Delta Lodge: Luxury amenities in a rustic setting

Travel Weekly assistant editor Tara Rosa visited the Delta Lodge at Kananaskis in Alberta. Her report follows:

KANANASKIS, Alberta -- For guests seeking what I would call "rustic luxury," the Delta Lodge at Kananaskis is the place to go.

Its location is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts, and the property's amenities offer a relaxing atmosphere where guests can be pampered.

Located 62 miles west of Calgary, the lodge sits in the Canadian Rockies, surrounded by 1,500 square miles of wilderness in Kananaskis Valley.

Dale Dyck, the Delta Lodge's general manager, said, "We have one of the remaining areas that's sort of wild, where you can have the best of both worlds."

Because there is no nearby town, guests are basically confined to the resort. But with all of the available activities, guests can spend an entire vacation without ever having to leave the hotel's grounds or the surrounding area.

"[Guests] could cross-country ski, hike or go rafting -- depending on the season -- and then come back and have a four-diamond [rated] meal or a massage," Dyck said.

Other activities offered in the area include ice skating and snowshoeing in the winter and hiking and biking in the summer.

"We try and think of ourselves as sort of a 'stationary cruise ship' and package activities with the stay," Dyck said.

The Delta Lodge at Kananaskis is a year-round resort destination, surrounded by 1,500 square miles of protected wilderness. The 321-room property is comprised of two buildings located steps away from each other -- the Lodge and the Signature Club.

The Lodge houses the majority of the resort's guest rooms, three restaurants, a bistro-style deli, a spa and fitness center and shops.

The Lodge's guest rooms feature a "woodsy" and Western motif. The decor uses dark woods and colors. Rawhide sconces light the hallways, and handmade quilts cover the beds.

The eateries are Brady's Market, serving Mediterranean cuisine (the chocolate fondue dessert is a must); Fireweed Grill, which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner daily and features a variety of foods from burgers to salmon, and the Season Dining Room, which offers Canadian cuisine.

There is also the Obsessions Deli and Chocolatier, with such offerings as sandwiches, stews and handmade truffles.

According to Dyck, one of the Lodge's "proudest achievements" is the addition of the $1 million Summit Spa, which was completed in June.

The Summit Spa and Fitness Center features a saltwater pool; an indoor/outdoor whirlpool; an eucalyptus-infused steam room; a fully equipped gym; men's and women's locker rooms, and a variety of treatment rooms for facials, massages and body wraps.

Among the hotel's shops is a facility that rents equipment for outdoor activities.

The Signature Club, on the other hand, is more like a concierge building in- stead of the traditional concierge floor found at other properties.

The building's lobby doubles as a lounge, complete with couches and intimate tables set around a cozy fireplace.

Continental breakfast is served here in the mornings as are hors d'oeuvres in the evenings.

The rooms at the Signature Club offer a more classic and business-like atmosphere than the Lodge's rooms.

Each room is decorated in beige, light greens and browns and contain mahogany furniture, sitting areas, desks stocked with office supplies, data ports, CD players and portable phones.

"In the future, we have a number of things that we want to do, such as connect the two buildings and add Internet access in the rooms," said Dyck.

In the past three years, the property has spent about $9 million on renovations.

"We have done [over] everything throughout both build- ings, from carpets to wallpaper to soft goods," Dyck said.

In addition, the property's convention center offers 16,000 square feet of meetings space in the Signature Club building.

The property also offers a pet policy.

Animals are permitted to stay in their owners' rooms at a rate of $100 per stay (seeing-eye dogs are allowed at no extra charge), $50 of which is donated to the Calgary Humane Society.

Dyck said high season for the resort is from the end of May to September.

"Most people think we might be a ski destination, but we have a much higher occupancy in the summer," he said.

Rates in the high season range from $195 for a standard room to $410 for a suite.

Dyck added that the hotel offers discounted room rates, "consistently in excess of 50%" to agents.

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