WHERE TO STAY: ALT HOTEL HALIFAX AIRPORT
If you’ve never been to Halifax, Nova Scotia, Atlantic Canada’s largest city— GO! The seaport city was founded in 1749 and has so much to explore on foot with hip neighborhoods like the up-and-coming North End and the eclectic Spring Garden Road, where the award-winning Halifax Public Library and the peaceful Public Gardens share space. Other attractions include the Seaport Farmers’ Market, the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, and the Canadian Immigration Museum at Pier 21. Not to mention the city has blocks of eclectic shops, bars, and cafés-- all with a friendly Maritime feel.
When I first landed at YHZ airport, I loved how local it felt from a bustling liquor store that features local spirits and wines to artworks by local painters (including an amazing portrait of Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino). It set the tone for my trip and is certainly a sense of cool all on its own.
Now, where to stay?! I won’t deny that I am biased because I like staying in Groupe Germain Hotels. My obvious choice is the Alt Hotel Halifax Airport. It's exceptional, except that it is directly across from the Halifax Stanfield International Airport and not in the heart of the city. Why would there be an Alt at the airport and not in the city's core? Location and scale. While the property was originally owned by a competing hotel chain, they pulled out of the investment and Groupe Germain purchased the structure, beautifying it with Alt styling along with a Service pedigree where you can expect kind and knowledgeable staff readily able to assist jet-setting travelers. Don't fret over distance. The hotel is 30 minutes from the city's downtown. Is that a problem? Shouldn’t be. If you’re going to visit Halifax, you'll need wheels and the drive is always a pleasurable view of gorgeous terrain-- in all directions.
Getting to the hotel is literally a hop, skip, and a jump. It can be accessed through a covered walkway. Upon arrival, there are certainly some Alt features that instantly get your attention but also a feeling that separates the Halifax destination from sibling properties spread out across Canada.
The main lobby is expansive with multiple rooms including a cyber lounge with Apple desktop computers, a billiard area for a Pool game or two, a living space with couches and a fireplace, and a meeting area with modern pub tables and stools. It really is a remarkable version of an Alt Hotel lobby -- perhaps the largest on record-- and it makes you feel instantly at home.
As the only airport hotel in the area, luckily it offers food availability 24 hours a day at the Altcetera Café with eat-in breakfast, lunch, snacks, dinner or fine coffee and crafty cocktails. Renowned Halifax caterer Kitchen Door preps Altcetera Café’s menu items fresh every day and the frequently changing list of specials, using unprocessed ingredients— many of them locally sourced. You can expect a range of delectable fare such as soups, salads, sandwiches, and hot meal options. And there’s always a dedicated bartender on hand. Whether you’re between flights, just landed or are about to take off, there something for any move you need to make.
Getting to your room is totally simple with key card access for both the elevator and the room for security purposes. And floor details will look familiar if you’ve been to an Alt Hotel before. Because of the transitional nature of this bustling property, it only offers two types of rooms: the One Bed Room (250 ft²/23 m²) and Two Bed Room (330 ft²/30 m²). The rooms provide everything you need from: a comfortable bed equipped with Egyptian cotton, bamboo linen, and a Goose down comforter; a spa-like bathroom with a showerhead generating a dense and abundant flow of hot water; and fast, free Wi-Fi on top of a multi-plug connectivity panel for electronic devices. Need I say more? Oh yes! 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 certainly 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. And if you're concerned by the sound of plane thrusters and passing traffic, have no fear. The windows and walls are soundproof ensuring that you get maximum sleep.
For those who like to stay in shape, or relieve some stress, the hotel has a well-equipped fitness center located on the main floor and is open 24 hours a day. But what sets it apart from the other Alt Hotels is that it has a heated indoor pool, open from 5:30 am to 10:30 pm.
If you have to roll around Halifax with a rental car, outdoor parking and a parkade are available. Electric vehicle charging stations are also available. And the outdoor parking has 24-hour surveillance.
The City of Halifax is truly a great place to visit and I don’t say that blindly. As someone who often visits for both business and tourism, I'm always fond this Atlantic capital and love returning to see family members, scope out the architectural updates as well as blend in with locals at a low-key bars to grab a plate of fish and chips (or a donair, Halifax’s official food). And when the opportunity permits, switching it up to fine dining in the Old Port and a walk along its wide, weathered harbourfront boardwalk is a warm and welcome option.
For a convenient, contemporary, and comfortable stay (or stopover), The Alt Hotel Halifax Airport is an affordable and luxurious pick. Rooms start at $169 per night and the customer service is excellent. For more information, visit: https://www.althotels.com