My partner and I have had our fair share of questionable hotel experiences. Often times it’s not worth saving a few extra dollar a night to get a room that smells strange or a shower-head that doesn’t work.
But if you’re a frequently traveller accommodation costs can rack up quickly. So it was with great relief that we got to know Mr. Freeman, the general manager of the Lakeview Signature Inn in Calgary, Alberta.
I’m generally unaccustomed to seeing a general manager anywhere unless something is going wrong and an issue is escalated.
But Mr. Freeman (who insisted I call him Sylvester) was seemingly around at all times. Helping out staff or cracking a joke with other hotel guests, it was rare to see a GM so hands-on and readily available.
“Let me or the staff know if you need anything!” Followed by his signature deep, booming laugh. And I actually believed him.
I’m also not sure if other Lakeview Signature Inns come with kitchenettes, but this one does.
“Yeah, we get lots of families who come and stay for weeks,” Sylvester tells me, “Sometimes we can smell the cooking from the front desk.”
And although I didn’t do any cooking during my stay it was certainly nice to have pots, pans, a stove, and a fridge if I wanted to cook for myself.
I did eat the provided popcorn. A very much appreciated snack.
As for the rest of the room, quite comfortable. Easily double the size of other hotel rooms I’ve stayed at in the airport region for a similar price.
I also liked the clear separation between living room and bedroom. Perhaps that’s why it felt so spacious.
Other amenities include a workout room, a pool, and a hot breakfast. None of which I partook in but my partner assured me that all were satisfactory. They also commented on how cheery the staff were, especially the breakfast lady.
When I asked Sylvester later, he just shrugged, “I let the staff have a lot of autonomy. I trust them to know when to take a personal day because a bad attitude can quickly spread. You know what I mean.” And then he laughed again.
Also it turns out the breakfast lady has been there for years and just really likes morning people.
Unfortunately, there is no restaurant in the hotel but there is a small store if you want a snack. And if you’re willing to walk outside a Tim Hortons, A&W, and Joey’s is available.
I don’t have a picture of those. So have one of our bed instead.
Another bonus is that Lakeview Calgary also accepts pets. Infinitely helpful as my partner cannot stand to be away from the furbaby for any period of time.
We may have initially come here with minimal expectations given the area, but now we refuse to stay anywhere else. So long as Mr. Sylvester Freeman is there to greet us with a laugh, we’ll keep coming back.