From the very first time I visited Ottawa, I knew I loved the city. It truly is beautiful, there are great restaurants, events and festivals. My recent trip lined up perfectly with Winterlude, an
Step one of this adventure was checking into the Alt Hotel on Slater Street. I love these hotels because you can count on a high level of service, friendly staff and a fun, updated look. From the moment you walk in the hotel, there’s a sense of being home away from home. The location is impeccable, perfect for exploring downtown Ottawa (and Winterlude festivities). The lobby is outfitted with a lovely bar area. They have a great happy hour, delicious food, and they’re open 24/7. During happy hour the bar is definitely buzzing and we enjoyed a couple of drinks there throughout our stay. There’s also a gym on site so if skating isn’t your thing, you can still get your workout in. The space really has a young, hip vibe and caters to a wide variety of clientele. We were impressed.
Our room was clean, classy and spacious. We have a history of working and staying with the Alt Hotels in other locations such as St. John’s and Halifax. You can’t go wrong with these rooms. The beds are always comfortable, there’s a tv, work/desk area and bathroom equipped with all of the amenities you could need. These hotels are consistent in their ability to go above and beyond. The stay was lovely, comfortable and restful. It will not be our last stay with the Alt Hotel. We can’t wait to check them out in another city one day. Thank you for your hospitality.
After settling into the hotel, it was time to start exploring. We headed to Jacques Cartier Park to allow our inner children to play in the snow. The sculptures were grand and beautiful. I had never seen anything like it before. WOW! We were also quick to grab some inner tubes and line up for the icy snow slides. They were so fun and fast! Our walk through this winter wonderland wouldn’t have been complete without some maple syrup candy. It was a blast!
A trip to Ottawa in the winter wouldn’t be complete without a skate on the Rideau Canal. So grab your skates, toques and mittens. We skated about 15km, stopping here and there for photos. We took it at a relatively casual pace because it was so busy. It was really fun to get outside and on our skates. I even have the bruises to prove that competitive skaters wipeout when they get stuck in ruts too. How cool is it to skate outside on the world’s largest skating rink?
The next morning we woke up early and ventured to Nordic Spa. If you’re looking for a relaxing way to spend your morning, it doesn’t get any better than this. We arrived around 9:00 am and started the day with an hour long massage. I’m not going to lie, I totally feel asleep (haha). It was so relaxing. Then we put on our white robes and flip flops and headed outside. We checked out all of the saunas and hopped in all of the pools. There’s a heat cycle they recommend which includes 10-15 minutes in a hot sauna, followed by a cold plunge in one of the cold pools and then some time to relax. We cycled through the steps a few times and absolutely loved it. I wasn’t sure about the cold plunge, outside in the middle of winter but it was super refreshing. We also took part in an Aufguss Ritual in the Finnish Sauna which we both thought of as a highlight. You can read about it on their website by clicking here. Leaving the spa I felt lighter, so relaxed, my body was very happy.
Our weekend getaway to Ottawa was awesome. We spent a lot of time outside which is our favourite place to be. I’m grateful for this experience with great company. It was perfect.
Thank you to our friends at the Alt Hotel for making this weekend extra special.
P.S. If you’re in the Laurentian Valley area check out their skating trail through the woods for a little winter magic!