My husband and I love all types of music. We’re always searching for new artists, genres and tunes. Most of our vacations are planned around concerts and festivals. This means that we spent a lot of time in Edmonton, Alberta.
What a fantastic city. There are more than 65 festivals held here each year – many featuring some type of music. When visiting, we try and book one of Edmonton’s luxury boutique hotels. The personal service we receive makes it feels as if we’re staying with friends. Depending on the event, we’ll either reserve right in the city centre or in the Old Strathcona district.
Whyte Avenue in Old Strathcona is an entertainment mecca. Live music, street performers and outdoor festivals create a real party atmosphere. The Metterra Hotel on Whyte is in the heart of the action and just a few blocks from the Old Strathcona Farmer’s Market. We’ll usually grab an early morning bite at the hotel’s complimentary breakfast buffet and then tour the market for lunch. Pre-dinner drinks are always at Metterra’s hosted evening wine tasting. A few of my favourite reds were discovered here. The Varscona Hotel on Whyte is another favourite and if we’re in town on a Tuesday or Sunday you’ll likely find us here. This is because O’Byrne’s Irish Pub – attached to the hotel – has a Celtic jam session every Tuesday and open mic night on Sunday. We’ve seen some amazing local talent rock this stage.
Many outdoor events and concerts take place at City Hall and Churchill Square in Edmonton’s business and arts district. Union Bank Inn is a short walk from the square and the city’s concert halls and theatres. The historic building that once housed the Union Bank of Canada is now a quaint boutique hotel. I love hearing the gentle knock on our guest room door each evening when the complimentary wine and cheese arrives. A full à la carte breakfast in the award-winning Madison Grill is also included. Free wine, cheese and gourmet breakfast – how great is that? The Matrix Hotel is also within walking distance of the arts district and river valley park system. For my birthday weekend, we booked the signature Onyx suite and barbecued on our private deck after the hotel’s evening wine tasting. Then on our last night my husband surprised me with dinner at the award-winning Wildflower Restaurant next door and a concert at the Winspear Centre.