A Weekend at YYC Airport Marriott

>> Friday, February 2, 2018

It’s been a long winter so far. Normally we’d be traveling to try and escape the cold or at least make it a little shorter and more bearable but this year between the craziness of work and the fact that we’re expecting a little one soon. Traveling wasn’t in the cards. However, we did have a bit of a reprieve when we were invited to the new airport Marriott for a fun weekend event! I thought it was brilliant! A nice little staycation to make us forget that we’re still in the city without the hassle of actually flying.

When we checked in to our room we were greeted with fun instructions for a Rocky Mountain cocktail featuring park distillery vodka. The concept was that we would mix the cocktail ourselves with locally sourced ingredients and paired with some sourdough with fixings from Marriott’s own Yakima restaurant. I thought it was a fun way to introduce people to Calgary, a nice little welcome gift for those who just want to kick back a little when they enter their rooms and just take in the surrounding scenery of YYC airport and view of the incoming and outgoing flights.


The itinerary was packed from the start with a tour of the facility followed by a welcome reception with their bourbon suppliers, Maker’s Mark. As part of the evening we got to try and make our own bourbon cocktail. Sadly for me I am a gin girl and negronis are my go to. Not to mention that I’m pregnant and drinking was pretty much beyond my control. None the less it was a ton of fun playing around with the flavors in my head to see what might work out. Needless to say, we didn’t win the friendly competition but it did make me miss a good drink! Afterwards we were treated to an amazing spread of appetizers from their Yakima restaurant which included sliders, charcuterie like housemate beef jerky, pickled veggies, smoked chicken wings and more. To accompany the food, they served up some all-time bourbon cocktail favorites like the old fashioned, manhattans & whiskey sours. People also got to try the barrel select bourbon along with other vintages to really get a feel for the differences that age makes. We decided to make a night of it!


The next day, we woke up and headed downstairs to Yakima for their buffet breakfast. As parents, it was nice to be able to wake up whenever we wanted opposed to having a child alarm clock. At our leisure, we strolled down and grabbed a bite. I went straight over to the pastry table and enjoyed that there was a nice selection of various pastries to accompany the savory portion of my meal. Who doesn’t need a nice pastry or two or three in the morning? If you don’t have much of a sweet tooth, they also offer a nice select of breakfast items to get your started like bacon and eggs or even oatmeal. For those wanting something a bit more substantial, you can order off their breakfast menu which includes Eggs Benedict, Lemongrass Salmon or an Alberta 5 Egg Omelet.


Afterwards, we all gathered awaiting our ride out to Cochrane to visit the Half Hitch Brewery, another local partner (Marriott carries their beers on tap, so you can try it in the city without having to venture out to Cochrane). Once there, we were taken around on a tour of their facilities to learn a bit more about their brewing process. It’s always nice seeing a microbrewery compared to their large counterparts, you can see the heart that goes in to every step of the process and the care that’s given to their product. After the brewery tour, we were treated to some amazing drinks, appetizers and mains at the restaurant. My favorite was definitely the chicharrons, those deep-fried pork rinds were nothing short of amazing. Topped with togarashi spice, they had just the right amount of spice and a good amount of crunch. I’ll definitely be heading back for those! Next our mains were served and I got to try their housemade burger with thick cut fries. I thought they went very nicely with their Fire N Fury beer. The caramel notes matched well with the charbroiled flavor of the burger, but one thing I couldn’t stop eating were the crispy thick cut fries.


After lunch we were trekked back in to the city with our bellies full and happy. To work off some of that food, everyone was to meet up for a scavenger hunt that sent people in all directions across YYC airport. Unfortunately at this time we had to call it a weekend and go pick up our child who had gotten sick over the past day. Parental duties calls! But the rest of the party got treated to a surreal dining experience that evening at Yakima starting with a cocktail reception and ending with a night cap in their lounge. The menu itself was definitely outside the box and I’d love to see some of that on their regular menu as well…foie roche anyone? Just think foie gras packaged as a Ferrero roche chocolate. Who doesn’t love foie? Who doesn’t love chocolate? Perfect pairing. There was a huge selection of dishes so definitely something for everyone. Not to mention that dessert was something straight out of a Michelin star restaurant. As I mentioned, I hope that they start hosting events with a similar theme or chef’s tasting menu that really bring the experience to the next level like what was showcased that evening!


It truly was a little getaway for everyone and it helped me forget how bitterly cold our weather was that weekend. It reminded me that we could simply “getaway” by going to a new location and trying something different. So if you’re looking to switch up your routine and get away from the winter blues why not head up to the airport but not actually fly out. Instead just hang around, check out the new Marriott and what they have to offer. Try a staycation for yourselves!


*Hotel photos provided by the Marriot YYC

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