Story by Jody Robbins
PRIDDIS, ALBERTA — Forget about Valentine’s Day. All the lovers out there better take the necessary precautions come February 10, when the snake ushers in the start of the Chinese New Year. Slippery and deceptive, the snake is well known for bringing with it a year of break-ups and divorce. The solution is connection, and newly opened estate hotel Azuridge is your facilitator.
This luxury destination nestled at the base of the foothills, a mere 20 minutes south of Calgary, is reminiscent of an English country house. Step into Sapphire Hall for your welcome cocktail or nip into Emerald Manor to relax fireside, peering out of floor-to-ceiling windows that frame stunning views of Alberta’s big sky and the 13 acres of rambling countryside on which the estate sits.
This former enclave of millionaire Mogens Smed was given a new lease on life as a private estate hotel after a $5-million refurbishment by Calgary interior designer McIntyre Bills. With a design influenced by the historic architecture of the Canadian Pacific Railway’s Rocky Mountain train stations, the property formerly known as the Falkridge Centre is now both stately and welcoming.
Should you be in the market for 27,000 square feet of the great indoors, rent the entire compound and have your run of the place like Steven Spielberg did when his daughter was participating in equestrian competitions at Spruce Meadows.
Romance Is in the Air at Luxurious Azuridge
But you don’t need to book all of Azuridge to get away from it all. Rooms are dotted throughout the estate, allowing lovers plenty of privacy. Each of 13 guest rooms is named and themed after a gemstone. If you’re looking to ignite a fire, go for the Garnet Suite, the most romantic room as the red, semi-precious stone is known for exciting passion and sensuality.
“There is such a feeling of romance and elegance the moment you step on the grounds, that just lends itself to the perfect spot to celebrate love,” says Michaelle LeManne, who’ll soon be celebrating her wedding at this secluded spot.
You won’t be staying in your room the entire time you’re in Azuridge, so guests are granted access to Priddis Greens Golf & Country Club, a famed, private course of 36 holes. And in winter, a 10-minute romp through the forested estate will land you at Priddis Creek, where you can strap on skates and have a private twirl around the ice.
The Butler Can Do It at Opulent Hotel
When you’re at an independent hotel there are no guidelines for what each stay entails. Guests are treated as individuals. They can indulge in a luxurious hydrotherapy rose bath one night (drawn by a spa-bath attendant) and the next wander around the open-kitchen and get tips from executive chef Alois Multerer.
Exclusive use of the butler service (available for all guests) helps tailor each visit according to your needs. Go ahead and talk to your butler ahead of time about putting something special in the room. One of the butlers could set up a private dinner for two anywhere on the estate, arrange for a couples massage in the gazebo, and provide suggestions for other romantic activities. But rest assured, you can always fall back on having Jeeves unpack your bags for you.
A romantic getaway should transform couples from an environment of daily living into an atmosphere of upscale comfort and luxury, and this boutique property does just that, says recent visitor Andrea Wade.
“The cozy atmosphere at Azuridge liberates the senses,” she says, “and brings people into the very moment as soon as you get here.”
Now that Azuridge has arrived, couples are sure to want to make it their grand home away from home, especially on Valentine’s Day.
More About Azuridge Estates
Location: 178057 272 Street West, Priddis, Alberta
Contact: 403-931-0100; www.azuridge.ca; email: email@example.com
Valentine’s Day Special: For $598 per couple, you can enjoy a one-night stay in a superior suite with a four-course dinner experience for two, hydrotherapy bath experience, in-room nosh and beverages, and a Prairie Mountain breakfast for two.
Couples Massage: The side-by-side RnR Classic Massage costs $290/60 minutes or $370/90 minutes.