Category

Vacation

Enjoy a Staycation in Calgary

By | Calgary, Vacation

Road trips, month-long holidays and weekend getaways are always a fun time, loads of timeless memories, but dang they’re a lot of work! Between packing, planning and executing the adventure (especially if you have kids) there is only a small fraction of time that allows you to actually enjoy the vacation at all.

That’s why we are encouraging you to put on your tourist hat and enjoy an exciting staycation right here in YYC. Our city has a ton of culinary delights, hidden gems and adventures to be had. Even if you think you’ve seen it all we promise you there are still lots of adventures to be had.

In our most recent episode of Homes and Lifestyles our host, Kim Hayden took a mini tour around Calgary and hit up some of her favourite spots around the city. She highlighted a few of her favourite spots, how to get around, where to dine and hotels with amazing amenities that will have you truly believe you’re on vacation!

Here are just a few must-see locations to add to the bucket list this summer without having to spend a pretty penny on a plane ticket!

The Glenbow

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This magnificent place holds some of the greatest art collections and artifacts from Calgary’s history in all the city. Throughout the last 50 years, the Glenbow has entertained many generations and hosted a variety of unique international art exhibitions that works to connect art, culture and the world around us. Giving us a sense character and place, the Glenbow has helped to shape our community, curate creativity throughout the city and connect us on a national and global level. It’s the spot where our city’s story is best told and we can grantee that you’re in for a memorable and personal experience every time you talk a walk through its art-filled hallways. You can always join them for an exhibition tour, behind-the-scenes experience, a film screening or an artist chat, whatever you prefer. Bring the whole family or simply come on a solo adventure – there is something for everyone in the family to enjoy.

The Calgary Zoo


Travel across the world, without having to leave the city at all! That’s right, the Calgary zoo is split up into continents, so you will feel like you’re in a different climate and country in each exhibit you visit. From red pandas to flamingos to gorillas to lemurs to hippos to penguins, there are lots of animal varieties for you to observe and even interact with, in a safe environment of course. New to the zoo this year re the Giant Panda’s and they have created quite the stir so far. Be sure to check them out more than once in the next few years that they are here. Grab a snack from their many cafés and head out on a safari adventure – YYC style!

See the city on a Segway

 


There are many ways to see the city, but have you seen it on a Segway? If the answer is no, we highly recommend booking on for you and the family this summer. The guides at River Valley Adventure Co will lead the tour, expanding on Calgary’s rich cultural history, while pointing out landmarks and showing you hidden gems that you might have otherwise missed if you were on foot. We can guarantee you this experience is safe, fun and more than memorable. It’s time you saw Calgary from a different angle and fell in love with your city all over again.

The Calgary Tower + SKY 360


It may be cliché, but you have to venture up the tower if you’re spending the day rediscovering Calgary! For most of us that live here, we haven’t actually explored the tower very in-depth. To make your experience even more worth it, this year is the 50th anniversary of our iconic red tower. As a result, they will be hosting a variety of events, contests and fun activities throughout the year in celebration. While you’re there you have to dine at SKY 360 and get a rotating birds-eye view of the city during your meal. This is the truly authentic way to view the city from above!

International Avenue


For a truly unique experience, we highly recommend hitting up the International avenue. This is one of the oldest and original parts of the city and its rich history is still very evident throughout the community. It’s a one-stop shopping stop for all things international! From retail goods, services and food you can find just about any cultural dish here on the ave. We recommend starting at Illichmann’s Sausage Shop Ltd., Begim Uzbekistan Restaurant or Indonesian Kitchen. All are very unique and authentic to the customs and traditions of each culture – especially when it comes to the ingredients. You’ll feel like you’re in a different country at each of these delicious restaurants!

YYC Food Trucks

 

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You’ll see them scattered around the city during lunch hour, along with at the various events, festivals, and activities that happen around the city each summer. The trucks are colourful and each one brings with it, it’s own personality, taste, and experience. They bring people together and hang out in some of the most beautiful corners of our city. Keep an eye out for them this summer and eat your way through Calgary, one food truck at a time!

Shop local


Instead of spending your summer in an air-conditioned mall, head out to the many shopping districts that are scattered around the city. You’ll not only be getting a way better quality product, but you’ll be supporting a small business or the work of local artists or maker while helping to pump up Calgary’s vibrant economy – it all comes full circle. Be sure to hit up Kensington Village, Mission (also known as 4th Street) and Inglewood, just to name a few. Each of these areas holds their own unique character and charm and will have you lost in an adventure all day long!

 

Missed the episode? Watch it here!

Top Five Things You Need to Do in Canmore

By | Calgary, Design, Dining, Entertainment, Lifestyle, Vacation | No Comments

Just a short hour-long drive from Calgary’s western city limits resides the beautiful Canmore Kananaskis area. Aptly named Calgary’s “local backyard,” this conveniently located gem has all you need for a quick weekend getaway. In our Mountain Living episode, we teamed up with Andrew Shepherd, general manager at Blackstone Mountain Lodge and Board of Directors Chair with Tourism Canmore Kananaskis, to share five things you need to experience on your next trip out to Calgary’s local backyard.

Take a Cave Tour

Year-round, rain or shine, Canmore Cave Tours has you covered. This uniquely Albertan experience proves exciting for even the most expert mountain goer. Join one of their passionate cavers on a tour through Rat’s Nest Cave – a wild, undeveloped cave under Grotto Mountain. They suit all levels of adventurers – from the bold and extreme, to those who like taking the scenic route – every caver has the opportunity to enjoy the cave in their own special way. And hey, if you really love it, they offer courses for those looking to take their caving adventures to the next level.

Snowshoe Tour 

Take in the last of winter (it is still winter, right?) with a snowshoeing tour complete with breathtaking views of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Snowshoeing is a fun, easy winter activity for all ages and it requires no technical skills. Check out our host, Kim, on a tour with Claude from Kananaskis Outfitters – she makes it look easy. Easy to book and with tours leaving right from Canmore and the Kananaskis Village Centre beside the Pomeroy Kananaskis Mountain Lodge, Claude and his team have you covered. We also recommend White Mountain Adventures. With tours leaving from Banff, Canmore, and Kananaskis, you’re sure to find a tour that suits your needs.

Float Down the River

Winter won’t last (we repeat; winter won’t last) and when it gives way to warmer weather, book yourself in for a unique water tour with Canmore River Adventures. Operating from June to September, bring your large or small group out for a guided tour down the Bow River. These family friendly tours are perfect for nature lovers of all ages. If you need pick up from your Canmore hotel, no problem, complimentary pick up is available. Conversely, the boat launch is a quick 5-10 minute walk from downtown Canmore.

The Iron Goat Pub & Grill

With two elevated patios overlooking the majestic Three Sisters mountain range, the Iron Goat Pub & Grill is a great place to end your busy day. Kick back with delicious food and drinks, while you experience mountain dining in a memorable setting. This place has history too. Inspired by Canmore’s rich railway heritage, the name comes from a memorable train engine named “The Iron Goat,” which hauled coal throughout the first half of the 1900’s. The Iron Goat has since been retired to Calgary’s own Heritage Park.

Stay at the Blackstone Mountain Lodge

Finish your busy, action-packed day with a relaxing stay at the Blackstone Mountain Lodge in Canmore. Raising the bar for luxury in the Rocky Mountains, guests are treated to a wide offering of on-site amenities. Equipped with outdoor hot tubs, a heated outdoor pool, on-site spa treatments, a games room, and a fully equipped fitness centre, relaxing is not problem here. From hotel rooms to one, two, or three bedroom suites, the Blackstone can accommodate couples on a weekend getaway or families looking for an adventure in the mountains. You can even test out the four bedroom penthouse suite for 2,100 square feet of living and entertaining bliss, complete with mountain views off of the enclosed balcony.

We’d love to hear from you. Please share some of your favourite things to do out in Canmore and Kananaskis.

The Blackstone Mountain Lodge was featured on the first episode of Homes & Lifestyles season two, airing March 28th, 2018 on CTV Two at 8:30 a.m. Miss it? Subscribe to our YouTube Channel to catch it.

The Kananaskis Nordic Spa: Nordic Tradition with a Canadian Twist

By | Calgary, Design, Dining, Entertainment, Kim Hayden, Lifestyle, Vacation | No Comments

Who can relate?

You’re at a spa for the first time and you don’t know what to do. Where do you sit? Where are the towels? And also, shhh, don’t dare speak. You feel completely aware of every move you’re making and you feel like everyone is watching you. They of course are not, and it’s pretty likely that many are feeling the same way you are. What is it about the traditional spa experience that can make us feel so uncomfortable?

Well take a deep breath. You will not experience this at the brand new Kananaskis Nordic Spa, located next to the beautifully updated Pomeroy Kananaskis Mountain Lodge. This deliberately different take on the hot-warm-cold-rest-repeat hydrotherapy lifestyle practiced in Nordic wellness circles for centuries feels, well, Canadian. *Read: comfortable, rustic, welcoming, friendly, and warm. Surrounded by alpine forest and rugged mountain peaks, deep in Alberta’s Kananaskis Country, this oasis combines the Nordic Spa style tradition of repair, relaxation, and rejuvenation with rustic, modern Canadiana.

We took a test run (someone’s got to do it!) and have highlighted what we found makes this Nordic style spa uniquely Canadian and experience you won’t soon forget.

Outdoor Campfires

Who doesn’t like a year-round outdoor fire? We’re Canadians after all, we don’t let winter hold us back from getting outside and gathering with friends by the fire. At the Kananaskis Nordic Spa, you’ll find social campfire settings within the outdoor woodland design. And rather than the traditional ‘silence-at-all-times-please’ approach typically seen at Nordic spas, guests can quietly socialize within a spa setting. Well it’s still expected that the ambience be quiet and respectful, guests are able to socialize in hushed tones while unwinding together.

Canadian Tartan Robes

Instead of the classic white robe you’ve come to expect, the Kananaskis Nordic Spa has deliberately opted for something a little more Canadian. The tartan selected as the fabric for the robes, is the maple leaf print designed in 1964 by David Weiser to commemorate the new Canadian flag, with its four colours representing the colours of the maple leaf as it changes through the seasons; green in the spring, gold in the fall, red at the first frost, and brown when it falls to the ground.

The Spa Lodge

Surrounded by a series of hot, saltwater, and cold plunge pools resides the modern-meets-rustic Spa Lodge. Step inside to find a mix of bold industrial features complimenting the décor of stained grey wood panel walls, white tile flooring and granite counter-tops – finished with clean, bright white lighting. Rich textures, luxe fabrics, and soft seating add a home-away-from-home feel to the spa space – like a chic Canadian style lodge.

Outdoor/Indoor

Boldly making ample use of both the outdoors and indoors is what sets this spa experience apart. Outdoors, guests benefit from the hydrotherapy cycles, peaceful rejuvenation and meditation practices, while quietly socialize within a spa setting. Inside the Spa Lodge, guests are met with an inviting plush, comfortable lounge setting – reminiscent of a contemporary-luxe Canadian cabin, complete with a lounge area that can fully open up to the outdoors in the summer months.

So ditch the white robe and head to the Kananaskis Nordic spa for a red Canadian tartan robe. They’ll take good care of you, while you take good care of yourself. Disconnect to reconnect.

The Kananaskis Nordic Spa will be featured on the first episode of Homes & Lifestyles season two, airing March 28th, 2018 on CTV Two at 8:30 a.m. We’ll be airing again March 31st, 2018 on CTV Calgary at 10:00 a.m. and again April 4th, 2018 on CTV Two at 8:30 a.m.

The New Kananaskis: A Home Away From Home

By | Calgary, Dining, Entertainment, Kim Hayden, Lifestyle, Vacation | No Comments

It’s been over 30 years since the original Kananaskis Lodge was built within the Kananaskis valley amongst the surreal Rocky Mountains. Emerging from a complete facelift and redesign, this boutique hotel has been officially renamed the “Pomeroy Kananaskis Mountain Lodge” and is now officially a part of Marriot’s exclusive Autograph Collection of Hotels. Not only is this the first hotel in Alberta to be a part of the Autograph Collection, but it’s the 5th one in Canada. As Calgarians, we are honoured to have this luxury mountain resort so close to home, as it’s only a mere 45 minutes away from Calgary’s City center, how exciting!

What does it mean to a be a part of the Autograph Collection? The Homes & Lifestyles team had the amazing opportunity to visit the lodge and get a full tour before the new identity was revealed!

Embodies the Local Surroundings

One of the requirements to be a part of the Autograph Collection is that it must be inspired by it’s ‘locale’ and be reflected in the experience. From outdoor activities to your experience at the lodge, The Pomeroy is meant to be an escape from the hustle and bustle, with an emphasis on modern, yet rustic mountain living. It aims to inspire adventures, reconnect you with nature, and reflect the rugged, pristine image of the Canadian Rockies here in Alberta. It’s simply the perfect intersection of backcountry beauty and luxury world-class comfort, which is presented in all the details.

Flawlessly Designed

Each suite has been carefully designed to be more like a condo rather than a hotel room, to give guests a feeling that this truly is a home away from home. Along with standard one-bedroom suites, the lodge offers two-level lofts, which give a sense of space, luxurious comfort and openness. Take in the alpine outdoors on your very own private balcony or enjoy the comfort of a fire on those cool mountain evenings. With everyone in mind, the lodge also offers the Hospitality Suite to larger groups and families. All suites feature luxurious textures, stylish furnishings, soft lighting and are designed with a timeless charm that not only looks amazing, but provokes a tactile and emotional connection for every guest that stays at the lodge.

Authentic Canadian Hospitality

To be a part of the Autograph Collection having a guest-centric mindset is key. Paying ‘ode to our well known Canadian culture, the Pomroy aims at giving each guest a custom experience that arm you with memories and have you coming back time and time again. From nourishing food offered at one of their 5 uniquely curated, on-site eateries, to access to worldclass amenities and services to a concierge service that will make sure you are well taken care of from the moment you walk in the door, you will never need to look far to be prepared to indulge in the natural beauty of the mountain region.

A Focus on Health and Wellness

From getting outdoors and reconnecting with nature to nourishing your body with health-focused meals, fitness and health are a priority at the lodge. With organized group activities, recommendations for surrounding active mountain experiences and trails for all levels with panoramic breath-taking viewpoints, you’ll never find yourself with a lack of adventure at your fingertips.

Relax at the Nordic Spa

We took a test run of this four season, mountain sanctuary and let us tell you, it’s unlike anything we have ever experienced! Combining the tranquil rejuvenation of a traditional Nordic Spa and the alpine stillness of the Canadian Rockies this spa is meant to provoke relaxation and give you the opportunity to discover clarity in the midst of the Rockies. Learn more about the spa here!

Accommodations for the Entire Family

The Pomeroy is designed to accommodate guests of any age, along with your furry best friends (your dog is essentially a part of the family, so they’re more than welcome). They offer accessibility services, an extensive list of kid-approved activities and seasonal programs, along with menu items that will satisfy the pickiest of eaters. Memoires made with your loved ones are the ones that matter most, and the lodge has been thoughtfully designed with this mantra in mind, aiming to get the entire family out to experience the natural beauty of the Kananaskis region. There’s also a recreational facility that is opening this summer that will feature an all-inclusive water park that will have you dragging your kids away at the end of the day. Stay tuned!

A Cosy and Inviting Atmosphere

Continuing the theme of a home away from home, the lodge aims at being a spot you want to hang out at. Curl up by the warmth of the roaring fireplace in the Blacktail Bar or the lobby and enjoy some lounge time tucked in one of their complimentary fluffy blankets on the low, sofa seating available. There are also games and a scrabble board available so you can recreate the excitement of a family games night in the middle of the lodge.

All Elements Combined Work to Tell a Story

From the details in the design to the outdoor spirit to the dedication to reconnecting guests with the beauty of nature, each element captures all the glory and natural beauty that Kananaskis is known for. The new logo says it best, combining nature, shelter and location, in a modern representation that highlights the mountain ridge and the expansive valley below the resort. Each element is meant to be a subtle reminder of the natural beauty of the lodge, the surrounding wildlife and laid-back coziness that is embodied in the ambiance of the new Pomeroy Kananaskis.

The Pomeroy Kananaskis will be featured on the first episode of Homes & Lifestyles season two, airing March 28th, 2018 on CTV Two at 8:30 a.m.

We’ll be airing again March 31st, 2018 on CTV Calgary at 10:00 a.m. and again April 4th, 2018 on CTV Two at 8:30 a.m.

The Kananaskis Nordic Spa: Hot-Warm-Cold-Rest-Repeat!

By | Calgary, Design, Dining, Entertainment, Lifestyle, Vacation | One Comment

Looking for a new spa experience? Look no further than the Kananaskis Nordic Spa, a four-season, mountain sanctuary that combines the alpine stillness of the Canadian Rockies with the tranquil rejuvenation of a traditional Nordic Spa. This concept is the first of its kind here in Alberta and is located just 45 minutes out of Calgary. You can easily come out for the day or turn it into a weekend getaway and stay next door at the newly renovated Delta Lodge at Kananaskis (soon to become an Pomeroy Kananaskis Mountain Lodge; an Autograph Collection Hotel).

We’ve taken a test run (tough job but someone’s gotta do it!) and are here to help you navigate your first visit.

So what is a Nordic Spa?
Commonly referred to as Nordic or Scandinavian hydrotherapy, this traditional Nordic style spa ritual involves moving through a hot-warm-cold-rest-repeat hydrotherapy cycle (ideally completing the sequence 2-3 times). First of its kind in Alberta, this centuries-old relaxation method has only just recently left northern Europe. Lucky for us, it’s now right here in our backyard!

What to do at the spa?

The Saunas
Start your journey by warming up in one of the three sauna rooms; the Barrel Sauna, Banya Sauna and Finnish Sauna, or the Eucalyptus & Alchemist Steam Cabin infused with select aromatherapy oils. The Exfoliation Cabin houses a selection of salts for self-exfoliation of the skin. Then take it to the cold pool (set between 5-10°F) to cool down.

The Pools
You’ll find a series of hot, medium, and cold plunge pools that you can move between. Ideally you’re meant to cycle through a hot to cold rotation three times. You can do this by moving through the warm to cold pools, while integrating the steam rooms and saunas into the beginning of each cycle. Finish it off in The Gathering Pool (a favourite spot of Jennifer Buckler, the Vice President of Spa & Development).

Spa Lodge
Relaxation and reflection are both a major part of the Nordic Spa ritual. With 8 treatment rooms opening in May, including relaxation in your visit is easy. If you have a benefit plan that covers massage, rejoice! All massage therapists are fully licensed. A minimalist menu of deep tissue, relaxation, and hot stone massage will be available in the treatment rooms located on the third floor. Find a spot and relax in the communal area on the main level. Rich textures, luxe fabrics, and soft seating add a home-away-from-home feel to the spa space – like a chic Canadian style lodge.

The Two Trees Bistro
Hungry? The Two Trees Bistro, located on the main level, is a great spot to relax and gather with friends for a healthy bite to eat, a warm cup of post-hydrotherapy tea, or a therapeutic glass of wine or beer (hydrotherapy, right?).


The Kananaskis Nordic Spa is a nature inspired oasis where you can enjoy a centuries old method of relaxation and wellness. We want to hear from you! Tell us about your spa experience and share any tips that you have.

Disconnect to reconnect.

The Kananaskis Nordic Spa will be featured on the first episode of Homes & Lifestyles season two, airing March 28th, 2018 on CTV Two at 8:30 a.m. We’ll be airing again March 31st, 2018 on CTV Calgary at 10:00 a.m. and again April 4th, 2018 on CTV Two at 8:30 a.m.