Airport hotels aren’t exactly the most desirable places to hang out. While I think this is true, there is something to be said for the convenience factor – especially if we’re talking about the new Calgary Airport Marriott In-Terminal Hotel. Situated between the international and domestic terminals at the Calgary International Airport, it took me exactly three minutes to walk from the hotel lobby to international security. I can’t tell you how freaking fantastic it was not stressing about making it to the airport on time. I rarely do hotel reviews, but I felt this Marriott airport hotel was deserving of one. Here’s why:
Guest rooms at the Calgary airport
Rooms are clean, modern and a decent size. You have the option of a king bed with a shower or two queen beds and a bathtub. I do a judge a hotel on its cable package (love my Bravo) and sadly I wasn’t able to watch any Real Housewives at the Calgary Airport Marriott. They charge $9.95 for WiFi that supports up to six devices, but can you get it for free if you sign up to be a Marriott Rewards Member. As far as deals go, it’s a good one since since signing up is free.
The 7th floor is their concierge level, and these guest rooms come with a telescope so you can play spy and watch the goings on with the planes. Since the hotel is smack dab between the domestic and international terminal, you see a lot of different planes. You’ll get sweet views of downtown yyc, too (and North Calgary on the other side). While cool, it will set you back $30 to book the airplane view. If you ask for this tarmac side at check-in, however, they should only charge you $15. That’s what the gal at Marriott reception told me.
It is slightly noisy facing the tarmac though. In the afternoon, I couldn’t hear a thing. It was dead quiet. In the middle of the night, I noticed a constant buzz – kind of like a white noise machine. It didn’t wake me up, but it was there.
When you’re on the fancy concierge level, you get access to the M Club Lounge. It’s got a candy station, cookies, granola bars, fruit and non alcoholic bevies all day long. From 5 to 7 p.m. they serve up hot and cold appetizers, desserts and drinks. It’s a varied and international buffet. Alcohol isn’t comped, but everything else is. Breakfast begins at 6 am. Thoughtful touches like tiny paper bags allow you to package up nuts and cookies to go and there’s a printer and PC in the M Lounge, too. If you can swing it, definitely book into this floor. It pays itself out when you consider the dinner and breakfast options the lounge provides. Plus the rooms are larger – like suites.
Rooms for families at the airport
Sure you can stay in a standard room with wee ones, but this Marriott also offers three family suites. These suites are kitted out with a separate bedroom and two bathrooms – one with shower and tub. Kids can crash on the pull out couch and lounge on mini bean bag chairs. Each family room has its own treasure chest filled with toys, board games and a tent.
Best restaurant at the Calgary Airport
In the lobby is a Starbucks Market with plenty of grab and go options. For a sit down meal, Yakima Restaurant is more than pretty alright. Every staff member we talked to recommended the Steak Sandwich, which is what we ordered. The steak was delightfully pink and served on focaccia with loads of arugula and roasted peppers. The Huz, who’d eaten here before, insisted we order the house-made Beef Jerky for only $5. He loved the jerky, but I thought Sichuan Wings with Kung Pao Sauce were better. For my main, I went with the Cornish Hen – something you don’t see on menus very often in Calgary. The bird was super tender, cooked sous-vide (!), and had appropriately glistening, crispy skin. It was a decedent (and large) meal that felt very gourmet.
Yakima sports a kids menu with chicken tenders, mini beef sliders, pepperoni pizza, mac and cheese and a tomato sauce pasta. All children’s meals are $8.50. Excitingly, Yakima serves wine on tap by the ounce. I don’t know of any other place in yyc that does this. Do you?
There’s a good selection of local craft beers and three international brews: Pacifico, Tsingtao and Estrella. Yakima can stand on its own. It’s more than a hotel restaurant, and it certainly is a step up from what you typically find in the international terminal. The decor and vibe made it feel like you could be anywhere in yyc.
Gym and pool at Calgary Airport Marriott
The hotel fitness centre is open 24/7 and sports five treadmills, two elliptical trainers and one stationary bike. There’s free weights, a universal gym, leg machines, yoga mats and a few swiss balls. In case you forget your headphones, Marriott offers disposable ones. The indoor pool is heated and the courtyard area looks quite nice. There’s also a hot tub, but no sauna or steam room.
Business travel at Calgary Airport Marriott
Airport hotels are actually decent locations for conferences and business meetings. Many a business traveller swoops in, makes it their yyc residence and has all their clients meetings here. This Marriott hotel has two boardrooms, but eight other meeting rooms are on site. At 6000 sq ft, the Marriott ballroom has capacity for 650 people and can be divided into four separate rooms. Between the two boardrooms is a communal gathering space known as The Summit. Business types can hammer out work at the high top tables dotting The Summit space.
Other deets and deals
You can park on your own in long term parking or make use of this hotel’s valet service. With valet, you call them as soon as you land and your vehicle will be waiting outside the Marriott front doors within 25 minutes of your call. Mine was. It’s super close to where you exit the International Terminal. I can’t tell you how awesome it was not having to haul out to the parking lot at midnight and wait for my freezing car to warm up.
Would I stay at the Calgary Airport Marriott again? Of course! The rooms were contemporary and have everything you need. It’s not a destination hotel for sure, but what airport hotel is? Their restaurant was good, the gym was great and the pool is a nice touch for families.
Do you stay at airport hotels often? I’d love to hear which hotel and any reviews.
Thank you to Calgary Airport Marriott In-Terminal Hotel for hosting my stay. As always, my opinions are my own.