A Taste Of Hotel Le Germain’s New Ottawa Property

with Peter Johansen

Alex Kassatly, General Manager, and Julie Tremblay, Public Relations Manager for Germain Group.

Chef Dominique Dufour with her pinecone dessert.

Bedrooms feature king beds with Frette Egyptian cotton linens, hardwood flooring and murals of Ottawa by Julie Couture.

The bar offers an airy meeting point.

Hotel Le Germain Ottawa is next door to the city’s new municipal art gallery.

Canadian luxury hotel brand Le Germain pulled out all the stops this week as it invited travel media to check out its newest property, Le Germain Hotel Ottawa. The hotel is located in the thick of the capital’s tourist district, and adjoins the Ottawa Art Gallery, which itself is spanking new.

General Manager Alex Kassatly told Open Jaw the capital holds a special place in the hearts of Canadians -- and a unique place in the company’s heart as well. The pioneering boutique hotel company, he said, believes there’s room in the market for increased four-star luxury accommodation. “Because this is Ottawa, we’ve worked really hard to make the hotel as Canadian as possible.”

The theme comes through in everything from room décor to the second-floor restaurant, Norca.

Four room categories, ranging from 345 to 835 square feet, feature such standard amenities as free Wi-Fi, Nespresso machines, Molton Brown toiletries, and Frette 100% Egyptian cotton sheets from Simon’s, the popular Quebec-based department store group. But there’s also Bluetooth connectivity for the in-room entertainment devices and Chromecast, allowing guests to seamlessly connect tablets and laptops to wall-mounted televisions up to 75-inches in size.  A deluxe continental breakfast is included.

In many ways, the 115 rooms and suites follow Le Germain’s signature décor.  Dark browns at the entrance morph into lighter colours in the central area. Some raw elements, such as unfinished concrete ceilings, are an artisanal feature. There’s also Le Germain’s pioneering bathroom style, in which the shower is separated from the bedroom by an airy striped glass window that gives a heightened sense of space. Bathroom floors are heated.

But Ottawa is clearly featured in stunning art by Julie Couture, whose local scenes dominate each bedroom -- they’re four by six metres. They’re photography-based, but artfully reworked, and printed on fabric to simultaneously create texture while serving as sound baffles. 

“We want people to feel at home,” Kassatly told Open Jaw. “The idea here is to be like a tony loft, to be in one’s own home.”

The Canadian theme spills over into the dining room, Norca, where Chef Dominique Dufour, who’s had stints as far afield as Spain, the United Kingdom and the Yukon, promises to offer a distinctively Canadian menu. “Ninety-nine per cent of the products she uses will be Canadian -- all year round,” Kassatly proudly said.

The way to a travel journalist’s heart is through the stomach, and Wednesday’s reception didn’t disappoint. A smorgasbord of delights included deep fried radishes from a local farm, duck confit wrapped in squash, and caramelized beet pops with crushed walnuts. Seafood is certified by Ocean Wise. Chef Dufour gave a cooking demonstration, combining sunchoke mousse with oat and espresso cookie cuttings to create a delicious pine cone dessert. 

Prices begin at $259 for the property’s entry-level rooms; suites begin at $900 per night. Commissions for agent bookings are negotiable.

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