A thriving hub of international commerce makes finding a cheap bed in Calgary difficult. Downtown offers a full complement of international business-class brands like Sheraton, Westin, and Delta, with few independents and little to distinguish between them, save location. Newer modern and sleek hotels like Le Germain and Hotel Arts have livened things up a bit.
Less expensive rooms, if they're available at all, tend to cluster around the motel strips: Macleod Trail S, or 16th Avenue NW, which is what the Trans-Canada Highway becomes as it passes through the city. A few deals can be found downtown at cheaper chains like Best Western (www.bestwestern.com), Sandman Inn (www.sandmanhotels.com), or Travelodge (www.travelodge.com). There is a dearth of accommodation outside the central financial core and motel strips, unfortunately, notably in trendy neighborhoods like the Mission.
If you like B&Bs, try the Bed and Breakfast Association of Calgary (www.bbcalgary.com), which has several dozen listings for the city. The many hotels in Motel Village, which link to the city center via the C-Train, are another option; you can often find these rooms at discount hotel websites.
Northwest of downtown, this triangle of more than 20 large motels, plus restaurants, stores, and gas stations, forms a self-contained hamlet near the University of Calgary. Enclosed by Crowchild Trail, the Trans-Canada Highway, and Highway 1A, the village's costlier establishments flank the highway, and the cheaper ones lie off Crowchild Trail. If you're driving and don't want to deal with downtown traffic, just head here to find a room; for C-Train service, use the Lions Park or Banff Park stops. Except during the Stampede, you'll be able to find a vacancy without reservations. Use a discount hotel website such as Travelocity to find deals here. Popular chain hotels and some independents are located here, including Comfort Inn (2369 Banff Trail NW; tel. 403/289-2589), Calgary Motel Village (2369 Banff Trail NW; tel. 800/228-5150 or 403/289-2581), Best Western Village Park Inn (1804 Crowchild Trail NW; tel. 888/774-7716 or 403/289-4645), Travelodge North (2304 16th Ave. NW; tel. 800/578-7878 or 403/289-0211), and the Quality Inn University (2359 Banff Trail NW; tel. 800/661-4667 or 403/289-1973). You can expect rates of about C$120 to C$140 for a double.
The Calgary West Campground (tel. 403/288-0411; www.calgarycampground.com), on the Trans-Canada Highway west of the city, allows tents and pets. Facilities include washrooms, toilets, laundry, a dumping station, hot showers, groceries, and a pool. The price for full hook-up with two people is C$45 per night; tent sites are C$29 to C$32 per night.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.