From the moment we were greeted by Zeke, we knew we'd found the right place to stay in Drumheller. His "Heartwood Inn" is precisely that - an inn. And Zeke, the owner, is likewise the innkeeper - in every sense of the word. This is his place - a fact he makes no bones about, which turns out is a wonderful thing. He loves his Inn, its history, all its features, but most of all, he loves his guests - especially those that show even a modicum of interest in The Heartwood. We did, and as soon as he sensed we were "on board", the Inn took on the cast of a magical oasis.
Amid stories of the Inn's chequered past (including ghosts, convents and brothels!) Zeke showed us "The Dormer" - his last remaining room on a busy Saturday night. He rather apologetically referred to it as his most “basic” room, a characterization that left us quizzical given how lovely it was. It's a cozy, two-level affair with a smallish sleeping area just off the doorway, and a large, I daresay opulent bathroom a couple of steps up. There's no shower, but the tub is large and deep. I'm not a bath-guy because at 6'3", I really need the stand-up room of a shower. In this tub, I had absolutely no problems. The décor is what I’d characterize as “country chic” – pretty earthenware, tasteful wall decorations and paintings, and dense, colourful curtains. Antique furnishings cap off the look with a large, lovely wooden dresser being most notable.
The bed (a queensize) was very comfortable. Covers were not excessive and pillows were soft and welcoming. There were lots of white towels available for us to use, alongside two thick white bathrobes. Everything was immaculately clean and well-kept. The Inn also has a day spa just off The Dormer. The faint smell of essential oils emanating from the spa’s rooms was refreshing and totally unobtrusive. I can’t stand air-fresheners as they give me headaches almost immediately – these odours, as mentioned, were pleasant.
The room was equipped with a small air-conditioner that we made good use of given the 27-degree weather. In fact, the staff (I believe it was Zeke’s wife, actually) pre-cooled the room for us before we “moved in”. There’s also a medium-sized tv mounted high up on the wall in the bedroom – perfect for pre-slumber viewing. Most channels were available through the cable box.
After a very quiet, pleasant night, we awoke rested though not refreshed (we could have easily slept a few more hours in our comfy bed). Once we’d packed up, we opened the door and were greeted by the delicious smell of Zeke’s legendary French Toast wafting up the stairs from the Inn’s dining room below. After packing our gear back into the car, we headed into the bright, communal dining room. It’s very old-world inn-style – long tables, tall chairs, clean porcelain and glassware. Zeke himself served us coffee and OJ immediately. My wife ordered green-tea, but received a peach-tea instead. Ordinarily this would have elicited some protest, but frankly the tea was delicious, so this oversight was put down to fortuitous happenstance – no complaint necessary. The toast itself (2 slices) was thick, blueberry filled, perfectly cooked and garnished with whipped cream, blueberries, pineapple and watermelon. The maple syrup (real!) was the perfect complement and we both gladly scarfed down every bite as did the two other couples with whom we shared the dining room. The great thing about inn-style accommodations is how they soft-force interaction with people – you can’t sit at a table with others and ignore them. In no time we were engaged in happy discourse with our tablemates. Zeke, as innkeeper par excellence, joined in.
At that point, it was time to check out – total tally came in at under $150 for the night – breakfast for two and all taxes included. Given the rates at the larger chain places (min. $150+) and even the basic HooDoo motel ($110), we felt this was very, very reasonable. When you factor in the ambiance, cleanliness and care with which we were greeted, treated and sent off, it becomes downright cheap.
For those looking for a flop for the night, the Waldorf Hotel is just down the way. But if you actually consider the places you stay/sleep as being integral to your travelling experience, you simply can’t go wrong at the Heartwood. Indeed, we’re headed back in a week with our kids for another helping of the Inn’s ambiance, as well as “Alberta’s best French Toast”!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Welcome to the Heartwood Inn and Spa, Drumheller, the heart of the Canadian Badlands; home to the Royal Tyrrell - the finest dinosaur/fossil museum in Canada. Our rooms (some kid and pet-friendly) are luxuriously appointed and all have private en-suite bathrooms. For a romantic getaway imagine double-sized jetted tub, bubble bath, fireplace, chocolates and champagne. The Heartwood has two guest houses for families or groups: the Chancel with three beds, full kitchen, big back yard and bathroom with jetted tub. Our completely equipped Vacation Bungalow (located just across the street from the hotel), has a large yard, off-street parking, firepit and barbeque. Make the Heartwood Inn and Spa your choice for those special occasions - small weddings, anniversary parties, corporate retreats, family reunions, Spa Getaways and more... ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Heartwood Inn And Spa Drumheller, Alberta