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Accommodation in Alberta

• A WorldWeb.com Travel Guide for Alberta, Canada.
From hotels to bed and breakfasts to teepees, the robust province of Alberta offers every type of accommodation under the sun (and big, blue Albertan sky). Diversity is key in this part of Canada: the adventurous can contemplate the stars shining over a backcountry lodge; families can pitch a tent in a scenic campground; cowboy wannabes can climb in the saddle at a guest ranch; the pampered can recline at a luxurious spa retreat; and those on a shoestring have plenty of hostels and affordable hotels to choose from. Let's start from the top:

NORTHERN ALBERTA

An isolated and vast terrain, northern Alberta attracts outdoor adventurers and nature lovers with fishing, canoeing and snowmobiling being some of the region's most popular excursions. The starkly beautiful landscape is punctuated by lakes and rivers and is home to a variety of hardy wildlife. In a place of such pristine wilderness it's no surprise that camping is a favourite pastime of visitors to northern Alberta. Organized campgrounds are found everywhere, many of which are even open year round. For fishing fanatics, remote fly-in lodges are popularly accessed from Fort McMurray, and cabins are quite common throughout the region.

This outdoor paradise also offers plenty of hotels, especially in major centres and communities such as Grande Prairie, Fort McMurray, High Level and Peace River.

ALBERTA'S HEARTLAND

Genuine western hospitality awaits visitors to Alberta's Heartland—the heart and soul of the province's cowboy culture. Its rolling prairies and shimmering lakes are ideal settings for guest ranches, cabins and campgrounds. Although hotels and motels are abundant, especially in main centres like Red Deer, Camrose and Rocky Mountain House, guest ranches such as Ride the Wind Ranch provide visitors with the best taste of the heartland's traditional country lifestyle—from ranch chores to horseback riding to western cuisine. Local hospitality can also be enjoyed at bed and breakfasts found mostly in Red Deer and Rocky Mountain House.

Campgrounds are located throughout central Alberta but are particularly rife—as are cabin resorts—around Rocky Mountain House, a delightful town on the banks of the North Saskatchewan River in the foothills of the Rockies. And the resort community of Sylvan Lake, the region's most popular summer holiday spot, is speckled with cute vacation rental cottages from which to enjoy the area's sandy beaches.

EDMONTON & AREA

Set in a scenic river valley in Alberta’s Heartland, Edmonton is the provincial capital and is also considered the centre of arts and culture in Alberta. As a large, vibrant city, Edmonton offers the full spectrum of accommodation options. Chain hotels and independent properties are found everywhere. For a novel hotel experience, book a themed room in the Fantasyland Hotel at West Edmonton Mall (North America’s biggest shopping and entertainment complex). In Edmonton, backpackers will have no trouble finding a cheap bed at one of the numerous hostels.

Those who prefer a quieter pace yet still want the city at a convenient stone’s throw should consider laying their heads on a pillow in the wider Edmonton area. Again, there are many hotels located in locales like Fort Saskatchewan—a historic town 17 km (11 mi) northeast of the city, Sherwood Park—a residential area on the southeast side of Edmonton, and Leduc—just a few minutes south. Fort Saskatchewan and Sherwood Park both offer genuine hospitality in lots of bed and breakfasts, too.

ALBERTA'S ROCKIES

A dream destination for travellers worldwide, Alberta's Rocky Mountains beckon visitors year round. Small mountain towns tucked in nature’s cradle of majestic peaks and national parks are surrounded by forest and emerald lakes. Winter recreationists can ski to the doorstep of their resort accommodation, while in summer campgrounds are booked out months in advance.

Hotels, lodges, resorts, cabins, campgrounds and hostels are readily available throughout the mountains in Jasper, Lake Louise, Banff, Canmore, Kananaskis Country and Waterton. Bed and breakfasts are common in Jasper and Banff, while Kananaskis Country boasts the most campgrounds. Luxury is never too far away in this wilderness either at famous Fairmont hotels Banff Springs and Chateau Lake Louise. In Canmore, vacation rentals offer guests a true home away from home and visitors can even bunk down in a teepee at Sundance Lodges.

CALGARY & AREA

Convenient to both the prairies and the Rocky Mountains in southern Alberta, the city of Calgary is home to the world-famous Calgary Stampede and this big, sparkling metropolis shines with western personality and pride. Like its rival city Edmonton, Calgary offers all types of accommodation, and plenty of it. There is even a significant stretch of highway nicknamed Motel Village.

Airdrie—a prairie town 13 km (9 mi) north of Calgary—and Okotoks, a pleasant little city with a famous rock just 15 minutes south of Calgary, are both home to a few hotels and provide a convenient alternative base. The wider Calgary area touts small towns rich in history and natural beauty and definitely worth an overnight stay. Artsy and scenic Bragg Creek, 44 km (27 mi) from Calgary, hosts guests in charming bed and breakfasts and campgrounds, while Cochrane (37 km/23 mi northwest of the city) and High River (37 km/23 mi south of Calgary) are both steeped in ranching history and western culture and provide rest at hotels, bed and breakfasts and campgrounds.

ALBERTA'S SOUTH

Windswept plains, dramatic foothills, parched badlands and lots of open sky paint a Wild West picture in Alberta's south. With canyons, hoodoos and a rich bed of dinosaur fossils, the town of Drumheller is at the heart of the region’s famous badlands. It provides its many tourists with hotels, bed and breakfasts, cabins and campgrounds. These types of accommodation can also be found in southern Alberta’s other main centres: Fort Macleod, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat (Canada’s sunniest city), Pincher Creek and Brooks. Fort Macleod is of particular note for being a designated provincial historic area and near the site of the Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump where one can stay in a traditional teepee.
Coast Plaza Hotel and Conference Centre Calgary
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Photos of Alberta  Coast Plaza Hotel and Conference Centre Calgary
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