Find the hotel at:
185 Lyon Street North, Ottawa
+ (613) 232 2200
Most hotels are, well, hotels. They might be glamorous, they may be chic—but they rarely feel like home. The Minto Suite Hotel in Canada’s capital is the polar opposite. Specializing in long-term stays, the Minto is Ottawa’s only Four Diamond all-suites hotel: with eleven suite types to choose from. Now celebrating its twenty-fifth year, the Minto Suite Hotel makes every guest feel right at home—whether staying for a weekend, two weeks or even a few months.
First opened on Canada Day (July 1), 1988, the Minto Suite Hotel has grown to be a second home to many of its guests, who return often to enjoy its unique atmosphere. The building houses 417 suites over thirty-one floors—some with balconies, some with solariums and others with large bay windows. It is the only hotel operated by the Ottawa-based developer, though Minto does manage and own numerous long-term stay (furnished) properties in Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Vancouver.
Attached to the hotel is the Minto Place office tower, connected by an atrium filled with shops, a food court and a 24-hour supermarket. Minto Place has received the highest environmental rating of any commercial building in Ottawa and is currently competing in the United States for the North American title. The atrium boasts a sixty-foot-tall ‘Green Wall’ which holds more than 6,000 plants in coconut husk fibre pots. The wall can support the oxygen needs of up to 15-20 people each day—adding function to the building’s beauty.
Just above the atrium along the second floor are the conference rooms, salons and other amenities. The sprawling fitness centre, which overlooks Slater Street, has two separate work out areas, a skylit salt water pool (20m), large hot tub, a freshly renovated dry sauna and a private rooftop sundeck just up a winding staircase. Both yoga classes and bootcamp workshops are offered to guests throughout the week. Reserve some time for a free fitness assessment with Minto’s in-house trainer, Matthew.
The business centre offers guests printer and iMac access, though the hotel staff can provide a printer in suite if requested prior to arriving. If travelling with a personal or business computer, there is wireless internet available both in the suites and throughout the hotel and plaza.
WHAT TO DO:
The hotel is located on the west side of downtown, just steps from Parliament Hill and a short drive to Gatineau Park. With so much to do in the area start out with a nice walk from the hotel across Wellington to the Rideau Centre—Ottawa’s downtown mall. After shopping in the mall, venture into the Market for a Beavertail before perusing the boutiques and stalls that line its streets. Then climb the steps from Sussex to Major’s Hill Park, home of the Canadian Tulip Festival, to enjoy a marvelous view of Canada’s Parliament.
The National Gallery of Canada is just along the northern edge of Major’s Hill and offers free admission on Thursday evenings, as do many other Ottawa museums. If uncertain about walking the downtown core, stop by the front desk where bicycles are available for guests free of charge. Plan a visit in the summer months to experience one of the many festivals such as Ottawa Bluesfest, or skate along the Rideau Canal during the winter.
If driving, plan an afternoon across the Ottawa River in Gatineau Park. Explore the rolling hills and beautiful lakes of the Park or relax on one of its many beaches. Be sure to stop by the Visitors Centre before exploring to get a proper map of the Park. Plan to spend an entire day in the park to allow time for visiting the nearby towns of Chelsea and Wakefield.
The average hotel guest can reserve any of the eleven types of suites, pending availability, which range in size from 480 to 1,000 square feet. The décor may not be ultra-mod but the charming traditional design truly makes one feel right at home. Suites have workspaces, dining areas, dishwashers, iPod docks, ensuite laundry and numerous other household amenities not found in most hotel rooms.
The staff are very kind, efficient and helpful; bags are delivered promptly after getting up to the room, no matter how many there may be. Upon arriving a bottle of Château des Charmes was waiting on the coffee table, along with Lindor milk chocolate truffles in the bathroom and Olive Branch toiletries. Coffee is replaced daily in the room and wireless internet is free of charge. Large flatscreen televisions were in both the living room and the bedroom.
Later this year (2013) two ‘green’ rooms will be open for reservation by sustainability-minded guests. The suites are being renovated using all eco-friendly materials and will offer visitors a stay that incurs as small a carbon footprint as possible. The suites will even offer guests parking in the basement that is charger ready, perfect for electronic or hybrid vehicles.
Prime 360, located on the main floor of the building, doubles as the hotel restaurant and room service kitchen, allowing guests to order from their extensive menu while in the room. Often praised for serving some of the best steak in Ottawa, Prime 360’s delectable gastronomy has been luring local patrons back to the restaurant for years. Try the filet mignon for an easy eat that will not disappoint, or opt for the delicious Baby Back Ribs.
More of a burger person? The owners of Prime 360 opened another restaurant chain, Burgers on Main (BOM), which has a location downtown and another in Manotick. With craft beers, tasty burgers and a menu that will have you salivating while you wait, BOM has quickly climbed its way to becoming a top contender on the Ottawa burger scene. If not in the mood to walk far, there is also a Royal Oak Pub in the Minto building
Stay tuned for full reviews of Prime 360 and Burgers on Main.
Whether visiting Ottawa alone on business, or planning a vacation with the family, the Minto Suite Hotel is sure to satisfy every traveller’s needs. Ideally situated in Centretown, right in the office district, this Four Diamond all-suites hotel offers a comfortable and private stay when visiting Canada’s capital. With such a community atmosphere, nothing will feel more like home than the Minto.
Rooms at the Minto Suite Hotel range from $180-400/night with long-term rates available upon request. Prices will vary depending on suite size and season of travel.
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