the new Sandman in Calgary, Alberta.
Right off it was easy to find so no stress; easy and free parking. Check in was friendly and personable. They offered out a couple of coupons for Moxies and Dennys. And gave precise directions to my room. If the line up was long I would hope they would be less chatty but right now it was pleasant since I wasn't in a hurry.
The room is of generous size, the bathroom has a good shower and all the essentials are there (love that they don't have plastic glasses). The rooms are nice - flat screen TV (I must be the first person to use as I had to auto tune it for the stations); the room is stylish and decorated with a working desk and free wireless (so essential when I am travelling). Complimentary coffee in the room (but I will get my own coffee somewhere else - I just can't do CoffeeMate - they do a good job pushing that this is lactose free but if you really check out the ingredients - yuck - but I don't think that Sandman has an option to offer something else - dried milk maybe?)
And if you are into shopping plenty enough of stores from Ikea to Future Shop. For food you are limited to just the chains - FatBurger, Opa, Ricky's, Moxies (part of the hotel) and a Dennys. I ended up walking over to IKEA - if I had kids I would be coming here - good quick food at totally decent prices. And they even toss in some suggestions as to why you should clean up after yourself - gee, I won't even need to parent!
The cost was reasonable (at least my client will be happy as it was less than $135 ($12 in various fees - do I really have to pay the Destination Marketing Fee of $3.57 and the Provincial Tourism Levy of $4.90 - aren't I the tourist here?) I will ask at the front desk if I have to pay this charge. Oil rich Alberta doesn't really need my money. Come to think about it I got hit with these charges last autumn in Jasper.
My only peeve during this short visit: I wanted to print off my boarding pass but while I have wireless in the room I would have to pay $3.00 to access the business centre downstairs for 15 minutes. They need to take a peek as to what the Westin Montreal is doing - they also have wireless in the rooms. And you have to pay to access the internet in the lobby area but they do allow you to print off your boarding pass for free.
I'll wait till I get to the airport.
Sandman Hotel Calgary South, 8001 - 11 Street SE, 403-252-7263 www.sandmanhotel.com