Its name comes from the Old Norse words for ‘cold’ and ‘garden’, yet Calgary is the sunniest major city in Canada and is often warm – everyone is grateful when the mellow Chinook winds blow in during winter. Regardless of the temperature outdoors, Calgary’s luxury hotels have cockle-warming hospitality (plus hot tubs and often saunas and steam rooms). If you’re staying Downtown, take advantage of the fare-free CTrain zone along 7 Avenue, even if it’s just to avoid getting sunburned. Here’s our pick of the best five-star hotels in Calgary, all bookable with Culture Trip.
The 10 layers of the Westin Heavenly Bed always ensure a deep sleep – even more so with the lavender oil you’ll find on your nightstand. Glimpse the distant Rocky Mountains through the windows of the top-floor indoor pool and fitness center and dream of the ski slopes from the sauna. Sundays have a 3pm checkout to help you stretch your weekend out just a little more. The caesar — the quintessential Canadian cocktail — was invented here in 1969 by Walter Chell: only ask about ingredients after you’ve sampled one. Sleek and modern, this Downtown hotel is just a few blocks from the Bow River, Prince’s Island and the Eau Claire Market.
Canada was first explored from the water, something you’ll be reminded of repeatedly as you encounter canoe-inspired art throughout this Downtown Calgary luxury hotel — keep your eyes peeled for the immense upside-down specimen carved into the lobby ceiling. You’ll receive boutique five-star service thanks to not one but two Les Clef d’Or society concierges. Rooms feature shiny wooden accents and gold blackout curtains. On a clear day, look for the Rockies from the 18th-floor pool and hot tub, then adjust your temperature in the steam room with cooled eucalyptus towels. Book a treatment at Stillwater Spa, one of Calgary’s best.
Hosting rail travelers on their way to Banff and Lake Louise since 1914, this five-star luxury hotel, in Downtown Calgary, next to the Calgary Tower, combines old-world grandeur with comfy modernity. Have traditional afternoon tea gazing out through the tall arched windows or recreate the spa with Fairmont’s signature Le Labo Rose 31 bath amenities. Some of the 407 rooms have beds with rails and ornamental fireplaces. Executive chef Eraj Jayawickreme, known as “e”, oversaw the 2019 update to the Hawthorn Dining Room & Bar, including an in-kitchen 49in screen to make any adjustments gleaned from social media.
Just five minutes from the airport (handily there’s a free shuttle), Applause is one of Calgary’s better airport hotels. Pretend you’re out at the club with under-bed LED lights (there’s a remote to select the color or to turn them off completely) and the in-bathroom TV. Ward off any winter chill and watch the planes take off and land at the airport from the two outdoor hot tubs on the Skydeck; they’re wind-protected by glass walls. Rates include a voucher with which to order the breakfast of your choosing.
For a unique stay, check out our pick of the best arty hotels to book in Calgary, bookable on Culture Trip.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.