Tulip Festival in Ottawa 2002

Our yearly pilgrimage to Ottawa to enjoy shopping at the Byward Market, great food and beer, and, of course, the tulips during the historic Tulip Festival.

Four Points by Sheraton

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by tamtbell on October 16, 2003

Overall, the rooms and public areas were clean, most of the staff was friendly; however, we did encounter a few staff members that seemed rather rude or abrupt. The staff in the bar/lounge is the best group of people to speak to regarding local restaurants, activities and other festivals.

A small word of caution: Ottawa is divided by a river and on one side, you have a mixture of English and Dutch while on the other side, French. The people who reside on the French side do not like the English side. On our first evening while relaxing at the bar the bartender advised us "Don't go to Ottawa. They don't know what good food is, so stay on this side"

Another note, this hotel, while affordable, is also quite a distance from local restaurants and other activities that take place during the tulip festival, so be prepared to either drive a lot or walk a lot.

Four Points by Sheraton & Conf Centre Gatineau-Ottawa
35 Rue Laurier
Gatineau, J8X4E9
(819) 778-6111

The Westin Ottawa

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by tamtbell on October 16, 2003

This hotel is ideally situated, as it is right next to Rideau Canal, Parliament Hill, and the Byward Market. There is a large mall directly connected to the hotel for those who love to shop and several great restaurants nearby as well. The rooms are truly luxurious, with very comfortable beds, thick carpeting, and comfortable overstuffed chairs near the large windows overlooking the city. The hotel staff is very friendly; professional; and helpful, which made our Ottawa experience even better, as we received plenty of advice on things to do during the Tulip festival.

The parking is a little hard to get to at this hotel, as we had to circle the hotel several times before figuring out where the entrance to the parking lot was. There is valet parking, of course. But if you plan to drive around a bit during your stay, or if you’re simply watching your budget, it can get expensive. The parking lot also shares some of its space with the mall, so sometimes it can be a little difficult to find a good space.

During our stay, due to my travel agent status, I paid a reduced rate per night. However, the average price for this hotel per night ranges from $290 to $400. It’s honestly hard for me to say if I would recommend this hotel if I had to pay a rate like this. Overall, The Westin Ottawa is a very luxurious; comfortable; and convenient place to stay, and I would recommend it if you can get a good rate. I suggest if your visit is during the Annual Tulip Festival to book early.

The Westin Ottawa
11 Colonel By Drive
Ottawa, Ontario, K1N9H4
(613) 560-7000

The Byward Market

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by tamtbell on October 16, 2003

This market has a very rich and long history as the city of Ottawa and Hull sprung up around this amazing market. Walking around you can almost visualize geese and livestock being driven to market to sell, and vendors yelling loudly to advertise their wares. Nowadays, there are vendors that sell fresh seafood, veggies, fruits and meat as well as live exotic plants, herbs, vegetable and fruit producing plants. This is a great place for a bargain as you can walk from vendor to vendor and try to lower their price.

As you might guess, the competition is stiff around here with so many vendors selling a lot of the same items. I can almost guarantee that the quality is first rate, as well as the price is probably one of the best you've seen.

Plus for a break you can eat at one of the many outdoor or indoor restaurants or cafes and watch people walk by, sip a cold beer, relax, and eat food that to this day still makes me think I must be eating in England, not Canada!

I have been to this market twice now, and each year I fall more in love with its vendors, its wares, and most of all its atmosphere and beauty. I must suggest if you do plan to do a lot of shopping bring a backpack or some other larger bag that is comfortable to carry, as if you're like me, you'll pick up this little item here and little item there and next thing you know your arms are completely full with your purchases.

Byward Market
Mackenzie east to Cumberland
Ottawa, Ontario, K1N 7E5


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