Whenever we travel to a new destination, I usually search for a hotel close to public transportation. But as you’ll read here in my review of the Holiday Inn Winnipeg Airport West, that part doesn’t matter a bit.
We simply needed a place to rest our heads during a recent visit to explore all of the fun Winnipeg has in store this summer for families, and the Holiday Inn Winnipeg Airport West (despite being a bit of a mouthful) was the perfect home away from home. Thank you for hosting us!
I don’t know whether I should start with price or comfort, because both blew me away. When you consider the cost of a capital city hotel in other parts of Canada, you’d be hard-pressed to find value like you do at this Holiday Inn. So I guess we’re kicking this hotel review off with price! When I do a quick search on the IHG website for this property (for a stay during a June weekend for a family of four), it’s only $123 a night. Try doing that with a Holiday Inn in Toronto or Vancouver. Even Halifax is $152+ for the same timing and number of people. And that $123 a night means you can stretch your visit a little bit longer and fit in all of the awesome family activities in Winnipeg.
The Holiday Inn Winnipeg Airport West is super comfortable. Our room was HUGE with two queen beds in their own bedroom and a living space that included a pull-out sofa, dining area and small kitchen with a full-sized fridge. It was well-appointed with lots of nice extras, such as travel toothpaste already in the bathroom in case you needed it, along with very comfortable bedding. The pillows are ALWAYS fantastic at Holiday Inns and this was no exception. Oh, and it was nice and quiet in the rooms, too, despite it being a very busy weekend at the hotel.
Let’s talk location. As I mentioned right off the top, the location you choose in Winnipeg need not be driven by public transportation availability because you’d be almost nuts to rely on anything other than a rental car in this city. It’s sooooo spread out, so getting everywhere in a timely manner really requires wheels. The Holiday Inn Winnipeg Airport West is sort of 15 minutes from everything: 15 mins from the airport, 15 mins from the downtown core, 15 mins from The Forks. It’s right on the main drag (Portage — pronounced “PORD-ij” I might add!) and conveniently located directly across from a 24-hour Shoppers Drug Mart and a Liquor Mart that’s open late.
The free shuttle service is excellent! You just call the hotel when you arrive at the airport and the shuttle is there within 10-20 minutes, and you can pre-arrange your shuttle ride back as well. We had friendly drivers each time.
This hotel has a waterpark area and play structure called Pirate’s Cove. While overall I’d say it’s suited more to younger kids — ideal for those under 9ish — even my almost-10-year-old found it entertaining. For the little ones, it offers hours of free play.
The Holiday Inn Winnipeg Airport West’s onsite restaurant has dine-in or room service options. We did both — not least of which because kids eat free at all Holiday Inn hotels*! We found the lunch/dinner food of very high quality with huge portions and reasonable pricing with fast room service delivery. The club sandwich and chicken fingers were fresh and real meat. Plus, they make the best milkshakes EVER here (no joke…better than the milkshake we had from BDI, which purportedly has Winnipeg’s best milkshakes). Dining in for breakfast wasn’t as memorable; more in the gaffes below.
Housekeeping was top notch; fresh linens every day at our request and every surface sparkling each time we returned “home” after a long day. Bathrooms were scrupulously cleaned!
The front desk staff were lovely, though I thought it was odd that one didn’t know if there was a gym onsite. That seems like a pretty basic thing to know about the hotel for which you work. Another staffer suggested Cora’s (a national chain restaurant) when I asked him to recommend a great, local Winnipeg eatery. Obviously, he isn’t a concierge but local knowledge is always nice to have if you’re interacting with guests.
Breakfast was just OK. My omelette would have been awesome if the kitchen hadn’t used processed cheese slices (didn’t even occur to me to ask), and the kids were underwhelmed with their pancakes, noting they tasted like they came out of a box. But top marks for great presentation!
It poured the first two days of our stay and I was surprised there were no umbrellas available to borrow from front desk. I noted this with the hotel’s sales and marketing director and she agreed that having a few behind the front desk would be wise, so expect to see that implemented soon.
*Kids Eat Free: kids age 12 years old and under eat free when ordering in the hotel’s restaurants from the Kids Menu and when accompanied by a family member dining from the regular menu.