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
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Hello Meira,

Here's a map of Calgary's commuter train system.

http://www.calgarytransit.com/Routes/lrt_stop.html

The two stations from which you can access Stampede Park are Victoria/Stampede and Erlton/Stampede.

Here's a map that gives a general overview of Calgary. Motel Village is in the triangle immediately to the southeast of the University of Calgary.

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

Here's a map that shows Calgary in a bit more detail.

http://www.visitor.calgary.ab.ca/tra...p_calgary.html

Here's a map that shows downtown Calgary in some detail.

http://www.visitor.calgary.ab.ca/tra..._downtown.html

If you go to Google Maps, you can look up the road route (not the train route) from a given property to Stampede Park.

http://maps.google.com

Click on Directions.

Type your Start Address in this style:

2511 - 5 St SW, Calgary, AB, Canada

If you want to use Victoria/Stampede Station as your destination, type your End Address as:

1520 Macleod Trail S, Calgary, AB, Canada

If you want to use Erlton/Stampede Station as your destination, type your End Address as:

2400 Macleod Trail S, Calgary, AB, Canada

The big oval in which the rodeo and chuckwagon events take place is clearly visible to the east of the two train stations. You also can see the way in which Stampede Park is situated inside a bend in the Elbow River.

Hope that helps.
Judy_in_Calgary is offline  
Jun 15th, 2005, 06:42 AM
  #8  
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WOW! Thanks for all the info.
I have to do some homework now...
Quality Inn in Motel Village is fully booked as well as the Best Western Village Park so I've quickly booked Elbow River Manor. Waiting for confirmation.
Now I'll try the Rockie's locations you've mentioned. Thank you for the map sites too and Good Morning!
Meira
melior is offline  
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