Here’s the scoop:
Facilities and Services
The first Canadian property under Hyatt’s Andaz brand, the Andaz Ottawa hotel opened in August 2016, on the edge of the city’s ByWard Market district. It’s a fun neighborhood to explore with a food hall, lots of food vendors, independent boutiques, and plenty of restaurants. You can walk to the National Gallery of Canada (the country’s premier art museum) or to Parliament Hill, home to the national legislature; the excellent Canadian Museum of History is just across the river.
The hotel’s lobby is designed for lounging with low, bench-like couches and chairs grouped for conversation around small tables. A lobby cafe serves coffee, pastries, and drinks, and the hotel’s main restaurant, feast + revel, is also on the entrance level.
When you arrive at the Andaz, staff greet you with a glass of bubbly (or sparkling water). In keeping with the Andaz goal of using local or regional designers and suppliers, the Ottawa property commissioned a local art student to design the key envelopes that guest receive at check-in, as well as the information folders in each guest room.
Each floor features artwork from a different Canadian province or territory, and the hostess stand at the restaurant entrance is designed in the shape of Lake Ontario.
General Manager Matt Graham explains that the hotel’s goal is to provide “informal luxury,” both in its design and in its service. He tells me that he encourages staff to give guests honest recommendations, rather than spouting a corporate line. He wants his team to encourage guests to patronize favorite local coffee shops, for example, instead of grabbing their caffeine from the nearest chain.
Guest Rooms and Amenities
The 200 guest rooms are all similar in design, with a serene palette of white linens, light woods, and grey accents. Although the standard rooms aren’t huge, measuring about 300 square feet, they feel airy with floor-to-ceiling windows. All rooms have 50-inch flat-screen TVs, one-cup coffee makers, and minibars stocked with complimentary snacks and soft drinks. There’s no charge for Wi-Fi or local phone calls.
I stayed in one of the larger “deluxe” corner units, which range from 355 to 398 square feet, and add a sitting area with a coffee table with windows on two sides. The bathrooms in the deluxe rooms are larger, too.
And the views?
Ask for a room above the fifth floor; adjacent buildings obstruct views from the lower floors. The best views, obviously, are from the upper stories. The hotel’s 16th floor fitness room, lined with windows and open 24 hours, lets you enjoy the vistas as you slog through your treadmill workout.
An even better spot to take in the city from above is at Copper Spirits and Sights, the top-floor lounge. In summer, you can sit on the outdoor terrace, which looks out to the Ottawa River and the spires of Parliament Hill.
At any time of year, head for the bar at sunset. I’m afraid this shot doesn’t do justice to the capital panorama. You’ll just have to visit the Andaz Ottawa ByWard Market and check out the views for yourself.
Hotel feature by Vancouver-based travel, food, and feature writer Carolyn B. Heller. Photos © Carolyn B. Heller. The Andaz Ottawa ByWard Market and Ottawa Tourism arranged my stay for review purposes.