Another Bill W review for you! Bill is a true road warrior, his work has him driving and flying
across Western and Central Canada every week while staying in a variety
hotels from a variety of chains. Bill has been reading, following and
even giving Rewards Canada tips and updates for a very long time so let’s welcome him back with this contribution!
This newer hotel is part of the IHG group of hotels. There are actually 2 IHG hotels at this site, the other being a Holiday Inn Express.
The Front Desk area is rather small (compared to the Holiday Inn next door), though it is still inviting. It is open 7:00 am – 11:00 pm, and closed overnight, but the Holiday Inn Front Desk is available to handle any concerns or issues.
Access is from 100 Ave NW (which is one-way Eastbound). However, there is only one entrance and if you miss it, you will have to circle the block. There are 4 hotels in this block, and the only entrance is at The Element (by Westin). After that is the Four Points by Sheraton and then the Holiday Inn Express and Suites and the Candlewood Hotel. There is an exit from the parking lot at the end by the Candlewood, left turn only. This access cannot be used from 100 Ave NW, it is clearly marked that left turns from 100 Ave NW onto the property are not allowed.
Parking is abysmal at best for all of these hotels. The main parking is in front of the hotels along 100 Ave and the Holiday Inn & Candlewood do have underground parking (which is really appreciated in the wintertime. Warm car and no snow to clear…). The other hotels (The Element & Four Points) also have underground parking. There are approximately 70 above ground parking stalls in front of the Candlewood and the Holiday Inn, the balance are in the underground parking.
The room I received was on the 4th floor overlooking the main highway (100 Ave NW). It was a King bed with pull out couch and kitchenette. There is a bulletin Board that provides you with hotel information.
This room was equipped with a functional kitchenette that is located right inside the door as you enter. There is a full-size fridge, microwave, coffeemaker, dishwasher and small two-burner stove. They have also provided a toaster, kettle and place settings for 4. The room is designed primarily for 2 but having more than two place settings does allow for you to have some friends over for dinner. The kitchen-area table only seats two as well, but the coffee table can be used as an alternate.
The room is a bit convoluted in its setup; that is due primarily to the fact that the bedroom is in a separate room from the rest of the unit.
There is a 48” TV located over the table on the wall beside the table, but it is in line with the couch so viewing sightlines are good. It’s very nice to see that they are offering HDTV and not just standard definition.
The bathroom is located across from the kitchen and features a shower only (no tub). The shower head is 75” from the bottom of the tub, so even people over 6’ tall will be able to shower comfortably. The bathroom is very nicely laid out with lots of towels available and the usual amenities. They feature J.R. Watkins shower products (shampoo, conditioner and shower gel). These are conveniently located in pump bottles in the shower itself, though they do have soap bars available if you wish to use them instead of the shower gel. The water pressure was quite good with plenty of hot water.
Past the living room is the work table and bedroom. The work table is nicely located by an outside window which helps to provide natural light for you to work with. However, there is a HVAC unit underneath the counter, and it does get to be a bit chilly sitting here, especially if it should start up. There are 4 outlets available to power your devices, though one of them is utilized by the HVAC unit, leaving you with only three. The outlets are located under the counter, so you will have to sort of crawl under to plug in your equipment. (It may be an idea for the hotel to install a power bar on top of the desk for ease of access for guests). The door to the bedroom had to be propped open or closed if you were sitting at the desk. It was held in place by the chair when I arrived, but once you move the chair, it swings outwards. I had to put my backpack against it in order to work comfortably. The Internet speed was very good and I was able to stream a Netflix movie with ease.
The bedroom has a king size bed, 40” TV, and closet space to hang your clothes. The two end tables on either side of the bed both have easily accessible electrical outlets for your phone or other electronics. (Very handy for someone like myself who uses my phone for an alarm clock). One thing they have done to try to help you get a good night’s sleep is they have installed a “Sound Machine”. This machine can be used to create various “white noise” sounds designed to soothe you to sleep more easily. It has 48 different audio selections, so you should be able to find the type of sound that is right for you.
There are quite a few amenities that you would not expect to find in a Hotel. While it is common nowadays for hotels to offer laundry facilities (washer & dryer), they are usually coin operated. Not so at Candlewood, laundry facilities are complimentary. (Though you will still have to purchase the laundry soap). They also have a “Lending Locker” where you can borrow board games, jumper cables, and umbrellas along with various kitchen items (blenders, toaster ovens, crock pots, etc.). The Candlewood cupboard is also available. This is open 24 hours and is like a mini convenience store. They have assorted drinks, food items (including microwaveable product) and sundries (razors, deodorant…) available for purchase. The kicker is that this operates on the honor system. You can either fill out a charge slip to charge to your room or place the correct amount of money in the drop box. Virtually everything is priced in even dollar amounts for ease of calculation and payment. (Let’s face it, most people don’t carry much cash, so the chances of having coins to pay the correct amount is not high).
Several of the amenities are shared by the 2 hotels. The pool area with hot tub is very inviting. The hotel has also provided tables and chairs in the pool area. They have a games room complete with foosball table and hockey along with a couple of arcade style video games. The fitness area is well-equipped with several treadmill, stepper machines and free weights.
Overall, I found my stay to be very comfortable and enjoyable. The hotel is definitely geared for the longer-stay traveller and would easily be very comfortable over the course of a week or more. Even just for the overnight traveller, it is very comfortable and relaxing.
Points required for a free night 20,000 Points
Points+Cash rates: 10,000 Points + C$81 or 15,000 Points + C$40
Talk to us! Have you stayed at the Candlewood Suites West Edmonton – Mall Area ? What are your thoughts of the hotel? Or are you
planning to and looking forward to it? Let us know below!
Title image via IHG, all other images are those of the authors.
All photos courtesy of the author!