The Best Cheap Hotels to Book in Calgary, Canada

Calgary is home to a slew of quality cheap hotels
Calgary is home to a slew of quality cheap hotels | © Xin Chen / Alamy Stock Photo
Johanna Read

Perhaps you’re passing through on your way to spectacular Banff and Lake Louise. Maybe you plan to spend your time out and about, exploring this no longer (too) wild west city. The solution? A budget Calgary hotel. They might be less plush than the five-star offerings, but these cheap spots provide all the essentials, leaving extra cash for sites and restaurants, maybe a pair of cowboy boots. Order Calgary’s famous ginger beef – it’s cheaper than steak, and a bonafide city classic. Mind you, with the money you’ll save at these hotels , you might as well get both.

1. ExecSuite, for living like a local

Apartment

A sleek living space in a room at ExecSuite Calgary with a leather sofa and a flat-screen TV
© ExecSuite / Expedia

In several Calgary locations, these one-, two-, three-bedroom and studio apartments are for short and long stays. At the three-story walk-up in the hip Beltline neighborhood, you’ll have laundry and a kitchen, as well as a compact living space – you won’t be in much with retro boutiques and locavore restos all around; it’s also just half an hour’s walk to the Stampede grounds. There are more options at the downtown tower near the Eau Claire Market and Bow River, ideal for those needing a more central location. Townhouses in upscale Mount Royal are more spacious and you’re close to Calgary’s 17th Ave entertainment district. Take your pick!

2. Refined relaxation at Regency Suites Calgary

Suite Hotel, Chain Hotel

A cozy double room at Regency Suites Calgary
© Regency Suites Calgary / Expedia

This is an elegant all-suite budget choice, with a convenient downtown location, 10 minutes on foot to Eau Claire and the Bow River pathways. You’ll enjoy a free hot and cold buffet breakfast – not just scrambled eggs and bagels, but rotating items including frittatas and pancakes. There’s also a coin-op laundry and a fitness center. There’s a range of suites to choose from and whichever you choose, you can prep and serve a glamorous dinner in the sleek kitchen, all sleek black appliances (including dishwasher), and equipped with everything from a Dutch oven to measuring spoons.

3. Holiday Inn Express & Suites Calgary South-Macleod Trail S, for tip-top breakfasts

Budget Hotel, Chain Hotel

An indoor pool with a red slide at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Calgary South-Macleod Trail
© Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Calgary S-Macleod Trail S / Expedia

This budget Calgary hotel throws in lots of extras: your pick of pillows, blackout shades and a heated pool with a spiraling red waterslide and a whirlpool. The complimentary continental breakfast features warm cinnamon buns, fresh fruit, bacon, sausage and eggs; there’s also the Holiday Inn’s self-serve pancake machine (pre-packaged selections in a to-go bag are offered in pandemic times). In-room minifridges and microwaves give you a few more options. You’re just off the busy Macleod Trail highway – but note that it’s also only a 20-minute walk to Fish Creek Provincial Park. Stop for picnic essentials at the Avenida Food Hall on the way.

5. Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton Calgary-University Northwest, for aquatic fun and games

Chain Hotel, Suite Hotel, Budget Hotel

Stylish lobby at the Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton Calgary-University Northwest with modular seating
© Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton Calgary-University Northwest / Expedia

This is in the same hub as the Econo-Lodge Motel Village, albeit on a quieter part of Banff Trail rather than overlooking the busy Highway 1. It’s a contemporary hotel with thoughtful extras – that includes heated underground parking. You’re just a four-minute walk to the CTrain for an eco-ride downtown. The large lobby is welcoming with its fireplace and lounge space. The pool has a twisty waterslide and hot tub. The 96 rooms are larger than you’d expect for check-in at this price point – some have enough space for a couch. Breakfast – included – is a simple affair of grocery-store bagels and hard-boiled eggs.

6. Concert-going convenience at Travelodge by Wyndham Calgary South

Chain Hotel

The outdoor pool of the Travelodge by Wyndham Calgary at night
© Travelodge by Wyndham Calgary South / Expedia

Want to shop ’til you drop? This two-story hotel is the closest one to the Chinook Centre – just a five-minute drive away, on the other side of McLeod Trail. Here to watch the Calgary Flames play or see a concert? The Saddledome is 15 minutes by car and you’re along the CTrain’s red line to get downtown. In summer, splash in the outdoor saltwater pool. Rooms are done out with contemporary beiges and gold with spick-and-span floors of wood laminate or carpet; they’re equipped with a minifridge and microwave – nicely tucked around the corner from the bed.

7. Days Inn by Wyndham Calgary Airport, for proximity to your plane

Chain Hotel, Budget Hotel

Large, stylish family room with two double beds and a flat-screen TV at Wyndham Calgary Airport
© Days Inn Wyndham Calgary Airport / Expedia

Whether you’re flying or driving, Days Inn is convenient for the airport (free shuttle at the ready) and the TransCanada Highway. With the complimentary continental breakfast and in-room minifridge and microwave, you’ll save on meals. The indoor pool has both a waterslide and hot tub. If you want to splurge a bit, some rooms have hot tubs too. Keep a few loonies and toonies (Canadian $1 and $2 coins) handy if you want to use the coin-op laundry. The views are mostly of cars parked at other airport hotels and zipping by on the Barlow Trail, but you won’t be spending much time inside – there’s fast food right next door and it’s a five-minute drive to Sunridge Mall.

8. Simple comforts at Super 8 by Wyndham Calgary/Airport

Chain Hotel, Budget Hotel

Exterior of Super 8 by Wyndham Calgary Airport, with a Super 8 sign and trees
© Super 8 by Wyndham Calgary Airport / Expedia

Cheery throws on the beds perk up these no-nonsense airport-hotel rooms, which are perfect crash pads for guests wanting to be out and about. You’ll have a mini fridge, and rather than a closet, a hip-height in-room rack (just fine for ski jackets, maybe less so for ball gowns). Investigate the smattering of breakfast items – yours to grab and take aboard the airport shuttle or wherever you’re off exploring. You’re about 20 minutes from the airport and the busy Barlow Trail/32 Ave. And the location means several fast-food and casual dining joints are within easy reach.

For a unique stay, check out our pick of the best arty hotels to book in Calgary, bookable on Culture Trip.

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