Photo credit: Fairmont Palliser

The biggest city in Canada’s Alberta province has a reputation as a bit of a cowtown. Its main industries have long been cattle and oil, and the big event of the year is summer’s rodeo-style Calgary Stampede. But this is still a serious city with skyscrapers, a vibrant dining scene, and year-round natural beauty, thanks to the Bow River and Prince’s Island Park, just north of downtown. Plus, the Canadian Rockies, including Banff and Lake Louise, are a short day-trip drive away. For history, amenities, and easy access to the area’s charms, here are the best hotels in Calgary.

Hotel Fairmont Palliser (133 9 Ave. SW; 403-262-1234) Downtown

“This positively palatial Grande Dame isn’t showing any signs of age,” writes The Telegraph of this 1914 landmark hotel, originally built to serve the Canadian Pacific Railway. “Step back into a time of well-bred elegance whilst enjoying all the comforts of the modern age, including the excellent Hawthorn Dining Room & Bar.” One Google reviewer says the 407-room Fairmont hotel has a “great location, classy and luxurious. Staff were super kind, especially at the restaurant. We had a signature room with a nice view of Calgary Tower.”    >> Book this hotel for less

Sheraton Suites Calgary Eau Claire (255 Barclay Walk SW; 403-266-7200) Downtown

This all-suites branch of Sheraton, overlooking the Bow River and Eau Claire Market, is a crowd-pleaser. “Not many hotels appeal to both family groups and business travelers, ” writes Frommer’s, “but the Sheraton Suites accomplishes that neat trick, thanks to a nifty array of amenities” such as ergonomic desks, 24-hour concierge and a swimming pool with slide. One Tripadvisor user says, “We stayed at the Sheraton mid-week during the Stampede. Reception and staff were fast and friendly. They gave my kids bags of mini donuts that they loved. The pool was perfect size for kids: a big slide and no deep end. Lots of dining options within walking distance and Prince’s Island Park a 10-minute walk away.”    >> Book this hotel for less

The Westley Calgary Downtown (630 4 Ave SW; 403-764-6262)

A Google reviewer calls this 107-room boutique ranch of the Hilton a “stunningly beautiful modern hotel with an impeccable and modern design. The room itself is gorgeous with dark green Art Deco touches.” While some Tripadvisor users point out the hotel is not in the most popular part of downtown, one writes that “this hotel is lovely and in a great location. Close to parks, events, downtown, shopping, and transit. I love the feel and space. We had great service.”    >> Book this hotel for less

The Dorian, Autograph Collection (525 5 Ave SW, Calgary; 403-300-6630) Downtown

This 137-room member of Marriott’s Autograph Collection has a contemporary aesthetic but a 19th century inspiration: the wit and flamboyant fashion of Irish playwright and poet Oscar Wilde, revealed through colorful décor and a restaurant and lounge named The Wilde. “If you’re looking for style, look no further,” says a Google reviewer. “Overall design throughout the property is very in line with the Oscar Wilde theme. Top floor restaurant is cool with great views and the bar cart in the room is a lovely addition.” One Tripadvisor user notes that the “gym was very high-end with plenty of space and equipment. I recommend the walk from Crescents Heights Lookout Point back to the hotel, via Prince’s Island Park.”

Hyatt Regency Calgary (700 Centre St. S; 403-717-1234) Downtown

“Of all the chain hotels downtown, this is probably the best,” writes Frommer’s of this Hyatt Regency that is connected to the historic Stephen Avenue pedestrian mall. “Rooms are very large, the beds are quite comfy,” and its Stillwater Spa is “a topnotch facility. ” A few Google reviewers recommend upgrading to a Regency Club room: “It’s something worth spoiling yourself on,” one writes. “An astonishing level of service, large well-appointed rooms, excellent food and unmatched views of Calgary.”   >> Book this hotel for less