“ Address: 220 4 Avenue SW / Calgary / AB T2P 0H5 / Canada „
Our travel agent reserved a suite for us at the International Hotel in Downtown Calgary for the first night of our Canadian holiday. Opened in 1970, it was only 6km from the airport and reached in about 15 minutes by taxi, but the estimated time on the airport shuttle bus was 1 hour as it stops at several hotels en route. Calgary has a structure of avenues and streets parallel to each other and the hotel is on 4th Avenue Southwest, close to Chinatown and two blocks away from the Light railway for getting around the city.
Reception, was bright and comfortable settees and chairs were around the long narrow area. Check in was quick and easy and a credit card was needed for incidental expenses, in no time we were directed to one of the lifts and would have been zooming our way to the 7th floor and our suite if we had realised we needed to swipe the lift with our key card! But it does mean you need a card to use the lift, preventing undesirables lurking in the corridors.
There was an indoor pool, hot tub and Gym but sadly not enough time to check it out as we went sightseeing. Also meeting rooms were available.
4th Avenue Lounge
Situated at the left side of the hotel over 3 floors, this is the place to relax over a cocktail or nibble at the Tapas bar.
4th Avenue café
On the lower ground floor, we walked down but there is a lift and restrooms and a few settees if you need to wait for a table. It was an attractive long room, with a modern look. Beautiful wooden tables, black serviettes, some padded curved seating areas and chairs, the upholstery was in a lovely striped shades of olive green material, lots of mirrors on the walls and some trellis separating tables.
Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner we only had time for 2 meals here, but thoroughly enjoyed both!
Unfortunately I was really tired by the time we ate dinner, as it was the equivalent of the "wee small hours", so had a light meal of seared salmon on a baby spinach salad with peppers and cucumber and green beans and asparagus, with a honey and mustard dressing. We had some lovely warm bread served with it for $14.95, my husband had Roasted garlic baked Chicken wrapped in pancetta with potato chips and lemon butter spinach at $16.95 Coke was $3, water $4 and coffee $3. There was an Asian twist to most of the dishes, but a very wide menu to choose from and although I didn't feel like a sweet there was a great choice. (Divide by two approximately to get GB pounds)
Breakfast was either the continental buffet or a la carte which we choose. I had a huge Belgian waffle with fresh fruit piled on top and served with Maple syrup for $11 and my husband had a fried egg sandwich with bacon and cheese for $11. Starbucks coffee was $4 and served in a mug with refills. A Danish or muffin was also $4.
If you arrived late and wanted room service it was available from 11.30pm - 6.00am and there were sandwiches and wraps for $7 plus a 18% service charge.
I was amazed at how spacious the suite was, although the bathroom was rather small in comparison to the lounge and dining area. There was a small size fridge, microwave, kettle, coffee maker and sink. Coffee pods, tea bags etc were supplied, but only mugs and spoons, no other crockery or cutlery. Ice bucket and glasses were a useful addition, and ice was available on floors, 9,16,18,26 and 32. There was a glass dining table, with huge ceramic bowl and four chairs, and a notice saying many people prefer to entertain in their suites and room service was available. An iron and ironing board was tucked away too.
In the lounge area, was a settee and two armchairs and huge pouffe plus coffee table and an assortment of quality magazines. The decoration was in beige and creams and had a very restful feeling. A large flat screen television was wall mounted. There was a small balcony from the lounge area, not enough to sit on but big enough to look out to the buildings opposite.
Huge glass doors opened into the bedroom which had twin beds and were the highest I have ever seen! I looked for a step stool but didn't find one, but took on the mountaineering with gusto and landed on the most comfortable bed I've ever had the pleasure to sleep on. There was a sprung base, deep mattress and an additional deep feather topper and covered with a down duvet in white cotton. A reasonable sized fitted wardrobe, which we didn't need as we were setting off early next morning housed the safe and cupboards and bedside tables in dark brown wood. A folding luggage rack was also supplied. There was another television and an alarm clock/CD player.
The bathroom may have been small but was beautifully formed. The bath had a shower over it, toilet and wash basin in large vanity unit. Lovely quality fluffy towels and face cloths, and a great range of toiletries plus hair drier. Air conditioning was essential, as the temperature was high in July and it was separate in each suite.
Would I recommend it?
Yes most certainly, the kitchen would be useful if you wanted to buy Pizza or Chinese and needed to reheat it, although some cutlery would have been good. A free newspaper was delivered in the morning. The restaurant was fairly reasonable, but there was a list of places nearby where you could eat or buy carry-outs. It would have been easy to have more in the suite and there were some suites available with two bedrooms. As I said before it was the most comfortable bed I've slept in.
I could hear the traffic even with the windows closed, but still managed to sleep.
Depending on time of year, could be more or less, but we paid £78 for the room, meals extra.
Also on Ciao under jo145