Bringing in the new
Kamloops, BC has not changed much since we lived there 15 years ago but a few changes have been made for the better. The downtown strip has be beautified with more restaurants, pubs and services opening along the way. One of the biggest transformations has been at Hotel 540. Formerly known as The Stockman’s and The Executive Inn plus a few others along the way we recently stayed at the now upscale Hotel 540 on a trip to the Kootenays and back.
The mid-century property has undergone a $12m modernization including the guest suites, on-site restaurant and lounge, lobby and a brand new outdoor pool and lounge area. The front desk staff was very friendly and helpful. There is bag valet (which is un-common in Kamloops) and there was enough staff around to deal with the large influx of travellers arriving from the Rocky Mountaineer train. Summer rates start around $150 on weekends and $120 during the week with discounts available for multi-night stays. You can get a Sunday to Thursday three-night stay for appox $100 per night which is a great value for this hotel.
One of the things that impressed us the most was the wifi. We are always working on the road and wifi is almost the most important element in our hotel choices. We had some pretty bad wifi experiences on our month long California trip this winter so when a hotel surprises us we have to mention it. The wifi at Hotel 540 is free and is available in every nook and cranny of the property. It is also fast – lightening fast – faster than our shaw wifi at home.
We took advantage of the wifi and spent 2 hours working in the “blue. dining and lounge” when we arrived. This is one of our favorite ways to work when we are on a working vacation – much different and more fun than working from home.
The decor includes a modern style bistro and a lounge with benches, bar tables and a long bar in view of several TV’s. At blue breakfast, lunch and dinner are served from 6am to 10pm 7 days a week led by Executive Chef Mitchell Shafer.
It was too early for dinner but we had to try the “Local Charcuterie Tile” ($17) with cured meats, local cheese, pickles and bread. The tomato relish that topped the goat cheese was made in house and was delicious. The bacon pate was also in-house-made and the flavor was at first strange but very unique and nice on the artisan bread.
Nicely renovated guest rooms start at 250 square feet and go up to 525 square feet. All rooms include a mini-fridge which is great when travelling. Club rooms also include breakfast for two, plush robes, morning paper and complimentary parking ($10 for other rooms). There are large bike storage lockers which we took advantage of.
The bathrooms have also been upgraded with new counter tops and fixtures. While small, due to the age of the hotel, they are well appointed.
The brand new 2nd floor rooftop is opening this week. It will feature a pool and hot tub as well as both covered and un-covered lounge areas with bar service. This will be a great addition to the hotel and the perfect place to spend a hot Kamloops afternoon.
Also on the 2nd floor is the newly opened fitness room. This view almost made us want to jump on a bike – almost. We will be back through Kamloops on our way to the Kootenays in August and while we were not planning a stop in Kamloops we may have changed our mind just so we can check out the new pool.
Jeff & Tara Ciecko of CK Golf Solutions write two blogs on their website, one is their 19th Hole Blog where they share personal experiences and the Biz Blog where they share business best practices and golf industry related opinions. They have owned CK Golf Solutions for 5 years and provide marketing, social media and business services to the golf and other industries.