Arrival Experience: Perched along the edge of the mighty South Saskatchewan River, this former “railroad hotel” is a grande dame that has lived decades of history and forges on. It is often referred to as the Bessborough, or simply, the “Bess.” Thanks to a modern renovation, the interior looks stunning and continues to capture the elegance of the former Canadian Pacific hotels that lined the Canadian railway lines for guests to visit along their journey. The lobby is awash in natural light where a central floral arrangement makes a great first impression. High ceilings and spiraling staircases on each side of the front entrance indicate that this hotel has plenty in store to impress its current day business travel guests. Reception is friendly and welcoming, almost eager to explain the restoration of this legendary Saskatoon hotel.
Dining: The Garden Court is bright and airy serving three meals a day while outsiders flock to the hotel for Samurai, the popular teppanyaki grill and sushi eatery. Some evenings, a tray of sushi is available for guests to sample in the lobby. Guests can charge to their room at this restaurant, but reservations are essential as it is a highly sought after meal. Stovin’s Lounge, so named after the first guest to ever check into the hotel in 1935, offers a light snack menu of bar food plus a full range of cocktails, wine, and beer. Room service is another great option especially when guests see how comfortable the beds are.
Accommodations: Guest rooms vary in shape and size due to the building’s historic nature. It gives repeat guests plenty of character to seek out as the rooms are all unique. All are fresh from a recent makeover that infused an essence of contemporary style once unheard of for this regal palace. Colorful carpeting underfoot leads guests to custom-made desks that have convenient electrical outlets and access to the complimentary wireless high speed Internet. The bedding includes thick duvets, plump pillows, and accent pillows monogrammed just for the hotel. Plush armchairs are great for relaxing, but many guests opt for a suite with whirlpool tub to kick back and enjoy the naturally scented toiletries. Bathrooms have clever storage space and well-placed hooks for clothing and towels.
Conclusion: The Damara Day Spa offers a host of massage and beauty treatments, and the hotel’s own fitness facility is extremely popular with athletes. There is also an indoor pool and sundeck. On warmer days, guests can jog along the riverfront using the hotel as the perfect landmark. The outdoor terrace fronting the hotel is a great spot for social functions, which is why many large conventions and corporate events are often held at the hotel. Plentiful meeting space includes regal boardrooms and grandiose ballrooms that add to the historic feel. This property commands one of the top hotel positions in town thanks to its elegant interior, historic facade, and impeccable service that is representative of the midwest Canadian hospitality.