Calgary - TRAVEL & LEISURE
July 27th, 2011
An ode to a favourite summertime activity, kicking back and relaxing by the pool.
Q ueen E.’s sunny outdoor pool is open again for business,
U nbeknownst to many who thought that, as
E dmonton’s original al fresco pond (c. 1922!), it was shut down for good.
E ffluent from pool to deck, rebuilt in grassy Kinsmen Park, the
N ew, multi-million dollar facility is
E. quipped with a sun deck, splash park and popsicle bar, so
P repare yourself with tanning oil, your kidlets and a picnic;
O fficially, the big Pool Party is on August 13th,
O nly we see no reason why you should
L ive without the sun, fun and agua until then.
Queen E. Pool, Kinsmen Park, 9100 Walterdale Hill, Edmonton, 780-442-5261, www.queenepool.com
July 22nd, 2011
It’s only a few hours from YYC to PDX and yet the City of Roses feels like a world away. Herewith, our picks for Portland.
In the heart of the trendy Pearl District, the Ace Hotel is right by the easy-to-get-lost-in Powell’s Books.
Is it a music label or a made-in-Portland emporium? It’s both! Tender Loving Empire showcases the most stylish designs and newest tunes by Portland’s own.
Walk! Downtown PDX is perfectly laid out for strolling from food carts to riverside parks to boutiques and then back to more food carts.
Try the ever-changing tasting menu at Toro Bravo. Because you can’t eat every meal on wheels.
Happy Hour is elevated to an art in Portland so take the elevator to the rooftop and grab a seat with a view at Departure. —Kelsey Dundon
July 13th, 2011
Enter the Matrix, Edmonton’s bright and bold boutique hotel adjacent to Jasper Avenue.
Chic, urban and stylish, this spot has 184 rooms, a stunning designer lobby and easy access to all the theatre, dining and downtown nightlife you want. (Psst: If you’ve got a Travel Alberta card, get 30 per cent off your booking.)
And while you’re there…
Visit the Onyx Suite, a $2,000 a night luxury pad featuring a giant terrace with a built-in BBQ and fireplace.
Try the MZ Lounge for a delightful continental breakfast before evening wine and cheese tastings.
Check out the Wildflower Grill, a destination world-fusion, and thus, authentically Canadian cuisine restaurant situated beneath the hotel for city dwellers and hotel guests alike. Owned separately, but partnered with pride.
If the Matrix is all fabricated like its sci-fi name suggests, ignorance is bliss. —Caroline Gault
Matrix Hotel, 10640-100 Ave., Edmonton, 780-429-2861, www.matrixedmonton.com
June 23rd, 2011
Our last couch-surfing visit to the Big Smoke had us vowing never to sleep on a futon again.
Instead, we'll check in to Hotel Ocho, a new 12-room gem in prime downtown location. The rooms are lofty, spacious and bright and designed with hip, young travellers in mind. Ask for a third floor suite with views of the Spadina streetcar and the backstreets of Chinatown. Manager Kenneth McElheran and his team are so laid-back and friendly you almost feel like a guest in someone’s home.
Only you won't wake up with a kinked neck. —AT
Hotel Ocho, 195 Spadina Ave., Toronto, 416-593-0885, www.hotelocho.com
June 9th, 2011
The huge swath of shoreline at the Pacific Sands Beach Resort means all their villas have this perfect waterfront view and excellent surf. The already beautiful accommodations with three levels, three bathrooms, massive soaker tubs and 18 foot ceilings are getting further upgrades: ask for #24, the first one to be finished. For families, the resort has great babysitters, complimentary beach toys and organized kids activities on weekends. Pacific Sands Beach Resort, 1421 Pacific Rim Hwy., Tofino, 250-725-3322, www.pacificsands.com
If you are staying at the Sands, walk five minutes down the beach to the Long Beach Lodge for breakfast: their famous bite-sized cinnamon buns and crowd-pleaser eggs benny in the ocean-view Great Room is not to be missed, nor are their beachside summer crab bakes. Insider tip: the chef is also a surf instructor who teaches at the Lodge’s own surf school. Check out the plans for the future surf academy opening in April 2012. Long Beach Lodge Resort, 1441 Pacific Rim Hwy., Tofino, 877-844-7872, www.longbeachlodgeresort.com
The new Spotted Bear Bistro in the Tofino town centre is getting rave reviews: on our visit, spot prawn chowder was on the brunch menu and the tiny bagels from the new Tofino Bagel Company were almost too cute to eat. Almost. 120 Fourth St., Tofino, 250-725-2215, www.spottedbearbistro.com
Grab-and-go gourmet or catering from the brand new Red Can Gourmet is the way to go—Chef Tim is the man who made the Clayoquot Wilderness Resort, the site of Ryan Reynold’s wedding, famous for its food. Now that Ryan’s single again, Tofino wedding anyone? Red Can Gourmet, 700 Industrial Wy., Tofino, 250-725-2525.
The expanded Ancient Cedars Spa at the Wickaninnish Inn has an aromatherapy massage with your name on it. Post spa, treat yourself to dessert in The Pointe restaurant (try the cedar ice cream) and watch for neighbour Sarah McLachlan on a beach walk.
Get your wale watching for free on BC Ferries.
May 26th, 2011
Sometimes, a little girl power is all you need to get you going.
The Running Room’s For Women Only training programs are weekly meet-ups where no boys are allowed.
The 10-week evening program includes a weekly 30-minute seminar, followed by a group run of varying lengths and speeds. You’ll learn everything you’ve every wanted to know (and maybe not) about running including topics such as where to start, common errors and injuries, technique, nutrition and choosing the right equipment.
That marathon doesn’t look so impossible anymore. Ok, maybe a half.
For Women Only training program, $69.99, next one begins June 3 at the Running Room, Eau Claire Market store. For complete schedule, go here.
May 19th, 2011
You’ve got the cycling around town in style down, but peddling while you’re packing the work bag, gym bag and a baguette and wine of course, is another story.
It’s time to take the load off with a nifty, and sturdy rear basket from Axiom.
Our pick is the wicker Covered Pannier Bagsket (get it?) that is easy to put-on, and take-off your bike and has a hinged lid to keep all things secure and in place. It also comes with a shoulder strap that can be attached and used to carry your belongings, including picnic goodies, to and from the bike.
$129.99 at Ridley’s Cycle, 223 10th St. NW, Calgary, 403-283-1421, www.ridleys.com
May 11th, 2011
Forget the Orange County stereotype of bottle blondes and plastic surgery; Laguna Beach is the best of California cool. Herewith, our favourite boho beach town spots.
The Surf and Sand Resort defines laid-back luxury. With aqua-inspired decor, all of the spacious rooms have balconies with a spectacular ocean view (our bellboy even pointed out a dolphin on the horizon). After watching the sunset on the beach, head to the pool deck for cocktail hour in a cabana. Do make dinner reservations at Splashes Restaurant and be sure to request a table on the patio–the best spot to nosh on the fresh California fare, like Dungeness crab and apple salad. From $405, www.surfandsandresort.com
Stocked with hard-to-find brands like Rodebjer, Suno and Vena Cava, 11th Moon's mix of ultra-stylish contemporary pieces will have you longing for one of each. But here's a fashionable silver lining: its online shop ships to Canada, so you can get your boho-chic fix any time you like. 1259 S. Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, http://11thmoon.com
Curated to perfection, Laguna Supply carries a great selection of Isabel Marant (and her husband Jerome Dreyfuss' satchels), along with other big names Elizabeth and James, Rag & Bone and Trovata. This summer look for plenty of military pieces, stripes and pops of colour. 210 Beach St., Laguna Beach, 949-497-8850.
One look at the windows of Sound Spectrum record shop and it's clear reggae reigns supreme. A Laguna Beach fixture since 1967, owner Jim Otto has his own Sunday afternoon radio show and Sound Spectrum's sales chart is published weekly in The Laguna Independent. Who knew listening stations and flipping through vinyl could make us feel so young. 1264 S. Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, www.soundspectrumlaguna.com/
April 7th, 2011
Overcast, rainy days call for bundling up with you honey and walking along the beach hand-in-hand. If you’re on the search for a romantic getaway, get to Tofino and brave the end of storm-watching season up close, or create your own action (wink, wink) behind closed doors.
Middle Beach Lodge’s original property, Lodge at the Beach, is also known as the “adult-only hide-a-way.” The cosy rooms have no distractions like TVs or phones, but when you do want to emerge back into the (somewhat) real world, the plush couches and oversized chairs around a large fireplace in a common great room await. Not to be missed: fresh-baked cookies are served nightly at 8 p.m. Rooms from $99, Middle Beach Lodge, 400 MacKenzie Beach Rd., Tofino, 250-725-2900, www.middlebeach.com
Whether you need the aphrodisiac or not, start your candlelit meal at Shelter with fresh shucked Vancouver Island oysters ($3 each). Afterward, recreate the classic pet-friendly big-screen romance scene with the delectable smoked salmon and manila clam linguine ($24). Shelter, 601 Campbell St., Tofino, 250-723-3353, www.shelterrestaurant.com
A couple’s massage like no other, the Cedar Sanctuary at the Ancient Cedars Spa is a quaint hut just steps from the spa that includes a fireplace and French doors that open onto the beach for the ultimate romantic R&R. Couple’s massage from $300. Ancient Cedars Spa at The Wickaninnish Inn, 500 Osprey Lane at Chesterman, Tofino, 250-725-3100, www.wickinn.com
March 31st, 2011
True to its name, it's a mix of a laid-back feel with an upscale setting, focusing on fun and fabulous brews. We loved the his-and-hers Croque Monsieur (mustard, gruyère and ciabata, $12.50) and the Croque Madame (gruyère and a fried egg $13.75). The Nicoise salad with Albacore tuna confit ($16) is a lunch favourite and the foie gras potato skins with herbs, shaved gruyère, lardons and black truffle essence ($15.50) are a must-have.
It might be time to move to the neighbourhood. —MG
Brasserie Kensington, 100, 1131 Kensington Rd. NW, Calgary, 403-457-4148, www.brasseriekensington.com