Those in the know, in world travel and luxury hotels, know the Andaz luxury boutique chain all too well. But most of those same people are unaware that Andaz came to Canada this past year. Opening in late summer, Andaz chose Ottawa as their first Canadian property in their ever-expanding portfolio. It may come as a surprise that they did not first open in major hubs like Toronto or Vancouver. But it will should as no surprise to anyone who travels to Ottawa frequently for work, that this city needed an Andaz. Never been to an Andaz? Here’s what to expect…
Andaz Hotels are a subdivision of Hyatt’s and while both offer exceptional hotel options that is where the similarities end. Andaz could be called the younger, hipper and more sophisticated sister. Each hotel in the chain is designed to fit into the locale, employing local designers, artists and creatives to bring the hotel to life. But don’t worry, this isn’t some cheesy themed hotel. The Andaz Ottawa’s approach to ‘Canadiana’ is understated brilliance that stays on trend without being trendy. From copper touches in the room (nods to the penny) to the abstract references to all 10 provinces on their respective floors. Our favourite: the carved wood and concrete stumps that look like they were gnawed on by local beavers. This is understated design perfection. This is a global hotel that cares about the global: from the roasted coffee to the bathroom soaps – it all has a local connection.
Following on recent hotel trends, the front desk is very tiny. At the front desk, you won’t find typical check-in agents. Rather, you will meet ‘locals-in-the-know’ that will ensure you are well taken care of for the duration of your stay. I was greeted by a DJ and local artist who not only checked me in but offered me insider information on the city. The first floor gives up its lobby space instead to make room for a lounge and restaurant – feast + revel. Helmed by local celeb chef, Stephen La Salle, this restaurant means you never have to leave the hotel premises if you like. It offers a menu driven by the ideas of local, organic and sustainable cuisine. It is inventive and delicious. And they provide the room service too. So feel free to order in.
Now onto what really matters – the rooms. This boutique style hotel has only 200 rooms in this hotel and each floor is designed to reflect one of the provinces or territories. Each room features oversized walk-in showers, the most comfortable beds, free wifi and free mini bar options. That’s right, they won’t charge you for the juice, or bottled water or snacks. That’s a class act in our books. For the fashion lover in you, there are oversized walk-in closets with more than enough storage. And for the design lover, you will want to fit every piece of furniture into your luggage. Of note, corner rooms feature amazing panoramic views of the historic downtown core. Book one of them, you won’t regret it.
Last but not least, you need to head to the rooftop to discover Copper Spirits & Sights, the hotel’s 16th-floor rooftop bar and lounge. Featuring a well-designed patio that puts the focus on the incredible city views, there is plenty of seating and even open fire pits to keep you warm when it gets chilly. You can easily spend all afternoon on the rooftop enjoying the views and the amazing craft cocktails.
So if you are headed to Ottawa for work or Canada’s 150th birthday. Be sure to check out the Andaz Ottawa ByWard Market (325 Dalhousie Street).