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Well-liked downtown Calgary hotel with free parking, free hot breakfast and jacuzzi suites

Pros
  • Free amenities: Wi-Fi, wired Internet, hot breakfast, parking, local calls
  • Guests loved the newly renovated rooms and raved about the showers and beds
  • Location ideal for accessing downtown attractions, shopping, sports venues and restaurants
  • Breakfast was appreciated by many guests
  • Wi-Fi was rated as excellent overall by reviewers
Cons
  • A few guests thought the neighbourhood could be unsafe at night
jump to full editor's analysis (below)
Freebies
Free Wi-Fi
Free Breakfast
Free Parking
Free Internet
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Editor's Analysis
Updated Oct 19, 2015
Overview
This hotel is well located for the leisure guest, on 8th Avenue which turns into a pedestrian-only street during the day time, offering a plethora of restaurants, cafes, pubs and shopping venues to explore. Guests can also catch the C-Train, a 6-minute walk away, which offers free downtown transportation.This downtown hotel also offers an affordable stay for business travellers, close to the business district.

This property has 54 smoke-free and pet-free rooms over 9 floors. Common room amenities include free Wi-Fi, free wired Internet, free local calls, a 42" flat screen cable TV with pay-per-view movies, a coffeemaker, a mini-fridge, a microwave, a desk, a balcony, an iron and ironing board, a hair dryer and climate control. Rooms are furnished with 2 queen beds or 1 king bed. Room extras include a sofabed, a separate bedroom, a mini-kitchen (mini-fridge, microwave, sink with counter), a double jacuzzi, a fireplace and windows that open.

Free outdoor or underground car parking is available for guests. 

A free breakfast with hot and cold choices is available daily. There are also a number of restaurants located within a 6-minute walk of the hotel.

On-site amenities include a fitness centre, a business centre, ice machines, safety deposit boxes, free newspapers, dry cleaning services, a guest laundry and an elevator.

Guests are able to walk to some of Calgary's most popular attractions from this hotel. The Glenbow Museum and the Calgary Tower are a 20-minute walk away. The CORE Shopping Centre is a 14-minute walk from the hotel. The Telus Convention Centre is a 4-minute drive away. The Stampede Corral is a little farther away, about an 8-minute drive. The Calgary International Airport (YYC) is 20km or 21 minutes by car with no traffic. (All distances and driving time estimates: Google Maps)

Confirmed with the front desk on October 18, 2015: the hotel is non-smoking and becoming a pet-free hotel as well, all TVs are 42", only some rooms have a sink with counter, but all rooms have a mini-fridge and microwave, all rooms have a balcony
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The Good
Many guests were pleased with their stays, judging from recent reviews posted online for this hotel.

Guests liked the centrality of this hotel's downtown location. They appreciated the proximity of shops, restaurants, the Bow River and the C-Train, which gave guests quick access to various parts of the city. There were a few comments from guests who had expected the hotel to be noisy, given its downtown location, but found that it was actually quiet. 

Several guests commented on the cleanliness of the rooms and on the common areas. The lobby and the breakfast area were mentioned in particular. There were some additional compliments paid to the hotel's modern decor, recent renovations and on comfy beds.

Guests characterized the hotel's staff as friendly, honest and helpful. One guest described how front desk staff accommodated his late check-out request at the last minute. "Reception staff again were very helpful in letting us keep the room to 1.30 pm as we had a late flight out that night and store luggage until airport shuttle arrived." 

Several guests appreciated having free on-site parking (which is reportedly not common in downtown Calgary), as well as having a hot and cold breakfast buffet included with the room rate. Guests generally felt the hotel provided good value.
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The Bad
While the bulk of comments used for this analysis were favourable, there was one common complaint, notably about the perceived safety of the surrounding neighbourhood.

A few guests thought that the neighbourhood was undesirable. One guest described the neighbourhood as "sketchy", and another mentioned that they likely would not feel comfortable walking around at night by themselves.
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Show Sources
Sources
TripAdvisor.com guest reviewers ranked this hotel #60 out of 106 Calgary hotels, with a guest rating of 4 out of 5 based on 110 reviews.

Expedia.ca guest reviewers rated this hotel 4.4 out of 5, based on 234 reviews. 98% of guests would recommend this hotel.




Editor's Analysis by Heather W.
Analyzed by Heather W.
Driven by the sense that every person, place or thing has a story to tell and a skill for being in the wrong place at the right time, Heather is a well-traveled writer.
Guest Reviews
7.7
Good

Rated 7.7/10 based on 301 reviews

Ranked #50 out of 82 hotels in Calgary

301
Map Marker Holiday Inn Express Calgary
1020 8th Avenue South West, Calgary, AB