In Ottawa, the start of spring is signalled by the colourful tulips that take over the city. It’s during this time of year when the city comes to life after a long, cold winter. Festivals, farmers’ markets and patio hopping become regular activities for many people living and visiting Ottawa during this busy season. There’s always something to do!
To kick off Spring, Alt Hotel by Le Germain in downtown Ottawa invited us to enjoy a two-night staycation. We eagerly packed our bags and left the suburbs behind, thrilled to spend a couple nights in the city. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect – it was the first weekend of the annual Tulip Festival and we were staying in the heart of the action.
We were greeted by warm, friendly faces when we arrived at Alt Hotel Ottawa. The staff went above and beyond for us – we originally thought we were booked for one night and they generously extended it to two, plus they gave us a room on the top floor furthest from the elevators so we could enjoy a quiet atmosphere with a view of bustling downtown.
It was 5pm when we checked in – conveniently in time for happy hour; though I was eyeing the cappuccinos and cookies at the Altcetera Café adjacent to the front desk. A full-service bar and a generous food menu offer something for everyone. The lobby and Altcetera Café have a relaxing, contemporary vibe. The bar extends toward the back of the hotel, where there is a pool table with cozy booths, great for a group hangout or couple looking to have an intimate conversation. This is definitely a spot I’d like to return to one day.
When we entered our room, I immediately noticed the eco-friendly features; recycling bins located throughout, main light switches controlled by entering and exiting the room, plenty of natural light, and shampoo, conditioner and body wash stored in waste-free bottles. I love how natural elements are incorporated into the room, including hardwood panelled walls, exposed concrete, and an ultra-comfortable bed and linens. The spa-like bathroom is gorgeous with its glass shower and wooden bench. The art around the hotel and in the rooms is also stunning, with pieces by Jason Cantoro.
The two nights we enjoyed at Alt Hotel Ottawa were so much fun – it went by too quickly! On Saturday we went to the Tulip Festival, walked around Parliament Hill and through the ByWard Market. On Sunday we explored Gatineau Park and enjoyed lunch on a patio. We went on an evening stroll to a lookout point behind the National Gallery of Canada, which has great views of Parliament Hill, the Ottawa River and Gatineau.
We packed our gym clothes thinking we could squeeze in a workout at their well-equipped, 24-hour gym; my boyfriend was convinced we’d wake up at 6am one of the mornings to do a 30-minute cardio session. They also have a yoga video series available for guests to practice yoga in the comfort of their rooms. Didn’t bring your mat? No worries because guests can borrow plush Lululemon mats. But after spending our days walking throughout the city, we opted to sleep in both mornings instead of setting the alarm early to workout.
The hotel doesn’t have a checkout time, which meant we were able to lounge a bit extra without feeling rushed to leave. Checkout was a breeze on Monday morning. I grabbed a coffee and a croissant from Altcetera Café before heading in to work.
If you’re booking a trip to Ottawa or want to enjoy a staycation downtown, I highly recommend Alt Hotel Ottawa. It’s an eco-conscious, contemporary and comfortable hotel that caters to active city visitors. It’s in a prime location, steps away from Parliament Hill, the ByWard Market and Rideau Centre, galleries, museums and more.
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With love & gratitude,
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