As part of my recent trip to Ontario, I stayed five nights in Ottawa. After spending the weekend at the Sheraton for a networking event, I hotel-hopped my way to the Delta Ottawa for the final three nights of my trip.
The extension of my trip allowed some time for catching up with family and visiting friends new and old. Meanwhile, with so much socializing, I didn’t do much sightseeing. Instead, I filled the rest of my time making the Delta my office-away-from-home for a few days, fortunate to get an upgrade to a Junior Suite.
Delta Ottawa – Booking
The Delta Ottawa is a Category 4 Marriott Bonvoy property, typically going for 20,000–30,000 Bonvoy points per night, depending on peak pricing.
When I booked the trip, I wasn’t sure how long I’d be in Ottawa. I had two nights at the Sheraton, followed by one night at the Delta with the option to stay two more.
With one off-peak night night and two standard nights, all at the PointSavers rate, I ended up paying 62,500 Bonvoy points for three nights at the Delta. On average, this worked out to 20,833 points per night, against cash rates in the ballpark of $160 after tax.
At 0.8 cents per point, this is on the low end of a worthwhile Bonvoy redemption that meets our target points valuation. You might consider paying with cash and saving your hard-earned points for another time, like a Fifth Night Free benefit at a luxury property.
But for my plans, the biggest advantage of booking on points is that I got a more flexible cancellation policy.
I was able to adjust the Delta booking on the fly, and it was very possible that I’d decide Sunday afternoon (shortly after checking in) to leave Monday. That wouldn’t be possible with the cash rate – I’d need to give an extra day’s notice for the cancelled nights to be refunded.
For me, that was more valuable than holding out for a slam-dunk redemption value. With the recent news that Marriott will be introducing dynamic pricing, it doesn’t seem like such a bad choice after all.
Additionally, I’d booked a few other hotel stays with cash for this trip, and I wanted to spread out my costs. I have enough Bonvoy points to cover my imminent travel plans, so I chose to save some cash.
Delta Ottawa – Location
There’s no shortage of hotel options in downtown Ottawa, as the city caters to government workers, diplomats, business travellers, and tourists alike.
Within the central core of Parliament Hill and Byward Market, there are no fewer than five Marriott brands: Delta, Marriott, Westin, Sheraton, and Courtyard, plus a Hyatt Andaz and a couple of Hilton properties.
The Delta is on the western edge of downtown, a short walk to all sorts of restaurants and tourist attractions. The scene on my doorstep felt a bit more like office towers than nightlife, and while I was very happy with the location, you might prefer the Westin or Andaz if your priority is being in the centre of the action.
Around the neighbourhood, I enjoyed walking up Bank Street and Elgin Street and around the touristy Byward Market, as I explored the local food and beverage scene.
Ottawa’s many waterways have pleasant footpaths for walking and cycling, all easy to access from any hotel downtown. I went for a few nice runs: an out-and-back west along the Ottawa River, and later a circuit of the Rideau River and Rideau Canal.
Delta Ottawa – Check-in
Matching my impressions of the brand from the Delta Toronto, the lobby immediately gave off modern vibes.
The building’s interior design heavily features glass and brightness. It was a stark contrast against the rest of the city, which I’ve always found to give off a heavier “Old Canada” energy. I wouldn’t say the Delta is cold, although it’s far from cozy.
Overall, the lobby is a rather small, utilitarian space. The stairwell rising from the centre of the room makes way for expansive light to fill from the partial mezzanine, but also limits individual seating.
There was also a collection of maps and guides available, highlighting key tourist attractions in the area.
The front desk is tucked away to the side of the lobby. It’s nondescript and efficient, almost designed like those open-concept bank teller counters that we’re seeing pop up at financial institutions these days.
As I’ve quickly come to expect at Delta properties, the staff were genuine and eager to help, clearly outlining the changes in effect due to the pandemic.
Before arriving, I’d reached out to ask for a suite upgrade, which they were graciously able to provide. I was put in a Junior Suite for the full three-night duration of my stay.
I was also able to check in early and use my room immediately. One of the challenges of hotel-hopping is that you can be left in limbo without a comfortable personal space, but I was fortunate that my suite was ready by the time I migrated from the Sheraton around noon.
Delta Ottawa – Junior Suite
I was put in Room 2021.
The suite is arranged well, with distinct space for lounging around the TV, and a conference/dining table.
The room felt like a small apartment, lacking only a kitchen. I could’ve easily entertained a group of eight or so. My suite adjoined to the one beside it, useful if you’re booking for a group that needs more space.
The sofa wasn’t great, as is often the case with a pull-out couch, but all of the other seating in the room was quite comfortable.
I arrived to find a pile of snacks including chips, chocolate, and sparkling water. There was also a personalized note welcoming me to the suite.
On the wall nearest the entrance, there’s a console table with a coffee and tea station, and an ice bucket. A sanitary kit was also provided, and ample bottled water dotted the suite.
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The desk has adapters to connect your device to the TV above. The chair was sleek and comfortable – probably the same model as the one at the Delta Toronto.
From east-facing rooms like mine, there’s a peekaboo view of Parliament (not Centre Block though) and the Ottawa River.
The bedroom features a queen bed, flanked by two nightstands with standard lamps and headboard reading lights, as well as a colourful splash of modern art above.
There’s a good-sized closet with a mirror and iron, a firm platform for your suitcase, and a second TV to enjoy from under the cozy covers of your bed.
The bright bathroom features a double-door entry, and lots of storage space with a long sink counter.
On the other side, there’s a nook for the toilet and shower, with a useful bench.
As for amenities, the bathroom was stocked with all the usual suspects, including multiple options for shampoo and body wash. They also offered mouthwash, which I haven’t noticed at most hotels.
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Delta Ottawa – Dining & Facilities
Many facilities were either closed or operating in a reduced capacity due to COVID-19. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to experience much of what the property has to offer.
There are two restaurants on the property, LIFT and Prova. At the time of my visit, LIFT was serving breakfast from 7:30am to 10:30am on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday morning, and Prova was open for dinner from 4pm to 9pm on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evening.
Just my luck, I checked in on a Sunday, so I wasn’t able to try any food. This was an oversight on my part, as I could’ve opted to stay at the Delta for the entire weekend, but failed to notice that the Sheraton didn’t have any on-property dining available at all.
I did, however, check out the LIFT restaurant. It has a cool layout, blending with the mezzanine with a variety of types of seating and on-brand decor.
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I also took a quick peek at Prova in the lobby, but the space was much less lively while closed.
The Club Lounge was also closed, so no free breakfast Platinum Elite benefit there either. In-room dining was unavailable as well.
If you need a quick bite, there is a Tim Hortons in the lobby, as well as a gift shop selling snacks.
The fitness centre and pool were open daily. Guests were required to show proof of vaccination at the front desk before being given special key card access to these facilities.
Despite facilities being scaled back due to the pandemic, I quite liked the Delta Ottawa. The design features are up to the brand’s standard as modern renovations have clearly helped the property, and the quality of service from the staff hasn’t suffered at all in light of the current operational limitations.
In particular, I enjoyed the Junior Suite, a great functional space for one (or easily more) as I worked from the hotel and sprawled out to recharge after days and nights out with family and friends.
Furthermore, I certainly preferred the Delta over the Sheraton, which, while comfortable, I found to be a bit dated and lacking in services. I’m very glad I decided to sample a few different hotels during my time in Ottawa, and I’d be happy to stay at the Delta again.