On a recent trip to Ottawa, Canada’s national capital, I was searching for comfortable mid-priced lodgings. I had previously stayed at Alt Hotel Ottawa, and on this trip, my first stop was the limited service Sonder The O’Connor. Next, I spent two nights at the Swiss Hotel, an efficient boutique-style lodging in a historic stone building, a short walk from the city’s ByWard Market.
Here’s the scoop:
The Swiss Hotel, Ottawa
The Swiss Hotel gets its name from its owners, who came to Ottawa from their native Switzerland, and they’ve included influences from their home country throughout the property. Photos of Swiss mountain scenes decorate the hallways, and in the guest rooms, custom art prints mix elements of Ottawa and Switzerland.
Bright red accents, the color of the Swiss flag, adorn the rooms, from the tea kettles, to the shower tiles. The building dates to the 19th century, although the interior is quite contemporary.
Guest Rooms and Amenities
The 22 guest rooms range in size from petite 160-square-foot doubles to more spacious 400-square-foot deluxe units with a fireplace and a spa tub, although most rooms fall between these two sizes. All have wood floors, air-conditioning (and heat — Ottawa is one of the world’s coldest capital cities, after all), and windows that open.
Even the more compact rooms manage to provide everything you need, from a narrow work desk with a task lamp, to espresso machines and kettles, to smart TVs. Wi-Fi is complimentary and worked fine.
The bathrooms make good use of the space as well. In the tiny bath in my room, the round sink fit neatly between toilet and shower, there were plenty of hooks to hang towels and the red robes provided, and the toilet paper had a shelf holding a hairdryer as well as a miniature trash can at the base.
Facilities and Services
The reception desk is on the building’s lower level, where complimentary coffee, including espresso drinks, and teas are set up each morning. Pre-Covid, the hotel offered a full Swiss-style breakfast, but now you’ll have to go out if you want more than a hot beverage in the morning.
Also on the lower level is a guest lounge, which during the summer months, opens onto a sunny outdoor terrace, where guests can have their coffee or just take a break.
The Swiss Hotel has no fitness facilities, although since there’s no elevator, you’ll get a good workout going up and down the stairs — especially if your room is on the third floor, as mine was.
Just think of it as training to climb a mountain in Switzerland, even while you’re visiting Canada’s national capital.
Double room rates at the Swiss Hotel start at CAD$159/night. A few parking spaces are available, first come first served, for CAD$20/night. Children under 18 are not permitted. You can also check rates at Expedia or Hotels.com to see if you can get a better rate there.
Hotel feature by Vancouver-based travel, food, and feature writer Carolyn B. Heller. Photos © Carolyn B. Heller.