Staycation vibes: Playing ladies of leisure at the Alt Hotel Ottawa

Lily and I enjoyed a complimentary one-night stay the Alt Hotel Ottawa in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and from the heart. 

A girlfriend just told me she heard someone say that 80% of the time you spend with your kids happens when they’re under 10. Which totally makes sense, but still shocked me to hear. My kids are already 9 and 11! Time is marching on way too fast. So I’m so glad Lily and I spent some quality time together with a wee staycation at Alt Hotel Ottawa earlier this month. We haven’t travelled much so staying in a hotel still feels like a treat, and the staff made both me and my tween feel right at home. Here’s a few (okay 22) photos from our stay and some notes about the property. 

Alt Hotel Ottawa outside feature image

Alt hotel reception close up

The Alt Hotel is located downtown at 185 Slater, just a quick walk to the Parliament Buildings, the Byward Market and the Rideau Centre, among other attractions. It has 148 rooms, including 16 with two queen beds and the rest with one. Our room had two queens (well four if you count me and Lily ha ha) but we still shared the same bed. Of course Lily hogged it just like she does at home but who knows how much longer she’ll want to bunk with me? Gotta enjoy it while I can! (And by enjoy it I mean sleep on the edge of the bed with no covers and a foot in my back.)

Alt Hotel Ottawa resting feet up

Not two minutes after we dropped our bags. Because apparently the 20-minute bus ride from home to the hotel was exhausting.

Alt hotel resting with ipad

There are far better pictures of the room on the Alt’s website than I can offer you here, but if you don’t check those out know that each includes a desk, a desk chair, a comfy swivel chair that you can easily pick up and move if you want (two comfy chairs would be even better), wi-fi (in the rooms and throughout the hotel), a wall-mounted TV and a spacious, Scandinavian-style bathroom (which you know I love).

Alt Hotel bathroom sink

The bathrooms are stocked with lovely, good-smelling bath products all made in Quebec by Montreal’s Bella Pella. A selection is available for purchase from the hotel.

Alt hotel eating chocolate buttons

The Alt left a thoughtful welcome package in our room to greet us when we arrived, including a hand-written card (such a nice touch!), water, cookies and these chocolate buttons from their Altcetera Café.

Alt Hotel Ottawa Good Company and Calypso and Converse

Alt Hotel reading Calypso in chair

Here’s the comfy swivel chair I mentioned. I did manage to read a few pages of my book, but when Lily started watching America’s Best Baker on The Food Network I got hooked on it too.

Alt hotel remote control close up

Alt hotel tv

We don’t have cable at home, so all those channels felt so luxurious!

And I thought Lily would be bummed that the Alt doesn’t have a pool (it does have a gym) but it didn’t phase her a bit. I think she was quite content to have a change of scenery and do something with just the two of us.

Alt hotel beside essentials body shop avene saje wellness essie

Some of my travel essentials: The Body Shop’s Tea Tree Oil Skin Clearing Clay Mask, Saje Natural Wellness Au Natural Crystal Fresh Deodorant Stick (which I just started using and works really well) and Best Breath Sweet Breath FreshenerAvène Thermal Spring Water Spray and Essie’s Gel Couture Nail Polish (#130).

Alt hotel body shop tea tree face mask in mirror

We didn’t spend our entire time in the hotel, ‘tho we would have been happy to. We also did some shopping in the Byward Market and went out for dinner and dessert. (Lily loves The King Eddy‘s chicken and waffles and Sweet Jesus ice cream.)

Alt lobby seating area breakfast

For breakfast we sat in this welcoming seating area in the lobby, just next to the Altcetera Café. Options included breakfast sandwiches, cereal, a variety of pastries, toast, yogurt, hard-boiled eggs and fruit cups. You can see the lunch and dinner offerings here on the café menu, which they recently expanded to include fresh poké bowls from Paradise Poké just down the street.

Alt Hotel chess set in lobby

Alt Hotel altceteracafe offerings

They also have a wide variety of snacks to grab and go. Eye spy our favourite Squish Candy gummies.

Alt Hotel bar chairs

Alt Hotel bartender David bow tie

Sometimes you run into people who change your life for the better. Those people are called bartenders. LOL LOL! Our bartender David was a pleasure to talk to and obviously very accommodating. How much do we bloggers love people who help us with photos? (Thanks again, David!)

Alt Hotel altceteracafe diet coke on table

Alt Hotel lobby me and Lily reading

A few last moments in the lobby playing ladies of leisure before we checked out.

Alt Hotel lobby Lily reading

Alt Hotel Lily lobby reading 2

Lily’s engrossed in the book, An Insider’s Guide to Canada’s Capital, which we also have here at home. (I reviewed it last June.) The hotel has copies you can buy, and I think it makes such a great souvenir for visitors.

Alt Hotel Lily lobby An Insider's Guide to Canada's Capital close up 2

We loved the Alt for its great service, modern decor, comfortable and spacious room, and close proximity to the Byward Market. My only complaint: the towels were so fluffy I could barely close my suitcase! (LOL! LOL!)

For rates and availability, see the Alt Hotel Ottawa.

Have you done a staycation in your city? Where did you stay? And have you visited Ottawa? Would you stay at the Alt?

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  1. Creative Cat

    Wow, what a beautiful spot. So happy you were able to enjoy so much sophisticated coziness together!

  2. Five things – try small things

    […] also have a cocktail party at the new Le Germain Hotel Ottawa (owned by the same group as the Alt Hotel Ottawa) and the grand opening of Kusmi Tea at the Rideau […]

  3. Phyllis

    YOU TWO SOPHISICATED BEAUTIES DESEREVE THE VERY BEST AND IT LOOKS LIKE YOU GOT IT. BRAVO TO THIS GREA SPOT….( NOW IF THEY WOULD ONLY SUPPLY ONE MORE SWIVAL CHAIR.) love that the treats are from local suppliers and of course more than anything…. love the great photos and editorial..
    My next vacation includes a trip to Montreal for a wedding… and then on to Ottawa where I will make the 2-some Queens a threesome.

    1. try small things

      Three queens! That’s a good hand! 😃 See you soon! xox

  4. Joy Mills (@Jemrah1)

    Have never had a staycation – would love to though! The Alt Hotel sounds marvelous!!

    1. try small things

      I think you’d love it, Joy! Whenever Lily told me something she liked I’d say, “and it’s so CLEAN!” 🙂 And it’s relaxing to know if you forgot to pack something you can always run home.

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