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Regina Saskatchewan Travel Guide + Win an All Expense Paid EPIC trip with Marriott Canada

Regina Saskatchewan Travel Guide + Win an All Expense Paid EPIC trip with Marriott Canada

This year marks the 150th birthday of the country I call home – Canada! I was born, raised, and lived here my entire existence but truth be told I haven’t travelled much within my own country. At the end of the day when I was making travel plans competing priorities with visiting friends and family who lived overseas in Asia and Europe always meant that exploring the place I had lived my entire life took a back burner.

That is until Marriott Hotels invited me to experience first hand a luxury trip to one of their destinations in Canada. As part of 150th birthday celebrations they are giving away 5 all-expense paid trips for two to various locations within Canada. This includes accommodations at a Marriott branded location (the company has 19 brands in Canada), air fare, and $1000 for you to spend on anything your vacation fantasies can conjure up. Not too shabby at all.

Keep on reading to see my epic vacation to Regina, Saskatchewan and don’t forget to enter the contest at the bottom of my blog post so that you can win your own epic Canadian vacation with Marriott.

 

Where to Stay: The Hotel Saskatchewan, Autograph Collection

The Hotel Saskatchewan is part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection of luxury hotels. As they describe in their Autograph Collection “These are places that surprise, intrigue, enchant, and beguile. Each one is selected for the Collection because it offers its visitors an experience that is exactly like nothing else, in landmark buildings that combine rich and compelling history, cutting edge modern design, and amenities, unparalleled levels of comfort, and a powerful sense of connection to their locale”. When you step into The Hotel Saskatchewan the first feeling I felt was definitely that of intrigue. Set in a historic building it was one of 14 hotels built and owned by the Canadian Pacific Railway but having received a grand renovation in the past 3 years to step inside The Hotel Saskatchewan is to step into a world of old-world regal glamour that is mixed with modern touches and amenities.

 

The Saskatchewan Hotel: Suite Living Area
The Hotel Saskatchewan: Suite Living Area
The Saskatchewan Hotel: Suite Bed
The Hotel Saskatchewan: Suite Bed

The space is filled top to bottom with chandeliers, lush prints and textures, and historic architectural details that have been kept true to their roots. While it maintains its historic charm it comes equipped with all the amenities of a modern day traveler. In-house spa, barber, event spaces, fitness facilities, lounge, bar, restaurant, and of course the all-important complimentary wifi are available on site.

The Saskatchewan Hotel: Lobby
The Hotel Saskatchewan: Lobby

 

The Saskatchewan Hotel: Lounge
The Hotel Saskatchewan: Lounge

Afternoon tea is available daily in the hotel lounge area but if you book ahead beforehand you can make reservations to have your afternoon tea served in the Royal Suite where the Queen of England and Justin Bieber once stayed. Hey, if it’s good enough for the Queen of England and the Biebs then it’s definitely good enough for me.

Everything is made in-house and served in a traditional style with finger tea sandwiches, scones with house made whipped strawberry butter and preserves, and decadent miniature desserts to top the tier. Plus it’s not everyday you get to experience afternoon tea in a setting fit for a royal.

The Saskatchewan Hotel: Afternoon Tea
The Hotel Saskatchewan: Afternoon Tea

Truthfully when I’m travelling it’s not exactly my preference to eat at the hotel as I generally like to explore local restaurants and shops. I do however tend to try at least one meal at the hotel I’m staying at as I like to know what options are available. Especially during those times you have the late night hunger pains and everything else is closed or you have an early morning flight out and can’t get out to explore the city one last time.

During my stay at The Hotel Saskatchewan I ate twice at the in-house restaurant (three times if you include the afternoon tea experience). To eat twice at the hotel I’m staying at isn’t just a rare experience, it’s basically non-existent and this was the first time I have ever done so. The first was to try out the breakfast buffet. Now, buffets in general tend to get a bad rep and I myself am definitely not a fan of them but I have to say the breakfast buffet here was much higher quality than most. There was plenty of fresh fruit, in-house baked pastries, and hot piping bacon, sausages, and eggs. Pretty much everything you could ever crave in the morning all with a side of 3 types of freshly squeezed juice and hot coffee.

Now normally that would be the end of my hotel restaurant meal explorations but I came back a second time for breakfast. Later in the day after I had finished my breakfast buffet I decided to take a walk by the local lake. About 15 minutes into my stroll an elderly gentlemen stopped me and said he had seen me having breakfast buffet earlier at the Hotel Saskatchewan. After making polite conversation about where I was from he told me he had been visiting The Hotel Saskatchewan weekly every week since 1970 to have the pancakes off the à la carte breakfast menu. He told me that hands down they were the best pancakes he’s ever eaten. I was curious at this point. I mean, if this man had been visiting weekly for the past 47 years then there had to be something about these pancakes so I returned the next morning to try them. After taking the first bite I can see why he has frequented this place for the pancakes for almost half a century. They were the lightest, fluffiest, and just plain one of the tastiest pancakes I had ever eaten. Fluffy on the inside and with perfectly crisp edges they were topped with fresh berries and just the right amount of powdered sugar. A second trip to Regina would be worth it just to eat these pancakes alone and after having these pancakes I’m beginning to think I need to re-think my stance on eating at the hotel I’m staying at.

The Saskatchewan Hotel: Breakfast Pancakes
The Saskatchewan Hotel: Breakfast Pancakes

 

The Saskatchewan Hotel: Breakfast Buffet
The Saskatchewan Hotel: Breakfast Buffet

Now as amazing as any hotel can be any traveler can attest to the fact that it doesn’t really matter how good the food is or how beautiful the rooms are if the hotel isn’t conveniently located. One of the most amazing things about this hotel (besides everything else) is its location. Located smack in the middle of downtown Regina it is situated right across from Victoria Square with a view of the park. This means that not only does it have a gorgeous view but it also puts it within a 5-20 minute walk from all the hot-spots in this gem of a city. Convenience at it’s finest. Not to mention being within walking distance of everything you’d want to visit means more cash in your pockets to spend enjoying the city instead of paying for cabs.

What to Eat and Drink

The Copper Kettle

The Copper Kettle is one of Regina’s oldest family-owned local restaurants. For 50 years this local favorite has been serving up Greek specialties as well as their renowned pizza.

After trying this place once I came back a second time because their pizza is that good. It’s a unique style all on its own and I would best describe it as an elevated deep dish but with high quality gourmet toppings. It’s easy to see why this place is still going strong after 50 years. The friend that recommended this joint to me told me she once carried one of these pizzas home in her carry-on luggage when she returned to Toronto. I can’t say I blame her.

Regina, Saskatchewan: The Copper Kettle Pizza
Regina, Saskatchewan: The Copper Kettle Pizza

 

Rebellion Brewery Co.

Rebellion Brewery is rooted in Regina Saskatchewan and is founded by Regina’s own Jamie Singer, who is a 15 times brewing champion and a well known fixture on the home brewing scene.

I have to admit I’m not actually a fan of beer but after sampling some of the offerings at Rebellion I might just change my tune. Seriously, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed their home grown hops and if I actually lived in Regina I’d probably be a regular here.

They offer tours of their entire brewing process which includes samples of their current offerings, and the tour is free! Score!

Regina, Saskatchewan: Rebellion Brewing
Regina, Saskatchewan: Rebellion Brewing

Hunter Gatherer 

Hunter Gatherer is a Vegetarian restaurant with plenty of vegan options for the plant-based dweller. Their black bean veggie burger can replace a meat counterpart anytime and their double fried fries topped with herbs and Parmesan make this place a destination in itself.

Regina, Saskatchewan: Hunter Gatherer, the Stranger Vegetarian Burger
Regina, Saskatchewan: Hunter Gatherer, the Stranger Vegetarian Burger + double fried parmesan herb fries

Flip Eatery & Drink

Another fixture in Regina’s food scene Flip Eatery & Drink offers comfort food in a casual but modern setting. Dill curly fries and fried Brussels sprouts with walnuts and dates make for the perfect sides to their egg topped spätzle, and on weekends their brunch will keep your belly more than satisfied with avocado toast and breakfast poutine.

Regina, Saskatchewan: Flip Eatery & Drink
Regina, Saskatchewan: Flip Eatery & Drink

Dessart Sweets Ice Cream & Candy Store

Part candy store, part ice cream parlor Dessarts sells vintage style candies as well as imported treats from the UK. As you can also tell by the name they also serve ice cream and this place knows how to do it up. With an endless list of flavors for traditional churned ice cream, milkshakes, floats, it’s the soft serve here that really steals the show. Made in-house this is some of the best soft serve I’ve eaten. In the two days I spend in Regina I visited this place twice, the second time eating 2 soft serve cones in one sitting. It is the kind of ice cream that you will continue to remember for years to come unless you’re lucky enough to be able to visit on a regular basis. They even offer cocoa sugar cones dipped in sprinkles that have been imported from Italy and these cones are equally as impressive as their soft serve is.

Regina, Saskatchewan: Dessart Soft Serve
Regina, Saskatchewan: Dessart Soft Serve

Where to get your Caffeine

Like their food and drink scene Regina is full of independently owned establishments. There’s plenty of coffee shops that brew up beans from local roasters and you can taste it.

Fix Coffee

Fix coffee eats and breathes local. Featuring local roasters exclusively on a regular rotation they also serve up locally baked goods which you can enjoy while you cozy up in this bright space while admiring artwork form local Regina artists.

Regina, Saskatchewan: Fix Coffee
Regina, Saskatchewan: Fix Coffee

Naked Bean Espreasso

Another local favorite they also serve cookies and cakes which are all made in-house. Various tea lattes are also available including my personal favorite, the matcha latte.

Regina, Saskatchewan: Naked Bean Espresso
Regina, Saskatchewan: Naked Bean Espresso

What to See

Wascana Lake

Saskatchewan is covered in natural beauty but much of it tends to be more remote and challenging to get to. Wascana Lake is one of the few scenic places that is situated close to Regina’s downtown core just a short 20 minute walk away. I spent the entire morning touring  this beauty which includes impeccably landscaped gardens in front of the Wascana Centre which houses Regina parliament, wildlife, and many outdoor activities like paddle boarding, canoeing, and outdoor art exhibits.

Regina, Saskatchewan: Wascana Lake
Regina, Saskatchewan: Wascana Lake

Regina Farmer’s Market

If you’re lucky to visit Regina on a Saturday you should definitely check out the Regina Farmer’s market which takes place downtown Victoria Square each week. Find everything from locally grown produce, baked goods, and some of the most beautiful blooms.

Regina, Saskatchewan: Regina Farmer's Market
Regina, Saskatchewan: Regina Farmer’s Market

 

Regina, Saskatchewan: Regina Farmer's Market, Rosie Flower Truck
Regina, Saskatchewan: Regina Farmer’s Market, Rosie Flower Truck

 

Regina, Saskatchewan: Regina Farmer's Market, Dosi Donut
Regina, Saskatchewan: Regina Farmer’s Market, Dosi Donut

The Paper Umbrella

Located on Regina’s bustling Cathedral neighbourhood The Paper Umbrella supplies gifts that are meant to inspire. You’ll find the most beautifully crafted stationary, fountain pens, and office supplies fit to turn anyone into a creative protégé.

Regina, Saskatchewan: The Paper Umbrella
Regina, Saskatchewan: The Paper Umbrella

 

How to Win an All-Expense Paid Epic Luxury Adventure for Two with Marriott Canada 

And now for the best part….you can win your own epic luxury adventure for two with Marriott Canada! Not gonna lie, it’s a pretty sweet prize and there are five of them up for grabs. If you win I’m available as a travel buddy as well.

What’s Included:

  • There are a total of five epic adventure trips up for grabs
  • Each of the five winners will receive a trip for two including one hotel room, flights for the winner and one guest, and $1000 CAD spending money
  • Each trip will include at least one activity/experience
  • Winners have up to one year to redeem their trip based on availability and blackout dates

How to Enter:

  • Contest runs from June 22, 2017-July 20, 2017
  • To enter the contest check out  MarriottCanada150.dja.com and SPGCanada150.dja.com
  • Winners have up to one year to redeem their trip based on availability and blackout dates
  • Contest open to residents of Canada and the United States and winners will be chosen by Marriott and selected by a random third party
  • When entering the contest sweepstakes applicants will select which trip they hope to win from a gallery of options provided
  • Winners will be determined on July 24, 2017 and once contacted they have two days to return paperwork.

 

 

Disclaimer: This post was done in collaboration with Marriot Hotels Canada. All opinions expressed are my own. All offerings and prices are accurate as of time of posting. Please refer to restaurant/shop for most up to date information.

*All images are copyrighted Allons.Y Styling & Photography. Please do not use or re-post without written consent and provide credit where applicable

 

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