The iconic Fort Garry Hotel in Winnipeg Canada is one of those old, established hotels that take you back in time, something the English do well. If you didn’t know you were in Canada, you might think that you were somewhere in the UK rather than just over the U.S. border. The historic property is nearly 100 years old and it continues to set a standard in the city center for grandeur, elegance and a whole lotta pampering with its attached spa on the top floor.
I tried three different rooms while I was there since I stayed there before I headed north on another Canadian adventure and upon my return.
The first room I stayed in was attached to a suite that would be perfect for business – entertaining clients and having meetings. While it would also work as a suite for a family, the leather couches and deep mahogany wood tones seemed like a better option for a business upgrade. You can get an idea of their rooms here: Winnipeg hotel rooms and suites.
When I checked in, they also offered me an option of a firmer mattress option or a softer feather mattress – I tried both so I could experience the difference. I slept soundly on both occasions however this girl prefers sinking into fluffier feathers, so at the end of the day, ‘feather’ is my choice.
The second room was a standard size room with a king bed and very feminine – personally I loved the Victorian blue wallpaper with the quaint decadent trim and the warm blue/gray undertones in the carpet. For the most part, the bathrooms are similar although they vary in size and some have a soaking tub, which I lucked out on in my third room.
Having a soaking tub after hanging out in wet, damp Churchill couldn’t have been perfect timing. I ordered complimentary tea, which always came promptly btw (its a very unique and fabulous service the hotel offers – free tea anytime of day or night and they always throw in a cookie) and soaked in that tub for an hour. (it may not seem like a long time for bath lovers, but for me to sit still in one place for a full hour is pretty rare).
They tout a fully equipped fitness center, which features an indoor pool, whirlpool, steam room, and jogging track and nearby is their spa: TEN Spa, which is apparently the only spa in Winnipeg offering a luxurious full complement of therapeutic and rejuvenating facial and body care treatments. They also offer a variety of yoga classes as well as the Turkish traditional Hamam treatment, which I tried as well. See my write-up on it here.
While I was there, I observed three wedding parties in the hotel lobby – it is a popular hotel for social functions, conferences and weddings and late August was certainly the time of year for the latter.
Just off the lobby area, there’s The notorious Palm Room, which has a high ceiling as though it were a smaller version of the Legislative Building’s rotunda. It has a decadent circular design with gold trimming and a hanging chandelier that protrudes down into a set of tables with soft chairs and dark woods. One evening, I listed to a small jazz trio performing in the Palm Room, which seemed to attract small and large groups coming for a ‘night out,’ which suggests that they get locals and visitors alike for evening entertainment, as well as their renowned Sunday brunches, which have an intense spread of cold and hot options.
My only quirk was that they didn’t have complimentary toothpaste at the front desk, which I had never come across. It’s rare that I run out but if you do, those kinds of amenities can be a godsend for the tired traveler. That said, its such a minor thing compared to the level of service, the food, the architecture, the quality of the rooms, the complimentary tea, the incredible spa and the amazing wife/husband team owners. (I had the opportunity to sit down for tea with half the team before I left, which I’ll write about in more detail soon).
The best thing about the hotel? The service, hands down although the quality of the rooms is A+ too, no easy task given the age of the building, the amount it must cost to heat during a Canadian winter, and the intricate pieces they need to manage: events, conferences, meeting rooms, the gym, weddings, the spa, the restaurant, the lounge, etc.
Thumbs up from this savvy traveler and we definitely recommend it as a top notch place to stay in Winnipeg with a smile.
Disclosure: I was hosted by the Fort Garry and Tourism Winnipeg but my opinions express here are my own.