I just turned 50 and my husband wanted to give me a special present. We couldn't afford to "go away" on a holiday, but he booked us into the "Mac" for the weekend to celebrate in hopes that it would still make it a special birthday (we live in Edmonton). I can honestly say that I am glad he didn't make plans for us to "go away" as I will never forget my weekend at the Fairmont Hotel Macdonald (the Macdonald hotel or the "Mac" to us old Edmontonians).
First I must say that, living in Edmonton for my whole life...the Mac has been a permanent fixture in my life and is my main "landmark" downtown...I never dreamed that I would actually get to stay there some day. It represents the best architecture, style and class that I think Edmonton has to offer!
When we pulled up in our cab, a bellman was immediately there to help with our bags. When we walked into the hotel I was overwhelmed by its beauty and sense of "history".
When checking in we mentioned to Calan (who it turned out was the concierge and just helping at the desk) that this was for my birthday and our first time there. This extremely friendly, polite, personable and professional young man smiled and clicked away on his computer and said "Happy Birthday" and upgraded our room to a higher floor and a room with a view of the river valley!! What a wonderful surprise and gift! Thank you Calan.
We went to our room....if you are looking for a modern, sleek hotel room...then don't come here. But if you are looking for a beautiful, opulent, historic room that makes you just want to stay forever then get here as fast as you can.
I've seen Edmonton my whole life...but seeing the river valley from a window in the Mac is a whole different experience...I kept thinking how lucky I was to live in such a beautiful city...my sense of pride in my city went way up!
The room was just beautiful, the draperies and bedding were exquisite! And the two arm chairs were just a pleasure to sink into.
The bed was extremely comfortable as were the pillows. We loved the duvet...light weight but nice and warm on a cold March weekend.
We had asked to have the bar fridge emptied, as we didn't need what was in it but need the room for some medication. The original room my hubby booked already had that done, but because we had changed rooms it wasn't of course emptied. A wonderful young lady came to the room, not 15 minutes after we arrived and emptied the fridge for us.
Soon after we settled in, there was a knock on the door and a room service man was there with a plate of assorted chocolates and "Happy Birthday" scrolled on the plate in chocolate...what an unexpected treat and I believe we have Calan to thank for this also.
We went and explored the hotel...sneaking a peek into the ballroom (where it was set up for an event)...breathtaking!! We went into the Wedgwood room and I don't even know how to describe it...so intricate, sophisticated, classic....words fail!
We then went to the Confederation room for a drink and dinner. The food was good but the service was excellent...just the right amount of attention without feeling like the waitress was "hanging" on you. I wish I could remember her name...she was so friendly and attentive.
Calan dropped by our table, bringing us some historic information on the hotel, as we had mentioned at check in that we loved history. He suggested that, if we were interested we stop by the concierge desk the next day and see him.
We did just that and were amazed to find that he was willing to take us up to the "8th floor" (very exclusive suites there) and give us a personal tour of some of the suites! They were breath taking...all of the ones we saw...I never even imagined that Edmonton (or maybe anywhere in North America) would have these kinds of suites...the class, elegance and history of these rooms is amazing!! Thank you again to Calan...this made the weekend so much more special to us!
We had dinner in the Harvest Room (Calan escorted us to the reception desk and introduced us to the maître d as the evenings V.I.P. guests...I blushed but I felt just like royalty!
We were lucky enough to be at the hotel during Edmonton's "Downtown Dining Week" so we ate from the special "Executive Menu" prepared for this event. All the food was excellent...but the braised short rib was maybe the best thing I have EVER eaten!! Thank you to the chef and all the kitchen staff...the meal was fantastic and we're coming back next year for dinner to see what you create!
Ivan was our waiter and he was so friendly and made us feel just like V.I.P.'s (although we saw him giving the same level of service to other tables...but I think he makes everyone he serves feel special). He did a great job of explaining the food when it came, making sure everything was alright and that we were enjoying our meal. The maître d stopped by twice to check on how we were enjoying everything and even cleared our dishes when he was there once...I loved that he didn't feel/act "above" doing that...you can tell that the staff are a real "team" and work together seamlessly. The "pace" of the meal was especially nice..not feeling "rushed" through dinner...having a chance to enjoy the meal and the ambiance of the beautiful dining room.
(When we were getting ready for supper, I was putting on my makeup in the bathroom. I accidentally knocked over my bottle of foundation...it broke on the tiles and it made a huge mess...I mean REALLY bad...foundation all over the bathroom floor, the door, towels etc. We picked up the glass and tried to clean it up...but there was just no way to do it without cleaning supplies. We had a reservation for dinner and we had to leave the room or miss our reservation. I called housekeeping...very embarrassed and feeling very bad about such a mess. The lady who answered the phone was great, told me not to feel bad and made me feel a little better. By the time we got back from supper, housekeeping had been in the room, totally cleaned up the mess...and then had gone the "extra mile" and tidied up our room, replenished our shampoo, made our bed and turned it down for us! I can't thank them enough...I wish I knew who to thank, personally, for such hard, dedicated work...but to whoever it was I really appreciated it!!)
We went swimming in the pool and spent some time in the hot tub...both were really nice...clean and elegant. We looked at the gym...but didn't work out...but it is very well equipped (says my husband...he goes to the gym but I don't so I'll take his word for it).
The staff at the gift shop were very friendly and helpful. My only wish was that there was some souvenir that was reflective of the hotel itself (something with it's picture, information on it...not sure what...there were some postcards, but that's all I noticed like that).
Calan also gave us a late check out time so we could enjoy the hotel for a little longer.
When we checked out James helped us through the process and we extremely friendly, polite and professional.
The hotel costs more than others we have stayed in, in Edmonton, the food and drinks are more expensive...but it is totally worth it!!! This was not just a "weekend away" it was an "experience"....we left both feeling contented and like we had just come home from a much longer "holiday"...totally relaxed and refreshed.
Thank you to everyone at the hotel...the building is incredible but the staff make it an "experience to remember".
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Stately Downtown Hotel located 30 km from international airport. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Fairmont Hotel Edmonton
- Fairmont Edmonton
- Edmonton Fairmont
- Fairmont Hotel Macdonald Edmonton, Alberta