WHERE TO STAY: ALT HOTEL WINNIPEG
My number of visits to Winnipeg, Manitoba seems to be growing and with every passing opportunity to visit “Chicago North”, I certainly feel the cool wind and some warmth, in the best of ways. If you’ve never been to Winnipeg, it's worth the visit, whether short or even shorter. As a mid-west Canadian city with a rich history and classic architecture that leaves you in a time-traveling trance, Winnipeg has its own charm and character. Some of the streets resemble classic American cities from the early 1900s with early 20th-century terracotta and cut stone architecture and golden era signage. Downtown Winnipeg has 86 heritage buildings. But within many of these classic skyscrapers, where the facades remain original, exist plenty of examples of strident gentrification and trendy additions to the city’s refreshing city center growth
When I stay in YWG, I always opt for the 160 smoke-free guestroom property known as the Alt Hotel, a 17-minute drive from the airport. And for various good reasons; location, styling, excellent customer service, and affordable luxury. The hotel is located in the new Sports, Hospitality and Entertainment District (SHED) opposite of Downtown's MTS Centre arena- home to the Jets hockey team, a 10-minute walk from the RBC Convention Centre and University of Winnipeg as well as a 13-minute walk from Winnipeg Art Gallery, The Forks Market, Central Park, Broadway-Assiniboine and Chinatown. As you can imagine, the Alt Hotel is perfectly stationed to allow you to move and mingle around the city, any time of the year, with ease. And if you’re like me who likes to drive throughout the city when I travel, this hotel has self-parking at an adjacent parkade.
When it comes to the design elements of the property you can expect a generous mix of stylish, pop art-inspired furnishings along with exposed concrete and wood accents. The main lobby is like a recreational room where you could easily entertain guests for hours with beverages and conversations. Not to mention they have a few board games on hand and some sister properties have pool tables.
The loft-style rooms with 12-ft ceilings have premium bedding and down comforters, armchairs and rainfall showerheads. Washroom toiletries are placed in dispensing bottles instead of the regular soap-bars or mini bottles— smart, efficient and less waste. There’s a few of energy efficient and environmental design surrounding you.
In addition to furniture pieces that offer comfiness and calm, expect additional creature comforts like free Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs (with screen-mirroring and/or Comcast capabilities). Coffee anyone? All rooms come with Keurig coffee makers— my java brew machine of choice. Something to note though, there is no fridge or safe in the room. The overall feeling of a room is modern and urban, ready to offer you tranquility in order to refresh you for the next day, whether it be business or pleasure.
Breakfast? The Alt serves a low-key Continental setup— no biggie. If you need quick and like Tim Horton’s, its attached to the property with a private entrance. If you want a more leisurely start to your morning, there’s plenty of places to eat in the neighborhood.
What I have always appreciated about the staff that works at this property is that they are always looking to help you out. And if you decide not to dine or grab a drink at the two adjacent restaurants next to the property, The Merchant Kitchen or Browns Social Lounge, one of the front desk staff can whip up a small selection of cocktails or nightcaps.
Other basics include a 24/7 gym (private enough for selfies) and a snack pantry— with great healthy options, in addition to a business center and 7 meeting rooms.
The hotel is also very accommodating to guests with pets. The 17th floor is dedicated to four-legged customers. Dog beds, food and water bowls, treats and helpful directions to nearby parks are available. Expect an extra charge of $30.00 per accommodation, per stay for bringing Max or Charlie. If you're a family traveling with a small child, a crib is available to you.
Room rates start at $159 a night and check-in time between 3PM to 2AM, followed by a check-out time of 12PM. To learn more, visit: althotels.com