Le Germain Hotel Ottawa

Located in downtown Ottawa, Le Germain Ottawa features fourteen floors of guest rooms, meeting rooms and luxury suites, while the top nine floors are privately owned condominiums

It is fairly common to hear the Italian term “chiaroscuro” when describing the dramatic use of light and darkness in regards to a piece of art but when it is used to describe a hotel’s interiors and overall atmosphere, it is unique. Yet, once you have “chiaroscuro” in the back of your mind as you make your way through the lobby of Hotel le Germain Ottawa and up into your spacious room, you begin to see chiaroscuro everywhere! It is evident in the honeycomb cut-outs in the glassed-in lobby that create a visual canvas of shadows and daylight; you see it in the reflections of light that bounce off the lobby’s glass-plate chandelier; and then again on each of the guest  floors where you are greeted by dozens of hanging white discs displaying a dance of circles against the wall’s dark contrast.

Le Germain Hotel Ottawa

The Norca Restaurant & Bar has an ambience that is a hit with hotel guests and locals

As you take all of this in, using art terminology to describe a hotel that literally shares a supporting wall with the city’s Ottawa Art Gallery suddenly comes naturally. In fact, the design of the hotel was inspired by the visual art world and regularly features a changing art installation in its lobby of an artist currently being featured in the gallery next door.

The Germain Hotel Ottawa is a relatively new addition to the city’s landscape having opened in May, 2018. As in the case of many of the brand’s recent locations across the country, the modern structure features fourteen floors of guest rooms, meeting rooms and luxury suites while the top nine floors are privately owned condominiums.

Le Germain Ottawa also houses the popular restaurant and bar Norca which, according to its website, chooses “to cook with fruits, vegetables and proteins that are exclusively from Canada”. This way “the team pays tribute to our soil, our origins and our seasons.”

Le Germain Ottawa Soaking tub

Soaking tub with a view – “the best ever” according the author’s daughter
Photo: A.J. Twist

Guests, like ourselves, whom choose to take advantage of the hotel’s “gastronomy package” are served the fine cuisine from Norca in the comfort of their own room. As we entered our “Double Queen room”, we immediately noticed a table elegantly set for two featuring a panoramic view of the Parliament Buildings looming on the horizon. An Instagramable soaking tub in the bathroom, with an equally impressive city view, was later the scene of my daughter’s “best bath of my life!”

With such self-contained luxuries one is hard pressed to even consider leaving the room to take advantage of endless shopping at the nearby Rideau Centre; or to skate on the “world’s largest naturally frozen ice rink” on the Rideau canal; or to devour a steaming-hot Beaver Tail in the Byward Market. Indeed, all we ended up doing was hopping into the adjacent multi-level gallery and making it back in time for our scrumptious four-course meal! And what a meal it was!

Dinner started with a mixed green salad with butternut squash, grilled cherry tomatoes, candied nuts and blackberries all served with a perfect balsamic dressing. Next were a couple bowls of roasted red pepper, tomato and basil soup. Simply lovely.

Le Germain OttawaWe each then tried one of the two main courses. Mine was a generous portion of tender braised lamb shank served on a bed of pearl barley, dry apricot with a side of grilled rapinis and finished with a savory wine sauce. My daughter was treated to a fillet of Pacific halibut pan-seared with maple syrup and accompanied with breaded halibut and potatoes croquette, mushroom roll and glazed turnip. Divine!

Le Germain OttawaDessert included what I dare say is the city’s best Vanilla Crème Brulée while my daughter’s eyes rolled to the heavens when her teeth sank into a chocolate brownie with peanut butter mousse and mixed berries coulis.

Included with dinner was a choice of wine which was either a bottle of Tombacco Biferno Rosso Riserva (2015) for the red or Follow the White Rabbit (2019) for the white. We chose the red and the pairing was simpatico!

Le Germain Hotel Ottawa

Chic Italian-inspired ‘chiaroscuro’ decor throughout
Le Germain Ottawa hotel

Our gastronomy package was priced at $399.00 (plus taxes) for one night and dinner and service but also included a wonderful continental breakfast of freshly- baked pain-au-chocolat and croissant, cheese, yogurt, fresh fruit and granola bar which had been discretely dropped off outside the door early in the morning. A Nespresso machine in the room allowed us to brew our own coffees. The price also includes parking for one car. Had we opted for the Luxury Suite the price would have been $799 (plus taxes). See the hotel’s website for details.

Le Germain Ottawa

Expect first class amenities at
Le Germain Ottawa

This hotel is conveniently located on Daly St. in the shadow of the University of Ottawa and is popular with parents visiting their attending students. For Montrealers, Ottawa represents a quick getaway to a city seeped in culture and politics but also as a winter wonderland as celebrated by their annual Winterlude festival which runs from February 5-21st.

The Germain Hotel Ottawa makes for a perfect perch from which to enjoy all this city has to offer. Le Germain Hotel Ottawa; 30 Daly Avenue, Ottawa, Ontario, K1N 6E2. 1-833-503-0030.

A.J. Twist is a Montreal-based travel writer and photographer.
ajtwist@me.com  www.ajtwist.net