This family road trip has been in the works since before 2020 when the Pandemic hit. We were finally able to make it happen. It all started when one of my best friends made a trip to West Edmonton Mall and shared those photos with my daughter. She was hooked on the idea of making the journey by car, finding adventures and fun along the way.
Our first leg of the trip took us to close to Revelstoke. We had the pleasure of staying at the Three Valley Gap Chateau Resort. They have celebrated 60 years in business and boasts incredible views close to unique attractions. The family suites were perfect for us as I was traveling with my daughter and mother. We had 3 double, comfortable beds and a small fridge with a freezer. This was a perfect amenity for our icepacks to keep roadtrip snacks cold along the way, something I’ve rarely found in any hotel fridge. They have a cozy, indoor courtyard; swimming pool; beautiful lake and much more. The location was perfect to check out the nearby attractions. Note: there is no Wi-Fi in the rooms. Free Wi-Fi is available in the common areas, however, if you are staying near the pool section, you might get lucky like we did and be able to access the Wi-Fi in the room. I actually enjoyed disconnecting and just enjoying the beauty of our location.
The Enchanted Forest was entertaining (but more for the younger kids) and gave our legs some much needed movement after the drive from Vancouver. We also walked through the Three Valley Ghost town (adjacent to the chateau) and learned some interesting history.
Before leaving on our next part of the journey, we took an exhilarating ride on the Revelstoke Mountain Coaster, a must do for any adventure seeker.
Our next stop was Calgary; my birthplace. We stayed the night at the Best Western Port O’Call Plus near the airport. We had a lovely room; clean and comfortable. The pool area was great for kids. There is a main pool with 2 waterslides and a kiddie pool with a mini waterslide. It was very busy while we were there so after a quick dip, we decided to retreat back to the room for some R&R before heading to the Calgary Zoo the next day.
The zoo was fantastic. It’s grown a lot since I was there last. Overall, the zoo was well maintained and the animals appeared to have lots of room, giving them the freedom to wander and exist as naturally as possible. This did mean that we didn’t see all the animals in each exhibit but knowing they had ample space to roam was important to us. One thing we enjoyed was the fresh water filling stations. Not having to purchase bottled water both saved money and helped the environment. Highly recommend bringing your own reusable water bottle to the zoo when you visit.
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The next day marked the start of the main adventure; West Edmonton Mall. One of the highlights was splurging on an “Igloo” themed room. Check in time is at 4:00pm, but unfortunately our room was not ready. Our agent graciously offered us a $50 credit for food due to the inconvenience. Just about an hour later, we were able to check in.
From the perspective of my daughter, the room was fun and exciting. She loved the arctic theme and the bunk beds. As someone who typically pays a premium for upgraded rooms, I was a bit disapointed. When paying a premium for a suite, I usually experience a nice view, balcony, elevated coffee options and upgraded linens, (not the case here saldy).
In addition, there were only 4 elevators for the entire hotel. This led to 30+ minute waits for guests and the staff (who had to use the same elevators). Granted, stairs were available if someone were so inclined, but checking in/out with multiple pieces of luggage posed an issue. For someone who works while on vacation, the Wi-Fi was not consistent and also didn’t require a password so was less secure. (It was shared with the mall Wi-Fi).
What I did enjoy was the large jetted tub. It was big enough to easily fit four adults. The bath products were wonderful as well. I’d even say, some of the best products I’ve used while traveling. The smell was delightful. I would have purchased full sized products if they were available.
In the future, I would opt for an executive suite at a lower rate than a themed room to enjoy the jetted tub. One aspect to note: If you do plan on staying at Fantasyland Hotel, purchase your attractions there. A 2-day multi-pass was 50% off and single attractions offered the same savings.
We had so much fun at the waterpark and Galaxyland. Dragon’s Tale mini-golf was more entertaining than the Professor Wem’s mini-golf. The pirate ship was anti-climatic. Not worth paying extra to just “step onto” the ship but as part of our pass, we walked on…and then walked off. Our favourite meal here was at 1st Round. Mac n’ Cheese bites were creamy and delicious. I loved the option to make my own burger and Rae enjoyed the chicken strips and fries.
Our drive back home was intense; a full 9 hours from Edmonton (via Jasper) to Kamloops. Had a wonderful breakfast at Jasper’s Wafflato. I opted for a traditional egg & hashbrown choice, but Rae went for the Mini-Egg Waffle. There are savoury and sweet options available.
We stayed our last night at the Accent Inn Kamloops. Fantastic location just off the highway and our favourite hotel of the trip by far. We arrived earlier than expected and our agent at the front desk found us the perfect room to check in right away. The outdoor pool was well equipped and Rae loved the Rubber Ducky gift we received in our room. If staying here for more than a night, the amenities were great. They included a toaster oven and dishes. A fantastic option when staying at a hotel and wanting to save money on restaurants. It was big enough to handle a full frozen pizza. Highly recomended for families on a budget. The room was very clean, comfortable beds and a great price point.
Overall, we had a fantastic time. Rae is excited to do a road trip again – but only if I do all the driving!