Perhaps the loveliest hotel in Downtown Edmonton is this relaxing 40-room residence in a former, you’ve guessed it, bank. It was built in 1911 and remains one of the older buildings in the city, though its service and efficiency are decidedly 21st century – this is a sleek space with a focus on neutral, quiet opulence. The hotel is split into the Contemporary Wing, with individually designed bedrooms in muted tones, and the Heritage Wing, where rooms are defined by tall ceilings, fireplaces and heritage decor – no prizes for guess where we’d prefer to stay. There’s an excellent on-site grill restaurant too.
Edmonton is a city that has never stood still. Not since the establishment of Fort Edmonton in 1795, not since the railroad arrived in 1885, and not in the intervening years where the ‘Gateway to the North’ has expanded to become the second largest city in Canada, with a quickly growing metropolitan population of more than one million. Its position as a hub for the oil and gas industry is part of the reason, but it also has flourishing art and culinary scenes, meaning it’s no longer just famous for its vast mall.
Accommodation in the city tends towards chain hotels and upmarket boutique hotels, and there’s an abundance of it, meaning prices tend to be very good. And with a growing number of unusual offerings – from beds in converted banks and hotels offering daily wine-tasting to an arctic igloo or a party suite – you should be able to find something beyond the norm… Here are our favourites.