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A new on-campus hotel for Calgary


Daily maid service, wet bar, luxurious linens, modern decor and a chic bistro – these are not the kinds of amenities you’d expect from your typical campus accommodations.

But the University of Calgary’s newly opened Hotel Alma, one of Canada’s few on-campus hotels, “is not a traditional campus residence,” says Voula Cocolakis, associate vice-provost, residence and ancillary services. “This is very much a boutique hotel experience.”

Guests ranging from international scholars to parents whose children attend the university to travellers touring through Calgary are all welcome to check in at Hotel Alma, which is fully owned and operated by the university.

Revenue generated from the 100-room hotel will fund its daily operations, and its profits will support Global Village, the student residence where Canadian students are paired up with international students.

Ms. Cocolakis says U of Calgary used to spend $1.5 million a year on hotel costs in the city to accommodate visiting researchers and academics. “Now that money will be spent on campus and any extra money is put back into the university’s student services. It’s a nice little circle.”

The hotel also serves as a teaching lab in the Haskayne School of Business hotel and resort management program, where students can apply what they’re learning in the classroom to a real work environment.

“We do have students working at the front desk who are part of the hotel and resort management program, which is a perfect fit for them,” says Ms. Cocolakis.

Michelle Chia, a recent graduate of the program, has been hired full-time as the hotel’s housekeeping supervisor. She had already worked in the hotel industry for four years, “but at Hotel Alma, I got to see all the different aspects of setting up a new hotel,” she says.

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  1. John / December 13, 2009 at 17:04

    The first on-campus hotel in Canada?

    UBC has had an on campus hotel for over 10 years:

  2. Tara Fraser, University Affairs web editor / December 14, 2009 at 10:51


    Thank you for your comment. You are indeed correct that UBC also has a campus hotel. We have updated the article to reflect this.

    Thank you.

  3. Ted / January 7, 2010 at 14:58

    Hotel Alma is the first full-service hotel on a university campus. Unlike other Canadian universities, this stand-alone hotel has an on-site restaurant, dedicated front office and concierge services, daily maid service with turndown, on-site meeting and event spaces, it’s own branded catering, etc. While other universities may have accommodation, it would not be considered to be full-service in the same sense.

  4. hotel crete / March 22, 2010 at 14:55

    Such a wise decision from the admonistration office of Calgary University. Funding it must have been a burden for sure but the benefits will be many, from every aspect.

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