The Sandman Calgary West seems to have poured a lot of money into its lobby, which looks like a cross between a boutique hotel and a nightclub. If only they'd paid as much attention to the rooms.
My room, on the second floor overlooking the parking lot, stank. Every time I walked in, a wave of stale smoke and old-hotel smell hit me smack in the face. The carpet looked ancient and filthy, and there was a mysterious reddish stain near the door. (I really wished I'd brought slippers.) For the first two or three nights of my six-night stay in late October, the room was so overheated, I had to run the air conditioner for an hour or two. (There was a thermostat in the room, but it didn't actually give you the ability to control the temperature.)
The layout of the room was weird and inconvenient - typical shoebox style, but with a dingy sitting room in the front, bathroom in the middle, and a bedroom at the back that was so small, there was no room for my suitcase. The furniture was old, ugly and scuffed, with 1990s-vintage 4:3 TVs in the sitting room and bedroom. And the lights were dim and depressing - enough to cause seasonal affective disorder in anyone spending more than a few hours in the room.
The bathroom was newer and mercifully clean, but what's with the trendy but inconvenient sink sitting on top of the counter, with no stopper and a tap that splattered water everywhere every time I opened it more than a sliver?
OK, enough about the depressing room. Breakfast? There's a Denny's in the building. Slow service (at breakfast! we're not on flippin' vacation!) and unhealthy, bland and greasy food. At dinnertime there is something called Bar One, branded as an "Urban Lounge" but really more like a suburban sports bar, with... yup, unhealthy, bland and greasy food.
And the "business centre"? When I needed to use it, the one computer was down. At least the manager was kind enough to let me print out my documents in his office.
Positives? The staff were friendly. There was a bowl of complimentary apples in the lobby. There were no rodents or other vermin. And, um...
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located across the world-class Canada Olympic Park, along the Trans-Canada Highway, and only a short drive from downtown Calgary, Sandman Hotel Calgary West is the perfect choice whether travelling on business or pleasure. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Sandman Hotel And Suites Calgary West
- Sandman Hotel Calgary West