I’m pretty excited that I had the opportunity to visit Ottawa again. I love visiting our Nation’s Capital and exploring the wonderful spots that make it one of the best cities in Canada.
The last time I was here was in February of this year, you can read about that trip here – 48 Hours in Ottawa. This time, I am travelling for the Food Bloggers of Canada Annual Conference and I am without my family.
I’ve been noticing a new hotel on the block called Andaz. I was immediately intrigued by its ambiance, décor and location. It’s located within the Byward Market, a tourist hot spot.
As soon as you pull-up to Andaz, you can pull over, remove all of your belongings, and the valet service will park your car in the lot located right beside the hotel. It was nice not to have to schlep all of our stuff and then park the car.
The first thing we did upon check-in (I travelled with my friend, Fina) was explore our beautiful corner suite. The decorative details in the suite were stunning — Copper lighting, modern furniture, high-end tile in the bathroom and foyer – a true luxury suite. I want my bathroom at home to look like this – simple yet very elegant. There was a huge glass shower in there too – and I’m a sucker for glass showers!
I pack light but one thing I loved about Andaz that I don’t see often in other hotels is a walk-in wardrobe. Two women in a hotel room means a lot of clothes and shoes. It was nice to put all of our clothing and luggage out of the way and there was a great full-length mirror in the wardrobe as well.
The room was very spacious and comfortable and we enjoyed hanging out in there. The amount of natural light that poured into the suite was amazing and really heavy duty black out curtains meant we could sleep a little late without being woken up by the blaring morning sun.
There’s a beautiful restaurant and café called Feast & Revel right in the lobby of the hotel. When I choose a place to stay, the amenity of a restaurant in the lobby is something that I look for. Of course, there are a lot of hotels that have restaurants in their lobby or room service available however not all of them have high quality food. We had breakfast at Feast & Revel, delivered to our room, and it was spectacular. Healthy, fresh and delicious! My latte was fantastic too – a great way to start the day in sunny Ottawa.
One of the evenings when we arrived back at the hotel, we noticed a line-up out the lobby door and we learned that they were all waiting to get to the rooftop patio at our hotel. Apparently, another hot-spot in the city! Lucky us! We invited some friends and enjoyed the nightlife at the rooftop bar called Copper Spirits & Sights. Patrons of the hotel get priority seating so we bypassed the waitlist. We had a great night chatting with Philip and Mystique of the Chef Sous Chef Blog. They’re an awesome duo – check out what they do!
Although there is a popular rooftop bar at the hotel, the noise never penetrated into our room. The suite was actually very quite.
I loved seeing how many families stayed there. We saw a few sports teams make their way through the lobby. I can’t wait to come back with my boys – I can easily see us all being really comfortable at Andaz.
When we weren’t at the conference or exploring the hotels amenities, we enjoyed the Byward Market. Andaz is literally a hop,skip and a jump from the Byward Market. We were lucky that the weather was absolutely perfect – summer temperatures and blue skies! The Byward Market, in case you aren’t familiar with it, is host to local food stands, artisan made goods, shops and great restaurants. It’s basically the place to be when you visit Ottawa.
It was the perfect autumn weekend so the market was packed full of great produce and buzzing with customers. I have been to the Byward Market many times before but I’ve never had the chance to take photographs of it and really take it all in. (I apologize in advance for all the photos — I completely geek out at markets). Each shop owner had a unique story and it was really great to get to know them a little.
I went home with a huge bottle of maple syrup – it was so cheap! We go through a lot of maple syrup at home! I picked up some maple candies as well. We were very well fed at our conference so we didn’t get an opportunity to try the produce and other goods. One of the farmers actually mentioned that sales are pretty grim these days. He has been working at the market and as a farmer for forty plus years and the amount of farm stands has literally dwindled from a few hundred to under twenty. This is due to the fact that the Byward Market has become a very popular tourist destination surrounded by a lot of other businesses. Unfortunately, travelers don’t purchase a lot of produce (where would they cook it?!)
This trip to Ottawa was for work instead of pleasure this time around, however, staying at Andaz made it a very memorable trip. The staff were always ready and waiting to meet our every request and we loved how positive and helpful they always were. I’m looking forward to staying here again really soon!
*The Andaz Hotel let me stay at their beautiful hotel for one of the two nights free of charge, and provided me with a delicious breakfast, however, and as always, all opinions are my own.
Growing up in my Italian family, sandwiches were our go-to lunch on the weekends. They are quick and hearty and the options