Staying at International Hotel Suites in Calgary
Located in the heart of downtown, the International Hotel Suites Calgary makes for a great stay when you’re in town on business or just need room to spread out. At first glance it looks like a fairly generic mid-range hotel but I was intrigued by their Orchid and Esquire floors and wanted to check it out.
The Esquire floor is intended for men only and the suites provide extra perks for their needs: men’s magazines, a clothes valet for hanging suits, clothes steamers, socks, razors, shaving cream, as well as a complimentary beer, popcorn, and shoe shine. The Orchid floor where I stayed is a similar concept for women. My suite had a fitness ball, yoga mat, “emergency kit” (pads, tampons, pantyhose, razor), curling iron, flat iron, clothes steamer, basket of snacks, white wine, and women’s magazines. Overall I really like the concept and with a few tweaks it could be stellar.
Along with tailoring amenities for each gender I would love to see some consideration in the décor. I dubbed my room 50 Shades of Taupe. Everything was brown, taupe or cream from the curtains, couch and carpet right down to the artwork and artificial flowers. The large dining table for six and the built in sideboard actually made the living area feel slightly like a boardroom. Perfect if you need to hold a meeting while there. New curtains, a few colourful throw pillows and bright artwork would add a feminine touch to the look of the space and really bring some life to the suite.
There was a ton of closet space in the bedroom so I could unpack rather than live out of my suitcase. This would be a real bonus for anyone staying longer than a few nights. The king sized bed was super comfy and the provided robes were uber cozy. I’m developing a real fondness for hotel rooms that provide comfy robes. I fear I’m becoming spoiled.
Breakfast was a hot/cold buffet that was included in my stay. It featured the typical buffet dishes such as scrambled eggs, sausage, fruit, and pastries. Nothing particularly stood out but it saved me the time and hassle of finding breakfast elsewhere and was more substantial than the coffee and muffin I would’ve got at Tim’s, so that was great.
Staff at the International Hotel are attentive and keep an eye on their social media. I had an issue with the bottle of wine and, me being the lazy phone avoider that I am, I decided to reach out over Twitter before going to the front desk. In no time at all the issue was resolved and I never had to take off my slippers.
Unlike the other downtown Calgary hotels I stayed at, there’s no valet parking here but there’s a public lot right next door. Normally parking my own car isn’t an issue but since I was driving a big Ford F150 King Ranch I became acutely aware of ease of parking.
When I visited in October the café, fitness centre and pool were all closed from the big summer flood that hit Calgary this year. Since then a new restaurant has opened but the fitness and pool remain under renovations.
Their Esquire/Orchid suites are an evolving concept and I think they have real potential. All in all the International Hotel Suites Calgary is a solid hotel choice if you’re staying longer term and want easy access to all downtown Calgary has to offer.
- Where: 220 4th Ave SW, Calgary, Alberta
- Cost: Suites range from $260-$280, Orchid and Esquire suites from $314
- Number of Rooms: 248
- Amenities: Indoor lap pool, fitness centre, restaurant on site, private balconies, free wifi
- Rating: TripAdvisor 3.5*
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