The following article is presented in partnership with Hotel Arts
Sunbeams reflect off the glass panes of the downtown skyscrapers, bathing the winding Bow River below in a sparkle of light. A walking path lined with foliage and flowers follows the water’s edge, and is full of cyclists, runners and families out for an evening stroll, making the most of the warm night. You soak in the scene from your private balcony, a glass of champagne in hand as soft music plays in the suite behind you, enjoying a quiet moment despite being in the heart of the city. With guests of the Hotel Arts Kensington being treated to luxe experiences like this on any given day, it’s crystal clear why the acclaimed property is considered one of the best hotels in Calgary.
Formerly known as the Kensington Riverside Inn, the 19-room hotel underwent a revamp in 2018 to closer align with its sister property in Victoria Park, the popular Hotel Arts which is beloved for its glam outdoor pool, inspired event spaces and boutique rooms. The result was more than a name change and ending its designation as a Relais & Chateaux property: it’s changed the entire attitude of Hotel Arts Kensington.
“We want guests to feel comfortable in a welcoming environment,” says Mark Wilson, general manager and vice-president of the Hotel Arts Group. “The rebrand should showcase that intimate, stylish experiences and warm, welcoming service are not mutually exclusive.”
Today, guests can expect attentive service the moment they arrive, with special touches like a morning tea or coffee delivered right to the door, and a turn-down service where sweets from Calgary-based Chocolaterie Bernard Callebaut are left on fluffy pillows. Amenities include full access to a nearby gym, secure underground parking and complimentary bike rentals which are perfect for exploring the surrounding pathways.
Dining is also a large focus at Hotel Arts Kensington, with its Oxbow restaurant taking up most of the main floor. Open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and weekend brunch, it serves up creative dishes like a charred pork belly eggs Benedict, chamomile tea brined duck breast, and a buttermilk cheesecake topped with chantilly cream and candied cherry tomatoes. Oxbow’s sun-soaked outdoor patio overlooking the river is the perfect place to enjoy happy hour cocktails, and during colder months there are plenty of spots to relax inside its contemporary lounge.
Just steps from the entrance, guests find themselves in the heart of trendy Kensington which is one of Calgary’s most vibrant areas. Some of the city’s top restaurants call this district home, along with boutique stores, spas and fitness studios, and even an indie movie theatre, escape room and board game cafe. The iconic Peace Bridge is just a few blocks in the other direction, and active types will want to hit the pathway for the seven-kilometre loop from Poppy Plaza down to St. Patrick’s Island and back, which offers fabulous views of the river, Prince’s Island Park and city skyline the entire way. When it comes to location, the Hotel Arts Kensington is undeniably one of the top hotels in Calgary.
Of course the highlight of any stay is the rooms themselves, and the swoon-worthy suites leave no detail overlooked. There’s plenty of space to unwind in the sitting room which has a fireplace and wall-mounted TV, or get work done in the office area which comes complete with a Nespresso coffee maker. Floor-to-ceiling windows bring plenty of light into the design-centric space, and double-doors lead out to private patios. Soft linens create a cozy cocoon in the oversize beds, and the spa-like bathrooms boast double-sinks, a waterfall shower, huge bathtub and invigorating amenities from skoah.
From its enviable location to the attractive decor and stellar service, the Hotel Arts Kensington is the perfect retreat whether you’re visiting Calgary for business, pleasure or indulging in a well-deserved staycation. Click here to book
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