A few months ago, I had the pleasure of going to Calgary to attend the Prince of Travel Miles & Pints event. While in the city, I needed a place to stay, and happened to have a handy-dandy Free Night Award to burn, courtesy of my Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card.
I chose the Delta Calgary Downtown for its central location, lounge access, and because I feel this particular brand tends to have newer furniture and amenities.
Booking was easy and completed through the Marriott app. While cash prices hovered around the $250 (CAD) mark, I opted to use a Free Night Award worth 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy points, which saved me a tidy sum of cash. I felt this provided decent value, as the anual fee of the Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card is $120 (CAD), or about half the room rate in this case.
I also applied a Suite Night Award to my booking, which I’d earned by gaining Marriott Titanium status, in an effort to score a room upgrade.
Fortunately for me, my request cleared a week ahead of check-in, and I was granted an upgrade to a Junior Suite. It’s always nice when this happens, as you can forget about trying your luck with “suite-talking“.
Calgary, much like Alberta as a whole, has a plethora of Marriott-branded hotels, so it’s important to make sure you know which one you’re looking for when booking on the app. I almost selected lodgings far to the south of the city before realizing my mistake and choosing a hotel in the proper locale.
If you’re booking a Marriott hotel, consider making your booking through the Prince of Travel affiliate link, which helps to support the website.
Click here to book Marriott hotels.
Because I was going to be hanging out in the core of Calgary, I decided to choose a hotel which would be either a quick walk or Uber from any social venues. Located right next to Chinatown, and a 15-minute walk from many bars and restaurants, the Delta Calgary Downtown seemed like a natural choice.
As the name might suggest, the Delta Calgary Downtown is situated right in the heart of the city. You won’t be far from many of the area’s restaurants and bars, should you be out for a night on the town.
The Bow River runs through Calgary, and you can head for a stroll along the riverbank in just a few minutes from the hotel.
The Scotiabank Saddlehome, which is host to sporting events and concerts, is around 10 minutes from the hotel by car, or a brisk 20 minutes by foot.
To get to or from the airport, it takes around 20 minutes without traffic, or longer during rush hour. Public transportation is available, and takes around 45 minutes.
Like so many Edmontonians making their way to Calgary, I opted to drive. Fortunately for me, my arrival was made easier because mobile check-in was available the morning I departed.
When I arrived, I opted to park in the lot underneath the hotel which was clean and thankfully not full. I was also happy to learn that parking for one vehicle is complimentary, extra cars thereafter are only a small fee of $10 (CAD) a night, which isn’t too shabby for the downtown of a major city.
In many hotels, parking often costs upwards of $30 (CAD) per night, so I was very pleased with the inclusion of parking at the Delta Calgary Downtown.
After parking my car, I then made my way to the lobby, which had the white stone with black leather modern aesthetic Deltas are known for.
After dropping my stuff in the room with my mobile key, I returned to the front desk in order to complete check-in and get physical keys. The front desk area was a little crowded due to some ongoing maintenance work, but the staff helped me in a timely fashion.
I was offered my choice of 1,000 Bonvoy points or a $10 (USD) food and beverage credit, as per Marriott’s guarantee for Titanium members. I went for the points this time, as any eating and drinking is best done with other Miles & Points enthusiasts.
I was pleased to see an excellent view of downtown Calgary from where the elevator dropped me off on the 19th floor. The halls were carpeted, which is nice because it helps dampen the noise of heavy footsteps in public areas.
Upon entering the room, I was greeted with a pleasant white and beige colour scheme with a bit of modern chic. The entryway had a little mantle stocked with complimentary bottled water, and there was a closet with lots of clothing storage, as well.
The room was quite spacious, an advantage of everything in the Prairies, and the furniture didn’t look worn or overused.
The sofa folds out, which makes it an ideal place for children who wish to watch TV directly across from it. The default channel appeared to be playing a Marriott Bonvoy commercial of some kind on loop.
Unlike some newer properties, though, you can’t use the room’s TV to stream services like Netflix or YouTube from your phone.
Overall, the living room area was enormous, and had lots of surface space to store electronics or documents, as well as ample room for working or dining.
The bedroom was probably the same size as the living room, and also featured its own flat-screen TV, desk, and mantle. There was also abstract art present above the bed.
To me, the art looks a little bit like oil and gas rigs, but then again maybe I’ve just lived in the province too long to contemplate being proud of anything else.
The bathroom was also huge and had a generously sized walk-in shower. It came stocked with plenty of amenities, such as miniature soap and mouthwash.
It’s always nice to see these little extras, though supplies like body wash and shampoos were provided via dispenser, presumably for reasons of both eco-friendliness and cost.
Overall, the room slightly exceeded my expectations – it was large and up to date, but not particularly exciting. Then again, not every property needs to provide a wow factor, when the intended purpose of a stay being a nice place to lay your head.
In this sense, the Delta Calgary Downtown did just that.
The lounge is located near the top of the hotel, and requires a special keycard in order to enter. Elite members have 24-hour access and are able to take any snacks that strike their fancy at any time of the day, and a hot breakfast is served daily from 7–10am.
I checked out the lounge twice during my stay: once before the event, and then again the morning after for breakfast.
The grab-and-go snacks were uninspiring. While they weren’t of poor quality, for the cash price of the hotel, one might hope for something a little better than packaged pastries and Lays potato chips.
When I returned for breakfast the next morning, the food choices were better; however, I found them to be worse than what you can usually find even at smaller brand hotels, such as roadside Best Westerns or Comfort Inns.
The breakfast sandwiches obviously came out of some kind of package, and the cereals offered were the same kind that had sat there the previous night with the potato chips. There were also pastries, though again they seemed to be laden with the sugar and preservatives.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Froot Loops and the waffles you griddle for yourself out of mysterious yellow batter that are available at all the aforementioned cheaper properties.
It’s just that the Delta Calgary Downtown’s Club Lounge breakfast is of inferior quality to such establishments, and that needs to be noted in comparison to the hotel’s regular asking price. The hot food, in particular, consisted of oatmeal and steamed eggs, which were bland and not appetizing whatsoever.
Also, there were also no extensions to the lounge’s hot breakfast hours during the weekend. While this is great for early birds, it doesn’t make for a leisurely Sunday brunch.
The Delta Calgary Downtown, like many hotels of its vintage, boasts a functioning pool. It also has a fitness centre, including a yoga room that simply contains more exercise equipment.
The fitness centre’s setup is quite spacious, albeit a bit bare-bones as it consists mostly of cardio equipment.
The pool has no lifeguard on duty but seemed relatively busy when I visited, and is a nice feature for families.
Interestingly, there is a business centre and public computer area right next to the front desk’s grab-and-go shop, so if your laptop is out of juice you can catch up on your emails in the lobby.
Lastly, you’ll find a restaurant, The Shoe & Canoe Public House, on the ground floor. I was informed that it’s only open for breakfast and supper, but I dined at neither because it looked like a generic contemporary casual restaurant.
There’s nothing wrong with that, but with Chinatown right next to the Delta Calgary Downtown, there are plenty of other delicious options nearby.
Overall, my experience at the Delta Calgary Downtown was pleasant. I found the room to be more than adequate, and bigger than any of my needs could foresee.
The hotel’s location was good, and allowed me to have a memorable evening with Prince of Travel’s members and teammates at the nearby event.
On the other hand, I can’t imagine I’d have been satisfied with some of the features of the venue if I had paid full rack rate. The $250+ (CAD) price tag for a frankly lame hot breakfast and casual snacks doesn’t seem like an ideal value, especially when other Marriott properties in the same town can offer elite members, or even visitors, superior complimentary dining experiences.
That being said, there’s nothing really wrong with the Delta Calgary Downtown, and I’m sure it can fit your leisure or business needs.