Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Hotel Review: Calgary Airport Marriott In-Terminal Hotel

On September 1st the newest Marriott Hotel in Canada opened its doors, The Calgary Airport Marriott In-Terminal Hotel. The hotel is one of the first developments of the multi-billion dollar International Terminal development at YYC to open up and if it is any indication of what the rest of the new terminal will be then Calgary's airport just jumped up a few leagues in the world of great airports. When we heard about the new YYC hotel opening up on September 1st I reached out to Marriott about staying there and they were more than happy to let us try it out this past weekend.

We received an email from the director of sales and marketing at the Calgary Marriott In-Terminal hotel that the Rewards Canada family was all set for a stay on Friday night. It stated to simply pull up to the valet parking in front of the hotel and that they would take care of the rest. We really had no idea what to expect but all I can say is we were excited for a little staycation just before the family schedule shifts into high gear with school, competitive dance, volleyball and more.

Pulling up to the hotel we were greeted by the Marriott's valet who promptly asked for our name, provided us with our valet parking tag and asked if we needed any assistance with our bags. So far so good! Since we are Calgary based and only staying one night we didn't require assistance with our bags and made our way to check in. There was staff at every entrance (you pass through a corridor connecting the old terminal with the new to get to the hotel) and they all greeted us politely.

View of the corridor between the old and new terminal
At check in the staff was very welcoming and we were informed that we would be provided with a two queen room with a connecting king suite along with full club lounge access. Wow, Marriott went above and beyond here! The check in agent handed us our keys and told us she would take us to our room. The rooms were 745 and 747 on the top floor of the hotel. This is also the floor that houses the club lounge.

Lobby and Yakima Restaurant towards the back
As we walked down the 7th floor hallway she explained that 747 is the largest suite on the property and is the only of its kind in the hotel. Marriott called the suite the 'Concierge Suite' but if you go to book it online it is listed as the Presidential Suite. Of note the room number is 747 and I asked later if it was just a coincidence that the best room in the hotel just happens to be numbered 747 (Avgeeks will get why I asked this question) but there wasn't a definitive answer whether this was done on purpose or not.
What follows are quick thoughts and descriptions of the rooms but as usual we like to let the photos do most of the talking!

Two Queen Room
Upon entering we found the regular two queen room was prepped for our girls. There were two trays of treats geared toward them as well as some board games for our enjoyment! The room size and layout are impressive and would be typical of the type of room we normally book as a family.  After seeing this we would have been very happy with just this room and I can happily pass along that anyone who books the standard two queens or single king rooms won't be disappointed.  The bathroom is sized well and has a large walk in shower with regular shower head and a rain shower head. This particular room connected to the Presidential suite so we essentially had a three room suite.
Two Queens
Two Queen Room Shower
Two Queen Room Vanity
Games provided by the Marriott YYC for our enjoyment!
Treats for the girls from the Marriott!

Presidential Suite
The Presidential (or Concierge Suite) was impressive! It is a two room suite (living room and bedroom) with so much space! When you first enter the suite there is a powder room to the left and as you go further into the living room you'll find a bar area (sink, counter and cabinets) on the North wall and a great seating area for everyone in the middle. Here we found treats for the adults including a couple special drinks made by the hotel restaurant Yakima which happens to make all of their syrups in house for their drinks. (a separate post will follow on our dining experiences at Yakima). Next to the living room on the Southwest corner of the building is the bedroom which has a king bed, TV, settee and a telescope.  Floor to ceiling windows wrap around the room on two sides with views of the new terminal, the old and of course of Calgary. Quite possibly the highlight of this already great room is the huge bathroom. You'll find dual sinks/mirrors (one on each side of the space), a separate walk in shower with rain shower head, a separate stall for the toilet and a freestanding tub.

Presidential Suite King Bed
View from the Suite
Another angle of the suite (With Rewards Canada's youngest utilizing the telescope!)
The huge Presidential Suite bathroom!
One of the two vanities and the walk in shower
Presidential Suite Living Room
Treats for the parents!

Thoughts on the rooms
The floor to ceiling windows in the rooms are amazing and provide for awesome views of the airport, downtown Calgary and the Rocky Mountains. If you get the Presidential Suite you'll find a Telescope in the room for your viewing enjoyment! We used it to look at planes and downtown Calgary. You'll also find the same telescope in the Club Lounge.  The rooms themselves are sized great and should appeal to most travellers whether on a layover or a longer extended stay. If you like firm beds then the hotel is for you, we did find them a bit too firm for us but the hotel is also only a little over a week old and most mattresses will 'soften' over time so I just see the beds getting better. On Twitter a reader asked how the soundproofing was and if we could hear the planes. I originally responded that we could not but that was during the evening when there was more going on in the hotel (we were in the lounge at that time). Later at night when things quieted down you could hear the planes in our rooms but not at an annoying or wake you up volume. The good thing about YYC is there isn't too much action on the tarmac between 10pm and 6am, so in general the hotel feels quiet.

Club Lounge
The club lounge is also on the 7th floor and like all the south facing rooms has amazing views of the city and the airport. The lounge is quite large and offers hot food options during breakfast and during evening hours. Outside of those hours they have some small snacks available along with lots of drink options. All food and non-alcoholic drinks are free while there is a charge for alcoholic beverages. At all times there were two staff members in the lounge helping everyone out, the service here was impeccable.
Hot Breakfast food options
Breakfast Pastries
The hotel features a few amenities for those staying here. There is a great fitness room which once again has views of the tarmac and the city. There is a fun pool with waterfalls that our girls did try out and enjoy. A hot tub is also in the pool area however it was blocked off as it wasn't ready for use during our stay. The on site restaurant, Yakima takes a local Calgary flare on dining and infuses some South American and Japanese touches. Most if not all of the food is sourced locally (hence no fish on the menu) and they also bake all their own breads and pastries. We'll have more on Yakima in another post but all I can say is that it is pretty darn good! It will become a regular haunt for us in our dining out in Calgary, and if you're thinking it might get expensive with airport parking, fear not as the restaurant provides up to 4 hours of free valet parking when dining at it.

Tips for stays at the new Calgary Marriott
If you want views of airplanes, downtown Calgary and the Rocky Mountains request a room on the south side of the hotel (odd numbered rooms). Of course the higher the floor the better but I would assume you'll get good views from most floor levels.

Overall Thoughts
We knew Marriott was expecting us and they went above and beyond in terms of service to make sure our stay was awesome.  The thing is we saw the staff treating everyone else just as well as us and this can be attested to as seen on Twitter with another guest complementing the hotel on the service:
Had we just come in as 'regular customers' with anonymity and stayed in the two queen room I can truthfully say we would have been impressed. We are already thinking of future staycations here and will definitely recommend it to family, friends and our readers as the place to stay at YYC.

Hotel details
Calgary Airport Marriott In-Terminal Hotel (Book here)
Marriott Rewards Category: 5
Points required for a free night (Standard) 25,000 Points
Points required for a free night (PointSaver) 20,000 Points
Cash+Points Requirement: 14,000 Points + US$65 per night for standard rooms
You can use your anniversary bonus of a free night in a Category 1-5 hotel from the Marriott Rewards Premier Visa Card here as well.

Talk to us! Have you stayed at the new Calgary Airport Marriott In-Terminal Hotel? What are your thoughts of the hotel? Or are you planning to and looking forward to it? Let us know below!

Rewards Canada has had a relationship with Marriott for more than 10 years but over the past 6 months that has grown by leaps and bounds. You may have noticed the Marriott Rewards contests in July and August and there is even more to come. I cannot say how excited we are about this new expanded relationship and I'm sure you are too as many more promotions will be coming your way shortly! 

Rewards Canada's (I Fly Calgary) stay at the Calgary Airport Marriott In-Terminal Hotel was provided by Marriott at no charge. We were fully responsible for incidental charges like food and drinks and as with all of our review policies for flights, hotels, credit cards and anything else we do like to point out the good and the not so good, whether or not we are paid for it, receive it for free etc.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Save 25% on KLM Business Class award tickets between Calgary & Europe for travel in November & December

Air France KLM Flying Blue's Promo Awards is something I cover on Rewards Canada each and every month but haven't posted it here as Calgary has not been included in these discounted award ticket offers for ages! Finally YYC is now included in the September offering hence the post here! Sometimes this offer is good for up to 50% off the number of miles required for travel on Air France or KLM but this month all Canadian cities are at 25% off business class. So while 25% isn't as good as 50% of course, it still is something to look at if you were planning travel for the last two months of the year and Flying Blue redemptions were be considered for that travel.

Offer Details:
Save up to 50% with Promo Awards Save 25% to 50% on the Award Miles usually required for award ticket. Destinations vary by each promotional period. Full Details Book by Sep 30 for travel between Nov 1 - Dec 31, 16

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Crazy Business Class Fares (under $1,700) on KLM from Calgary to Germany

Thanks to a post from Loyalty Traveler we were alerted to some good business class fares out of the U.S. and possibly Canadian cities to Germany. We dug deeper and KLM is definitely selling flights for a remarkable price! From late August right through to March of 2017 weekday flights are pricing below $17000 between Calgary and Germany, in Business Class! Check out fares and book online at In some cases these are even cheaper than Economy Class! We're not sure how long this will last so I would jump on this right away!

Here are some sample fares:

Calgary - Munich in October for $1,627!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Receive a $100 Coupon for use on Hainan Airlines flights out of Calgary

While there haven't been any extravagant seat sales yet for the new Hainan Airlines flight out of Calgary like we see south of the border there is this coupon offer you can take advantage of! You can save $100 on flights until the end of September when you register for this coupon. The link to get the offer is and you'll have to access it with your Facebook account. We found the offer on Instagram and they state there are limited numbers so I would go and get it right away if you think you'll fly this route by the end of September.

Excerpt from the Terms and Conditions
1. Hainan Airlines’ Coupons are valid from March 15th, 2016 to September 30th, 2016. 2. Passengers must travel before September 30th, 2016 (return flight date) 3. Coupon is only valid on Hainan Airlines overseas website ( 4. The promotion code cannot be used for upgrades, or charges relating to itinerary changes. 5. The coupon can be used only on tickets purchased for flights originating in Calgary or Toronto to China, where Hainan Airlines is the operating carrier. 6. The coupon can only be used on the airfare portion of a flight ticket, and cannot be applied to airport improvement/development fees, fuel surcharges or any taxes. 7. The coupon is not valid on tickets that include connecting flights on other airlines or on codeshare flights. 8. The coupon must be entered at the page PAYMENT. 9. Only ONE coupon may be applied to one ticket. 10. The coupon can only be used once per a booking on Hainan Airlines global website. 11. The coupon is only valid on tickets paid for in full on the Hainan Airlines website and may not be used to discount tickets purchased at any retail outlet. 12. Any refunds, itinerary changes, transfers and upgrades shall be dealt with in accordance with the original fare of the ticket. 13. The coupon cannot be used to discount cargo fees, insurance, Fortune Wings Miles discounted tickets or Limited Deals pricing. The coupon CAN NOT be applied to all other promotions (Early Bird, Save Even More, Extra Discount, ADDON, etc.) 14. Hainan Airlines has the final interpretation of authority.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Use your Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles to fly on the inaugural Hainan Airlines flight from YYC - Save $2,900+ in business class

I posted this over on Rewards Canada earlier today but wanted to let iflycalgary readers know about it is as well.

On March 30th you could officially start redeeming Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan Miles for flights on Hainan Airlines. Right now they have great availability (at least 2 seats in Business Class) for the inaugural flight out of YYC as well as many more flights after that. Business Class is 50,000 Mileage Plan Miles one way and as you can see even with the $202 in taxes and fees you can save a bundle over what the going rate for the same seat from Hainan themselves.

If you don't collect Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan miles you should definitely look into them as not only can you use them on Alaska flights out of YYC but you can also use them on Hainan, British Airways, KLM, American and Delta flights out of YYC! They are a very useful currency for us Calgarians. You can jump start your Mileage Plan balance with the mbna Alaska Airlines MasterCard® credit card. Read our review of the card here.

Mileage Plan availability for Hainan's inaugural flight out of YYC

and the cost if you were to buy the same ticket
Alaska Airlines MasterCard® credit card 

• Receive 25,000 Bonus Miles†† after your first eligible purchase
• Earn 1 Bonus Mile per $1 spent on every eligible purchase‡
• Earn 3 Bonus Miles per $1 spent on Alaska Airlines tickets, cargo purchases, in-flight purchases and vacation packages‡
• Receive an annual Companion Fare from $121 (USD) ($99 base fare, plus taxes and fees from $22)◊◊
• Redeem Miles for flights to over 700 destinations worldwide‡
• $75 annual fee
Apply here.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Hainan Airlines updates aircraft for YYC service

According to the new Hainan Airlines Calgary- Beijing services that starts this June will see an aircraft change. Initially the route was supposed to be operated with Boeing 787-8 but that has now switched to an Airbus A330-200 until July 31st. The 787 service will start on August 2nd.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Compact Transit System has a new name - YYC LINK

Noticed this little change on YYC's website Waypoints, the site with all the updates for the airport development program. Looks like this change happened sometime last week.

Looks like we now have a name for the Compact Transit System that will be used between the old and new terminals:


What do you think of this new name?