Hotel Arts - from run down, to trendiest in town
We met with Werna Maurer, Director of Operations at the Hotel Arts, who thinks that Victoria Park’s transformation over the last decade has been “truly unbelievable.” She is overjoyed to see how far the community has come, and is excited to see where it is going. Hotel Arts' evolution from the less-than-glamorous Westward Inn to one of Calgary’s most elegant and visually detailed hotels hasn't gone unnoticed. As Calgary’s first boutique-style hotel, it has a well-earned reputation as one of the trendiest spots in town.
Today, Hotel Arts has 185 rooms, two restaurants, a pool-side lounge and multiple event spaces. Privately owned by a group of Calgarians, the hotel has an authentic Calgary feel, with western hospitality as one of their core values. Situated close to the Stampede Grounds, the hotel sees large numbers of guests not just during Stampede week, but for many events throughout the year. In the summer time, the Hotel Arts pool has become a local hot spot, as it offers a “little taste of Vegas” right here at home. With Raw Bar’s poolside lounge and the Yellow Door Bistro’s creative menu options, it is the perfect spot for a little “staycation.”
Werna has worked for Hotel Arts for seven years – and has absolutely no intention to leave anytime soon. As a member of the Victoria Park Board of Directors, Werna is a community advocate who works to improve the community, and address social issues. Because the Hotel Arts is a privately-owned business, Werna gets the opportunity to be creative and to pursue ideas and projects with freedom. She explains that much of the hotel’s success comes from their strategy to stay one step ahead of the trends, ensuring that their brand is fresh. With around 300 employees, the hotel is a central pillar of Victoria Park employment, and is also greatly invested in the community. In particular, Hotel Arts is immersed in Calgary’s culinary scene, and even hosts competitions on a regular basis. Werna says that the head chefs at the Hotel Arts are recognized within the city. Another big focus for Hotel Arts is to engage staff and management – Werna says it's one of the most desirable places to work in Calgary, and the majority of their staff have been working at the hotel for several years.
In the years to come, exciting things are in store for Hotel Arts, such as ongoing development which will create various opportunities including the capacity to hold more guests, offer more services, offer more job opportunities for locals and contribute more to the community. Werna explains that Vic Park aligns beautifully with Hotel Arts’ brand, which was one of the reasons that it was located here - though she does hope to see more retail in the community, as well as further development of the cycle track network, which she uses daily. She believes that the cycle track is one of the community’s biggest assets - Hotel Arts even offers bikes to guests staying with them, so that they can tour the community.
So grab your swim suit and prepare to relax, because Hotel Arts is your summer destination!