Calgary is a surprisingly expensive place to stay. Even the cheapest places can cost $100 a night or better. With cost a major factor, in spite of a lot of negative reviews, we booked a three-night stay at the Econolodge Motel Village.
It turned out to be a pleasant stay, and the place suited our needs perfectly. Guests should realize this is an Econolodge. It's not a full service hotel, and it is an older property. There are certainly nicer hotels in the Motel Village area, but they cost quite a bit more. The Econolodge has been decently maintained, and our room was clean and had comfortable beds. There was adequate storage, the shower had good water pressure, and lighting in the room was surprisingly bright. Amenities include cable TV and free wi-fi internet access. The hotel staff were very pleasant. We dealt with three different front desk employees and a variety of housekeeping workers. Without exception they were polite, friendly, and helpful.
We did not have any of the negative experiences other reviewers have mentioned. Some writers here complained about noise, but there was nothing unusual at all during our stay. We certainly had no problems sleeping. Others suggested the area was unsafe. Motel Village is certainly not a beautiful neighborhood, but it didn't appear crime-ridden. The area is well lit, and local people were out walking well into the evening. There were also people who complained that there was nowhere to park. The hotel seemed to be full when we were there, but there were always at least a few spaces in the lot.
I'd agree with those who noticed a strong odor of air freshener in the lobby. The smell was pronounced, but it wasn't anything unpleasant. There's essentially no view at all out the windows (just the parking lot and other hotels and restaurants), but that wasn't the reason we were there. Our room was hot when we arrived, and the air conditioner struggled a bit to cool it down. Once it did, though, it stayed cool through the rest of our stay.
The hotel's location really couldn't be better. It's right off of the Trans-Canada Highway, buses stop right in front, and it's a short walk to the Banff Trail station, from which the C-Train will whisk you downtown in just a few minutes and whisk you all over the city quite easily. (Hint: It's shorter and easier to get to the station by leaving from the back of the hotel and walking past the Best Western and McMahon Stadium.) We were pleased to park our car for three days and not have to deal with city traffic. When we left, it was a very easy drive leaving town to the west.
There's a Denny's and a Boston Pizza (which has a huge menu that includes steaks, ribs, and salads) right next door to the hotel, and just a short walk away you'll find McDonalds, Dairy Queen, Phil's family restaurant, a steakhouse, and local Vietnamese and Indian restaurants. One stop south on the C-Train (and not a long walk either) is a major shopping mall with a huge Sears department store, a Safeway supermarket, a nice food court, a 24-hour Shoppers Drug Mart, and a wonderful Purdy's candy store.
My only real complaint with this hotel would be the breakfast. It is extremely minimal, not really even what I'd call "continental". Basically there's toast or muffins, plus weak coffee and watered-down juice. That was surprising in an era when most hotels are expanding their breakfast offerings. After the first day, we passed on the Econolodge breakfast and instead went to the McDonalds down the street.
While I do find it odd that room prices are higher in Calgary than they are in Toronto or Chicago, we take the market for what it is. In a high-priced city, the Econolodge Motel Village is a good choice. No, it's not the Ritz, but it's a perfectly acceptable place to spend a few nights.
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- Also Known As:
- Econo Lodge Motel Village Hotel Calgary
- Econo Lodge Village
- Econo Lodge Calgary
- Calgary Econo Lodge