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“Another Stay...”
Review of Hotel Alma

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Hotel Alma
Ranked #72 of 110 Hotels in Calgary
Reviewed 21 June 2011

This is one hotel I really enjoy. Having access to a mircrowave, coffeemaker, kitchen sink, and minifridge makes a huge difference. The cleanliness was high and the option to keep your bedsheets and towels for another day or change them was there. I liked the complimentary Bath & Bodyworks soaps. All the staff I have interacted with were friendly and helpful no matter what time of day it was. I was lucky enough not to get caught in a front desk lineup.
I find the rooms were either set up for business or leisure. The Euro Room is most similar to a normal hotel room where the main door is connected to the bedroom/living area. It's fine if you are by yourself, but there isn't much privacy if you have work to do.

The Summer Apartment resembles a higher end dormitory. With two separate bedrooms and a common area, it's most ideal if you plan to have other groupmates hangout in your hotel room.

The One-Bedroom Suite has a separate bedroom and a separate living area. Size of each is determined by whether you stay in the north side (bigger living room/kitchen area) or south side (larger bedroom/bathroom). That part can make all the difference.

The one thing that bothered me was the recent breakfast selection. My first stay there, there was a huge variety of breads, tea, fruit, sliced meats, and even sushi. The last time, it was small. At the least, I would like to have seen milk and cereal there.

Room Tip: Make your room-specific requests beforehand.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Rosenqueen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CalgaryTed, General Manager at Hotel Alma, responded to this reviewResponded 21 July 2011

Hello, Rosenqueen!

Thank you so much for taking time to share your comments. It seems perhaps you've stayed with us several times given how well you know the building - thank you for your business! Thank you as well for sharing your thoughts on the different types and configurations of rooms - for a small property we really do have several defining features, and certainly your room tip to fellow travellers about calling ahead for room-specific requests is good advice (and for any hotel for any occasion, actually!). To clarify, Eurostyle and One-Bedroom Suites are part of Hotel Alma, while the Summer Apartments are actually part of our sister product, Summer Residence, which consists of all new and recently-renovated student accommodation here on campus and has its own website. As Summer Residence at Alma is in the same building as Hotel Alma, we have made it available through the Hotel website, but that product will not be available there after this summer, as overall hotel guests find it confusing as the amenities and finishings are not of the same level as in Hotel Alma. We will sell it in the future only on the Summer Residence website to avoid this dissonance. But we are glad that you seemed to like it as well, and recognize that it may be best for a group or family situation. And finally, we have indeed made the offering of breakfast smaller due to the sharp spike in food costs. In an effort to maintain an affordable but inclusive option for travellers, we now offer a more traditional Continental breakfast, with granola and yogurt and smoked salmon available as options to purchase in addition. We recognize that this has been an adjustment for regular guests, and should food costs change in the future where it is possible to reintroduce some items, we most certainly will. many thanks again for taking the time to write and to share your thoughts and tips about staying here with us. We hope to see you again soon!

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295 - 301 of 342 reviews

Reviewed 19 June 2011

We stayed one night in early June and the hotel was picked mostly fo the location. It is situated on the UofC campus and extremely handy if you have business there. A short drive away, or longer walk, there are restaurants etc and the bistro in the hotel was nice.

The single queen room was very clean and new looking, everything worked and gave the appearance of quality. The room was fairly small but there was just two of us and how much room do you need really?

The front desk staff was very friendly and helpful, able to answer all questions and provide suggestions.

Overall, if you need to be at the University or in NW calgary, this is a perfect spot, free parking too.

  • Stayed: June 2011, travelled on business
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3  Thank cdnwatchguy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CalgaryTed, General Manager at Hotel Alma, responded to this reviewResponded 21 July 2011

Hello, cdnwatchguy!

Just a short note to thank you for taking the time to comment on your visit with us. As a business traveller, we are so happy that you liked staying at Hotel Alma. We're happy to hear that you liked the design of the Eurostyle room; we do know are rooms are compact, and we're glad that you get what they are about - good design with quality finishings and amenities (pillow-top mattresses, Bath and Body Works amenities, ergonomic desk chairs, flat panel TVs, etc.). Thank you so much for your comments regarding the Front Desk team - I have passed on your compliments to them. We hope to see you on your next visit to Calgary!

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Reviewed 17 May 2011

The Hotel Alma has all the things you expect of a boutique hotel. The location is great, right in the middle of the University of Calgary campus. The continental breakfast is quite nice and there is a barrista right there if you have to have your Americano. The furnishing of the rooms is lovely. The staff is friendly and efficient. The only fault is the room size. I don't know if I would stay there again simply because of the small room. it was definitely too small for two people trying to get ready in the morning. If I was staying more than a few nights I definitely would not stay there. It's a shame as I would otherwise love to stay there again.

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank ajtraveller007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CalgaryTed, General Manager at Hotel Alma, responded to this reviewResponded 21 July 2011

Hello, ajtraveller007!

Thank you so much for taking the time to write down your thoughts about your stay with us. I'm glad that you liked your stay overall, save for the size of the room, and that you would want to stay again. As we note on our website, and which we celebrate, our Eurostyle rooms are compact. As we are trying to be as green as we can, we purposely have limited the size of the rooms, but do try to make them as filled with necessities and little luxuries as we can. If the two of you were wanting to return we do have one-bedroom suites that are double the size for only a moderate price increase (currently $35). Many thanks again for the lovely comments (I'm glad you liked the coffee in the Bistro - we use a locally-roasted, fair-trade blend) and hopefully we will see you sometime again!

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Reviewed 3 April 2011

The rooms were exceptionally clean and decorated with a modern decor. The location of this hotel was excellent. I would recommend this hotel to anyone needing a room in the university area of the city.

  • Stayed: March 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank bauerris
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CalgaryTed, General Manager at Hotel Alma, responded to this reviewResponded 14 July 2011

Hello, baueriss,

Thank you so much for your kind comments and for taking the time to write. We are very proud of our Housekeeping team and we're glad you noticed and appreciated their efforts. hopefully we will see you sometime again when you need to visit this part of Calgary!

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Reviewed 2 March 2011

Greeted by flood in lobby area - frozen pipes broke and water was streaming from the light fixtures! Not an auspicious start. As the hotel serves as both a hotel and residence for U of C students - according to wait staff in the bistro, student residents tend to leave their windows open when absent (it was reading week, thus causing the broken pipes) . I was told that this was not the first instance of this - perhaps maintenance staff could do a quick check on the status of residents' rooms during student breaks? Was checked in by most cordial clerk, was handed parking pass, but was not coded. Having stayed there before, we knew we needed a code for the parkade , had to wait for other clients to be served before we were given the requested code. Acquaintance was checking in at same time, unaware code was needed -she drove to parkade only to return to hotel to receive parking code. Room was fine. Food at Bistro mediocre - microwaved fish cakes - ugh! The bistro was out of one type of white wine (choice of three) - think there's a liquor store nearby! No paper in the morning (second time this has happened) Breakfast -I came and went three times as there were no available seats - lots of guests taking up tables, downing cups of coffee without partaking of breakfast. Perhaps wait staff could suggest that they take their coffee to the lobby and let others have their seats? Check-out was a nightmare! Retrieved vehicle from parkade only to find all all available spaces in front of hotel taken up by vans doing flood repair. (supposed to be a 15 minute zone).Eventually parked illegally, and proceeded to check-out. Handed envelope with keys enclosed and room number clearly marked on envelope. I said I was checking out of room # XXX. The desk clerk consulted the computer and said "for 2 nites?" I replied, no just one. Much more fiddling with the computer and much more "interrogation" from the clerk. Supervisor was summoned. More consultation with computer. When did I arrive? What time did I arrive? Felt like a criminal trying to scam the hotel. Finally, she said the computer says that I stayed in room YYY for 2 nites. I replied that's not my room number! Eventually she got the right room number - apologized for the confusion and I was able to leave. Not once, during this fiasco did either the front desk clerk, nor his supervisor confirm the room number - did not consult the envelope with the room number on it, nor ask me my name to ensure they had the right room. Unacceptable!

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled on business
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3  Thank JGR123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CalgaryTed, General Manager at Hotel Alma, responded to this reviewResponded 31 March 2011

Hi JGR123,

Thank you so much for taking the time to write. I'm glad that you liked the room. I'm very sorry that you arrived just after we had a pipe burst in the floor above us and your arrival experience was bnot what it should have been. Indeed, this was the second occurrance of this unfortunate circumstance. While we do request residents keep their windows closed, we cannot enter rooms by law without their consent; a difficult and unusual circumstance, to be sure. Exacerbating your arrival experience was that one of the front desk assistants was a trainee who has just started that day. in an effort to help out her trainer while the water leak was pouring in, she did miss writing the code on your and your friend's card - a coaching opportunity that we have addressed.

Thank you for your comments on the crab cakes and the wine selection. Due to our limited space and equipment in the bistro kitchen (which is why we are careful not to label Bistro Alma as a restaurant) we are constantly trying to offer innovative and interesting options on a limited menu as necessitated by our very confined space and equipment. We do use convection/microwave ovens so that food is rewarmed and not simply microwaved, and we do change the menu every four months as we realize that we have a compact menu. The unavailability of the wine you were looking for was due to a delivery delay from our distributor. While we realize that this means we were unfortunately out of your first selection, we would have been able to offer 2 other whites, 6 reds, one sparkling wine, highballs, martinis and beer.

In terms of papers, we stock 5 Globe and Mail and 5 Calgary Herald at the front desk each morning. To keep our costs low, our value high, and our footprint as green as possible, we restrict the volume of newspapers. While we realize on busy days that we may run out of complimentary papers, we do have a gift shop where extra papers are available for purchase. I have asked our Operations Manager to review newspaper usage and whether we may need to alter the order.

In terms of your check-out, I do apologize that there was not a space directly in front of the door due to the emergency services vehicles addressing the flood damage. As we are on a private drive loop, I am glad that you were still able to park and come back in to check out. And it seems that you may again have encountered a training opportunity at our front desk - thank you for your patience. While we would never confirm a room number and name out loud together in public in an effort to maintain guest security, we absolutely should have been able to do this by referencing your key packet. Obviously the first clerk mistyped the room number you mentioned, thereby leading to finding a guest staying 2 nights. When you mentioned that you were only one night, the first response should have been to check the packet and reconfirm the room number. As our trainee was again on the desk, when the supervisor was called over, I, like you, would have expected that this was caught immediately and within one confirmation query to you, as opposed to several. I am glad that eventually, and within a somewhat reasonable amount of time it seems, we were able to get you on your way.

Knowing that you have stayed before with us, and that you returned, and given some of the more positive ratings you did give us on this scorecard, I am hoping that you realize that your experience this last time was out of the norm for us. Generally, we receive excellent comments (see the review from just a few days before yours, and most others), but it certainly seems that the flood really threw us for a loop. As we should always perform at our best, even and especially during crisis, it seems overall we didn't. Again, my sincere apologies.

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Reviewed 28 February 2011

Nothing but good here. Hotel Alma is brand new and stylish, the staff radiates a willingness to help and the rooms have everything you need (they actually give you a fridge and a microwave -- take that over expensive chain hotels). Upon arrival, I was struck with the perfect efficiency of the small rooms. You think small equals bad? Well, I for one would rather not have a second Hilton bed in my room that I am not using, but that I will end up paying for all the same! Also, just reading some of the more critical reviews on this site, I immediately noticed that almost all of them are seriously dealt with by the staff. That puts some question marks on any allegations of careless staff or lack of service. Food is good too -- the little restaurant serves decent meals and you do not have to worry about being fed mystery cafeteria fare. One more critical point: it would be helpful to have breakfast start a little earlier than it currently does on weekends.

Of course, any visitor will notice that Hotel Alma shares its space with a student residence that occupies the first two floors unless I am mistaken. I must say that I am little mystified at the apparent absence of serious partying (I was there over the weekend), but as a conference participant, I definitely did not feel reason to complain about this. Too bad the rest of the U of C campus is so... well, ugly. If Hotel Alma was situated downtown, I am sure it would draw twice the amount of guests and, come to think of it, location could well be its only downside. But nothing in Calgary is really within walking distance so this need not be a problem. If you are visiting the university or surroundings, Hotel Alma is a sure bet. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled on business
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1  Thank Earlybird6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CalgaryTed, General Manager at Hotel Alma, responded to this reviewResponded 31 March 2011

Hi Earlybird6,

Thank you so much for your review. I'm very glad you found "nothing but good here", as that is what we always hope to have every guest think, and to be truthful, having a compliment like that from someone from Montreal (Canada's most stylish city) makes us smile very broadly. I'm also delighted that you appreciate the concept that we embody and that you realize that we take every compliment or concern to heart and try to act on it. I have brought forward your mention of the start time of 7am on the weekends for the Bistro to our Food and Beverage Manager and we are looking at whether we are able to offer an earlier breakfast. If we can do it, we will.

Again, many thanks for taking the time to write. Hopefully we might see you again if you have the opportunity to come west (and preferably in the summer when our campus is green and much more pretty!).

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Reviewed 5 February 2011

We go to Calgary every few months for shopping (at nearby Market Mall, Costco, Best Buy, etc.) and usually stay at one of the few better motels/hotels in the Motel Circle a few kms away. The Hampton was booked when we planned this particular trip and while researching Trip Advisor for other options we came across Hotel Alma, had never heard of it before. We booked for a weekend night and got a hugely competitive rate compared to other upscale options we were considering downtown.

The TA reviews were laudatory and we found them to be accurate and well deserved. My wife works as a manager in the hospitality industry and from our check-in to check-out, she (and I) were thoroughly impressed with the service, it was outstanding! She actually recorded some notes and took copies of hand-out information for use at her resort!

Definitely a different kind of chic and the references to the European feel/touch are accurate, kind of "IKEA-like", but not in a negative way! I expect Hotle Alma would not appeal to all guests who have come in with North American paradigms and expectations, but it really worked for us! Rooms are small (European standard), but the furnishings, high tech accessories, and overall ambience left favourable impressions on us! We were also surprised that telephone calls made from the room phone could be made to anywhere in North America for free!!! Very, very seldom have had that option included in our room price, especially at the price we paid!

The continental breakfast, as others have reported, is again definitely European, and we quite enjoyed the non-traditional food options that were provided. Not a huge spread or selection, but what was provided was tasty and of high quality. The dining area doubles as a bistro in lunch/dinner hours, but because of it's high tech plastic furnishings, not sure if we would frequent it for a dinner meal if we had stayed longer, having an afternoon beer might work though!

The parking area is about a 1/2 block away in a U of C parking garage, so your vehicle is under cover in stalls assigned to Hotel Alma and it is a short, but not unpleasant walk over to the hotel. We simply dropped our bags off when we checked-in and moved our vehicle over to the parking lot afterwards. A bit different from what you'd experience at other hotels (not on a university campus per se), but no big deal, at least for us. It might be for others if walking few hundred metres is physically difficult.

We did not get to use the U of C fitness facilities that comes with the room, maybe next time!

Because we were in Calgary on a shopping blitz, most of our needs were met in the NW area of Calgary, so the location was great for us in that regard and NO QUESTION we'll be reserving a room at the Hotel Alma for similar weekend trips to Calgary! Easy to get to and easy to get onto main roads for commuting around Calgary.

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank FromTheKootenays
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
CalgaryTed, General Manager at Hotel Alma, responded to this reviewResponded 1 April 2011

Hello, KootenaysCpl,

Thank you so much for your review. It is very heartening to know that someone who works inside our industry thinks we have accomplished something that deserves recognition - often we are the hardest on ourselves. And it's very flattering that you found the collateral worthy of keeping for ideas at your property. We feel we have a great value proposition, and we are happy that you found the inclusions like the breakfast and the free North American long distance to be of benefit to you. I'm glad that you feel you would return, and hopefully you can make use of the fitness facilities, as the UofC has one of the largest and best-equipped fitness facilities in Calgary (and it's included, too!).

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Additional Information about Hotel Alma

Address: 169 University Gate NW, Calgary, Alberta T2N 1N4, Canada
Phone Number:
Region: Canada > Alberta > Calgary > Northwest Calgary
Amenities:
Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Restaurant Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #72 of 110 Hotels in Calgary
Price Range: £46 - £105 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Hotel Alma 3*
Number of rooms: 96
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set in the vibrant heart of the University of Calgary campus, Hotel Alma treats guests to gracious service, friendly rates, and a host of accommodating spaces. Alma features 96 rooms and suites, a stylish bistro, and group meeting facilities for up to 125 people. Rates include continental breakfast, access to campus fitness facilities, wireless internet, local calls and long distance calls in Canada and the USA (excluding Alaska and Hawaii). ... more   less 
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