The Best Arty Hotels to Book in Calgary

Calgarys Hotel Arts boasts an original, innovative design that enables guests to access its outdoor pool year-round
Calgary's Hotel Arts boasts an original, innovative design that enables guests to access its outdoor pool year-round | Courtesy of Hotel Arts / Expedia
Debra Smith

With one of the youngest demographics in Canada, it’s no surprise that Calgary boasts a vibrant art scene. Long-running music, dance, and theatre festivals are beloved and well attended every year. Forget the Calgary Stampede and embrace the artistic side of this cosmopolitan Alberta city with a stay at one these great Calgary art hotels.

1. Hotel Arts

Boutique Hotel, Hotel

Raw Bar at Hotel Arts with comfy seating and a distinctive blue ceiling and columns
Courtesy of Hotel Arts / Expedia
You’re most likely to run into a musician at Hotel Arts during the long-running annual Calgary Folk Festival. Impromptu concerts have also been known to happen in the halls. Fun art pieces dot the lobby – think a life-size horse sculpture – and the ultra-modern guest rooms feature paintings by local artists. The biggest draw, year-round, is the outdoor pool – better wake up early if you want a spot on a sunny day. Come winter, an inflatable roof keeps in the heat while gas fireplaces warm up the pool deck.

2. Aloft Calgary University

Chain Hotel

Seating area at Aloft Calgary University with seating, dried flowers and a distinctive geometric design on the wall
Courtesy of Aloft Calgary University / Expedia

This hotel is conveniently located near the University of Calgary campus, the Southern Jubilee Auditorium and the huge Market Mall shopping complex. The decor is ultra-modern while large colourful canvases and photographs of Calgary line the gallery-white walls. Rooms are compact and also feature the latest in high-tech amenities. Welcome additions include a pool, full-service spa and a restaurant that hosts live performances on the weekends.

3. Westmount River Inn


Cosy room at Westmount River Inn with a double bed and paintings on the walls
Courtesy of Westmount River Inn / Expedia

Set on the Bow River, in the artsy Kensington neighbourhood, this upscale Calgary B&B has a picture-perfect location. Restaurants, record stores, coffee shops and numerous boutiques are only two short blocks away, while Calgary’s extensive pathway system is right on the doorstep. The home was custom-built by the owner and sets itself apart through features such as custom woodwork, hardwood flooring and granite countertops. The paintings, discreetly hung throughout this castle-like home, are the owner’s creations as well.

5. The Fairmont Palliser


Classy bar at the Fairmont Palliser with high ceilings, wooden floor, seating and marble columns
Courtesy of the Fairmont Palliser / Expedia

One of Canada’s most prestigious, original, railway hotels, the historic Palliser has recently undergone a multi-million dollar renovation. The dark oak lobby has been replaced with the shining gold and marble Hawthorn Bar, where DJ sets take place on weekends. The 1950s era cowboy mural is still in place, along with original artworks in each refreshed, classic room. A favourite with Canada’s prime minister and other VIPs, the Palliser is the grand dame of Calgary hotels.

6. Hotel Arts Kensington


Seating area with tables, chairs and mustard-yellow banquettes at Hotel Arts Kensington
Courtesy of Hotel Arts Kensington / Expedia
A palette of graphite and greige flatters the original contemporary paintings and sculpture arrangements at Hotel Arts Kensington. A sophisticated older sister to the hotel’s downtown location, this 19 room property takes hushed refinement to a new level. Although the in-house dining is noteworthy, local restaurants in the area notably cater to Calgary foodies and are worth exploring. Don’t miss the chance to walk across the nearby Instagram-ready Santiago Calatrava-designed Peace Bridge.

7. Le Germain Calgary

Hotel, Apartment

Simple room at Le Germain Calgary with a bed, armchair and a black-and-white photo on the wall
Courtesy of Le Germain Calgary / Expedia
An ecofriendly ethos can be seen in every detail of this downtown 12-story hotel, which is located in the shadow of the iconic Calgary Tower. Le Germain offers customizable comfort with a silent geothermal heating system and windows that open to blue Alberta skies. Inside, wooden shutters, ergonomic chairs and rainfall showers blend with Artemide lamps and original artwork to create a soothing cocoon of luxury.

8. Nuvo Hotel & Suites

Boutique Hotel, Hotel

Smart room at Nuvo Hotel Suites with double bed, leather sofa, wooden floor and an Eames lounge chair and ottoman
Courtesy of Nuvo Hotel Suites /
Sleek, modern, comfortable and an excellent location – Nuvo Hotel provides everything a long- or short-stay traveler needs. Two major groceries stores are within walking distance, but the excellent restaurants along 17th Avenue may be too tempting to resist. If you’ve got some time, explore the art galleries on 11th Avenue or enjoy the dancing fountains at Central Memorial Library park. Close to boutiques, record stores, coffee shops and vintage clothing stores, Nuvo makes it easy to live local.
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