Calgary Cool at the Alt Hotel Calgary East Village

Exterior, Alt Hotel Calgary East Village, Alberta Canada

I’ve long been a fan of Canada’s Alt Hotels. The Alt brand targets travelers who want a stylish, social place to stay, with more personality than a chain motel, but without a lot of expensive extras.

On a recent trip to Calgary, Alberta, I had a chance to check out the good-value Alt Hotel Calgary East Village, in the rapidly developing East Village district that’s within walking distance of the city’s downtown.

Here’s the scoop:

Guest room, Alt Hotel Calgary East Village, Alberta Canada

Guest Rooms and Amenities

As at the Alt lodgings in other cities, the guest rooms in the 10-story Calgary property pack a lot of amenities into compact spaces.

Besides the beds, which come in one king or two queen configurations, the rooms all have a small work desk, a reading chair with an attached side table, a one-cup coffeemaker, and a mini fridge.

In the bathrooms, vibrant graphics on a frosted glass wall — in my room, it was the abstract face of a fox — screen the shower from the bedroom and add some pizzazz to the decor.

Guest room2, Alt Hotel Calgary East Village, Alberta Canada

Vivid orange accents punch up the blond wood furnishings and white bedding, too. Small closets and cubbies provide sufficient space to store your belongings, as long as you’re not traveling with your entire wardrobe.

The main differences between the rooms, other than the type of beds, are the views. The more expensive rooms on the higher floors have views over the Bow River.

Electronics, Alt Hotel Calgary East Village, Alberta Canada

The guest rooms are equipped with useful electronic controls for the overhead and reading lights (with dimmers), as well as lots of plugs and USB ports.

The control panel also lets you raise and lower the electronically-powered blinds on the floor-to-ceiling windows and adjust the room temperature. The bathroom lights are on electronic dimmer switches as well.

Lobby, Alt Hotel Calgary East Village, Alberta Canada

Facilities and Services

The lobby level gives guests several options for working or socializing, or a place to hang out if you just need a little more space than your room provides.

Besides areas where you can sit with your laptop or a drink, there’s a pool table for guests’ games. Chix Eggshop serves breakfast and lunch. The higher-end Nupo is open in the evenings for Japanese meals.

To work out, head for the small fitness room on the 2nd floor. Or go outdoors and take a walk along the river.

What’s Nearby?

The Alt Hotel Calgary East Village is steps from the Bow River, where you can walk, run, or cycle along the Riverwalk, the riverside path. The hotel is also across the street from the Simmons Building, where you can find some of the city’s best coffee at Phil & Sebastian, excellent pastries and Middle Eastern-inspired light meals at Sidewalk Citizen Bakery, and grilled meats, deep-dish pizzas, and creative tapas-style plates to share at Charbar.

The East Village is home to the National Music Centre at Studio Bell, a fascinating multimedia gallery and performance space that traces the history of music in Canada. Another worthwhile stop is Calgary’s Central Library, which has become an architectural landmark. Even if you’re not browsing for books, you can have a coffee in the library’s airy café.

The city of Calgary sits on the traditional lands of several Indigenous nations. Run by Tarra Many Chief, Many Chief Tours takes you on a walk around St. Patrick’s Island, a few minutes from the Alt Hotel, while introducing you to the region’s Indigenous history, culture and present day communities. It’s an excellent way to learn about the land where the cool and social Alt Hotel now stands.

Rates

Double room rates at the Alt Hotel Calgary East Village start at CAD$139/night in the winter and CAD$189/night during the warmer months. You can also check rates at Travelocity, Hotels.com, or your favorite hotel booking site.

For the scoop on Alt hotels in other Canadian cities, see our reviews of the Alt Hotel Ottawa and Alt Hotel Toronto Airport.

Hotel feature by Vancouver-based travel, food, and feature writer Carolyn B. Heller. Photos © Carolyn B. Heller. Travel Alberta and Tourism Calgary provided support for my Calgary research trip.

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