We all love to travel, but how about becoming tourists in our own city?
Jason and I were fortunate enough to get a taste of the tourist life in Calgary by venturing in one of Calgary’s most iconic hotels, the Hyatt Regency. The Hyatt sits in the most central part of the city. Its main lobby entrance and driveway face right on Centre Street, with the Centre Street C-train station on Seventh Avenue just around the corner on the north side of the building and Stephen Avenue running along the south. Additionally, the Calgary Tower is just one block down and connects to the Hyatt via the +15 with Telus Convention Centre in between. Location is nearly everything when looking for accommodations in a city you’re visiting and the Hyatt happens to have every criteria checked off in that category.
View from room 1503
Though the Hyatt Regency brand is typically tailored towards guests on business, Hyatt Calgary is incredibly well-suited for visitors in need of a relaxing and luxurious getaway. Their in-house spa, the Stillwater Spa, is one of the most highly-rated in Calgary. It not only features a Serenity Room with a relaxing ambiance, lounge chaises and electrical outlets, but the recently renovated change rooms have saunas and a tempered whirlpool that will make you want to soak for an eternity. Before or after indulging in a treatment (or two, or three!) at the spa, you can come enjoy a nice soak here as well as an à la carte dining experience in their spa café. Certain spa packages provide an all-inclusive meal during your day of relaxation, but any Stillwater guest can come and enjoy a bite curated by the hotel chef and be serviced whilst remaining in his/her bathrobe and sandals.
Stillwater Spa reception
Stillwater Spa whirpool in women’s change room
Jason and I were able to enjoy a full lunch, espresso and tea in the spa café. I had the roasted chicken sandwich while Jason had the Alberta beef burger, but the dish that takes the cake is the crispy brassicas. Oh my, these crispy baked vegetables were to die for!
What makes Stillwater Spa stand out so much from others in the city is its ability to accommodate for joint experiences between couples. The separate change room entrances for men and women actually come together into a common area where they can sit and indulge in some complimentary snacks, coffee, tea and cucumber-infused water before heading into their treatment sessions. There are also two private spa suites that consist of a steam room and two massage beds for side by side treatments. These suites definitely make for a perfect date! For the whole month of February, Stillwater has a Valentine’s Day promo to enjoy a relaxation or therapeutic couple’s massage with a complimentary 15-minute private Eucalyptus steam shower prior to the session (just use code LOVE2020 when booking).
Common waiting lounge between change rooms and spa
A treatment category I personally believe that Stillwater thrives in is their facials. I’ve had a number of facial treatments before but none of them compared to the 60-minute Moisture Drench Facial I received here. Sarah, my facial specialist, first walked me through the process, asked if I had any concerns about my skin and consulted me on what I could do to improve certain aspects of my skin based on her analysis. She also did this at the end of the session in full detail and gave me recommendations for products (such as rosehip oil to replenish hydration to my slightly dryer complexion and micellar cleansing water to properly purify my skin from leftover dirt and makeup residue). Throughout the treatment, I experienced amazing scents and sensations while Sarah massaged my face, arms and décolletage. Stillwater only uses the best products and the Hyatt has partnered with Naturopathica, a clean, herbal and holistic skincare brand that dates 25 years.
It’s me! Getting my Moisture Drench Facial on by the wonderful Sarah
After spending the day at the spa, you can go up to your newly renovated Hyatt room or suite and take in the close-up view of downtown Calgary from your wide windowsill. This king bed room on the 15th floor had a direct view of the west length of Stephen Ave and the surrounding area which made for some good people watching and sunset viewing over the skyline! You could also spot the clear reflection of the Calgary Tower on the glass face of Eighth Avenue Place as the sun went down.
Having been renovated in 2018, the rooms now have very modern finishes and aesthetics as well as cool features such as the digital mirror in the bathroom. In an effort to reduce waste and the usage of plastic water bottles, they even installed the cutest filtered tap faucet at every sink. Out of the many hotel rooms I’ve stayed in, this was the first time I had spotted a filtered water tap. Most hotels will state that their tap water is drinkable, but in Canada that’s a given. The Hyatt stepped it up by providing their guests with a water filtration system in their own bathroom.
I was completely in love with the contemporary style of white marble, black granite and the walnut and white oak colours that they embraced in the rooms which they combined so elegantly! And of course, no Hyatt Regency accommodation is complete without a proper work desk and rolling chair. Side note: look at that window view in the background (pictured below)!
After relaxing at the spa, taking a shower in their multi-feature, white marble bathroom, and getting some work done in a spacious and homey environment, it’s time to grab some food. What better place to do that than at a complimentary and exclusive lounge? All Regency Club guests get exclusive access to the Hyatt’s 24-hour lounge on the 18th floor, where they can grab some light snacks and refrigerated beverages at any time of the day. In the evening, there’s a window of time when canapés are laid out and more people trickle in to have a light dinner. This cozy area is also a great place to work individually, collaborate with others or hold meetings. The view of Telus Sky and Brookfield Place is highly spectacular from the Regency Club, and their private boardroom overlooks this view as well. Within the boardroom sits a tasteful fireplace couch area for more intimate meetings. The Regency Club is definitely a haven for business travelers as well as for guests who enjoy exclusivity, convenience and more spaces with a view to grab some complimentary food and beverages.
Regency Club’s intimate fireplace in boardroom
Regency Club’s boardroom window seating
Thomsons Kitchen & Bar
It was spectacular to watch the sun’s reflection beat on the sides of the downtown towers from this very private spot (pictured above), but we were getting really hungry and it was time to make our way down to the main floor for our dinner reservation. The Hyatt Calgary has a restaurant and bar that was also renovated just last year to create the perfect sophisticated and modern lounge ambiance. Thomsons Kitchen & Bar sits right on Stephen Avenue and Centre Street so it’s a very ideal location for downtown workers to enjoy Happy Hour and supper. Pretty much 90% of the clients who were here on a Thursday evening were people who just got off work.
The Thomsons Aqua Uvam and Pomegranate Margarita
Thomsons’ focus is on serving contemporary Canadian cuisine and they did a breathtaking job encapsulating and conveying that. We ordered, per recommendations given to us by our lovely Hyatt host Loni, the pan-roasted scallops and grilled halloumi cheese to share, which were both mouth-watering. I had the Ora King salmon (10/10 would order again!) and Jason had the wild boar meatloaf. His was so good that I couldn’t help but steal some and eat most of his mashed potatoes.
Best Canadian meal I’ve had in a long time!
And for dessert, Loni suggested we get the cake of the week. Every Monday, the restaurant will create and design a cake from scratch that they’ll bake and serve until the following week, and I was SO glad to have our date fall on Chocolate Cake week! This gigantic piece is definitely a shared slice. The two of us couldn’t even finish it, but is incredibly delicious! Surprisingly, since Jason isn’t much of a dessert person, he said that this was his favourite part of the meal. Our server told us that some people come back to Thomsons multiple times in one given week just to enjoy another slice(s) of cake they’re serving.
If you’re planning a date for V-Day, make sure to take a look at their 3-course Valentine’s Day menu!
Hyatt Pool & Health Club
One of the top reasons why I love Hyatt Calgary is their view from their pool and health club facility. On the 18th floor (same floor as the Regency Club) is where the fitness area is. This is definitely a place you can enjoy day and night, because of its wide view of the city scape. They’ll be undergoing further renos to give the pool a face lift, but it currently looks glorious. If I’m not at the Stillwater Spa whirlpool, you can find me in the health club jacuzzi!
Lobby and Canadian History
We were astonished to see the efforts that the Hyatt put into preserving bits and pieces of Canadian history and culture throughout the property. Not only is Thomsons true to its cuisine of choice, but only local Canadian artists’ work is spread across the walls of the hotel. The sandstone that engulfs the columns and walls of the building is the same sandstone that was built in the 1800’s when downtown Calgary was barely a dot on the map. In a sense, the Hyatt is a Calgarian landmark based on its geographic location and the walls that still remain within it. Behind the reception sits a large map of Canada that illustrates the old river passage ways of transportation of goods from centuries ago. The Hyatt maintains this theme of historic rivers with its large feature ceiling in the form of a canoe, of which you’ll find a smaller version in every floor’s elevator lobby. If you ever do come to visit Calgary, consider staying at the Hyatt Regency for the best authentic Canadian experience.
Thank you so much to Loni and the Hyatt Regency Calgary team for hosting our experience at the Hyatt, and for giving us the opportunity to capture and share the amazing hotel, spa and restaurant that express a true upscale Canadian experience! We can’t wait to be back for dinner, a spa day and even a relaxing stay-cation!