Our Girl’s Staycation with Ottawa Tourism

Ottawa Tourism recently invited Kysa and I to spend a girl’s weekend in our beautiful city. We were so excited, as Kysa is moving away soon (I am so sad) and it couldn’t have come at a better time. We got to make a few more memories before she leaves! Here is everything we did this past weekend… I hope it inspires you and your bff to plan your own little staycation soon! 🙂

Where we stayed:

Andaz in the Byward Market

We stayed at the Andaz in the Byward Market, which is somewhere I’ve been wanting to stay for quite a while. The hotel is located right in the market, in walking distance to everything. It’s such a pretty hotel and has great views of the city. They even greeted us with some donuts and little Ottawa gifts! So so sweet. Ottawa Tourism is currently holding the “It’s on us” promotion on your Andaz stay: book 2 nights and get a $100 Visa gift card! You can read all the details on the promotion here.

My Ottawa Pass Promo: Only planning on staying 1 night? With your free My Ottawa Pass, you can get 20% off your room!

It has also has a rooftop bar, Copper Spirits and Sights, which has the most gorgeous sunset views. We didn’t get to stop in this time, but here is a photo from the view from a media event we attended last year.

Where we ate:

La Terrasse: On our first night, we made a dinner reservation at La Terrasse, the beautiful patio at the Fairmont Chateau Laurier. If you like sangria, I recommend getting their white wine sangria – it’s my favorite drink to get there! It is also a great spot to have a sunset dinner, as the view is stunning. For dinner, Kysa ordered the lobster rolls and I had the steak frites, which I enjoyed.

Beavertails: After dinner, we had to get something sweet. So, we walked to Beavertails and ordered some treats. I chose their Lucky Charms Beavertail and Kysa got their Skor Beavertail. They were so good, but so sweet. My personal fave is always the cinnamon & sugar one but really wanted to try the charms one, as Lucky Charms was my favorite cereal as a child. If you don’t feel like a Beavertail, there’s so many other dessert options such as ice cream from Lois ‘n’ Frima’s Ice Cream, there is also a gelato cart at The Grand, Cacao 70 for yummy chocolate fondue/treats, etc.

Left: Skor Beavertail, Right: Lucky Charms Beavertail

The next morning, we had the hotel‘s grab and go continental breakfast which was included in our stay. The breakfast consisted of fruit, yogurt, pastries, cheese, coffee and hard-boiled eggs.

Andaz Continental Breakfast

Nordik Spa: For lunch on Saturday, we were treated to lunch at Nordik Spa in Chelsea. Due to COVID, Nordik doens’t currently have any table service available, but have food options for take away. We got ourselves a few items from the grill and the Biergarden. We ordered the halloumi taco, the jalapeno and cheddar sausage, the bacon and tomato sandwich as well as pork dumplings. In my opinion, the sausage was deff the best.

Aulde Dubliner & Pour House: Before dinner on our second night, we had some drinks at the Aulde while we waited for our table at The Grand. The drinks are super affordable and the sangria was so good. There was also a musician performing live music and their patio is under a bunch of beautiful string lights, which made me feel like I was back in Dublin.

White wine sangria from Aulde Dubliner

The Grand: After drinks at the Aulde Dubliner, we sat down at The Grand’s beautiful patio. It was actually my first time eating there, and I really enjoyed my meal and the ambiance. I was craving something simple, so ordered the Bolognese. Kysa, got the shrimp linguine and she also enjoyed her meal. It was so good and we both left with leftovers hehe.

Top: Shrimp linguine, Bottom: Bolognese with spinach fettucini

What we did:

Nordik Spa Nature: On Saturday morning, we went to Nordik Spa in Chelsea as soon as it open and stayed until about 12:30 pm. We spent the morning relaxing in the pools, saunas and by the campfire. It was so relaxing and much needed.

I also got so many messages on Instagram about Nordik and the COVID precautions they were taking. So, if this is something you are concerned about, you can check out their website’s COVID section for more information. I felt pretty safe while I was there, and it was pretty quiet until about 12, when we left. So, my recommendation to you would be to book as soon as it opens for the best, safest experience. 🙂

Byward Market: During our free time, we walked around the Byward Market and enjoyed the weather. There are plenty of vendors for you to check out. We, of course, found the flower vendor and picked up some beautiful fresh blooms.

Ottawa Biplane Adventures: So, this was a real thrill and such an adrenaline rush. I recently had my first helicopter ride in the 1000 Islands, and loved it, so I was super excited for this Biplane ride. If you don’t know what a Biplane is, it is an open plane, where they let you sit in the front seat and you get an amazing private ride. The biplane tours are also a perfect date idea! We did the 15 minute Parliament tour, but you can check out all their tours here. It offered stunning views of our beautiful city and it was so great to see it from the sky. I absolutely recommend this – it would be so so beautiful with the fall foliage too! If you want a peak at the sky views, check out my Instagram stories for videos of our experience here.

My Ottawa Pass Promo: With the free My Ottawa Pass, you can get 35% off your Parliament Biplane Tour! Learn how to get a free pass here!

Overall, the girl’s weekend was lovely and we had so much fun making memories in our own city. I know that traveling during a pandemic is a little scary, so a staycation is always a good option, so you can leave home and relax, while not feeling too stressed about not knowing where the city stands with COVID. That said, I hope you enjoyed following along on our weekend (if you missed my Instagram stories, you can watch them all here) and I hope this gave you some new ideas on how to explore our city. Can’t wait to see what you get up to! Thanks for reading x

Disclosure: This post was written as part of a partnership with Ottawa Tourism. As always, all thoughts and opinions used are my own. 🙂

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