You are the only person that I know that has an "Insiders" advantage on Calgary. So maybe you could help some of us an myself with some basic information for a trip in December. Having a long desire to visit your area, here goes:
Would one be better to stay in Calgary and do "Day trips" to Lake Louis and Banff?
If one stays in Calgary which hotel, CY, Marriott, or RI?
Is there enough to do for one week, Saturday to Saturday?
How long does it take to take the train to Vancouver? Have you done this before? Is it worth it?
Any other advice or suggestions?
If anyone else has comments or information, please share with all of us!
December. That's when it'll be more expensive due to ski season probably as far as the mountains are concerned.
Heritage park will be closed, so you won't be able to see the "Old West" things or Fort Calgary or a lot of other attractions.
The Marriott Calgary Downtown is well located in the core of the central business district.
It is right across the street from the Calgary tower (which has a restaurant and great view), has one of the best Marriott burgers around, and is within walking distance of just about everywhere downtown including office buildings, convention center, light rail train stations, etc. It is the only full service Marriott in the city.
The Courtyard Inn and Residence Inn are relatively new properties just south of the Airport in the Northeast of the city. If you have a car, they are well located with respect to roads and freeway access, they have free parking, and I have referred people to both hotels, they've been happy with it.
In the winter, you might wish to take in a hockey game, go shopping, see Christmas lights, go skiing (yes you can do that inside the city - Calgary Olympic Park), or I'm not sure what else.
Summer is definitely a better time to go walking around (there are a lot of parks). There are a lot of good restaurants, winter or summer.
Winter I'd pick a couple of days, summer, might be better to have a week.
In Drumheller, where you could take a day trip, is the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology.
There are a few things in the entire province to see.
As far as Banff/Lake Louise, it is far better to stay in one of those places rather than drive each time, it is at least an hour and a half each way.
In Canada, the "summer season" is from the May long weekend until Labour day. That's when the attractions are all open (except skiing), national park facilities (Banff, Jasper, Lake Louise) etc are open and such. Outside of that, there are things to do but sometimes not as much.
In Banff, which is not well represented by Marriott, there are quite a few places to see. There are also a lot of hotels in Canmore (which used to sport a Residence Inn, but they left). The mountain ambiance is nice. When you go to Banff, go up the Sulphur Mountain Gondola lift. There are also many other things to see, but some of them are closed in December.
The train - privately owned, expensive, and it is a two day trip. You stop overnight in Kamloops. I took that trip when I was a kid and it was on Via rail, before this Rocky Mountaineer, but the scenery was great. Although I probably wouldn't pay for a Rocky Mountaineer trip, I expect most people would find it worthwhile, especially if they are new to the area. However, there's a highway that goes most of this same route also. It can be a long drive.
I shall have to think about what other information might be appropriate to share.- it is a nice, safe and comfortable place to live. From what I can think of, there's a lot more to do for tourists in the summer, but there is a mystique to the winter as well.
Without any questions, I think it’s one the most beautiful places in the Northern America that’s for sure.
Devise a trip and try to stay and the Fairmount Hotels http://www.fairmont.com/ while in Canada or in the Canadian Rockies, they have great properties in the region. In Calgary we stayed at the Marriott, its nice business hotel, but it’s not the London or Paris properties you write about.
For the Train see
Thanks for all of your information!
I would probably stay at the RI and enjoy the extra space in the room.
As mentioned to techie, December is going to be the wrong time to visit the area. Will have to move it up a few months!