Pomeroy Kananaskis Mountain Lodge
Pomeroy Kananaskis Mountain Lodge has joined the Autograph Collection by Marriott.
By Alan Dorich, Senior Editor at Knighthouse Media
When guests stay at the Pomeroy Kananaskis Mountain Lodge, they can take the time to relax, or enjoy various activities. “We want to fill every moment of your day,” General Manager Stephen Dodwell says.
Located in Kananaskis, Alberta, the lodge is an hour’s drive east of Calgary and the Calgary International Airport. It consists of three buildings that were originally built for the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics. Pomeroy Lodging LP purchased the property three years ago, and recently invested $40 million in updating the lodge, which made it the largest renovation in the Canadian Rockies.
Today, “Everything is new,” Dodwell says, adding that Pomeroy Kananaskis Mountain Lodge features 247 bedrooms, as well as completely new public areas and conference rooms. It is renovating its pool and family area, which will be a water park with slides and squirt guns.
Pomeroy Kananaskis Mountain Lodge also boasts a fitness room and its Kananaskis Nordic Spa, which features 50,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space. “You can spend a whole day in and out of hot pools, warm pools, salt rooms and exfoliating rooms,” he says, noting that this provides adults with some time away from their children.
“We’ll take care of them for you,” Dodwell says, adding that the lodge offers summer and day camps, movie nights and an entire children’s play area to keep the young ones occupied. “We have babysitting services for all ages; from babies to teens, we’ll keep them well entertained.”
The lodge’s location in the Kananaskis Valley also provides guests with plenty of natural beauty to enjoy. “What you’re going to get is modern mountain luxury set in the most unique setting we can think of,” Dodwell says.
Pomeroy Kananaskis Mountain Lodge also is on the periphery of Banff National Park. “It’s a place of natural parks and rivers,” he says, adding that families can take part in outdoor activities together.
These can range from walking, hiking and sightseeing to helicopter, cave and sightseeing tours. “We describe it as delivering authentic Canadian hospitality,” Dodwell says.
Around the Fire
This March, Pomeroy Kananaskis Mountain Lodge joined Marriott Hotels and Resorts’ Autograph Collection of hotels. “There’s only 150 in the world,” Dodwell says, noting that each property has its own distinct identity.
The lodge is distinguished by its “Fireside Moments” theme, which includes having musicians, storytellers and dancers perform around its fire pit. “We’ll toast some smores or have a cocktail if you want a bit a socializing,” he says.
Members of the Stoney Nakoda First Nations tribe and famous mountain climbers also come to the lodge’s gatherings. “[We’re] trying to make it so you don’t feel you’re in a hotel,” he says. “People love it.”
Dodwell highlights the lodge’s restaurants and bars, which include its Cedar Room. “We call it an authentic Canadian chop house,” he says, noting that it serves premium cuts of Canadian beef, fresh seafood and humanely raised poultry.
Its Blacktail Bar offers many of the same items, alongside handcrafted cocktails and regional beers, and its Forte Restaurant specializes in Italian cuisine. “[It serves] some of the best pizza you’ve had in your life, out of a wood fire,” he states.
Guests can enjoy coffee, pastries and sandwiches at its Market Café, as well as local beers and homemade burgers at Woody’s Pub & Patio. “We’ve created a full resort experience, with everything guests need from the moment they check-in right here, so they don’t have to leave while they’re with us, if they wish!” Dodwell says.
A longtime veteran of the hospitality industry, Dodwell joined Pomeroy Lodging six years ago. His decision to join Pomeroy Kananaskis Mountain Lodge “is the best thing I ever did,” he declares. “I’m the luckiest GM in the world to have my boss spend $40 million on my little place and turn it into something special.”
He sees more additions ahead for the lodge, including what will be the largest children’s sand pit in Alberta. “It’s looking good for 2018, even though we’re still undergoing renovations,” he says. “2019 will be a cracking year, and 2020 will be the year where the sun will come out and we’ll see exponential growth.”