Calgary Accommodation: Choosing a Hotel or Motel

Sandman Inn in downtown Calgary

There are a number of considerations in selecting accommodations that can make the difference between an enjoyable stay and a major headache, whether your trip to Calgary is for business or pleasure. You can select a hotel based on its name, features, price range, or its location.

By Name
Most of the major hotel chains have properties in the Calgary marketplace. If you are familiar with and happy with a chain, or just want its frequent flyer miles, then you will like their hotel in Calgary.

Some chains focus on business travellers, in the upper-middle price range. In Calgary you'll find: Coast Hotels, CP Hotels, Delta, Holiday Inn, Radisson, Ramada, Sheraton, and Westin. Some chains target families and budget conscious business travellers. These chains are: Best Western, Comfort Inn, Howard Johnson, Quality Inn, and Travellodge.

Calgary has many very fine hotels and motels that may not belong to a chain.

By Features
A traveller may need to rely on a specific feature in a hotel. It may be a hotel-wide capability like airport shuttle or business centre, it may be an in-room feature like Internet access or a whirlpool bath (and vary from room to room), it may relate to fitness to stay in shape on the road or to entertain the children, or you may require special suites. We have tried to catalogue them all in the FoundLocally database.

The range of features will vary from hotel to hotel, and sometimes from room to room. If there is a feature that is critical to your stay (ie wheelchair access or coach parking) request it in the Hotel Search screen, to display only to those establishments. Be sure to request this feature when making your room reservation.

Some commonly sought features are:

Price Range
There is accommodation in Calgary to suit any budget. Those on a real budget can stay at the Hostel or (summer times) at SAIT Housing (at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology) for only dollars a day. The major corporate chains have suites for any corporate president or even royalty.

Pricing is seasonal. Summer and Stampede Week are high season in Calgary and Banff. Banff hotels are also more over holdiays and long weekends, and during the ski season (January to March). Fall (September to December) and spring (April to June) are definitely the less expensive times to visit. Each hotel's dates for high, low, and shoulder seasons differ a bit so watch your timing or your hotel.

Motel Village in Northwest Calgary

Some hotel locations are better suited for different purposes it. You can search for hotels by "Area". For Stampede Week, the handiest hotels are Downtown or along MacLeod Trail.

If you are here to do business you would likely want a hotel in the downtown core. All hotels are within walking distance of downtown shopping, and a short cab ride from the various restaurant and nightlife districts. There are some less expensive hotels just outside of downtown.

For family power-shopping stay at hotels close to the 36th Street NE malls or along the Macleod Trail. Either location is full of the large chains and the "category killer" stores.

If you are travelling north-south along Highway 2, then your best bet is probably one of the hotels in the Northeast, since they're very close to the Deerfoot Trail. If you are driving across Canada, stay on the TransCanada Highway (16th Avenue inside city limits). Calgary has a "Motel Village, " at 16th Avenue and Crowchild Trail with a dozen motels, in every price range. This location is also close the MacMahon Stadium (pronounce "mick-mann"), the University of Calgary, SAIT college, and the Northwest LRT.

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