WHERE TO STAY: LE GERMAIN HOTEL OTTAWA
If you've ever been to Ottawa, ON, you might feel like it's a bit of a sleepy town with a few lively distractions. But it's mostly a town full of tasteful Art, Heritage Architecture, and Political Theater-- currently at its best. The thing I've always appreciated about Ottawa is its luxury of art galleries and historical museums like the Canadian Museum of History, the Canadian War Museum, the National Gallery of Canada, the National Arts Centre and many more. Each venue tells multiple stories of Canadian and international expats indicating of shifting times, progressive history, and milestone contributions that make sightseeing in the nation's capital slightly exciting. But imagine staying in a hotel that's got the same sense of calm, retreat and inspiration? Le Germain Hotel Ottawa is one of those sanctuaries.
A 23-story building located on the edge of the Byward Market, this smoke-free property offers close proximity to the Ottawa Convention Centre, attractions like the Peace Tower and Parliament Hill, the ever-imposing US Embassy, and well as shopping options at the Rideau Centre, and the physical options of runs, strolls or skating along the famed Rideau Canal. For those visiting friends or family attending the University of Ottawa, the campus is 3 minutes away on foot. And since everything is 15-20 minutes or less away by car or public transportation in Ottawa, getting to the Airport, which is 12 kms from Le Germain, is no daunting task.
The moment you walk through the doors, you can sense an air of serenity and placid nature throughout the property. It’s certainly chic but not over the top nor underwhelming. There is striking artwork on the walls and along with raw finishes and tasteful accents all around. And when you move from the lobby to your room, you can quietly admire the intriguing interior design, the subdued colors tones mixed with modern prints, along with a touch of futurism in the signage. Fitting for a hotel attached to the newly constructed Ottawa Art Gallery. Something also worth noting is that Le Germain Hotel Ottawa is 100% Green— adapting state-of-the-art, eco-friendly technologies. The property buys local and implements the “reduce, reuse, recycle” code in order to minimize its environmental footprint.
Among the many room options from Classic, Signature, Prestige to the Prestige Suite— each room is its own work of art, I took in a 425 square-foot Prestige option: an intimate corner room flooded with soothing serenity and ample lighting, a stylish king bed, goose-down duvets, feather pillows, and homey accents and an inspiring panoramic view of the city. It was perfect for a few days of local business and the need to catch up on work while on the road. Features I especially liked include free wifi, Samsung television, chromecast, wireless charger, Bluetooth speakers, a Nespresso coffee machine and capsules, a swing-out workstation with ergonomic chair, a “refreshing” minibar, and a rainfall shower, to name a few.
When I dined at the elevated Norca Restaurant and Bar, I was well-received by staff and ate happily. The restaurant has open-concept styling yet some partitions offer group privacy. The look and feel of Norca is pleasant, woodsy and if anything, cooly refined. While I only had the complimentary breakfast, you could sense the selections on the menu take root and inspirations from the local terroirs of Quebec with hints of Ontario farming combined with international flavors. There was enough to satisfy my desire to eat healthily and still have a few syrupy pleasures. Executive Chef Dominique Dufour, who’s spent that last decade cooking across Canada, Spain, and England, places a large emphasis on eco-responsibility and healthy eating in all her dishes and Norca's three menus.
Pssst... Something of note: check-in time is at 3PM but check-out is whenever you’d like— how? When you book direct, you can check-out whenever you'd like. Let reception know your preferred time of departure and stay longer at no additional charge. Of course, certain days may be excluded due to special circumstances, and departure time is then fixed at noon. But it certain helps if you have a later flight in the day or like to press the snooze button to know that you can stay a little while longer. Also available upon request are: business/communications rooms, DVD player with a selection of DVDs, complimentary newspapers delivered to the room, Yoga mats and instructional videos, humidifiers, hypoallergenic bedding, essentials for babies and children, and doggy essentials. And for those who need it, the modern, 24-hour fitness facility is located on the 5th floor and is flooded with natural light and free water bottles.
If you're looking for style, sophistication, and sleep when in Ottawa, Le Germain Hotel is a fine choice. Rooms start at $259 per night.
For more information, visit: legermainhotels.com