It took a wagon load of optimism to plan a new boutique hotel in downtown Calgary when 4th Avenue was as deserted as the main street of a spaghetti western at high noon. But Canadian, family-owned Silver Hotel Group saw potential in a perfectly square, 70’s era, former oil and gas office building known as the “flashcube” (ask your mom, kids) and pulled the trigger on a redevelopment.
Get Yer Boots On
Fast forward to Stampede time in July 2021, and The Westley Calgary Downtown, Tapestry Collection by Hilton, is shining like a winning silver belt buckle and ready to put its best cowboy boot forward to welcome guests. The décor has leap-frogged mid-century modern right into the swinging ’70s. Enter the lobby, and you’ll be greeted with a friendly hello from the front desk, and a comfy arrangement of powder rose and baby blue tub chairs accented with gold. Design throughout is by fabulous FRANK Architecture.
Down Mexico Way
To your left, you’ll find Fonda Fora, the newest offering from Thank You Hospitality. Chef Rafael Castillo brings the best of his native Yucatan to an inspired Mexican menu served under high, vaulted arches that shelter a generous bar and metres of window seats. To the right is an intimate meeting room that will soon have its own outdoor patio to mirror Fonda Fora’s.
Caring and Sharing
The Westley prides itself on a fun, friendly culture, and it starts right at reception with free tiny white Stetsons perfect for Instagram pet posts. “When we were hiring, we had an audition day, and now we have a fun, tight-knit team that love what they’re doing and a friendly environment that customers love”, says Ian Jones, The Westley’s general manager. There’s a wall of artwork and a retro candy selection with Cracker Jack and Laffy Taffy, keeping with the 70’s theme. “We are actively searching for local vendors, and we want to feature Calgary artisans and all things local as we grow”, says Jones. In the community, The Westley Hotel partners with Brown Bagging for Calgary Kids to provide school lunches for kids from the one in ten Calgary families that are food insecure.
The Westley has 104 rooms with 16 suites, ranging from 285 to 600 square feet of groovy deliciousness. The lighting choices are particularly playful, like the bedside sconces sporting western-worthy fringes. The artwork is an appealing mix of vintage photographs and mixed media as befits a modern-meets-retro boutique hotel, soon to be available as posters and postcard souvenirs. The bathrooms are so spacious you could two-step in with your partner and both soap up under the rain shower. Plush robes are standard, and deep stand-alone soaker tubs are available in the suites. The comfy beds are triple-sheeted, and sofa beds are made upon request with extra mattress toppers that elevate them to luxury standards. A computer records guests’ lighting and heating preferences, anonymously of course, but enters sleep mode when they leave, saving energy. The Hilton Connect app will allow guests to control their choices remotely by phone and cue the A/C on Calgary’s sweltering summer days. Extra care has been taken to soundproof every room, and blackout curtains keep out stray sunbeams until you’re ready to rise and shine.
The Westley is kid-friendly, with cribs, soft toys, and Xboxes on hand for little guests, and they’re pet-friendly too. Bird scooters are available outside the front door, and bikes are on the way, great for exploring the nearby leafy Riverwalk and bike paths.
Drop in for a night or a nightcap and tip your hat to the new kid in town, The Westley Calgary Downtown, Tapestry Collection by Hilton.
The writer was a guest of The Westley Calgary Downtown. As always, her opinions are her own. For more photos of The Westley and Fonda Fora, follow her on Instagram @Where.To.Lady