Interrupting road trip

We will never NOT interrupt a road trip again! Photo by Jill Footz

“Mommy, I LOVE CALGARY! I wish we could live here!” my four-and-a-half-year-old daughter exclaimed while staring out at the City’s core from the 24th floor of the gorgeous Residence Inn by Marriott Calgary Downtown/Beltline District.

Interrupting road trip

The view from the 22nd floor of the Residence Inn by Marriott Calgary Downtown/Beltline. Photo by Jill Footz

Don’t get me wrong – I’ve always liked Calgary just as much as the next person – I just didn’t expect such an exuberant profession of adoration mere moments after checking in to a hotel. But the truth is that this stay has altered the course of our family travel plans for years to come. Never again will we drive to our ultimate destination in one fell swoop – from here on in, interrupting a road trip will always be part of the plan.

Before our kids arrived on the scene, my husband and I would always hit the road and drive to our destination with little more than the odd bathroom break. Having twins hijacked our plans for a while, but once we started road tripping again, we’d be sure to always build playground stops into the schedule to at least keep the munchkins moving.

Interrupting road trip

Rooms are spacious, clean and modern. Photo by Jill Footz

This past summer, our travels took us into BC – a distance that could’ve been covered in a single day – but we also wanted to surprise the girls with a visit to Calaway Park along the way. We debated our options, but the idea of getting up at an ungodly hour to have the whole crew out the door in order to arrive in time for opening held no appeal to us.

Interrupting road trip

A hotel with a full kitchen? Yes, please! Photo by Jill Footz

We opted to make our way leisurely to Calgary the day before and booked a room for a single night. And just like that, a simple plan borne out of convenience turned into the most indulgent part of our vacation!

Interrupting road trip

They wanted to move in! Photo by Jill Footz

For starters, the rooms at the Residence Inn by Marriott are spacious, modern and gorgeous. My daughter wasn’t kidding when she suggested living there – there was ample space for our family of four. An apartment-sized fridge was exactly what we needed to store the cooler full of food we brought for our week in BC. We loved the easy access to the restaurants and parks in downtown Calgary, as well as to Calaway park in the morning – and most of all we loved the plush, luxurious beds.

Interrupting road trip

The hotel gym of my dreams! Photo by Jill Footz

I woke early the next morning and visited the hotel gym that will forever ruin me for hotel gyms. It is spread out over 2 levels, with equipment and floor space that would make most commercial fitness centres jealous.

Interrupting road trip

I overheard someone describe this as the best breakfast in Calgary. I have to agree! Photo by Jill Footz

After my workout and a shower, we encountered the piece de resistance – the Residence Inn by Marriott buffet breakfast. Included with our stay, it’s worth visiting just for this impressive spread. So many delicious hot and cold choices that you could stay a week and not sample everything – topped off with piping hot Starbucks coffee.

Interrupting road trip

But first, coffee! Photo by Jill Footz

At the end of our meal, I topped up my travel mug with coffee for the drive, but I barely touched it, as we arrived at Calaway Park inside 15 minutes. As my daughters buzzed with the excitement over a stay in a fabulous hotel and the anticipation of the fun to come, I vowed to never NOT interrupt a road trip again!

Interrupting road trip

This is the face of a happy road-tripper! Photo by Jill Footz


Why You Want to Break Up a Road Trip

  • Sometimes the journey is the destination
  • Arrive refreshed rather than rushed
  • Surprise! That place you always bypass might be a treasure trove of fun!
  • Cut down on the vacation preparation stress
  • Extend your planned vacation

The writer was a guest of the Residence Inn by Marriott Calgary Downtown/Beltline District. Her opinions are her own and Marriott did not review or edit this story.