Hotel Review: Kensington Riverside Inn – Calgary, Alberta (Canada)

Boasting excellent service and a great location for those visiting Calgary, the Kensington Riverside Inn is a high level, contemporary boutique hotel. Situated in the trendy area of Kensington, this hotel is just across the road from the beautiful Bow River, an easy walk to the beautiful Prince’s Island Park and just around the block from the incredible cafes, bars and stores of Kensington.

With just two floors and only 19 guestrooms and suites, the Kensington Riverside Inn has a homey feel, also allowing the staff to give more attention to each guest. Upon arrival, the receptionist was incredibly friendly and helpful, happy to talk us through all of the hotel’s services, while also giving us directions to the park and best cafes in the area. Offering the extra service of hire bikes, this allowed us to take full advantage of the hotel’s proximity to the gorgeous river and parks of the surrounding area. For our journey, we enjoyed some fresh lemonade and baguettes courtesy of the on site French influenced signature restaurant Chef’s Table, which we’ll get to in a moment.

We stayed in the Luxury Room, filled with plenty of space; beautifully furnished with a large and plush bed. French doors led out to a shared patio with table and chairs, and other key features of the room included a large 42 inch flat-screen TV (filled with a huge selection of channels), Geneva Sound System speakers and – a superb example of their exemplary service – complimentary newspaper, tea, coffee and orange juice waiting by your door in the mornings.

A work desk with plenty of power outlets also ensured the room will cater for even the busiest traveller. Meanwhile, the comfortable bathroom featured a classy, contemporary design and was kitted out with an impressively sized bath, rain showerhead and luxurious Aveda bath products. And the bath robes and slippers were a nice, comfortable touch to the whole experience.

With a four-diamond rating from CAA/AAA, the on-site restaurant Chef’s Table just so happens to be one of the finest dining experiences in Calgary – and is a must to enjoy for any guest. And yes – they do room service! Unfortunately we didn’t the chance to enjoy one of their three or five course tasting menus (which we were told we had to come back for), though we did enjoy it for breakfast.

The House-Made Granola Parfait ($11) is pictured above, with house made granola, vanilla bean yogurt, honey and fresh fruit berries. And below is the near perfect Eggs Benedict ($19) with toasted Canadian cheddar scones, cured back bacon, brown butter, hollandaise (naturally) and a rosemary and sage Poplar Bluff organic potato hash. There are few better ways to start the day.

The Verdict: This is a small hotel, but it’s service and quality are among the best I’ve ever stayed in. Come for the comfort, stay for the food and don’t miss the opportunity to explore the area. Kensington is a terrific part of Calgary, situated on the other side of the Bow River, full of a great food, bar and arts scene that caters to locals and tourists alike. And while there, I couldn’t think of a better place to stay.

Rooms start from CA$199 (AU$210) a night. For bookings and more details, head to:

Address: 1126 Memorial Dr NW, Calgary, AB T2N 3E3, Canada
Phone: +1 403-228-4442

The writers stayed as a guest of the hotel. Travel to Calgary was courtesy of Travel Alberta and Tourism Calgary. To get to Calgary from Australia, Air Canada fly daily to Canada direct from Sydney, with connections in Vancouver to Calgary. Visit for more details.

Photos by Larry Heath. Review by Lucy Inglis and Larry Heath.

Larry Heath

Founding Editor and Publisher of the AU review. Currently based in Toronto, Canada. You can follow him on Twitter @larry_heath or on Instagram @larryheath.