[This stay and experience was made possible by Travel Alberta, to promote local tourism within the province of Alberta. Thank you!]
We had the pleasure of staying at Azuridge Estate Hotel this holiday season. Heading out to this beautiful property was a welcome respite from our daily reality. Now more than ever, with Covid still recurrent, it was nice to enjoy this “staycation” right within our own province. Situated atop a ridge in the Albertan Foothills, surrounded by 13 acres of dense trees, this idyllic estate is a hidden gem located near Priddis (only 20 minutes from Calgary). I can’t tell you what a treat it was to stay here, and not only that, but in the honeymoon suite?! It was by far the nicest hotel room I have ever stayed in! And, with the secluded hotel only having 13 rooms, you know they focus on quality. In the honeymoon suite (which was once the original owner's bedroom), the main room includes a king-sized bed and sitting area. Adjacent to this is a large balcony overlooking the surrounding view. Head into the spacious washroom to check out the jacuzzi tub (with its very own view), the gigantic shower, and the couples’ vanity sinks. Beyond that is the walk-in closet that would rival many peoples’ first apartment (I know mine paled in comparison). This accommodation is very deluxe, with no detail spared. We were also really impressed with the hospitality offered to us during our stay. A welcome cocktail by the wood-burning fireplace? Don’t mind if I do…
And while it may be a feast for the eyes, this hotel is also well known for its high-end dining options. As a part of our stay, we enjoyed dinner at the Opal Restaurant and had the “Chefs’ Table Experience”. It truly was impressive to show up for dinner and see that our table consisted of two seats looking directly into the open kitchen, with our backs gently warmed by the toasty fire crackling in the hearth. Our courses included the following:
Oyster with passionfruit pearls
Garlicky king crab leg, seared scallop, smoked salmon, and a tomato beurre blanc
Roasted mushroom bisque
Duck breast, duck leg ballottine, with orange demi and a sweet potato rösti
Palate cleanser of strawberry sorbet
Crusted rack of lamb, mini bison wellington, potato pavé, vegetables, and a peppercorn sauce
Sticky toffee pudding with vanilla ice cream
We thoroughly enjoyed our meal and it was extra special to be able to watch the kitchen prepare it as we sipped on some prosecco. As cooks ourselves, it was nice to get the opportunity to speak with both Executive Chef Yoshi and his Sous, as they came to chat with us and ask us how we were enjoying our meal. The evening’s dishes highlighted a long list of quality ingredients, all in a cozy and picturesque dining room.
The next day, after checking out, we enjoyed brunch. It was nice to have experienced the dining room in both the evening and the daytime, to truly appreciate the space and the view outside the sprawling floor to ceiling windows. The brunch menu consisted of breakfast classics and inventive spins on brunch dishes. I enjoyed what was a take on eggs benedict; a Belgian waffle with crispy chicken strips, bacon, poached eggs, and laden with hollandaise. If you aren’t into breakfast foods, they also had more lunch-like options such as wagyu burgers and more.
While it was sad to leave Azuridge, it is nice to know it is only short drive away. I look forward to returning to enjoy the property in the summer, as I can only image how serene it would look, with the great sprawling lawn and babbling water features. Another thing I want return for is their upscale "burgers & beer"! The estate has a beautiful three-tiered gazebo, which functions as scenic outdoor dining to enjoy a deluxe burger, alongside a cold drink. With international travel currently more complicated than ever, it is exciting to find hidden gems like Azuridge Estate Hotel, and enjoy Alberta's many offerings. Although Canada does not [currently] have the prestigious Michelin guide ranking system, I would consider this property to be on par with high-end dining and accommodations around the world. It is gratifying to know that this calibre of hospitality is available in the Albertan Foothills. Now, on to dreaming up our next “Gourmet Getaway”…
PS: Check out the Gourmet Getaway Guide: Bragg Creek article for some additional nearby dining suggestions.