Aaah, Azuridge

Emerald Manor at AzuridgeTucked into the trees of Priddis, a hamlet 40-ish minutes from downtown Calgary, lies a sophisticated little hotel that is verrry boutique — just 13 suites.Sapphire Hall, AzzuridgeThe top photo was of Emerald Manor, a guest house built to accompany this private residence, Sapphire Hall. Before the two buildings (which lie within 25 kms of 4 golf courses) became the Azuridge Hotel three years ago, they were the private getaway of DIRTT rebel entrepreneur Mogens Smed.Azuridge Estate HotelAt 13,000 square feet, Sapphire Hall was primed to become a hotel. My room was on the top left, one of the few suites available in the main house. The name of Sapphire Hall is courtesy of the current geologist owners, who took their christening inspiration from precious gemstones.Key to the Pearl Room, AzuridgeThere are subtle flourishes of extravagance every step of the way. Why offer a plastic card when a room key can exude luxury car? (Back when luxury cars had keys, that is).Hallway at AzuridgeThat key led to a room that shared no walls with other guests. With the hotel’s signature drink, Dangerous Diamond (a sparkling concoction of prosecco and elder flower liqueur, blue curaçao  and caviar),  to help with the journey along a view-strewn hallway.Pearl Room, AzuridgeIf you didn’t guess from the key chain, my destination was the Pearl Room. With complimentary pearl to take home. Naturally erratic, it reminded me of the pearls I found in Sayulita.Pearl Room at AzuridgeKing size bed? Check. Frette sheets? Enthusiastic check!The Pearl Room Azuridge, AlbertaThe evening I was there was so warm I had to close the curtains against the sun. Lounging poolside would have been perfect — if there was a pool. However, Azuridge has other options in the relaxation department.Opal Restaurant, AzuridgeEating is one of the main activities on offer. The Opal Dining Room has a lovely layout…Patio at Opal Restaurant, Azuridge… but I was lured out to the patio for the incredible west-facing vista, just in time for a Rocky Foothills sunset. A helpful server somehow achieved the perfect balance with the umbrella, adjusting against eye glare while allowing for a perfect sightline to the horizon, for the ball of fire’s evening bow. Meanwhile, the salad was lovely. And I was impressed by the lion head on the white ceramic soufflé bowl. Because I am impressed by things like that. Dessert at AzuridgeHere’s another shot for the foodies:  gelato served in an ice-block holder. With edible pansies. Merely a palate cleanser between courses.Butler service at AzuridgeAfterwards, I returned to my room to find all my makeup arranged ever so thoughtfully. Why don’t all hotels do this? Azuridge, though, is a standout in the service department. Home to the only guilded butler in North America, the hotel strives to raise pampering to the penultimate. The gold box is my go-to for Aerin’s easy-packing eye palette, btw.Event room at AzuridgeBesides romantic getaways, Azuridge specializes in group retreats, conferences and weddings.Dinosaur at AzuridgeShould you feel the urge to explore Azuridge’s 13 acres, you’ll probably run into this guy, who has spawned his own urban myth (although urban is not the right word for this part of the world). Steven Spielberg is a regular guest due to a show jumping daughter who competes regularly at Spruce Meadows. Rumor has it that Mr. Spielberg gave it to the hotel. However, I must burst that prehistoric bubble. T-Rex was already on the property when the geologists acquired it. And what a property it is! Aaah, Azuridge.Blue Besos

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