I don’t even like swimming. But, the looks of pool on the 18th floor had me riffling through my bag looking for that stretchy unforgiving piece of lost vanity. I was going to go back up there and enjoy the pool, the hot tub and the view of Calgary. The freshly renovated Hyatt Regency was my staycation pick for the weekend and I was going to be the tourist. And I started with enjoying the hotel.
Cowboy and western landscapes
With over 500 original pieces of stunning western art gracing the halls, the Hyatt should be classified a museum – but that would make it stuffy. The only thing stuffy in this hotel are the cushy deep leather seats throughout the lobby positioned for lengthy conversations or to admire the art. Every floor offers unique art, with my all-time favourite of a glacier spilling into a lake gracing the third floor. If it weren’t for the big security camera, that piece would be hanging in my house. I’m told they sell reproductions…that’s probably a safer way for me to enjoy the art.
When the Hyatt was built they incorporated the shells of the century-old buildings on Stephen Ave to highlight the strong western connection. The sandstone was quarried not far from here and is still very visible in the lower three floors of the hotel. I love the contrast of the Paskapoo Sandstone behind the art in the Stillwater Spa.
Rooms are a travellers dream
The Hyatt Regency rooms are updated to impress a well-seasoned traveller. The big thin-screen TV sits snug against the wall, a Keurig coffee machine offers ample for your morning brew. The view out the window is stuffed with classic Calgary architecture…as in a hodgepodge of new and old. No more crawling behind beds and nightstands to steal the electricity from the nightlight. Everywhere you sit there are plugs at hip level for three-prongs or USB. The bathroom is your own little spa with lovely amenities, perfect lighting for your makeup and a grand walk-in shower fit for two.
The colour palette of the rooms is shades of taupe, brown, tan and… what other word can I use instead of beige? It’s soft on the eyes and calming.
The Thompson Restaurant uses as much locally sourced ingredients as possible. Even the wine list is heavy with Okanagan wines. If you are there for Sunday Brunch, go totally off your diet and make your own Caesar at the Build Your Own Caesar Bar. Totally decadent but – you are on holidays so why not!
So, yeah. I did do the tourist thing and loved it. When was the last time I slowly experienced the Glenbow Museum? Or, walked along the Bow River? Phil and Sebastian coffee over in the Simmons Building was a perfect spot for a coffee before hoofing it over to see the pandas at the Calgary Zoo. All the walking justified that soak in the hot tub. Vanity be damned.