Why Stay at this Historic Boutique Hotel in Edmonton, Alberta

Exterior of Union Bank Inn, a boutique hotel in downtown Edmonton Alberta CanadaWhen we travel, we enjoy staying in boutique hotels. We’ve found that they offer the intimacy of a bed & breakfast without that conspicuous guest feeling. Yet the limited room capacity of a boutique hotel — often less than 100 rooms —  allows for the expressive creativity of independent, small ownership, and often the staff knows your name and your specific needs. You are not lost in the masses of a massive hotel.

That was the case at the Union Bank Inn, a historic boutique hotel in downtown Edmonton, Alberta.

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Where to Stay in Downtown Edmonton, Alberta

First of all, we loved Edmonton. We were there in the middle of June when everything was blooming, the sky was blue and the energy of the city just enveloped us. Edmonton is known as the City of Festivals, so there’s always something happening.

The downtown is very walkable. We were within 10 minutes of the Royal Alberta Museum, numerous restaurants and Sir Winston Churchill Square. There’s beautiful walkway along the North Saskatchewan River and the grounds of the provincial capitol are an art-filled parkland.

Exterior of Royal Alberta Museum in Edmonton

Explore More of Edmonton


About the Union Bank Inn in Edmonton

Jasper Street entrance to Union Bank Inn in downtown EdmontonAs the provincial capital of Alberta, Edmonton has a lot of banks. They are everywhere. And guess what? The building that is now the Union Bank Inn was once a bank. I bet you didn’t see that coming.

It began its life in 1911 as the Union Bank of Canada. When it opened it was one of ten banks in a two block stretch of downtown Edmonton. The Union Bank survived the Great Depression, they say, in part because of some bold women in management positions at that time. Indeed that was a rarity in banking in the 1930s.

And, even more rare, the bank included a women’s powder room. The manager overseeing all of this progressive thinking was a guy named John Anderson, whose  office is now a private dining space with a spectacular wine collection on the walls.A private dining space at the Union Bank Inn in downtown Edmonton Alberta

The dining room, which is open to more than just guests, is available for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I loved breakfast in this bright sunny space and the service was simply impeccable. Each server was funny, remembered our names each morning and always had an eye on us no matter where they were in the dining room. Perhaps they were expecting us to spill something. I could understand that.

Dining Room of Union Bank Inn, Edmonton Alberta

The Guest Rooms at the Union Bank Inn, Edmonton

bathrobes at Union Bank InnBack when it was a bank, the Union Bank of Canada used the second and third floor for office space. Today, those floors provide for 40 guests rooms in two wings.

We stayed in the Contemporary Wing, and it was just lovely. We had a fireplace, a fresh delivery of wine and cheese each night and, oh my gawd, the most comfortable bathrobe I’ve ever wrapped around this old body.

But I was also frustrated that we were unable to steal the king size mattress. What a great night’s sleep!

Contemporary guest room at the Union Bank Inn, Edmonton Alberta

We went poking around, like we’re prone to do. We stopped to enjoy original artwork in the hallways and several fresh flower arrangements.

And we fell in love with offerings in the Heritage wing.

The 14 guest rooms in this wing each have a unique design and may be considered a little gentler, a little brighter and more delicate. You’ll find some glitzy light fixtures, a few more ruffles and flowery patterns, but I would not call these rooms fru-fru at all. This is not Sheryl’s She Shed.

Heritage room in the Union Bank Inn in dowtown Edmonton Alberta

The Marilyn Monroe Room

the bogart room in the Union Bank Inn in Edmonton Alberta

The Humphrey Bogart Room, # 302.

The rooms in the Heritage Wing of the Union Bank Inn celebrate the persona of some of the world’s most notable personalities. Room 201 is the Lauren Bacall Room. Yep, it’s a little glam decorated in sea blue and ivory, accentuated by crystal mirrors and chandeliers.

Room 302 is all manly and masculine with bronze accents and a strong navy blue decor. That’s the Humphrey Bogart Room. Just down the hall, room 305, is Katharine Hepburn’s room. Marilyn Monroe has her own room (#303) as does George Gershwin (#204).

I’m sure each of these remarkable personalities would have loved the idea of a tastefully decorated guest room in well-preserved historic property in their name. I have no idea if any of them ever visited Edmonton Alberta, but I’m sure they would have loved it as much as we did. And as much as you will.


Souvenirs from Alberta Canada