Hi friend! If you're planning a Staycation in Calgary feel free to use this as inspo! I had a girls weekend staycation in March 2022 and it was awesome! Some of my old high school buddies drove to Calgary and we wanted to hangout, relax and have some fun. Everywhere we went was 10/10 so I figured I should capture all this good stuff in writing and share it with you!
Friday night we checked into The Marriot Downtown (this is the one directly across from The Calgary Tower). We loved the location as it was walking distance to everything we wanted to access downtown.
We had great views and even though I was in my home town, being right downtown gave me an exciting vacation feel! The property was also very up-to-date and the rooms were clean and nice. They also have a bar/restaurant in the hotel (One18 Empire) and a Starbucks.
For supper we had a reservation at One18 Empire (the restaurant in The Marriott). It was super convenient as we just had to head downstairs. The restaurant is smaller but upscale and had a lively atmosphere. The menu had so many good things on it we couldn't decide and went with ordering a ton of appetizers for the whole table. This was def the right choice as all the dishes were so good and this way we could have some of each. We had mushroom toast, salt and pepper squid, charcuterie, fried brussels sprouts, sesame crusted tuna and more. Omg it was all so good. We were SO full.
Despite being way too full we headed out to 17th Ave for more drinks! We heard Element Café just launched a new cocktail menu so we decided to check it out. We got a round of their mojitos and they were excellent. I like a mojito that is a balance of sweet but is also refreshing. They did it right! The café is cute and had a very instagrammable couch with cute signage.
My friend Shannon used to live in Calgary and loves OEB, so we decided to hit up OEB downtown for breakfast. It's always super busy so do what we did and get on their online waitlist. By the time we arrived we only had to wait 5 minutes for a table. The food here was great! It makes sense why it's so popular. Like I mentioned it gets really busy on weekends so be prepared for a bit of a loud chaotic atmosphere though.
After breakfast we were ready for some relaxation and pampering. I had booked us pedicures at Victoria Park Nails because they were close to us downtown and have very reasonable prices. Note, it doesn't look the nicest from the outside but the inside is clean and the staff are always so friendly. I've been going there for years.
After our pedicures we needed a place to show off our cute toes and continue our relaxation session so we hit the pool! And hot tub of course. Unfortunately, the pool at the Marriot was temporarily closed but they had a deal with the Hyatt across the street so guests could use their facility. It was great! Their pool was way high up so we got sky high views and some much needed downtime (before we ramp up for the evening of course!).
What we did next won't make sense to most people and that's okay. Have you seen that TikTok trend where girls get together and make PowerPoint presentations on funny topics? "The Type of Dog my Friends Would Be" or "My ex's from Most to Least Traumatizing." That was what inspired us! It was really fun and hilarious and I highly recommend it as a way to have your own personal comedic therapy session. :D
For supper we wanted to go somewhere unique so we chose the Wednesday Room. If you didn't know, The Wednesday Room is "The Shining" themed! It has décor similar to the Overlook Hotel and cocktails inspired by the movie. Our meals here were absolutely delicious - I had the confit brisket and it was amazing, Highly recommend!
At first we tried to go to Major Tom Bar, because we wanted to see the cool views from the 40th floor, but they had a 2 hour wait, lol So instead, we decided to head back to One18 Empire because we really liked the cocktails and vibes. One18 Empire is known for its customizable smoked drinks. You select your smoke, bitters, sugar and bourbon to make the perfectly you drink combo. So neat! They also make it right in front of you at your table.
As our last stop we walked to Shoe & Canoe downtown (in the Delta hotel) for brunch. I was the one who picked this place specifically because I wanted their Nutella-stuffed french toast! It was soooo good. It came hot and melty and delicious. Honestly would go back just for that. Shoe & Canoe had a nice chill atmosphere which I liked, compared to OEB the day before which had been packed, personally greatly preferred the slow vibes here on a Sunday morning.
And that was our staycation! Honestly, I hadn't previously been sold on the whole staycation idea. I spend a lot of time out in Calgary already so I wasn't sure what would make this any different, but I was wrong! I think if you have a good group of friends you haven't seen in a while and plan some fun stuff that's not usually in your schedule (pool time, pedicures, new restaurants) it can really feel like a vacation.
*Note pics used here are stock images and not the actual location*