Fall, besides being my favourite season, is also my favourite time to take a road trip! The cooler weather makes long drives more comfortable; the changing leaves offer a breathtaking backdrop, and the absence of humidity ensures I’ll have better hair days. (Okay, so the last one has nothing to do with road trips.)
We were recently invited by The Westin Ottawa to experience the family-friendly features of their hotel, and we happily accepted! Ottawa is only about a 4-hour drive from the Greater Toronto Area, making it an easy option for weekend getaways. I did some light research about the hotel and its amenities before we arrived, just to have an understanding of how we could pass the time while there.
Translation: I had expectations.
Spoiler alert: Those expectations were exceeded.
Here are three reasons to fall in love with The Westin Ottawa.
Location. The Westin Ottawa is ideally-located right in the heart of downtown Ottawa, with some of the city’s most revered attractions only steps away. In fact, once we drove into the city we didn’t need our vehicle again; we were able to walk everywhere from Parliament Hill to Byward Market to paths along the Rideau Canal. This is excellent news, especially for families; it allows you to be a little more flexible with your sightseeing plans, knowing that you don’t have to drive/ park/ repeat. The hotel is also within walking distance of several family-friendly restaurants and cafes.
The crowning touch of their enviable location? The Westin Ottawa is attached to the CF Rideau Centre shopping mall! You can access the mall directly from the third floor of the hotel. I know a shopping mall may not seem like the most exciting tourist attraction, but consider this: during our weekend stay, it rained rather heavily for short periods, twice. Rather than huddle in our hotel room waiting for the showers to pass, we simply headed to the mall and window shopped. It was the perfect “plan b”!
Fitness and Recreation. A hotel is a family’s “home base”, and as such, it has to effectively address the inevitable rumblings of “I’m bored”. The Westin Ottawa offers several recreational amenities that will keep the kiddos entertained, including a heated saltwater pool, complete with a sun deck overlooking the spires of Parliament Hill and the serene Rideau Canal.
You can also have a friendly game of one-on-one basketball; one of the squash courts doubles as a mini basketball court, suitable for a handful of players. Older children and adults can keep up with their fitness routine with the hotel’s WestinWORKOUT Fitness Studio, where you can reserve a session with a personal trainer or take advantage of The Westin Ottawa’s certified fitness consulting.
(No workout gear? No problem. The hotel has partnered with New Balance to provide athletic shoes and apparel during your stay, for a nominal fee.)
Family Movie Night. Upon request, The Westin Ottawa can set-up a kid-friendly tent in your room, so the whole family can enjoy quality time together and a cozy night-in. The selection of on-demand movies is plentiful and offers several kid-friendly titles; snacks of popcorn, candy and beverages can also be included in your family movie night package (contact the hotel to inquire about fees).
It’s the perfect way to unwind after a day of sightseeing; bonus marks if mom and dad can stay awake for the entire feature! (We lost my husband about 30 minutes in.)
Are you road-tripping this season? If Ottawa is on your list of “must visit” cities, I hope you’ll fall in love with The Westin Ottawa, too.
This post is sponsored by Marriott International. I received complimentary accommodations and other hotel perks in exchange for my review.