Address: 133 9 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2P 2M3
Phone: (403) 262-1234
My Rating: 82%
Price Rating: $$$
Summary of my Stay: I've been fortunate enough to stay at the Palliser on several occasions over the past decade. The hotel provides a consistently pleasant stay in an atmosphere that is both business and luxury oriented. The hotel is perfectly located in downtown Calgary. Everything downtown is within a 5-minute walk: world-class shopping, innovative restaurants, and a vibrant arts scene.
As you pull up to the hotel, valets are eager to look after your ride and assist with your luggage. Up the steps and into the lobby, the first look of the hotel is compact. Between the check-in and concierge desks, guests are promptly looked after. Once checked-in and moving towards the elevators, you pass through the grand lobby which include the Oak Room lounge and Rimrock dining room. The hall delivers the grandeur and pomp you expect from a Canadian heritage hotel.
Up to my room, this stay I was upgraded to a Junior Suite. Because it is a former Canadian Pacific Rail historic hotel, many of the rooms are very compact. Though well appointed, the basic Fairmont rooms are tight on space. Also, most of the rooms have limited views of the side of the hotel or the train tracks. Because of this, I highly suggest booking a Signature Room (or a suite) and request a room facing the front of the hotel. Another thing you'll notice is that almost all rooms have compact bathrooms, whether you're in a suite or a Fairmont room. However, I recall the Fairmont Gold rooms were more spacious all around. So splurge and go to the Gold Floor if you can. The Palliser's rooms deliver everything you'd expect in a Fairmont property: wonderfully comfortable bed, fine linens, elegant and tasteful decor. The WiFi in the room was strong and consistent. On two separate occasions, I had issues with in-room telephones.
Highlight of the Hotel: One of the reasons I choose to stay at the Palliser is the spacious pool area. The pool is bright and elegant and very well kept. The spa is located within the pool area so it is a great place to come and relax. I've had a few massages at this spa and both therapists were very well trained. In addition to the pool, there is also a large hot tub and steam room. Finally, the pool is open until 11pm which is great after a long day of traveling. (Pet peeve is when pools close ridiculously early)
Highlight of my Stay: The hotel's staff is exceedingly helpful. Dawn on the concierge desk always greets you with a smile and a great recommendation. Another staff remembered my dog's name (Oliver) from our last stay months ago. When I had some auto trouble, Neal generously offered to assist and was able to get everything fixed up - going as far as boosting my car with his own truck. The genuine helpfulness of the staff help to ensure that your stay will be personalized and enjoyable.
Drawbacks: There are a few drawbacks to the hotel. I had a few issues with the valets and parking. The hotel does not have underground parking, however, stalls do have electric outlets to plug in. My last stay I was there when it was -43C with the windchill. The valets told me that there were no plugs - when there were. Needless to say, my car didn't get plugged in, and it didn't start. Luckily Neal, Palliser staff member (aka Hero) helped me for over an hour and get me all fixed up. Thanks Neal!!! Secondly, you do run the risk of getting a very small room so ensure you book a higher category of room. There are also several small things (such as phones not properly working) that keep this hotel from achieving 5-star status. Finally, there are drawbacks with the food scene at the hotel—the hotel bar closes at midnight for instance.